Additional Tips to Help Couples in Tulsa To “Fight Fair”
In a previous blog post, we shared 11 counseling tips to help Tulsa couple fight in a healthier way. Today, we are even more therapeutic tips to help you improve this area of your marriage. Remember, the goals of fair fighting are to be heard, understood, respected, and solve a problem as much as possible in a safe, emotional place.
Rules to Fair Fighting:
- Don’t fight late at night—we are not at our best late at night, and couples need to establish a time that past this certain time, for example, past 10pm, we don’t fight, argue, or vent. This time before bed is for winding down, relaxing, praying, reading, and getting ready for bed. Late night fights are never productive, escalate because of exhaustion, and usually don’t end well. We can say things we don’t mean and when we are tired, we can be more emotional and less rational. Fair fighting occurs when both are able to be present, rational, and have some self-control.
- Don’t go to bed angry—sure, easier said than done, but how often do you roll over, angry, repeat an argument or disappointment over and over in your head, and find sleep difficult? Or wake up in a bad mood? Or continue your day angry from the day before for who knows how long. Trying to go back and solve problems or talk through past hurts can be overwhelming and may not be beneficial. Before bed, pick a time that you talk by and set a timer. That way you have plenty of time to talk and problem solve so that you can go to bed without anxiety or anger.
- Don’t fight in bed—our bedroom needs to be a safe, happy, healthy place. Our bed should be for two main things…. sex and sleep! If there is an argument that arises, get out of bed and sit on the floor, in the office, kitchen, or someplace in the home where you can talk safely and without children around. If the problem is simple and manageable that is great, make a plan of action to address the issue and go to bed in a better mood. If the problem is not going to be fixed in one night, and they usually don’t, get a basic game plan going to outline the main ways to address the problem that both agree to, and then go to bed.
- Venting—clearly state that you are venting and just need your spouse to listen. We are not in problem-solving mode during venting time, this is just a time to talk, process, get frustrations out while the other person listens and does not respond. Take turns venting and then, if there is an identified problem, move to the next step and make an action plan.
- Make an Action Plan—no matter what time of day, we may not be able to “solve” a problem right away, and it may take time. Set a main goal for the problem-solving time and simple actions steps that will be taken over an agreed upon time to work out a solution to the problem. We are able to rest more easily when we have a clear and manageable way to work out problems and solutions.
- Sometimes there are no “solutions”— there are no easy answers, solutions, or ways to fix something. Sometimes, we just have to work with what we have and do the best we can. We fix what we can solve and be okay with what we can’t control.
These rules can help a couple to stay on topic, begin to address issues and plans for correction, and gives the couple time and space to process in an emotionally safe atmosphere. We are not always going to get along with our spouse, but how we handle conflict and “come back together” is vital to a healthy, thriving marriage.
If there are problems in the marriage, you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance use, or need marital therapy, there is help! Cindy Fugatt is a licensed marriage and family therapy and can help you connect more with your spouse for a happier and healthier marriage.
At Legacy Counseling Service, we strive to be excellent in our treatment approach to counseling, to respect and value to each person, while helping them with life struggles. Getting help is hard, and admitting it is harder. If you have done the first step of admitting you need to get help, the next step is easier. Visit us at www.legacycounselingservice.com and let’s begin a journey to healing and wholeness!
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