Fight Fairly

The Hunk and I meet with couples before they get married often–especially when he’s officiating their wedding or doing pre-marital mentoring.  I love doing this!  Throughout the meetings, in addition to contributing to skills related to conflict resolution and other key marriage issues, I drop in a little marriage hack we’ve used to make the practical elements of marriage go more smoothly–causing less unnecessary friction.  And I want to share a marriage hack or two here and there for you to employ in your own marriage.  I’ve already shared a few other hacks and if you missed it, you’ll want to check it out, for sure!  Be on the lookout for future marriage hacks to help you simplify and/or make your marriage run more smoothly. Today, I’d like to share one simple rule to improve your relationships: fight fairly.

Marriage Hack: Fight Fairly

I’d like to tell you that you will never ever disagree with your spouse once you are married.  But, as my engaged baby sis said so perfectly: We’re going to live together; we’ll probably get on each other’s nerves.

And it’s true.  You’ll probably annoy one another from time to time.  That’s a given.  However, it is possible to be married and use conflict to benefit your marriage and cause far less stress as you live your lives together.

Recently, I read a book about this: The Argument-Free Marriage, by Fawn Weaver.  What I noticed is that she didn’t title her book The Conflict-Free Marriage.  Conflict is a given for as long as we live on this earth and have our very own skin.  We are imperfect.  But we can adjust how we deal with friction–how we handle the conflict we experience in our relationships.

One such way is to fight fairly.

Marriage Hack How To: Fight Fairly

In the words of The Hunk: This is simple, but not easy.  It takes practice, intentionality, and maturity.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Both of you must agree that you will follow the fair fighting rules before there is another argument.
  2. Print out and review this list of fair fighting rules together.  Talk about what they mean and practice some of them as you review them.
  3. Post the list of fair fighting rules on the fridge or in a place where you can refer to them regularly.
  4. Don’t break the rules.  Agree ahead of time what will happen in an argument if someone breaks a rule.  Will you point to the rule without words? What can either of you do if the the other breaks the rule without escalating the argument?  Write that in at the bottom of the list.