Couple disputes, arguments and fights are all forms of conversation: two people talking, both wanting to get heard. When these rough and tumble conversations fail, it isn’t because they have gotten loud and impassioned. Inevitably, the problem is that, while both people has much to say, neither is listening to the other.
If you want to have an argument, dispute or fight that works for both of you, you must have some rules and follow them – not fussy rules, rules that create a level playing field, permit both people to participate and to come out at the end with some sense of satisfaction.
At the head of the short list of essential rules for a fair fight is – take turns: You speak, then you listen to the other person, well enough to be able to repeat the gist of what that person is saying.
Other essential rules: No overpowering your partner by shouting or cutting that person off. No intimidation and no personal insults. These rules are meant to create a safe space where both partners feel free to express themselves and agree to treat each other respectfully.
If you feel that this emphasis on rules and fighting fair takes all the fun out of going at it with your partner, consider the possibility that this “fun” is seldom shared by both participants. Fighting without rules is more like one person flexing his/her muscles and the other person taking it on the chin.