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7 Dos and Don'ts of Fighting Fair

7 Dos and Don'ts of Fighting Fair

Steve Berman | HRPeople

March 21, 2011

6. Do: Give the yelling a rest
Even if your partner knows he or she is wrong, it’s impossible to want to make up with someone who’s screaming. It’s normal for your voice to raise an octave or two when you’re emotional, but try not to alarm your neighbors or your partner with a decibel level similar to a plane taking off.

6. Don’t: Go to sleep angry
Once it’s deemed okay to turn out the lights and sleep back-to-back (or one on the bed, one on the couch), it becomes easier and easier to end fights without really ending them. Soon there’s a multitude of unresolved issues bubbling under the surface of your relationship, liable to erupt at any time.

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7. Do: Stand up for yourself
While much of this advice is about being a calmer, gentler fighter, by no means should you be a pushover. Part of fighting fair is being fair to yourself, and that means honestly conveying when you are upset and why. In the end, nobody wants to be with someone with no backbone.

7. Don’t: Fight dirty
When you’re with a person for a long time, you learn pretty much everything about them, good and bad. The key is to not hold onto the bad information and use it in the middle of a fight to throw the other person off. If you’re fighting, it’s not the time to bring up the substance abuse problems of your partner’s sibling or parent, or how everything would be better if they weren’t still unemployed. Picking at emotional scabs is something that you need to avoid if you want to sustain a loving relationship.

There you have it, seven dos and seven don’ts. We chose the number seven because it’s lucky, just like those of us lucky to be in a relationship where both parties fight fairly. Remember, some fighting is inevitable; it’s the couples that work through disagreements and get through quarrels unscathed that have the strongest, most long-lasting relationships.

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