Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Wrap Up


We've spent the last 10 weeks discussing the Fair Fighting Rules for Couples.  Let's summarize.

Rule #1 - Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset.
Don't go into an arguement or discussion without knowing why you're upset, otherwise the discussion won't be productive. You need to be able to explain your feelings and how the situation has hurt you. And you need to stay focused on the issue at hand.

If you'd like to read the full post for Rule #1, click here:

Rule #2 - Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully.
It's important to use words to share your feelings. You need to describe how the situation makes you feel and why. Use "I" statements instead of blaming your partner. For example, "It scares me when you don't call when you're coming home late, because I get worried that something bad has happenedd to you." This is owning your own feelings, yet being respectful and not blaming.

To read the full post for Rule #2, click here:


Rule #3 - Take Turns Talking, which goes hand in hand with Reflective Listening.

One of the most common issues amongst couples is that one person doesn't feel heard or doesn't feel they are able to express their feelings. So it's important to take turns talking, even it it means setting a timer until you both get used to the process. You could even use Reflective Listening, where you each listen to the other and then reflect back what they said. We'll discuss this more in a future blog post.

To read the full post for Rule #3, click here:


Rule #4 - Take a Time Out if things get too heated.

This is an important strategy, because it can be a reset in a difficult situation. It gives both people a chance to cool off, think about the situation and what's been said, and return later to have a productive conversation. This small period of time to cool off can really help improve discussions.

To read the full post for Rule #4, click here:


Rule #5 - No Stonewalling

Stonewalling is when one of the people gets to a point where they are refusing to communicate.  It often looks like the silent treatment.  Sometimes it happens because one person fees overwhelmed and unable to express themselves and other times it happens because we want to "punish" the other person.  Either way, stonewalling is not effective, because it stalls the entire conversation process.

To read the full post for Rule #5, click here:


Rule #6 - Attempt to come to a compromise or an understanding
The best way to resolve an arguement is find a way that both people win. That way, neither person feels that their voice isn't reflected in the decision. A compromise means taking pieces from each person's opinion and crafting them into a new solution.

To read the full post for Rule #6, click here:

Rule #7 - Discuss one issue at a time.

It's so easy for couples to get caught up during an arguement, bringing up every injustice, offense, and problem from the relationship. But this means that the actual problem at hand won't be addressed and nothing will be resolved. If you truly want to resolve issues with your partner, it's important to focus on one thing at a time.

To read the full post for Rule #7, click here:


Rule #8 - Take turns talking.

It's important for each person to get a chance to speak and voice their concerns. And each person should be able to listen to the other, without focusing on what they want to say next. By intentionally taking turns, it frees each person to really listen to the other.

To read the full post for Rule #8, click here:


Rule #9 - No degrading language.

They say that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. But we all know it's not true. Words mean things. And words hurt. So, don't resort to name calling and put downs. That the childish way of engaging in a discussion. Instead, focus on the problem, not the person.

To read the full post for Rule #9, click here:


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

In a heated argument, it's easy to focus on all the negative aspects of the

other person, but what does that solve? By doing that, the conversation is

not productive. Problems in relationships are rarely the fault of one person

alone. So, it's best to focus on the problem at hand.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you've found these rules helpful and have taken the time to try them on in your relationship.

If you'd like more direct and personal help with your marriage relationship, please check out my website and schedule a free 15 minute consultation - www.brittaniedmillslmft.com.

I provide online couples counseling throughout California.

Website - www.brittaniedmilslmft.com

Email - bdmills@brittaniedmillslmft.com

Phone - (925) 335-6122


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