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Rules for Fair Fighting- Couples Handout

June 30th, 2015 Julissa Trusty

Fighting with our partners does not have to be without purpose. Arguments are in themselves another form of communication. Here are a few rules to help manage and deescalate conflict while practicing effective communication. Here’s a small tip, have a print out of the rules on the fridge as a quick reference.

Rule #1: NO DEGRADING LANGUAGE

Avoid name calling, insults, put-downs or swearing

Rule #2: NO BLAMING

It is pointless to blame each other. Blaming your spouse distracts you from solving the problem at hand. It invites your spouse to be defensive and it escalates the argument.

Rule #3: NO YELLING

If it feels like yelling to your spouse, it probably is. Make a conscious effort to lower your voice.

Rule #4: NO USE OF FORCE

Including pushing, shoving, grabbing, hitting, punching, slapping, restraining, damaging property, and throwing/breaking things. Each of us has a right to be safe and free of abuse.

Rule #5: NO TALK OF DIVORCE

In the heat of an argument, threatening to leave the relationship is manipulative and hurtful. It makes the problems in your relationship seems much bigger than they need to be.

Rule #6: DEFINE YOURSELF, NOT YOUR SPOUSE

Use words that describe how you feel, what you want and what is important to you- not what your partner feels, wants, or believes. When this happens…, I feel…, I would like instead…,

Rule #7: STAY IN THE PRESENT

Keep your focus on what can be done today to resolve the issue at hand and go forward.

Rule #8: TAKE TURNS SPEAKING

Let one person speak at a time. When one speaks, the other should be listening, really listening, and not just planning their rebuttal. Take turns speaking and listening so that you both have a chance to say what you need.

Rule #9: WHEN NECESSARY, COOL OFF

Remember: No amount of talking will lead to problem-solving if you are not in a state of mind for solving problems, but never walk away without naming a follow up time.

Love@Home

October 9th, 2010 cheri

As a therapist, my primary goal that each and every person who walks in my door carries is a deep desire for having love@home. It’s by believe and experience that no matter what is their presenting problem by creating love@home their healing will occur, become complete and life lasting. I became a therapist out of my interest and belief in the family. It all started during my sophomore year in college in Dr. Barlow’s class. Dr. Barlow was not only a superb professor and marriage and family therapist who wrote an editorial column in the local newspaper and author of several books, he was a family man. His family was his real pride and joy above and beyond all his accomplishments. He gave me a love for the family”. I knew I wanted to be just like him when I grew up.

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