I’ve always thought that the term “fighting fair” sounded funny, it’s sort of an oxymoron, no? One would think that the last thing on your mind when you’re emotionally sparring with someone is protecting their feelings. However, irony and all aside, in a relationship there are rules to the fighting fair game.
Arguments are inevitable in any relationship, we’ve all heard this 101 times- but particularly in marriage. You’re in each other’s space all day everyday, you’re learning each other’s habits, quirks and annoying tendencies and disagreements are bound to ensue.
I’m a firm believer in speaking your mind and opening about your emotions- whether positive or negative. With that being said, I’ve grown to understand that the approach is everything. Often times the point we’re trying to get across gets lost in the delivery. Before you know it, you’re upset about how something was addressed rather than what was actually the topic of discussion.
1. Don’t over generalize. Refrain from using words such as “always” and “never” in the negative.
2. Don’t keep your emotions and feelings bottled up. You’ll be a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
3. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt and assume they never intended to hurt your feelings or upset you. Don’t assume you know why they did something or what they’re going to say in their defence.
4. Don’t seek comfort in others about your marital squabbles. Instead take some time to reflect and try to an understanding about your own feelings and actions. I find that praying helps me to verbalize what I’m feeling and the outcome I’m looking for.
5. To piggyback on the last rule- PRAY. I can’t stress this enough. Pray for you spouse, your marriage and yourself. Many things happen that are beyond our control and only the strength of God can pull us through.
6. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Try to look at the situation from their point of view.
7. No matter how upset and angry you are, sleep in the same bed.
8. Don’t aim to “win”. If this is your end goal, you’ve already lost.
9. Try to remember ONE positive thing about your partner and your relationship. It’s easy in moments of anger to compile a mental list of all the things you despise and forget the good.
10. Use “I” statements. For example, “ I feel ___ because…”
Head over to my recent post where I talk about the three lessons that I took away from my first year of marriage.