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How to Fight Fairly

Updated on November 25, 2012
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Couples Therapy

Just because you and your spouse don't have the perfect technique for fair and impartial arguing doesn't necessarily mean that you're destined for marriage counseling or divorce court. All relationships are cyclical in nature and they all have their ups-and-downs. The point of this hub is to learn to how to disagree in a manner which allows for both and your spouse or partner to remain in control, for the topic to be discussed clearly and for a solution to be reached.

It sounds simple when you put it in those terms however those three easy steps can be difficult for many couples.

Quality time out on the pond
Quality time out on the pond | Source

The Invitation

If you find that your general dread comes from the idea of having the meeting in the first place, ask for an appointment to meet. Schedule a mutually agreed upon time and place and decide on the approximate length you think your discussion will take. You can also let your spouse or partner know exactly what you want to talk about.

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No Low Blows

When you are speaking to your spouse or significant other about your issue, always refrain from calling names whether they are direct or indirect. Another good rule to abide by is to avoid saying any type of negative or condescending things about your spouse's family.

Forgo all types of threatening words, phrases and behaviors because they will aggravate the situation. Do not be physically violent or emotionally violent.

The purpose of this union is to bridge a gap and allow the two of you to better understand one another. It's important that you open your mind and recognize that although you have a valid point to make, there is a possibility you're wrong. It's important to listen to the person you care about.

Stay emotionally happy
Stay emotionally happy | Source

Learn to Discuss

When you are discussing your point, always stay calm and in control. Once you lose your cool, the purpose of the scheduled meeting is irrelevant. For women, avoid crying and falling apart. Your point will seem more valid if you are not a tearful mess. It doesn't mean that you don't feel sad, angry or upset, but you need to keep control of your emotions so that you can think clearly while you discuss the issues you need to discuss.

When you are discussing your point, refrain from using statements that focus on "you did this", or ""it's all your fault" because they will make you seem defensive, they take away your capability, and they lean all of the responsibility on the other party. In reality, it truly takes two people to have a functioning or dysfunctional relationship. There comes a time when you must assume your part in the workings or mishaps. Regardless, the point is to make things better, not to highlight that your spouse is at fault.

Use messages that let your loved-one know you accept responsibility for things which might not be working but be prepared with ideas on ways to fix the potential problems. Use statements such as, "I know I......" or "I should have", so that your partner doesn't feel that the blame is being thrust upon them.

Playing a game while meeting eases tension.
Playing a game while meeting eases tension. | Source

Feelings First

Although this typically isn't the strong area for most men, it can be learned and performed well. When you have a discussion you should always be aware of what you're feeling. Label that feeling and then describe in detail to your spouse how you feel. I stress that you should remain calm, and talk your way through it. Even the most difficult situations can be navigated if you choose to remain calm.

As the spouse, you must listen to the description without judgement, and with awareness that your loved-one is hurting or feeling badly. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues and accept their right to feel those feelings.

Perception is a solitary feeling and based solely on the individual. Very few people share the exact same perception of things. It's inappropriate for you to expect that something should affect your spouse or partner in the same manner it affects you.

Respond With Love

  • Tell him what you really appreciate about him.
  • Remind her that she is beautiful.
  • Talk to him with respect.
  • Take her for a walk.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Listen intently.
  • Focus on who she really is.
  • Spend one hour a day with each other, completely alone.
  • Listen for the feelings behind the words.

Good Meeting Habits

Make sure you are paying attention to being a good communicator. It's important that you pay attention to your spouse's verbal and non-verbal cues and that you are sending proper verbal and non-verbal cues.

When you meet, avoid incongruencies. Additionally, remember that your partner cannot read your mind so it's very important to ask for what you want in detail and ask your loved-one exactly what they want in detail. Make a plan together. Compromise and negotiate and learn to use teamwork but refrain from being competitive.

Most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP!

Do you schedule time to meet with your spouse or loved-one?

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Meeting Adjourned

If things get a little heated, simply stop and either go your separate ways for a few minutes, for a couple hours or until another scheduled meeting time. If you need to make another appointment to meet, that's okay too.

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    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Excellent advice! My husband and I rarely fight (thank God) but when we do, we use some of these to fight fair you could say. Voted up and shared!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this great council. Not being able to talk, I must use my communication wisely and on important things, like how beautiful she is.

    • krsharp05 profile image
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      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      CassyLu, Thanks for taking the time to read and vote. You are so fortunate that you and your husband have a strong and loving relationship. Wonderful! I appreciate your input. -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Mhatter, Great to hear from you. I'm surprised, since you have such a way with words, that you don't sing songs, write stories or recite Chaucer! Yes, tell her! Great to hear from you. -K

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