It’s the un-sexiest thing you do…
It’s Fighting, and it either happens way too often (or perhaps not often enough).
No matter your case, when you think about bringing back the spark in your relationship, the last thing on your mind is how you argue…
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But fighting is the ultimate destroyer of date nights and intimate moments everywhere, and the only way to keep it from spoiling the fun is understanding how to do it right.
Your first thought is probably, “We don’t need to talk about fighting fair. We don’t fight like that.
None Of Us Want To Admit That We, As A Couple, Actually Do Things Like Fight.
Call it what you will. The fact is that every couple, even the very-definition-of-happy couple, has conflict.
They fight. Sometimes those conflicts are short-lived, minor skirmishes. It’s natural, and in some cases beneficial.
When you aren’t fighting fair, those little skirmishes become full on battles ending in emotional wounds, bitterness and no resolution to the problem.
Left unresolved, the scenario will play out again. And again.
There’s a difference between healthy fighting and fighting that causes serious damage, and we’re about to show you what that difference is and just how you can start fighting fair.
Over Time, Repeated Battling Becomes The Way You Communicate With Each Other.
When you fight, you get into a sort of communication rut where it becomes the norm to say and do ugly things with the rationale of, “I was mad. I didn’t mean it.”
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You can’t unring a bell.” The same is true about words said in a conflict.
Once you’ve said them, they hang in the air between you. You can’t take them back. Maybe you really didn’t mean them but the hurt remains long after the apologies are made.
Fighting Done Right: 6 Key Tips For Successful Battles
If this sounds familiar, then read on!
Imagine being able to disagree, discuss and resolve a problem without yelling, tears or hurt feelings.
You’re about to learn powerful ways to handle conflicts with your partner in ways that end in resolution instead of hurt feelings.
1. Stay Cool
Yelling communicates aggression, anger and a perception of threat.
The survival response is triggered and defenses go UP! You want to speak in a way that encourages your partner to hear you not fear you.
- Screaming at your partner doesn’t make him/her hear you any better. Yelling can actually have the opposite effect – they simply shut down and tune you out.
- Your partner is more likely to be willing to talk if you remain in control of your tone and manner. Pointing in someone’s face, crossing your arms, rolling your eyes, sarcasm and similar actions communicates agitation, aggression or even disregard.
- Your calm presence will also encourage your partner to remain calm. It’s hard to yell and scream at someone who is staying calm and in control.
2. Show Respect
is a really, really good time to remember: think before you speak. Being respectful sends the signal to your partner that even though you may be angry, you can be kind.
- Avoid name calling and ugly remarks. They cut to the core and once said, will linger in your partner’s mind long after the conflict is over.
- Use “I statements” to express how you feel. Use words that express how you feel and what is important to you. This helps your partner understand what you want and need without minimizing what they feel.
- Avoid demands or ultimatums. Instead, propose solutions or options to discuss.
3. Time Out!
Getting nowhere? Try one of these strategies:
- Call a time-out! Get some fresh air, walk the dog or simply step into another room. The goal is to step away from the conflict for a few minutes so that you and your partner can cool off BEFORE either of you say something you don’t mean and can’t take back.
- Time-outs should be at least 30 minutes. You need time to emotionally and physiologically calm down.
- Have a signal that you can both use to safely say, “Hey, I need a break.” After your time out, check back to see if your partner is ready to resume the discussion. If not, set a time to continue. This is the key…Your partner needs to trust that you will come back and resolve the problem.
If you focus on past issues, you can’t address what is happening between you now. If the old issue wasn’t a problem 24 hours ago, why is it relevant now?
- Focus on one issue at a time. You can’t resolve all of your problems at once. If you have more than one, make a list and tackle them over time. Success breeds success.
- Avoid using “always” and “never”. They are rarely true.
5. Find Common Ground
Lose the idea of a “fight” meaning that one wins and one loses. That’s a game. Your relationship is not a game.
- The goal is not to “win” because if one “wins”, then the other one must “lose”. The goal is to find a resolution you can each live with…give a little, get a little.
- Hear your partner out. To find a true resolution, you have to understand what your partner’s feelings and needs are.
- Seek a resolution and not just a truce. A true resolution means that you’ve shared your feelings, forgiven, apologized and found a solution that will keep the battle from being fought over and over.
6. Keep It Private
It’s easy to want to vent to others. We want someone to validate our feelings. Fight the urge!
You won’t get what you need and you’re setting your partner up for a battle he/she can’t win. You may be willing to forgive your partner but your family and friends will have a much harder time of it.
- Your relationship, your business. Don’t involve your mom, your BFF, your co-workers or anyone else. They are more likely to take your side and simply tell you what you want to hear.
- No Social Media. Social media is the last place you want a conflict to play out. Your relationship is not a reality show. Respect your relationship.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that regardless of the issue, you’re fighting for your relationship. You can fight to be right or you can fight to be happy.
You have to decide what is most important.
Whether it’s handling conflict or keeping the relationship healthy, even the most loving couples can get off track. Sometimes a little nudge is all that’s needed to get back on the path to happiness, fulfillment, and sensuality.
Once you can get your fighting right, the romance is sure to resurge.
Ready to Learn More Ways to Help Your Relationship Thrive?
Learning how to fight is a great start, but we both know that there’s a lot more to really open up and let the romance thrive. If you’re ready to bust out of a romance rut, you’ll LOVE our Bring Back the Romance program.
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Be sure to check it out today…your spouse will definitely thank you for it!
Oh man Dustin, you really stomped all over my toes, from early on in our marriage.
Briefly, I come from a long line of arguers and did not know how to handle differences without yelling. My poor wife, because it took me more than 10 years to learn how to disagree without raising my blood pressure.
At a recent Marriage Seminar we conducted in my wife’s home congregation, my sister-in-law said, “I am really glad to hear Jerry admit he had a problem with yelling!” I didn’t know anyone else knew???
We have been married 42 years and we disagree, agreeably. Shows how patient and loving my wife is.
I have learned that you do not have to live your legacy. My dad was married 7 times, and my mom 3. However, that was and is no excuse for my terrible behavior.
Thanks for this great post. I hope many couples heed your insights!
We help couples learn to effectively communicate – http://crackingthemarriagecode.com
Fights are always part of a relationship. But as couple we need to be understanding of each other. We need to talk on how we can resole the issue and don’t let those differences take over.