HOW TO FIGHT FAIR IN A MARRIAGE
Fights are common in all human relationships – romantic or otherwise. In a marriage, where two unrelated people are thrown together in close proximity for years, differences of opinion and view are common. In this piece, we discuss how we can fight fairly with our partners.
Happy marriages are not those in which the couple never fights, but those in which the couple fights fairly with one another. Many of us are slaves to this emotion called anger, and when possessed by it we cannot control what is coming out of our mouths and what is running around in our heads.
When a marriage has a strong foundation of friendship and empathy, it can withstand the debilitating effects of bad fights. In fact, many strong marriages get stronger through ugly fights, not least because it clears the air and gives the couple the confidence that they can get through bad times.
However, it is important that you sit together with your partner and formulate the rules of a fair fight. This can be a list of things that you both agree as a couple should follow no matter what the amount of anger is driving a particular fight.
1. No yelling or name calling
The person who raises their voice first is the culprit, or the person who throws the first insult. The truth is that raising one’s voice or calling your spouse by a vile name are the easiest things you can do in an argument, and it often leads to more yelling and name calling. So why not make a rule that no matter what, you will not yell or throw insults no matter what the provocation?
2. No bringing up past grievances
There is a saying by a wise married man that goes: You’re not really fighting about what you think you’re fighting about. Sometimes in a marriage, small grievances can build up like snowballs, and can come out during other fights that have very small reasons. So make it a rule that all grievances should be resolved in a particular fight, and nobody is allowed to bring up past grievances in this fight.
3. No using ‘extreme’ words
All fights have the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ in them. How many times have you told your spouse that she ‘never does the laundry’ or that he ‘always forgets our anniversary’? Whenever we use these words, we’re making blanket judgements, so why not make it a rule that these words should be used?