Marital fighting is a common attribute to most marriages. Disagreements are part of all marriages. All couples disagree, but they do not always fight. The question is how can a couple who disagree, avoid fighting and still accomplish forward movement in their marriage?
When there is fighting, the goal is winning. Both or one of the spouses are arguing for the purpose of winning. They believe they are right and the other is wrong. The goal is to win. When there are disagreements without fighting the goal is compromise and understanding. This brings the couple closer and breeds growth while the other impregnates the marriage with resentment and separateness.
The couple will want to set the stage for growing understanding and compromise and to avoid fighting as much as possible. Though fighting may occur, following rules to fair fighting, available on the internet from many sources, is a good idea.
Setting the stage: make a statement out loud that you love each other. Find a place to sit close to each other but not next to each other. Define the goal that you wish: Winning or understanding. Then define the topic of your disagreement and what you hope the end result will be. This should be a global statement and not a method. For example, The children should have a sleepover tonight. Though you may disagree on whether the sleepover should be tonight, you may agree that the children should have a close group of friends and be able to relate well to others.
Second, after doing the above, agree to discuss in the following manner: One person speaks at a time. The speaker speaks only on one issue at a time. After he or she finishes make the statement “I am done.” At this point the other spouse repeats in their own language what they heard the other say, reflecting both content and emotions heard. If the original speaker believes the other heard and understands them, they say “you got it.” If not, they say “no that is not quite right” and they say it again slightly different until the other is able to correctly interpret their spouses statement.
At this point the other responds and states they are finished. The other reflects back and the process continues. This form of communication allows for forward movement and understanding.
This philosophy and skill will reduce fighting and enhance friendship, love, and mutual respect.
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