No marriage exists without a little bit of disagreement. Especially after babies, couples are stressed and can unknowingly start keeping track of where each one is going wrong, so they can pick on each other about it. Things can get bitter, but it is the couple’s duty to set some ground rules and fight fair.

In the end, whatever happens, you have to remember just how much you love your partner and how much work it took from both sides to bring your relationship to its current state. Fights happen all the time because both of you have a different opinion about things and a different side to the story, which leads to disagreements and arguments.

Here are 9 ways to fight fair in a marriage.

1. Take the high road

Tit-for-tat is a shortcut to the escalation of problems, and escalation is one of the 4 patterns that can destroy your marriage. The other patterns or habits you need to break out of are invalidation, negative interpretation, and avoidance.

2. Take ownership

Rather than putting all the blame on your spouse, start using “I” statements to own up to your feelings and things that you wanted or wished for. The statement “I need some help with the kids because I’m tired.” will always sound better than “You never help me, so you have to take care of the kids now”.

3. Plan for the future

Avoid short-term plans and aim for long-term goals instead. Sometimes, things do not always go as planned and discrepancies come up, leading to conflict. Partners love to put the blame on each other for something that they collectively dove into. Planning ensures lesser surprises and helps couples fight whatever hardships come their way.

4. Strictly avoid arguing historically

When having a fight with your spouse, make sure all your facts are based on the current situation and you do not argue about the past. Stay in the moment. Throwing things that happened in the past at your spouse is only going to make him angry.

5. Kindness always helps

Kindness may well be the strongest card you can play in a disagreement. Conflict can be defined by hostility and contempt, or it can be defined by kindness and respect. The choice is yours.

6. Accept change

You may not always win a fight and it may be for the greater good, so resist the urge to keep a score. Do not let the defeat cloud your judgment. Instead, look at the facts and accept change, if necessary. Arguing for the sake of it is futile and causes unnecessary tension between both parties.

7. Child-free zone

Never ever use your children as leverage in your fights. Remember, they are your partner’s children too, not just yours. If you can’t fight “nice”, don’t fight in front of your children. If you do let your children see you having a fight, apologise and tell them that you and your partner are working to do better.

8. Follow the rules

Just setting ground rules is not enough. You need to be considerate enough to follow them. Make sure you do not stoop down to a place so low that there is no coming back.

9. Remember why you’re married

Try to recollect why you are married to each other in the first place and do not let your fights come in between your marriage. There are times when you require telling how much you love your partner and cannot live without them for more than a couple of days. Just place love above all and everything will be fine.

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