Every couple fights. Our grandparents fought. Our parents fought. We fight with our spouse. Fighting is healthy. Fights bring us closer together. The stress and pressure of a good fight brings our true character up to the surface. How do you come out on the other side of a fight with the love and trust you had with your partner going in?
During our engagement, for many reasons, my fiance and I were seeing a counselor. One of the things he discussed with us were rules for engaging in fair arguments. The one rule that has helped us the most was to refrain from using sweeping statements; such as “You never…” or You always…”. Just remembering this one rule (among others) has helped us stay honest and get to the heart of what is truly upsetting us.
Anyone who says they never fight is either a newlywed or lying. So what strategies do you use to remain civil during an argument? How do you keep from opening old wounds during new conflicts? When is it time to call a tactical retreat and avoid an argument?