Post # 1
In our relationship we have ground rules for arguing.. it sounds weird, but they work for us. Does anyone else have something similar? Here’s a few of ours.
1. We’re not allowed to use absolutes. “You always” or “You never”.
2. We’re not allowed to bring up old examples. Unless it’s a new argument. “For the past few days ___ has happened”. If we’ve already fought about it, it’s done.
3. We’re not allowed to swear
4. We’re not allowed to call the other person names. Underhanded things like “act like a grown-up” or “be a man” are NOT allowed.
5. We own our own emotions. “I feel like ___ when ____
6. We are not allowed to yell.
If one person catches the other doing something against our rules, we take a break, and come back to the discussion later in the day after we’ve both had time to cool off and think about it.
edit 7. We do not argue in front of our children. All discussions are saved for when they are not in the house, or when they have gone to bed.
Post # 3
2 things would alarm me. I NEED to get pissed off and yell, swear, and rant and rage sometimes. So to me no yelling and no swearing are 2 rules I whole heartetdly will never impose. Otherwise, yes I agree whole heartedly with the rest.
Post # 4
Wow! I wish I could follow those rules when fighting! We’d probably never fight!! 🙂
We follow #2 of yours and we don’t belittle each other or swear to each other (you asshole/you bitch) but we sure as hell swear about the situation! (Oh for F sakes.. etc.) My Fiance swears a blue streak in French when he is mad at me.
I try to follow number 1 as well, because it overwhelms the real situation at hand far too often.
Post # 5
Our biggest rule is to always fight fair. No using something you know will make the other person feel bad just to win.
For me: always give him a chance to respond. I can always talk more and faster so I have to pause and give him a chance to respond.
For him: say what you are thinking, don’t just shut down or agree with me to make it end.
Post # 6
I sent this to my fiance after I read this, I like this guideline for good communication.
Post # 7
No, but I like your rules. I think I violate #1 a lot 🙁
Post # 8
We have implimented a new rule since he has left for school. Since we are in an ldr and when we talk, it is something precious to us both.
If it is something not worth fighting about or something petty, we have come up with a safe word. And when one of us says it, that is it…arguement over. If it still bothers us we can talk about it later. That word (or phrase rather) is Bubbly Squirrel…Not only does it work, but it helps lighten our mood because it makes us laugh.
*this photo has been altered…FH doesn’t look that weird hahah*
Post # 9
@Miss Peach Tree: Those rules would be good for us to use…I might have to bring that up tonight during our skype session 🙂
Post # 10
@thefuturemrsrowe: I 100% agree with everything you said except the not arguing in front of the kids. I think it would be really advantageous to them to see you guys resolving issues in such a healthy way – it will help them mirror it in their own conflict resolutions. I always wish that my parents had done that for me. I think it would have saved me from having to figure some of it out on my own!
Post # 11
@Oneeleven: We have a lot of delayed arguments because of these rules! Sometimes he’ll catch me before I even get my point across, and we’ll have to come back to it later. It’s frustrating, but I know it’s for the best in the long run.
@vmec: There was a lot of yelling in my house when I was growing up, so these 2 are important to me for the sake of our kids. Even though they are in bed.. I wouldn’t want them waking up and hearing us yelling or cursing at eachother.
@Miss Peach Tree: We definitely need to add the don’t shut down and agree just to end it! Mr. R’s dad did that a lot, and there’s nothing more frustrating than the “You’re absolutely right honey” comment! 🙂
@Mrs.W2012: I love the safe word idea!!! We have friends that have a treuce bell. They ring it to end an argument.
@crayfish: I do worry sometimes that they don’t see us.. but they’re still so young. Maybe in a few years when we get better about not breaking so many of our own rules!
Post # 12
@thefuturemrsrowe: The truce bell is actually an old irish traditon 🙂 My father has already asked me to pick out my bell so he can buy it as part of our present 🙂
Post # 13
The only rule we have is that eventually… before we go to sleep, the issue needs to be resolved.
Post # 14
I second everything crayfish said. As a therapist with a concentration in marriage & family therapy, it is so so so important for children to see their parents argue constructively. It would even be important for them to see you not argue constructively then realize you aren’t and say “honey, we need to go cool our jets for an hour and resume this later.” This shows them what not arguing constructively is and how to fix it if it starts to happen. You can’t know what not to do without seeing what not to do!
I agree with the majority of your rules and with us, we’ve never articulated them, but we’ve pretty much stuck to the ones you have, except swearing. Ugh, just thinking about calling my SO a name makes me cringe!
Post # 15
We only have one thing we need to do in a fight.
He needs to process, and I need to walk away and let him do it. I want to work it out immediately, he needs a little time. When that time has passed, then we talk.
Post # 16
We actually have similar “rules” but another one is that neither of us can ever said “let’s break up/get divorced/etc”. We have a few friends that fight like that, and I don’t understand how they can say those things to their partner, even if they are angry.