Fighting fair

Many couples come in seeking therapy with a laundry list of the others faults and mistakes. Issues small and large alike come up, everything from adultery to who mails the bills out after the checks are written. But there is one thing that makes a big difference in the likelihood and ability for a couple to last. And that’s fair fighting. No matter what the issue is its important to fight fair.

To be sure you’re on track:

1) Stick to the issue at hand, discuss it. Don’t use the argument as an opportunity to get rid of excess stress or stick it to your life partner. Remember that this person is the one that you decided you wanted to spend your life with. If you want to maintain partnership everyone’s dignity and self-respect has to stay in tact. If this idea isn’t easy to digest ask yourself if you would want to spend the rest of your life with someone who attacks you below the belt every time frustration builds up.

2) Stay focused on exactly what you are discussing and don’t bring up things from the past.Be present in the discussion and stay on current topics. If another matter is coming up for you discuss it outside of this argument.

3) Use “I” statements instead of starting off with “You” statements of blame or ridicule. Starting off with “You” will almost always feel like a personal attack to your mate.

4) Have your discussions and arguments privately. Not in the presence of friends or family. This helps each of you be able to walk away with more of your self-respect in tact and keeps others opinions out of the matter.

5) Remain authentic in all of your communication. True intimacy and lasting relationships that feel good are built on honesty and intimacy. It’s also the only way to truly solve a conflict.