Post # 1
Okay this is a spinoff of another thread I saw about the worst thing FI/DH has ever said during a fight. I’m definitely not going to go into details, but Darling Husband and I are both guilty of not being very fair fighters, and I want it to stop! We go from a simple argument to World War Three. Don’t get me wrong, it’s peachy 95% of the time, but when we fight… we fight big. I thought of posting this under a different name because it’s sort of embarrassing, but oh well.
For those bees who have worked through this, how did you do it? Please don’t just tell me to “go to counseling” because like I said, it’s not an issue most of the time and I’m sure there’s a way we can work this out ourselves! Any suggestions would be great! =]
Post # 3
It sounds corny, but something that can help you “fight fair” is to use “I” phrases rather than “you” phrases. So instead of attacking my husband about something he did, I tell him how something he did makes me feel.
I know it’s small and simple and may not be enough to solve the problem, but I think it makes such a huge difference because one party usually has no idea how his/her actions or words actually affect the other. And when you say how you feel, it takes the fight away from right/wrong to figuring out how to prevent the problem in the future.
Post # 4
Calling each other out helps. If one of you says something ‘unfair’ that isn’t relevant to the conversation, then that person should be called out. Think about the consequenses of your statements before you make them. Ask yourself “Is this going to help us resolve the issue in a productive way, or will it make Darling Husband get defensive and shut down?”
Post # 5
@LoveMySailor1018: I am eagerly awaiting the responses on this thread, too. Don’t be embarressed. My Fiance and I aren’t always very fair fighters either. So, you’re definitely not alone. But the fact that you want to work on it and change it speaks volumes about how true your love really is! Relationships take work, and it seems you’re willing to do that work So kudos to you! 🙂
Post # 6
@LoveMySailor1018: I agree with “I: phrases 100% I often find myself telling Fiance how he is making me feel to show him the other side of the coin and when he does see it he stops, back tracks, and we talk about it like rational adults and this works vice versa. He has had to use my own tool against me at times. My best advice, when in a fight, think before speaking and think about how your words will hurt. If it will hurt you, chances are it will hurt others. Talk things out. If it can’t be talked out right now, it’s okay! It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world and it can’t be talked out at a later time. Just talk it out before bedtime. Never go to bed angry. That is the one piece of advice that my mother gave me before she died and I have carried with me. Always.
Post # 7
Thank you for the advice ladies. I’ve heard about using “I” statements so many times but we’ve never actually tried it. Hopefully this will help. It also is hard because after we fight we just kinda pretend it didn’t happen the next day, and then I don’t want to bring up “fighting techniques” when we aren’t arguing anymore and ruin the mood.
Post # 8
I believe in this 100%…
“fight fair” is to use “I” phrases rather than “you” phrases. So instead of attacking my husband about something he did, I tell him how something he did makes me feel.
Fiance are not big fighters, and I think that if someone actually saw us fighting they would think its a joke. We are very calm fighters. With my last relationship we were BIG fighters. I think with Fiance, if things look lik they are headed to a really heated area where no good will come, we take a break. Then when we go back to it, its usually resolved within a minutes and we move on. Fighting fair and cooling off time are key.
Post # 9
We used to have epic fights. Now, we have learned to walk away when it starts getting ugly, each to a separate room for at least 10 mins, and then reconvene. It has helped us a ton. By then, you get out of the heat of the moment, and either realize that it wasn’t something to fight about, or be able to calmly discuss things. That is pretty much our go to mechanism
Post # 10
First off, stay calm and don’t let yourself get riled up, no matter what he does. If he starts escalating things, you doing it too will just turn it into a competition of who can be the most obnoxious, and that doesn’t solve anything. If you’re usually the first one to become a firecracker, learn to keep yourself in check.
If he’s the one getting worked up, just stand there and stare at him until he runs out of steam. Then lead off with a calm, “Can I say something?” and go from there.
As soon as someone brings up something that is not directly related or relevant to your current argument, call it as such and request that it gets dropped. Examples include statements like, “Oh, cause I’m always wrong, aren’t I? Just like when I [insert old rehashed drama],” name calling, baiting, bringing other people’s opinions into it (“Well Sarah doesn’t think I’m overbearing!”; “My mother always said you were a jerk.”) or comparing each other to a third party. Explain that ______ is not constructive or helpful in the situation and you would appreciate if you could both stick to the matter at hand and discuss it in a reasonable manner. Like the other posters said, avoid “you” statements when doing this. “Let’s agree not to yell,” will come off far better than, “I’m right here, you can quit yelling already.”
Post # 11
@linguo42: This is all very helpful, thank you. Those examples are prime examples of what goes on in our arguments =[
I guess the thing is.. how do I enforce this? Coming to him and saying that name calling and cussing won’t be tolerated in an argument is one thing, but when the argument comes and it continues to happen, then what?? Just walk away and have a cool down period?
Darling Husband was in a horribly unhealthy relationship before we started dating. His ex ripped his heart out and stomped on it, literally at one point told him she wanted him to kill himself etc, and would hold his daughter over his head and say horrible things about him being a father. Lucky me! I get to deal with the backlash from all this, and unfortunately it affects how he argues/acts now. When we argue he gets defensive… okay yeah I’m going into too much detail. We have definitely gotten way better at arguing in the year we’ve been married, but still aren’t there yet.
Post # 12
For us it’s hugging. If you’re fighting and touching each other, you just can’t keep fighting. We aren’t big fighters though, but we have heated “discussions” and touching hands, putting my head on his shoulder or hugging works wonders.
Post # 13
Darling Husband and I always resolve our issues immediately. That way, you don’t hold it in and stew on it, and let it get worse and worse inside your own head. When something comes up, if I just walk away or go about my business and do something else, I think that I am giving him time to cool off or collect his thoughts..but he gets the impression that I don’t care. Taking a 10 minute break when you or SO other is probably a good idea, just as long as you ARE COOLING OFF, and not just getting together your ammo and trying to think of hurtful things to say.
Also, we don’t yell or cuss. These rules are understood between the two of us; we’ve never actually discussed it.
Looking the other in the eye helps too. Face one another, and that way, both of you have to deal with the feelings the other has.
Be willing to compromise. Don’t expect to get your way all of the time. Admit and apologize for your own mistakes.
Discuss ways to avoid issues in the future. Resolve the issue so that it doesn’t keep coming back up, and agree not to continue to hold something over your SO’s head. (sometimes its just agreeing to disagree – if you’ll excuse the cliche.)
Always “kiss and make up.” Really. A sex make-up session isn’t a bad idea either, just to show one another that you’re really “over it.”
Hope that helps!
Post # 14
@LoveMySailor1018: I know that you don’t want to ruin the mood, but is has to be done.
Choose I time when you haven’t thought recently and say “I now this isn’t the most fun topic, but I really think we should talk about how we deal with disagreements and how we can keep from making it WWIII every time”.
Talk about using “I statements” (it’s very hard to call someone a name when you have to keep using I)
Talk about how you need to cool off sometimes and that in the future you are going to say “I need to cool off” and walk away for 10 minutues or so, then come back.
If you start to implement these changes, I think that he will follow suit. Certainly if you walk away to cool down, he’ll be forced to as well.
Post # 15
Great thread! Darling Husband and I could definitely use some advice.
Post # 16
Love the hugging tip. I’m sooooo gonna try that even tho I think it might piss him off more…lol