Ten Rules for Fighting Fair in Marriage

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.

ten rules for fighting fair in marriage

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.

23 thoughts on “Ten Rules for Fighting Fair in Marriage

  1. This is very true to a successful marriage. Thank you for sharing. It is a reminder of how important it is to keep an open line of communication and using our words carefully. Great post I will definitely share with others I know that need to hear this.

    1. Communication really is important, I agree. We hear it a lot and I think that speaks to the magnitude of it. We are still growing as humans and its good to know that even in growth and learning, there is nothing wrong with expressing our thoughts, feelings, etc. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words!

  2. All this advice is excellent. Do this and you’re going to have a successful marriage. Communication is everything and if a couple can argue and come out of it with love and respect that’s a beautiful relationship.

  3. It is so easy for arguments to escalate quickly and can result in real harm. These are great rules, that are really helpful.

  4. I am not currently married but these tips would even help me in my long term relationship. It’s amazing how just changing the wording of you conversations can help to really improve your relationships.

  5. My favorite is to not go to bed angry. I struggle with this! I have a hard time expressing how I feel. I try to make him feel loved daily! These tips so so important. There will be conflict but its how you handle it thats important.

    1. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t struggle with this as well! I’m the opposite; I’m very good at expressing my feelings but I’m learning to understand that not everyone is that way. Conflict can’t be avoided but dealing it in a way that preserves everyone’s feelings is incredibly important.

  6. These are some really great tips! I like #9 especially. It’s sometimes difficult to think about the good things about your partner when you’re in the middle of an argument, but it can really help to diffuse your anger.

  7. I think we all need to be reminded of some of these things on occasion. I have a tendency to do #2…. Thanks for the reminders 🙂

  8. I love this blog! Some brilliant advice. I learned a lot of these lessons through counselling, so it’s great to see them being shared online because they are so important for maintaining a healthy relationship. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! We weren’t able to attend premarital counselling but I think we’ve been fortunate enough to figure things out as we go! I couldn’t agree more 🙂

  9. These are great tips. I try not to use the “always” word because I found that I have a tendency to say that.

    1. I feel the same way and think it’s discouraging and frustrating to be on the receiving end of it.

  10. Fantastic advice!! It’s funny how we sometimes forget these simple steps! Thanks for the reminder! 😀

  11. Ah such important tips! We always need to work on marriage so I reread them with my husband.

    1. That’s so amazing to hear, thank you for sharing!

  12. Amazing tips for any couple whether just entering into the union of marriage or have been married for years! I have been with my husband 12 years and it is so important to communicate often fairly, clearly, and to be on each other’s team! I love not aiming to “win”. No one win’s when your spouse it hurt

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