How do you fight fair in relationships?

No relationship is perfect. No matter how compatible you are with your partner, spouse or mate, there are going to be times you're going to disagree.

How do you handle those disagreements with love and respect? How do you “fight” fair?

I put the word “fight” in quotes because I don't believe that two loving partners should fight. The word fight by its very definitions means violence either through words or physical violence. Violence has no place in our relationships.

In a fight there is a winner which means there is also a loser. This energy is not conducive to healthy, happy relationships. You both have to win for it to work.

I advocate that you should never call or be called names in a relationship (except for affectionate, sweet pet names of course! If you dig that, like me and my sweetie do!)

We are human and we are going to disagree in our relationships, friendships and with our family members. How do you handle disagreements in a way that is not only fair, but kind, compassionate and respectful to your mate?

Let's focus on some important things here. It helps to remember that you LOVE this person. This person is also very likely your best friend. You value this person, you care about this person and likely you value this person's opinion very much.

But you don't agree. Now what?!

This can be stressful, and frustrating. How do you find common ground, and if you can't find common ground how can you lovingly and peacefully agree to disagree?

Here's how to diffuse a potential heated discussion/disagreement and keep it from escalating to the land of no return, fighting.

Listen. With an open mind and heart. Really, fully listen to what your partner has to say. Without interrupting, without getting upset. Let them finish their entire thought process and express their feelings.

Repeat back to them what you hear them saying to you.
Use words of accountability and not blame. Take ownership of your experience. Say “I feel this way,” not “You did this or that.” Instead of saying “You made me feel this way,” say something like “When you did this, I felt this way.”

Tell them you hear them and you love them. Thank them for sharing.

 
Photo by Natalie Tanner 2009

Photo by Natalie Tanner 2009

 

Now you ask them to listen to you in return and you share. You both have to be willing to hear one another out with an open heart and mind.

This takes courage, honesty, openness and vulnerability, but you can do it, I promise.

Now you work towards finding a common goal. Can you both agree to a solution, or do you both feel equally passionate that there is not a solution? Is there a possible compromise?

Is it possible to both feel differently and respectfully allow that?

One easy way to do so, it to say “You're right.”

Check out my mentor Marie Forleo's video on these two magic words here.

What?! What if I don't believe that they are right? That's okay. What's more important to you? Being right, or validating the person that you love?

I have learned from my big-hearted husband, that when you love someone you don't have to be right. Being right makes them wrong and it never feels good to be wrong.

All you have to do is say, I hear you. You're right. I love you.

Agree with them even if you don't. Now, wait a minute. I hear you, you're wondering how I could ask you to say this, because this isn't genuine is it? If you don't really feel this way, would it be lying to your partner to say otherwise?

Hmmm.....put on your seat belts, we are journeying into a lovely, but bumpy place I like to call land of the gray area.

Just kidding. It's not a gray area!!

It's a lie if you don't believe it, yes. Absolutely. But how can you not believe it? Oh it's your ego, yeah that's it. Maturity, love and respect don't require you to be right about anything except loving and validating your partner and nurturing your relationship with them.

Here's how it works.

Is it true that your partner believes what they are saying?

YES.

Is it true that you love them and believe in them?

YES.

Then is it true to say, “I hear you, you're right (and I LOVE YOU).”

Hell YES.

Do you get it?

It doesn't mean you agree. It just means they get to feel how they feel, because feelings are never wrong.

Now you still don't necessarily agree. What's next?

You say something like “Will you hear me out? I feel this way,” {insert your accountable this is how I feel statement} and you lovingly, kindly, (with accountability like we discussed above) share your perspective.

Then if both your statement and theirs are still different, that's okay. You both accept that you don't have to feel the same way. You don't have to agree on everything but you can still love each other, support each other and validate each others feelings.

Okay that's all well and good but how do we apply this disagreeing about where to go to dinner? What night is date night? When to schedule sex? (Yes scheduling sex, we'll get to that in another post.)

Well there's more work to do there isn't there, but hearing each other out, validating each others feelings will go so much further than fighting about it.

Try it and see how it works, and please report back and share your experience in the comments below. Your experience may be just what someone else needs to hear to help them on their relationship journey.

Until next time, love, light & magic from my heart to yours,


Kadee