Allen Berger, Ph.D.
Fair fighting in relationship
In this Twoology video, relationship expert, Allen Berger, Ph.D., offers tips on how couples can have a fair fight. To fight fair, you have to set rules together. One of you cannot make rules for the other as to what constitutes fair fighting, it’s not about winning or getting your way.
How do we have a fair fight? A lot of couples ask me, “How do we fight fairly? You know, how do we engage each other in a way that seems to be fair for both of us?” And, when people are asking that, oftentimes, what they’re really saying to me is, “How do I get my partner to go along with my way?”
And, see, that’s the first thing you have to look at is that fighting fairly does not have to do with your partner going along with, cooperating, and complying to your rules. For a relationship to be a healthy relationship, there has to be room enough for both of you. So that’s the first thing: you can’t put your rules on what a fair fight is on top of your partner and neither can they on you. You get to fight fairly, according to your rules, and you need to respect your partner’s fighting fairly, according to their rules.
The essence of a relationship is that there’s room enough for two. When you met your partner, you had that connection. To keep that connection, you have to stay true to who you are.
If you’re going to expect your partner to do it your way, you’re not fighting fairly. And a lot of people, when they talk about fighting fairly, that’s what you’re talking about, and that’s not very fair.
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