Balance & Change: Fighting to keep your relationship intact

People fight. Spouses fight. Siblings fight. Friends fight. That is a reality. It is not necessarily bad, depending on how it is done.

We can fight mean and be very hurtful to those we love, live with, spend the most time with, and know best. What that means is that we know the best way to hurt them. We know where they are most vulnerable. Going after those spots is not fair, but we tend to do that when we think we need to win the fight. In this situation, there is no winning. Everyone loses. The relationship loses. So, it is vital to learn how to fight fair.

First, make sure that you are in a good place emotionally. I know that sounds counter-intuitive. If I feel a fight with my spouse is coming on, I am probably not in a good emotional state! But stop! Breathe. Take some time to think about what you are upset about. What you most want your spouse to understand. Take a minute. What would be a good resolution for the relationship? Not you, the relationship. You want the relationship to win, not the individual.

Once you are grounded, ask if the other person is ready to talk. If both of you are ready, consider your tone and word choice. Do not be deliberately provocative. Do not push buttons. If there is something that you do not understand, clarify. Do not assume that you know. Ask questions. Again, watch your tone. Be aware of your body language. Keep in mind what your goal for the relationship is. Breathe. If you need to take a timeout, please do.

It may take a while to get through this. You can take it in small chunks. Keep grounding yourself. Remind yourself and the person that you are fighting with all the positive feelings you still have for each other. Doing these steps can resolve most issues with the least damage. However, do not hesitate to contact a professional if you need help. That is why we are here.

Please take care of yourself and your relationship!



Categories: Health, Psychology