10 Rules to a Good Fight
After watching the introduction, use the links below to drill down into each lesson.
- I love you. I will always love you. You are my husband/wife. I have pledged myself to help you, support you, and care for you. I’m not going to stop taking care of you.
- I love you just the way you are. Some things can’t be changed. Some things you couldn’t change. I won’t ask you to change these. Physical uniqueness, personality, values, or goals are most difficult to change. We just won’t argue about these things.
- I love you too much to harm you. We are all vulnerable to severe harm on certain issues. They include past mistakes, sensitivities, insecurities, fears or guilt. I won’t subject you to harm by raising these things.
- I love you too much to open you to public ridicule. We must keep our discussion “within limits”. There will always be people we can turn to for help. But, to speak out in public about personal conflicts or disagreements will open our most personal feelings and thoughts to everybody.
- I love you enough to set a time to talk. DO NOT strike when your partner is unprepared. You must give your partner a chance to get ready, “cool, calm, and collected”. Don’t continue if you are caught off guard or are distracted. Both persons should feel rested (not late at night) wide awake (not early in the morning) and feeling comfortable and happy.
- I love you enough to stick to the subject. There are often at least two arguments going at once. Too many issues on the table at one time, leads to frustration not solution.He Says:
You left the wheelbarrow out in the rain, and of course the wheel is rusted now. Why can’t you ever learn to put things away when you’re done with them?
Look who’s talking! I pick up your dirty underwear and pajamas every morning!
We often feel threatened when we have been at fault. So, we try to shift the blame or fault to the other person by pointing out their errors. This is a classic Defense Mechanism…it’s also unhelpful. Stick to one subject at a time.
- I love you enough to really listen to your words. Try playing “I bet you can’t repeat what I just said”. When we listen, not just hear, conflicts are seldom as emotional. Honest listening often brings out honest answers. There are few greater proofs of genuine love and concern for each other than this.
- I love you enough to actively question and search for what you need. We often cover our deepest problems with a smoke screen of superficial complaints or issues. We can argue all day and make NO progress if we are not really dealing with the honest issues.
- I love you enough to forgive and forget all wrongs. The healing of all conflicts really lies with the asking for and the offering of forgiveness. We can in love see the sinful side of each other and continue to love. This is only possible because we forgive and forget. (Forgetting is defined as “not bringing the problem up again.”)
- I love you enough to stop when either one of us calls for a halt. Not every issue has to be solved in one session. In fact, few ever are. We slowly change to accommodate each other. In between discussions, Let There Be Peace.