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Fighting Fair

It may seem like a contradiction to say that we should fight fair, but fighting dirty is a definite relationship killer. Unfortunately far too many couples resort to dirty tactics when their tempers flare. Although it may momentarily feel satisfying to win that battle, just remember that each time you destroy your partner in a fight you put your relationship at greater risk of failing. Here are some suggestions that can help you to solve disagreements in a positive way:

Be Respectful This is true at all times. Name calling, sarcasm or nasty teasing are never a good idea. If you slip and say something disrespectful apologize right away.

Validate Each Other's Thoughts and Feelings Saying things like, "It seems that you are really frustrated and I hear that you would like me to . . . " helps the other person to feel heard and understood. This can this means that one person talks at a time, rather than trying to outshout each other.

Make The Problem The Problem Visualize that it is the two of you against the problem. Try not to make each other the problem.

Tackle One Problem At A Time Don't get side tracked into bringing up all the past issues you can think of. Deal with the problem at hand.

Couple Arguing

Use "Time Outs" Wisely If you find that either partner's temper is getting hot, take a time out. If your partner requests a time out, honor that request. Use the time out to calm yourself down. Make sure that after the time out is over you finish dealing with the problem.

Listen to Understand This is probably one of the most important things that you can do to reduce conflict. Everyone wants to feel hear and understood. Giving that gift to your partner may make it easier for him/her to listen to you.

Deal With Needs Rather Than Positions Rather than taking a stand and sticking to it, try to identify the needs underneath your position. Try to find a way for both of you to get what you need, perhaps not exactly what you think you each want, but a way that works for both.

Communicate Clearly Don't play games, or beat around the bush. You cannot solve a problem if you cannot understand what the problem is.

Forgive and Accept Each Other Forgiveness and acceptance are incredibly healing. Be kind to each other.