Couples need to learn how to fight well – this means that you and your partner will be happier together, and your relationship will feel more secure.
Fighting well actually strengthens your couple bubble. This is probably the most key to your survival as a couple.**
Wave the flag of friendliness at the appropriate time, stay in the play zone, read your partner, don’t sweep anything under the table and fight smart.
Before you speak, be aware of your tone and volume of your voice.
Understand where your partner is coming from and open the door to a friendly discussion about your respective points of view.
Let your partner know that your love has not been lost in the scuffle.
Use facial expressions that can soothe your partner’s distress.
A smile can communicate more goodwill than words.
Help shift your partner away from threat into friendliness.
Staying in the play zone -all mammals use rough and tumble play, especially when very young.
No one is a loser in play. The fight is not allowed to get ugly.
There is a tone of playfulness and friendliness.
You know when to retreat, and when to pursue, you know, when to take a time out, and that that is not a loss.
You are in this relationship for the long-haul, you can keep your guard down, even while fighting -because you fight fair.
One of the key elements to fighting well is being able to reach your partner, to know in any given moment what year she is feeling, thinking, and intending.
Look at their eyes and how moist they are, are they flinching, is there a smile, or curling of the lips?
Are you looking at each other?
Are you moving away from each other into a state of high alert by avoiding eye contact?
Or you able to accurately read one another?
If the only available way to communicate is by text, please understand the importance of immediately sending a strong message of friendliness.
Your amygdala is not concerned with maintaining relationships. Just about staying alive.
Amygdalae do not aim for a win-win.
Your higher self says that we both have to feel good about this. I will be happy only if you were happy. We are in this together. We are OK, but what happened is not.
This expectation you have of your partner, where did this expectation come from?
Is it from a previous relationship or have the two of you talked it through? Both agreed to do it?
Is your partner expressing self-interest under the guise of what should be good for the relationship?
Are you bullying and blaming?
Are you reading and looking for cues of happiness and unhappiness or are you dismissing, disregarding those cues?
Giving up is not allowed
Let me be clear that smart fighting is not about abdicating your position or giving up your self-interests.
Engage without hesitation or avoidance, and be willing to relax your own position.
You can go back-and-forth until the two of you come up with something that’s good for both of you. For example, Bayes rule, and Nash equilibrium are very helpful in this. Create something that provides mutual relief and satisfaction.