10 Rules for Fighting Fairly

Not My Own Work

This is a great site that offers a lot of insight into relationship dynamics. Just reviewing it has brought to light a lot of the mistakes I have made...

Hopefully I will be able to take this information and improve my relationship skills, if it helps anyone else that's an added plus. The site can be found here:


Courage To Love When Your Marriage Hurts

by Gerald Foley

Rule #1: Fight

Silence is a relationship killer...you need to FIGHT!

Studies show that couples who fight have a stronger relationship and marriage. An old axiom says, "The dirtiest fighter is the one who refuses to fight at all." Someone who doesn't want to rock the boat, and skirts the issues to avoid conflict, ultimately damages the relationship. Fighting can actually get us through a conflict to a level of greater intimacy. So, Fight for your relationship...it's the best thing you can do.

Rule #2: Fight Fairly

Remember that you are trying to grow together. Often we learned unhealthy or unfair ways of fighting from parents or from our culture.

These make winning at any cost the most important goal. If one spouse wins...both lose.

Rule #3: No Name Calling

Calling a spouse a name such as "stupid" simply backs that person away from a fight. Do not call each other names except the affectionate ones you normally use, such as "Honey" or "Dear."

Rule #4: No Third Parties

Do Not Involve Other People

The argument is between the two of you. Young couples make the mistake of involving friends or parents (usually mothers). The damage comes later in several forms; 1) A parent will more than likely remember the issue long after a couple has forgotten. 2) The respect and perception once held by a parent for a childs spouse will decline. 3) A couple may feel uncomfortable facing the parent even after an incident has been resolved. 4) A parents natural reaction is to protect a child and this reaction may cause further damage to the relationship.

Rule #5: No Past History

If it's already been settled, don't bring it up again. It is irrelevant and merely a way to smear your partner. It is OK to go back to learn, but not to get something on your spouse.

Rule #6: Stick to the Subject

Stay focused. Find the issue and don't bring in other issues just to prove your point. When he comes home later and she feels taken for granted or unloved, deal with feelings to make the real issue apparent.

Rule #7: Don't Hit Below the Belt

Don't throw your partners weaknesses in his or her face.

You may win the argument but lose more than you gain.

On the other hand, don't be too sensitive to what your spouse says.

Rule #8: Finish the Fight

Don't Go to Bed Angry

Finish the Fight. Dragging a fight out is as life-draining as avoiding a fight. Unresolved anger can destroy intimacy.

Rule #9: Maintain a Sense of Humor

Maintain a Sense of Humor

Laughter is sometimes the best medicine. It's good to be able to laugh at yourselves, but don't laugh at or make fun of your spouse.

Rule 10: Keep Close Contact

Hold Hands and/or Look in Each Others Eyes.

Being in contact with each other, rather than turning your backs, is the hardest rule. However, it takes the focus from the issue and places it where it belongs, namely on the most important person in your life.

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