In Part 1 of Fighting Fair, we talked about how when the glowy sheen of new relationships wears off, (and it inevitably does), you and your partner will eventually come to an impasse over something big or small. How you handle these disagreements can make or break your relationship.
If you have not already read the first 5 rules, you can catch up here.
Part 2 Rules…
6. Try putting a time limit on your disagreement. We recommend setting a 30-minute time limit on fights. After 30 minutes, if you have not resolved the issue, take a break and table it until tomorrow. We have found that after 30 minutes, we sometimes start to bring up unrelated issues and the argument can morph into something that is sometimes worse than the original issue because you might have gone past what is productive and helpful in solving the issue.
7. Tone matters. This is not the time to be sarcastic, rude, or cruel. Speak to them like you actually love them…because you DO. You simply don’t agree on something right now. No need to turn this into something even worse by using the wrong tone with your partner. Let’s face it, we know how to push our partner's buttons. This isn’t that time.
8. Pick your battles. This should not be the time to bring up old disagreements. Sticking to the actual issue at hand can help you from spiraling into unproductive territory. Sticking to whatever is causing the conflict can help you stay solely focused on that particular issue.
9. No name-calling. When things start heating up and each person is trying to get their point across, resist the urge to start name-calling. You know exactly which buttons to push and how to get a reaction from your partner. You know how to strategically hurt them with your words. Name-calling takes the focus off of the issue (where it should be!) and puts a spotlight on wounding your partner. Think back to the last time you resorted to name-calling. Was it productive? We don’t think so. Once it’s out of your mouth, it’s impossible to take it back. Let that thought be in the front of your mind when you think you might go the name-calling route.
10. Remember, at the end of the day…you’re on the same team and you love each other.No matter where your argument takes you, never forget that. You’re in this together.
We'd love to hear from you in a comment below or over on our Facebook Page. Share your thoughts on how couples fight and which rule you feel like you need to work on most.