Still… No Yelling!!! – And 9 Other Rules for Fair Fighting

Ugghh… We got into a really bad fight the other night. There was yelling, and hurtful words, and crying, and I hated it. Only, the fight I had was with a close relative – not my husband.

10 Rules for Fair Fighting - a #staymarried blog for couples

Is it just me, or is it a universal fact that those we love most, those that are the very closest to us, know better than anyone just what to say to really crush us? It’s awful. C.S. Lewis said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” I want the love without the brokenness. I want peace more than strife.

This fight reminded me that as much as I try my best to communicate for understanding, as much as I hope to give people the benefit of the doubt, there is still a fire burning inside of me. If I feel like I am being backed into a corner, my natural reaction is to attack rather than retreat. I am thanking God right now that my husband is not typically on the receiving end of my ferocious temper. I haven’t gone toe-to-toe with anyone like that in years! I was actually surprised, as much as I was disappointed, that I was unable to control my tone and my words the way I wanted to.

In our marriage, Tony and I have a “No Yelling” rule. Do you have fighting rules in your marriage? Our “No Yelling” rule is not about trying to control one another or any kind of strict obedience. It exists because at one time we did yell at each other and we later agreed that we really didn’t like it. The rule exists also because, if I’m honest, I need this boundary to be firm in order for me to treat my husband the way I want to treat him and not just the way I might feel like treating him in a heated moment.

For today, mainly for my own sake, I thought we could spend some time reviewing the Rules for Fair Fighting. Fighting and arguing are not necessarily bad for your marriage, or any other relationship. However, if we can remember the difference between a fair fight and a dirty one, I think we will all be better off. Here they are… (Hint: Pin this image so you can come back to it later.)

10 Rules for Fair Fighting - a #staymarried blog for couples

In the fight I just had, I only broke rules 2 through 7… which means I have at least six ways to figure out how to apologize and make amends and you know how much I hate apologizing.
Wish me luck! Oh, and #staymarried.

P.S. If you liked this post, you may also like to read Repair Attempts. If you think these could benefit someone else’s marriage, please consider sharing.

Tony and Michelle Peterson 2014 - #staymarried blog

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Thanks for stopping by!

~ Michelle


4 thoughts on “Still… No Yelling!!! – And 9 Other Rules for Fair Fighting

  1. Dear Michelle, your blog is so encouraging. If possible, could you please write about repairing a broken heart, and how to not let past relationships (long-term) affect your marriage. Thanks 🙂

    1. Thank you, Sash! That’s a heavy topic. I will certainly put some thought into it. 🙂

  2. Hi Michelle,

    Wow, this post got me riled up just reading about your conflict. It puts me in mind some of the fights I’ve had with one my own immediate family members even before I got married. They know how to push the buttons, and then keep on pushing until it seems that there’s nothing left for me to do except fight back. I hate the feeling, and I have a really hard time trying to keep calm and neutral. Especially when it seems that all they want to do is pick a fight with you. (Talk about latent emotional triggers, much? lol) I wish you luck and I feel for you! Good luck, girl!

    1. Ugh! Thank you Julie! It seems crazy, but all too common, that those we love most we can justify treating with such disregard. Bleh! I’m still working through what I can do next to attempt to repair the situation. Family relationships are so fragile.

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