How To Fight

The reality is, all couples fight. Those that don’t - don’t live in the same state! Now we all fight different; some have calm discussions, others have passionate talks, and some have heated arguments. All of these are a form of “fighting.” And fighting is actually an important part of any relationship.  The reason "fighting" is good is because ...

It’s important to keep in mind that when you are fighting with your partner, it’s not about WINNING or LOSING, it’s about RESOLVING whatever issue is being discussed! When you resolve "the issue" you both win!
Here's the deal ...

o   Unresolved resentment and deep seated bitterness is deadly to a relationship! And fighting, if done right, can help resolve the “issue.”

o   Side-stepping difficult feelings blocks emotional intimacy. Often Peacemaker type personalities struggle with this … they don’t want to fight, but often will bury their feelings to only haunt them later. Not "fighting" is like, not going to the bathroom, that would be nice to never have to do, but it's not healthy! Fighting can be messy at times, but it's necessary to build a healthy relationship.

Fighting is how you can hash things out. Now when I say "fight"  I am not saying we throw pots and pans at each other, or that we are pulling out guns and knives, though you have maybe done that a time or two! (hopefully not the latter!)

All couples fight, the key is in HOW you fight. Here are the fight rules!


1.)  Focus on the PRESENT.

DON’T: dig up past grievances.

2.)  Focus on partner’s actions and how those make you FEEL.

DON’T: Criticize your partner’s personality or character.

DON’T SAY: “You shouldn’t feel that way,” or even worse you “shouldn’t let that bother you,” or “you should get over it,” … not good!

Example: My wife, Jana used to tell me where to go when we were in the car, I hate that. And for the longest time I didn’t know why, until I dug deep into "how it made me feel" and it made me feel like she didn’t trust me and my navigation skills. And who cares if I missed an exit, I could always turn around! Just let me drive.

3.)  Pick a good TIME to talk.

DON’T: Complain at times when your partner is distracted by pressing matters such as a deadline or caring for small children. Or in the middle of a party! Or while at dinner with friends!

4.)  Tell your partner about your NEEDS and DESIRES.

DON’T: Expect your partner to mind-read, to guess your needs and desires.

*Material Taken from Dr. John Gottman's book , 7 Principles for a Healthy Relationship!