Three Rules for Fair Fighting in Marriage
Rule #1 No Aggression or Gestures of Aggression
1) Never make physical contact with your spouse in anger.
2) Never Threaten, or even mention ideas of physical anger toward your spouse.
3) Never Throw, punch, break, or otherwise exercise violence on objects during an argument with your spouse.
4) Never Stand over, menace, “get in the face of”, or block the path of escape of your spouse during an argument.
Rule #2 No Abandonment or Gestures of Abandonment
1) Never Leave your spouse except when life or safety is in danger.
2) Never Threaten, or even mention divorce during an argument with your spouse.
3) Never Threaten to emotionally abandon your spouse.
4) Never Refuse to acknowledge or speak to your spouse (silent treatment)
Rule #3 Attack the Problem, No the Person
1) Self-disclose, but don’t accuse (use “I” statements, not “You” statements.)
2) Own your feelings, don’t blame them on the other (ie: “I am angry” vs “you make me so angry” or “I don’t feel appreciated” vs “you don’t appreciate me”)
3) Don’t speak in absolutes (never, always, completely, etc.)