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Marriage Counseling: Fixing How You Fight
Marriage Counseling Can Improve Your Fights
If you are thinking about going to marriage counseling, chances are that you sometimes argue with your partner. Unfortunately, it comes to conflict, it can be a challenge find a good conclusion to your fights.
But, there is good news: you are not alone! It can be hard to know where to begin to start arguing better. Today you will learn about “fair fighting”. Better fighting can help your marriage (Related Article: Marriage Counseling Tip- Stop Fighting For Your Marriage).
Learn Communication Skills in Marriage Counseling
Maybe you don’t have a problem bringing up difficult topics with your spouse. But, it seems like you can never quite get your message across. Research shows that “fair fighting” can help you and your partner to be heard and improve your emotional intimacy as a couple (Source: “’Fighting Fair’ In Marriage” by Herbert Lingren, 1999). Better communication leads to better fights, and better fights lead to resolutions (Related article: How to Communicate Effectively: Avoid These Two Communication Problems in Marriage).
Rules for Fighting Fair
Rule 1: Mutual Consent
First, you and your spouse both need to be ready to talk. Creating a positive environment for your fights. For example, you may want to avoid a discussion that could be difficult for your partner after they’ve had a challenging day at work. You will both need to be willing participants in order to have a “good” fight. (Related Article: How to Communicate Better Through Boundaries).
Rule 2: Stay on Topic.
It might be easy for you to think of past (unrelated) disagreements in the middle of a fight with your spouse, but bringing more topics into an already difficult situation only makes things harder. Stick to the current issue, and stay on subject. Then, you can find opportunities to effectively work through these additional problems later. Marriage counseling is a great way for you and your partner work through past hurt and find a way to move forward together (Related Article: How to Fix Your Marriage Problems).
Rule 3: Be kind.
You have learned vulnerable things about each other over the course of your relationship. As a result, make sure to approach your partner with sensitivity during a fight. Try to notice the topics that may be challenging for your partner. (Related Article: Relationships Are Not Fluff and Flowers: They’re About Making Difficult Choices).
Rule 4: Aim to find a conclusion.
If it seems like your arguments never end and continue in circles, this will be a useful tip for you. Begin your dialogue with a goal to find a conclusion. Not all fights can be resolved in one sitting. It is important for you and your partner to find a mutual stopping point in difficult conversations. Then, in marriage counseling, your therapist can help you and your spouse learn how to align your goals and create a mutual vision for your relationship
Rule 5: Don’t Fight to Win; Fight to Understand.
When you fight with the goal of being the “winner”, you may find that resentment builds instead. Good fights encourage positive feelings about your partnership. It’s better to focus on understanding each other instead of fighting over who “won” (Related Article: ‘It’s Not My Fault’: Why Defensiveness is Damaging).
Rule 6: Prioritize Respect.
Finally, make sure to treat each others’ emotions, experiences, and perspectives with respect and compassion. The more you can prioritize respect when you fight, the more unified you will be as a couple (Related Article: Couples Therapy).
Marriage Counseling Can Help You Fight Fair
Marriage counseling is a great resource to help you understand how to improve communication in your marriage. Thankfully, our Utah marriage counselors can help you and your partner develop effective “fighting” skills that will lead to more connection and unity for your marriage.
Ready to start marriage counseling and improving your communication? Start couples therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins