argument, relationships, relationship advice, conflict resolution, fighting fair in relationships,

Even if you’re not one of those people who love a good fight, the reality is that there are disagreements in every relationship and some can get more heated than others. Disagreements are not the issue, it’s how you settle them that will determine the way both of you feel in your relationship – loved and respected or unimportant and lonely.

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It’s easier to remember to fight fair when you’ve given it some thought beforehand. What does it mean to you? What does it look and sound like? To get you started, I’m offering these simple rules.

Don’t wait until your feelings escalate

A sure way to have an argument blow out of proportion is to keep collecting grudges until you can’t handle it anymore. Address the issues as they come and it will be much easier to resolve them and move on.

No name calling

If your partner has done something you don’t approve of or has different opinions from your own, it doesn’t make him a bad person. Address the behaviour and explain your point of view, but don’t make it mean anything about your partner.

No yelling

The chances are you will not get heard if you yell. Your partner is more likely to shut you out and not understand what you’re trying to say or respond in a similar way.

No threats

Threats to leave the relationship, withhold financial or emotional support, cause physical harm to yourself or to your partner will not get your point across, but they will create uncertainty and lack of confidence in your partner and will make the problems look a lot deeper than they might be in reality.

Think before you speak

When you’re about to explode, stop yourself and count to ten. Often you’ll realise that what you’re experiencing is not about your partner, but about you. You may be tired, overwhelmed or stressed out about a work deadline, so everything around you annoys you, If that’s the case, is it worth it taking your bad mood out on your partner or are there better ways to diffuse the situation?

Lose your intention to hurt

When you’re fighting with your closest person, you’re well aware of their weakest spots and it can be very tempting to use them to bring your opponent down. It may give you immediate satisfaction, but it can cause damage that will be hard to fix in the long run to the point of losing your relationship.

Intend to resolve your differences, not prove that you’re right

Sometimes this will mean that you’ll have to compromise to save something bigger than the issue you’re fighting about. Or it may simply mean that you need to give each other space to voice each side of the story and truly listen, as hard as it may be.

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