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Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Rule #10


As a Couple's Counselor, I've been asked to help couples learn to fight fairly.  Because, hey, all couples disagree and fight, to some extent or another.  So, I wanted to share some tips on how to have fair and productive fights with your husband or wife.  Wouldn't you rather have a productive fight, instead of one where you both end up hurting each other?

So I'm providing a 10 part blog series, addressing some common Rules for Fair Fighting.

During the first week I shared Rule #1 - Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset.
To read that post, click here:

During the second week, I shared Rule #2 - 

Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully.

To read that post, click here:

During the third week, I shared Rule #3 - Take Turns Talking, which goes hand in hand with Reflective Listening.

To read that post, click here:

During the fourth week, I shared about Rule #4 - Take a Time Out if things get too heated.

To read that post, click here:

During the fifth week, I shared about Rule #5 - No Stonewalling

To read that post, click here:

During the sixth week, I shared about Rule #6 - Attempt to come to a compromise or an understanding

During the seventh week, I shred about Rule #7 - Discuss one issue at a time.

During the eighth week, I shared about Rule #8 - Take turns talking.

Last week, I shared about #Rule #9 - No degrading language.

And for our final rule - 

Rule #10- Focus on the problem, not the person

When a disagreement turns to personal insults, raised voices, or mocking

tones, the conversation is no longer productive.  Be careful to focus on     the problem without placing blame on your partner.  Problems in

relationships are rarely the fault of one person alone. Relationship

problems take both people to create. So it's best to simply focus on the

problem without resorting to personal attacks. You can't resolve the

if you aren't even discussing the problem.

If a disagreement becomes personal, you should pause the conversation.

Take a time out to refocus and recalibrate. Remind yourself that the

discussion needs to be about the specific problem at hand, not about your


Personal attacks are the passive and cowardly way to address problems.

By using personal attacks, you are attempted to take any focus away from

you and shifting any responsibility away from yourself. True resolution

comes from acknowledging responsibility and acting to make changes within

yourself. If each person in the relationship does this, then change will

happen. Personal attacks also rarely actually solve the problem at hand,

but instead create new wounds to resolve.

Try healing current wounds, instead of creating new ones.

Next week I'll wrap up with a summary of the 10 Fair Fighting Rules for Couples.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post.

If you'd like more direct and personal help with your relationship, please visit my website and schedule a free 15 minute consultation -

I provide online couples and individual counseling throughout California, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida.

If you'd like to see any of my other blog posts, please click here.

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Phone - (925) 335-6122

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