Are any fights good fights?
Yes, when couples who never fight are either 1) living a lie, 2) tuned out, or 3) loving as hell. As long as you're kind to each other while arguing -- no name-calling or throwing things -- studies have shown that fighting can lead to a healthier marriage, since hiding your feelings can just eat at you and your relationship.
But here are some rules about fighting fairly, so you can get the most out of the argument:
1. Avoid repeats: If you find you’re fighting about the same thing over and over again, your heated words aren’t being effective, no matter how many times you say them. Find a new method. It might mean that you have to compromise or see a professional mediator (like a religious official or therapist).
2. Be open-minded: As hard as it sounds, put yourself in your mate’s shoes to consider his point of view. Can you empathize at all? Try to. And explain yourself so he can do the same.
3. Listen: Don’t cut each other off. The best way to get the most out of an argument is to really hear what the other person is saying and to try to figure out where she's coming from. The only way to do that is to stop thinking about how pissed off you are and to listen. So don’t plan the next point you’re going to make; try to learn more about the cause of this tiff. Oh, and keep your voice down. Everything sounds and seems much worse when it’s loud.
4. Remember the real point: As much as you want to be right the purpose of argument is to learn more about your partner and what you need from each other. Try to find a compromise so neither of you has to “win” (unless one of you really screwed up). That way, the real point of this disagreement is fighting for your relationship.
5. And remember: it takes two to tango, so keep in mind that no matter how you slice it you're half the problem. But if you talk to each other openly and with respect, you'll quickly kiss and make up. And then get naked.
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