This week, we finish up the final half of last week’s list of 10 ways to fight fair with your Significant Other. Duking it out from time to time is inevitable, but the ways we deal with arguments can make all the difference in a relationship, romantic or not.
6) Make it a sprint, not a marathon. ManFriend and I have been known to have “discussions,” as I call them, that last for two hours at a time! Let me tell you, that is way too long to argue around in circles. After that amount of time, I’d admit to killing Jimmy Hoffa if it meant an end to the confrontation.
If this happens to you, agree with your partner on a reasonable time limit: say, 30 minutes at a time. After the time limit is up, if you don’t feel like the conflict is resolved, take a break, think things over, and try again when you’ve cooled off.
7) Kill your relationship zombies. You know those stinky, undead issues from the past that come out of nowhere and violently feast on your relationship’s current happiness? Kill them. I’ll admit that once in a while, a valid point can be made using a specific, relevant example from the past; however, don’t allow those examples to become the zombies that infect your happiness by gnawing ravenously on your couplehood.
Take aim and shoot that relationship zombie right in the dome by limiting your argument to topics that are current and relevant.
8) Don’t fight to be right. A good relationship will only survive if each person is able to put his or her ego in check. Fortunately, you have never been wrong before. Well, neither have I, but if you are ever wrong, suck it up and admit defeat.
Unfortunately, admitting you’re wrong often goes hand in hand with apologizing for having been a complete douchenozzle at some point. The words “I’m sorry” (followed by Baby, Honeylips, Pookie Bear, Shnookie-wookums, etc.) can save the day and shorten an argument when said with conviction and sincerity.
9) Relax and stay awhile. When things get heated and uncomfortable, don’t run away! I’m not saying that sometimes a little break in the conversation is uncalled for. In the long run, though, storming out of the house or sleeping in separate beds won’t help you. These actions just deepen the feelings of disconnection between you and your partner.
It may sound crazy, but stay physically close to your S.O. while you’re having a “discussion.” You’ll make it through this, and when you do, you and your partner will be even closer, emotionally. In the meantime, do you think that intentionally removing intimacy from your couple-ness the best strategy? Think about it.
10) All rise for Judgy McJudgerson. Ladies and gents of the jury, I hereby implore you to suspend judgment of your S.O.’s emotions. I cannot stress this enough. Emotions cannot be right or wrong, so they are exempt from your opinion. We don’t always know why we feel the way we do, and getting mad at your S.O. just because he’s mad is counterproductive.
Instead of judging, step back and try to figure out the root cause of the feelings in question so you can deal with it together.
Ok, cats and kittens, <steps off soapbox> remember: choose your battles wisely. Once you do, take your corner and come out swingin’, but above all, I want to see a fair fight.
Do you and your S.O. have specific rules of engagement? Share them with us!