How To Fight With The Person You Love

Boxing_gloves

Let’s face it, if you expect a love relationship without conflict, think again. Two people means two different perspectives whether or not those perspectives are expressed and acknowledged.

Keeping your true feelings and thoughts to yourself is worse for your relationship, but that’s for another post. If you aren’t afraid of a little conflict in your love relationship, your next step is to know the ‘rules.’

You can’t have a ‘constructive fight’ without rules. Otherwise it’s a free for all and people get hurt (maybe beyond repair) far more than they should. In fact, a good lover’s quarrel has a purpose, and a pretty important one at that. Fighting with the person you love occurs to ‘resolve differences.’ And coming to terms with differences is necessary to have a healthy love relationship.

Of course this doesn’t necessary mean that those difference will go away once the fight is over. A fight between lovers is fundamentally an effort to determine whether or not one or the other viewpoint will prevail in the relationship. A constructive fight usually leads to a ‘compromise’ where both perspectives are preserved and a negotiated agreement is the outcome.

By the way, don’t kid yourself, a good (constructive) fight with the person you love can be a form of intimacy. I’m not talking about aggressiveness here, where the objective is to do damage to one’s opponent. In a love relationship, a fight involves making intimate contact with one’s opponent (or lover) with the objective of clarifying each other’s presence in the relationship. In a fight you and your lover are up close and personal. People usually don’t fight from a distance. Unfortunately, this usually starts off negative, becoming positive if agreements are reached.

The difference between this kind of intimacy and the usual experience we associate with the word intimacy (where two people are united) is, the fight is about something that divides the two of you. Ordinarily, people think about intimacy as an experience of closeness where two people feel similarly about something and are doing the opposite of fighting. The point is, anything that brings the two of you closer, whether or not it’s pleasant, can and will be intimate.

Rule #1:  Don’t fight standing up, sit down. The better alternative is to fight sitting down. Since sitting down is associated in most minds with ‘conversation,’ you should take advantage of this association. Reaching agreements will  be easier sitting down. It will also be just a little bit harder to act like a moving target. On our feet, it is usually easier to do battle. On our bums, there’s a better chance for the talking and listening required for agreements to take place.

Rule #2:  Don’t interrupt each other. You want to know what your partner is saying, right? Once you and the person you love have had a few of these constructive fights, mutually keeping to this rule will get easier. If you don’t rigidly keep to the ‘I talk, you talk, I talk, you talk rule,’ the whole think turns into molasses. Talking over each other, interrupting each other, talking at each other, and concurrent talking without listening are all examples of what can happen when this rule is not adhered to. Remember, fighting is best done as a back and forth action, with lots of listening and talking.

Rule #3  Words only, no actions. Constructive fighting is only about words. Language is the medium of constructive fighting. It is off limits to change the medium from words to actions of any kind (physical threats of any kind, using physical size to intimidate, pacing around to stay in control, etc.).

Rule #4  Keep the volume tolerable. We have to expect that a fight with your lover might get louder than usual. The question is how loud? Beyond a certain volume, loudness is being used to intimidate or bully your listener. Now you have changed from using words to express meaning to using words to push your partner around. Also, those of you with louder voices will have an unfair advantage in this regard. This is another one of those rules that a couple gets better at mutually enforcing the more constructive fighting they live through.

Rule #5  Keep the focus on your present relationship. In any constructive lover’s quarrel it is easy to veer off topic (bring up the past, talk about unrelated hurts) and focus on something else. Going off topic is usually a simple ‘pain killer’ to cut back on the hurt feelings that are being felt during a fight. Best for both of you to realize this kind of shift in focus is defensive and help each other stay on topic.

Rule #6  Avoid ‘blaming’ and ‘guilting’ at all costs. Blame and guilt are the two easiest ways to stop talking about yourself and defensively focus instead on your partner. The best and most constructive fights move in the direction of two people expressing their feelings about something to each other, tolerating the feelings this creates in themselves and their lovers, and then using the information that comes out of it to solve the relationship problems they are facing.

Remember the true purpose of a constructive fight with the person you love is to express your emotions and negotiate solutions to problems in the relationship. A constructive fight needs to address both of objectives.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Submit A Private Reply

Your Name*

Your Email*

Your Comment/Question

Anti-Spam Question

Love-Life Learning Center – Disclaimers

The Love-Life Learning Center online is a psycho-educational website/blog offering love-life related psycho-educational materials and activities including free website/blog content, and audio downloads/podcasts and tele-seminars for sale, to individual users with a broad range of love-life problems. Users are English-speaking adult men and women twenty-one (21) years of age and older.

Not Treatment

The Love-Life Learning Center is a psycho-educational website/blog focused exclusively upon educating adult men and women about the psychology of love-life issues and problems. Our Love-Life Learning Center’s psycho-educational materials and website/blog activities are not psychotherapy, counseling, or a mental health treatment or therapy of any kind, nor should a Love-Life Learning Center’s psycho-educational materials or website/blog activities be used as a substitute for psychotherapy or other appropriate and necessary mental health treatments and services.

The Love-Life Learning Center’s materials and website/blog activities are not a psychiatric treatment for psychiatric symptoms or illness, nor should any of our psycho-educational materials or website/blog activities be used as a substitute for appropriate and necessary psychiatric treatments and services.

The Love-Life Learning Center’s materials and website/blog activities
are not a medical treatment. Our psycho-educational materials and website/blog activities will not prevent, cure, or treat any kind of medical, psychiatric, or psychological illness or problem, nor should our psycho-educational materials or wbsite/blog activities be utilized as a substitute for appropriate and necessary medical treatments and services. If you are currently suffering from suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic symptoms, or mental illness of any kind you should seek appropriate psychiatric and/or psychotherapeutic services at a hospital or clinic in your area.

The Love-Life Learning Center’s materials and website/blog activities are not an emergency or clinical service of any kind. The Love-Life Learning Center does not guarantee that your love-life, love relationships, or dating experiences, general health, or well-being will improve or be positively affected by listening to and/or reading its psycho-educational materials or participating in its website/blog activities.

The use of e-mail correspondence or tele-seminar services or any other website/blog activities at the Love-Life Learning Center website does not intend to be or portray it self to be nor should it be used as a substitute for a mental health therapy, counseling, or clinical treatment of any kind.

Responsibility

The Love-Life Learning Center is not responsible for any real or imagined damages that occur as a consequence of reading or listening to our psycho-educational materials or audio downloads/podcasts or participating in any other activity at our website/blog.

The Love-Life Learning Center is not responsible for any psychological distress or emotional upset purported to be caused by our psycho-educational materials read or listened to, free or purchased at our website/blog, or while participating in any activity at our website/blog.

Intentions

The Love-Life Learning Center is a privately owned and operated online psycho-educational service and has no relationship to or connection with any offline agencies bearing the same name or a similar name that provide services to individuals with love-life problems or other topics related to or unrelated to love-life issues, themes, or problems.
The Love-Life Learning Center is a psycho-educational service exclusively for adult men and women who are 21 years old and older. This service is not intended for children, adolescents, and young adults under the age of twenty-one (21), with or without parental consent.

The Love-Life Learning Center is a psycho-educational service with an exclusive focus on love-life problems, solutions, and general love-life learning issues. The Love-Life Learning Center is not an adult oriented website for the purpose of fostering adult oriented sexual activities, sexual fantasies, or other related adult-oriented entertainment.

The Love-Life Learning Center is not a dating or introductory service for men and women seeking dating, meeting, and/or networking experiences.

The Love-Life Learning Center is not for the procurement of online cyber-sexual contact or as a prelude to offline sexual contact or relations.

Competence & Authorship

The Love-Life Learning Center website/blog is owned and operated by T. M. Jordan, Ph.D., Psychologist, P.C. a New York State based corporation. The views espoused in the psycho-educational free text and audio downloads/podcasts available at the Love-Life Learning Center website/blog solely reflect the views of its owners and operators. Individual users participating in any and all of the Love-Life Learning Center’s website/blog activities are solely and exclusively responsible for their own written and/or verbally expressed love-life and/or not love-life related viewpoints.

Confidentiality

Any person reading or listening to free and/or purchased psycho- educational materials or participating in any website/blog activities at the Love-Life Learning Center is encouraged to remain anonymous except in the reporting of personal information for the purpose of making a credit payment. This personal information is utilized by our credit processing company for sales related activities and subject to their rules and regulations. The Love-Life Learning Center cannot be held responsible for any intentional or unintentional breach of this agreement to remain voluntarily anonymous before, during, and after utilizing its free or for sale psycho-educational materials or while participating in any website/blog activities.

Indemnify

As a user of free or for sale psycho-educational materials or webite/blog activities at the Love-Life Learning Center website/blog you agree to indemnify the Love-Life Learning Center together with its corporate officers, agents, employees, affiliates, parent companies, representatives, directors, shareholders and service providers and hold them harmless from any and all claims, fees, including but not limited to reasonable counsel fees, costs, judgments, damages and causes of action arising from or related to your use of its psycho-educational materials and/or audio downloads/podcasts and/or any and all of its website/blog activities.