All couples argue, but it’s the way they argue that determines if their relationship will go the distance. But there’s actually the proper way on how to fight as a couple. Yes, experts say there’s a right way to fight with your spouses.
The number one rule to remember when fighting with your spouses is that instead of attacking his or her own character (like most of us would usually do), happy couples color inside the lines and express their own feelings instead. “It’s fine to say, ‘I’m furious with you right now!’ It’s not fine to say, ‘You’re a sorry excuse for a human being.’”
What would be appropriate “fighting” skills that can lead to a mutually satisfying outcome?
“Fighting” is done best when neither of you are too Hungry, Angry, Low, or Time-constrained. If you are any of these things, then you should Halt your argument.
Stick to just One Issue
Don’t clutter up the conversation by bringing in old hurts.
One speaks first and the other listens. Then, at some point, switch roles.
Resist the temptation to argue back right away. Remember the adage: “To be understood, seek first to understand.”
Acknowledge the other person’s feelings
In fact, understanding why the other feels the way he or she does is half the battle won.
When It is Your Turn to Speak, Avoid Judgmental Statements
Express how you feel about the issue and explain as best you can why you feel that way.
Once both sides have been aired, Agree On The Principles that should be used to evaluate your options, then decide on the basis of principle which alternatives best fit these principles.
Couples for the long-haul don’t shy away from discussing topics that could just as easily be swept under the rug. They ask the big, scary questions ASAP. When taboo or uncomfortable topics remain unaddressed, they can turn any benign event into a big drama that could have been avoided in the first place. Couples who talk about it can manage potential dramas.
Happy couples in long-term relationships rarely get into knock-down, drag-out fights because they don’t lower themselves to school-yard tactics: no matter how heated things get, there’s no name calling, eye rolling or biting sarcasm.
Set ground rules and be specific — “We will not interrupt each other when one is giving his or her perspective” — or more big picture: It’s not about being right. It’s about getting to a common ground and resolving the problem.
You may be bumping heads but couples in happy, long-time relationships try their best to see the other side of the argument.
Partners who are able to have healthy and productive arguments don’t jump to conclusions in the middle of fights. They aren’t quick to assume their S.O. wants to jump ship and leave them just because he or she is a voicing a concern. They quiet their insecurities, listen and try to give their partner the benefit of the doubt.
Last but not the least, even during their most tense arguments, healthy couples never forget that they’re a team: for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health… and until the argument exhausts them and both parties agree that they’d rather call a timeout and get a bite to eat.