How to Fight Fair in Marriage
How to Fight Fair in a Relationship and Grow Closer
Fight and fair. Do these two words go together like PB & J?
Maybe not that well. I mean, PB & J is such a classic and perfect combo.
But the way a couple handles fights or disagreements has a huge impact on the health of the relationships.
That’s why it is so crucial to figure out how to fight fair with your spouse.
Now, let me get one thing out of the way real quick.
My husband and I argue.
We have disagreements. We get into heated discussions. OK, the point is we fight. Just like a lot of couples.
All the reading or research in the world won’t change this. But it really comes down to how those arguments play out.
And my marriage has come such a long way in this department.
Ten years ago, our arguments looked much different than they do today! Hot dang am I glad things changed for the better.
Disagreements are breeding grounds for damage. Tempers are lost. Our patience tanks are empty and our anger tanks are spilling over.
What happens? Damage.
Does this sound familiar?
An argument happens on a random Wednesday. Thursday rolls around and things have settled down.
Friday comes around and that argument is gone with the wind.
But wait. You are still hurting from how things went down.
This can easily become a cycle. The lines of what is normally acceptable can get a little blurred when the fighting gloves are put on.
I think for many this just sort of becomes like an unspoken rule. We let things more things slide.
But this is a slippery slope.
This is not to say that every fight will be the most peaceful experience ever. Not even close. There are however lines that should not be crossed.
The way you argue can really set the tone for your marriage.
Here Are 9 Tips on How to Fight Fair With Your Spouse
1) Watch Your Words
This is a big deal.
Words are weapons. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power they have.
No name-calling. Insults and low blows are not necessary.
And more importantly, they will not help resolve a disagreement. Not ever!
Below the belt hits can’t be taken back. It’s easy to forget that in the heat of the moment.
The chances of both people using perfect manners during an argument is highly unlikely. But being civil is a goal you can shoot for.
2) Inside Voices
Do you want to escalate an argument pretty quickly? Bust out those yelling voices and your wish will come true.
If you want to steer an argument in a better direction, then inside voices is the way to go.
Does this mean there will never be another raised voice in your home? Heck no. But work on being aware of the tone and volume of your voice.
Sometimes it can feel like yelling is the way to make your case. The only way to get our point across.
But the opposite is actually true.
There’s much more power in a calm and firm voice. Restraint can be a much more powerful tool to use rather than smacking someone over the head with your words.
3) Ask Questions
Either you are asking or you are assuming. Can you guess which one of these will hurt your marriage?
Get your stories straight. Each person comes to a discussion with a story in their head. And these stories probably don’t align with one another.
I know my brain will almost always assume the worst-case scenario.
And I can definitely jump to conclusions in about 3 seconds flat.
Ask questions to better understand where your spouse is coming from. Ask questions to try to see their take on the situation.
If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
This will make it very challenging to navigate your way through the argument.
The bottom line is the more questions the better!
Know when to take a break.
I always thought every single problem had to get settled right then and there. It did not matter how long it took.
After ten years of marriage, I am confident in saying I was very wrong.
After so long talking about the same thing, it can feel like you are going in circles.
Going at each other’s throats may seem enticing but resist the urge to keep the battle going and call a time out.
It takes a lot to step back and realize when a situation needs to be put on hold for a little bit.
But look at it like this. It is like dragging an argument through the mud and thinking it has any chance of getting solved.
There comes a point when a disagreement starts getting messier.
And I think a lot of us can actually feel when this is. But we don’t always press that time out button.
Practice pressing that pause button in your marriage.
Take some space away from the situation and away from your spouse. Take some time to gather your thoughts.
Think about the issue on your own. You could even try writing about it. I turn to my journal quite a bit to do a brain dump or a feelings dump.
This can be the perfect way to understand how you feel more or even gain a new perspective.
Sweep out that head of yours.
Time also just has a way of leveling things out.
When emotions are at an all-time high, we may not always think clearly. Sometimes a little space is all we need to get back on track.
Let me specify a little more. We need to listen without interrupting.
The struggle is real for me when it comes to listening.
This is all about taking turns. Yep, just like you learned back in your toddler years. Taking turns!
And this is not easy. And it will take a boatload of practice to get better at it. Oh, and then you still won’t be perfect at it because you’re human and all.
But being listened to and feeling heard can make a huge difference in the foundation of your marriage.
There’s a danger that comes up when people don’t feel heard. Truly heard. It’s one of those things that is like a slow burn.
It builds and builds over time. And it is one of those situations where things seem fine until a bomb goes off.
Practice good old honest to goodness listening. This alone can work wonders for your marriage.
7) Stay on Track
Try to stick to the issue at hand. It is so tempting to pull from the past.
We, of course, want to pull examples that prove we are right. Evidence to back our case.
Remember when this happened. Remember when you did this.
Don’t go putting 22 issues on the table and thinking anything is going to get solved.
I think we often search for the quickest solution to arguments just to get them over with. But I also think this comes back to bite us in the butt.
Slow and steady is the way to go.
Slow and steady is the only way to go if you want real solutions and lasting results. That sounds a little technical!
But staying on track with one issue at a time will allow you to fully work through that issue.
Keeping score can manifest itself in different ways.
Right or wrong.
Win or lose.
These are all ways we keep a running score in our minds.
On some level, we are all trying to gain the upper hand. We want to have just a little bit more control or power than the other person.
I know because I feel like this. But I try to think in terms of what I want.
Do I want to feel like I have the ball in my court or do I want to feel closer to my husband?
Power can feel good for a little while. But that feeling is going to wear off and then where will you be?
Either in the same situation you started with or worse off!
9) End Goal
What do you want to happen when everything is said and done?
What does your partner want?
We want to progress in an argument. And learning how to fight fair will help with that.
Arguments can easily escalate to a point that neither person involved is even sure what the core issue actually is.
The back and forth attacks have taken over and who knows what the goal is for the fight.
It really is so vital for each of you to have a goal for the argument and share that goal with each other.
This is putting it out there what would make each of you happy. And this is a crucial step in having any chance of coming to a compromise.
When it comes to arguments, disagreements, or fights, there will always be some level of messiness. This is about cleaning things up just a little.
Learning how to fight fair will not only help you navigate your way through arguments better as a couple.
It will really help you create a much stronger and healthier marriage!
Have any tips on how to fight fair? Drop a comment!
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