Tag Archives: fight fair

12 keys to a healthy, balanced relationship

happy couple in healthy relationshipAfter 21 years of marriage, I feel like my husband and I have a strong, healthy relationship. We argue, bicker and annoy each other from time to time, but at the end of the day we are happy to be together.

We are best friends. We want and expect the same things. We respect each other. While these factors go a long way toward creating a strong relationship, there are several things you can work on to create a healthy, balanced relationship.

Here are 12 keys to helping your relationship reach its potential:

Be responsible for yourself
You need to make sure you are happy first. As the saying goes, “You have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” When you take responsibility for your own happiness, you have more to give to your partner. You’ll have the confidence to admit when you’re wrong and can build a strong relationship.

Listen to each other
Sometimes all your partner wants is for you to listen to them vent so they can get what’s bothering them off their chest. Other times, your partner may be looking to you for help with solving a problem. You need to be a good listener and know when to simply lend a sympathetic ear and when you need to give advice.

Express your feelings
You may assume that your spouse knows how you feel about him or her. Yet, we all need to know we are loved and appreciated. A solid relationship is based on respect. Let your spouse know you love her often, and let her know when something is bothering you. While you may get used to each other’s moods and nuances, you still can’t read each other’s minds. You have to let your partner know what’s bother you so you can work on it together.

Fight fair
You will argue and bicker. It’s just human nature. Fighting can be a healthy part of any relationship. It’s important that you fight fairly. Here are 10 ways to fight more fairly and strengthen your relationship with your spouse or significant other.

Build trust
You must be able to trust that your partner is looking out for your best interests. Partners who trust each other would never deliberately hurt each other. In healthy relationships, you know your spouse will do what he says he will do. You know your spouse is being open and honest. You know your happiness and well-being is of utmost importance to your spouse.

Come to terms with money
Money is one of the most common causes of arguments for couples. You may not agree on how to manage your money. One partner may be a spender while the other person is a saver. Money may be used as a way to have more control over your partner. You should both have an equal say about how you manage your finances. Decide on large purchases together. If you can’t combine your funds and get along, then create separate accounts. The important thing is to find a healthy balance that keeps you from fighting about money.

Agree on parenting
Parenting styles can also be the root of many relationship problems. You may have each grown up with different parenting styles. It’s best to have a conversation about parenting styles before you have children. You can modify your parenting styles and develop a style that works for both of you.

Spend time together
My husband and I have three kids who participate in what seems like every possible sport and school activity. I work days during the week, and he works nights on the weekend. It’s hard to spend time together without kids or other distractions. We try to have a “date lunch” on Fridays because it’s one of the few days we can work it in. It’s important to spend time together that’s dedicated to just you as a couple.

Give each other space
On the other hand, you may want to spend time pursuing your own separate interests or hanging out with your own friends. You need to do things that let you relieve stress and make you happy. My husband likes to hunt and fix up old cars. I like to read and work on my flower beds. We don’t like to do these things together. It improves our relationship when we are able to spend time doing our own thing.

Be supportive
You can support your partner by understanding that their happiness matters. While you are not solely responsible for their happiness, you should make your partner’s well-being a priority in your life. You should be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader. You are a safe place for each other during the good times and the bad. Just knowing that your partner is by your side can make everything better.

Compromise
My husband and I don’t agree on everything, but we find a solution that we can both live with. We may have to find a way to meet in the middle. Other times, you may just agree to disagree. One spouse may have to back down and let the other have his or her way. As long as there’s a balance on who gives in, you can compromise for the health of your relationship.

Laugh
Make time to have fun. Even in the middle of mundane household activities, you can still have a good time together. If you can make each other laugh, you can make it through even the toughest days.

How many years have you been with your partner? What are your secrets to creating a healthy, balanced relationship?

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10 ways to fight fair and improve relationships

Fight fair and strengthen your relationshipEveryone argues. It seems like my kids fight and bicker several times a day. If you have a spouse or significant other, you know that fighting is just part of being in a relationship.

How you fight is what matters. There are many times you may need to have an air-clearing argument. You may need to get something off your chest. You may just want to be understood and validated.

If you go into a fight to win the battle, seek vengeance or maintain control, nothing good will come from the conflict. By fighting fairly and staying civil, you can find a resolution that will make everyone feel good.

Just like in life, it’s important to find balance in your relationships. Here are 10 ways to fight more fairly and strengthen your relationship with your spouse or significant other:

Fight early
Try to take care of something that is bothering you right away. Get it off your chest when it happens if you can. Otherwise, you will save up multiple offenses until you blow up about everything. It’s also easy to let things get out of proportion if you give yourself time to stew about it. So, talk about what’s bothering you early and often.

Keep it private
There is one rule about getting things off your chest right away: You may not want to do it in public. For one thing, you are likely to embarrass your partner. In addition, your friends, family, co-workers and the employees at your favorite restaurant or store don’t need to know about your personal problems. Save what’s bothering you until you can have some time alone.

It is okay to argue in front of your kids as long as you set a good example of how to fight. If you can do it calmly and rationally, then it will actually help them learn how to handle an argument. If you can’t, then put it aside until you’re alone.

Stay calm
Try not to overact to the situation. When you stay calm, you can more effectively get your point across, and you will be able to consider the other person’s viewpoint. If you need to cool off before you talk about it, then let your partner know you need a few minutes.

Be specific
Vague complaints are nearly impossible to resolve. If you say, “You never listen to me,” that’s hard to work on. If you say, “I wish you would stop watching TV so we can talk about this,” your partner can do that.

Stay on topic
Focus on the particular reason that started the argument. Don’t throw old issues or hurts into the conversation. It makes it more difficult to stay focused on the argument at hand and reach a compromise. Besides, it’s just a dirty way to fight.

Talk about feelings
If you say “I feel…” rather than just stating a complaint, it can help the other person understand why the situation is bothering. You might normally say, “You always stay out late with your friends.” If instead you say, “I feel like you don’t want to spend time with me when you stay out late with your friends,” your spouse will understand why you feel the way you do.

No name calling
If you name call or make insulting remarks, you are attacking a person’s character rather than addressing the behavior that’s bothering you. You may call your spouse “boring” when what you really want is to go out as a couple and do more things. Your partner is just going to feel attacked and think there is something wrong with them.

Negotiate
Most situations are not black and white but shades of gray. In an argument, typically no one is completely right or completely wrong. The reality is somewhere in the middle. You will most likely need to come up with a compromise that makes you both happy.

Take a break
You may not be able to resolve a situation the first time you argue about it. It’s okay to take a break from it and agree to come back to it at another time. Taking a break may also give you time to think about the issue from the other person’s perspective. When you come back to it, you both may be able to talk about it more rationally and find a middle ground.

Agree to disagree
Sometimes you may have to agree to disagree. There are some arguments you may never completely resolve. You just need to reach a place that you both can live with.

If you are in a relationship, you will have fights. The key is to fight fairly. You can actually strengthen your relationship and improve your understanding of each other. Do you have tips for how to fight fairly?