If you want a committed, long-term love relationship, you need to learn how to fight with your partner! Oh, not knock-down, drag-out disrespect. After all, you love your partner.
You just slowly come to terms with the fact that in the course of a 24-7 home-sharing, life-melding relationship, you’ll probably bump heads on a fairly regular basis. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it could be..if you allow insults, criticism and resentment to creep in.
To get a handle on resolving conflicts productively, try to incorporate the following ideas:
Consider the big picture. Is this fight worth it?
You know, you really don’t have to “fight.” In fact, there are some more productive, peaceful ways to make your point and come out stronger without a lot of drama and future apologies.
If a brewing disagreement deserves discussion, then try to calmly converse.
If your fight seems borne out of displaced stress or your spouse’s bad day, attempt to be gracious and let it go.
It doesn’t serve much good to let all your loving feelings get swept away by temporary anger or irritation. Sometimes it really isn’t worth it.
Decide not to hurt your spouse. Choose not to engage.
Prevent a communication blowout. Are you respectful?
This is the part about “fighting fair.”
Nobody likes a bully.
Especially one who knows all the buttons to push and wounds to reopen.
Again, you love this person. That’s why you are so bothered.
That’s why it’s worth taking a deep breath and biting your tongue.
It’s important to check your tone and mannerisms when conversations get heated.
Are you demonstrating that you value your spouse’s perspective?
Does your partnership remain equal and fair as you hash out your differences?
Fair fights in a successful relationship don’t include power plays, unreasonable interpretations of each other’s actions or inaction,or heavy-handed criticism.
Ask questions and respectfully consider the answers. Share your concerns and perceptions.
Accept, validate and negotiate. Can you compromise?
It may be difficult to swallow your pride when you’re wrong.
It can be tough to check your ego when you know you’re right.
It’s all for the best, compromise is a good thing.
Fruitful conflict resolution depends on how well you accept the validity in your partner’s viewpoint.
Interact with an open mind.
Sometimes you’ll have to agree to disagree and make space for your differences.
Prioritize your relationship by sticking to the issue, not winning the fight.
“Winning” is not arguing your partner into submission.
You don’t want to beat your partner. You love your partner.
A loving compromise that respects and strengthens your connection simply removes the need for either of you to win or lose.
Grant yourself and your partner space. Will you take time to cool off?
Knowing when to back off is an important part of preserving respect and connection.
Frustration or attempts to force the issue usually end badly.
Spare yourselves the hurtful emotional escalation and unintended rants.
It’s a better course to suggest that you take a break and revisit the issue.
Simply admit that you are too frustrated to continue the conversation and ask to try again later.
A time-out protects the goal of resolution.
Cooling off acknowledges the intensity of your emotions.
Plans to pick up the conversation later eliminate fear of abandonment and underscore the importance of resolving conflict purposefully.
Commitment is a wonderful thing.
Fighting well should be part of the deal.
Just don’t forget the most important truth.
You love your partner.
Fight the good fight and everybody wins.
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