Healthy Fighting

What is Nagging?
August 14, 2017
Cary Psychologist Hosts Harmonizing Work and Love Workshop
September 22, 2017
Show all

Healthy Fighting

Welcome to Azevedo Family Psychology’s Modern Commitment Series, hosted by Dr. Don Azevedo in Raleigh, NC!

In this episode, Dr. Azevedo discusses the following topic: What does healthy fighting look like in marriage and can you learn to fight healthy while your spouse is still fighting dirty?

Points Covered in this Episode:

  • In any healthy marriage, there will be two, intelligent, capable, creative human beings each with their own point of view about problems and opportunities. When those points of view differ, fighting can occur.  Fighting, though, is a process through which one side seeks to prevail over the other.  That is not healthy for a relationship whose goal is to lift one another up and create a future both desire.  For that, you need to learn to disagree and seek solution.
  • The first step is figuring out that you are in a disagreement. Whoever figures that out first can name it for both the people arguing.  Hopefully, the other will acknowledge the disagreement and start to step back, too.  Remind each other of the love you share and your desire to solve the issue.  This is where each person needs to slow down and really listen to the other person’s point of view.  Ideally, the listener will reflect back the content and emotion of the speaker’s point of view.  This is how you begin to define the areas where you might agree on the issue and the areas of difference.
  • Once you have a definition about what you are disagreeing about, you can share what needs you have regarding what defines a successful solution. This is not a solution itself.  As a matter of fact, stay away from solutions since those tend to be based on your point of view without consideration for the other’s point of view.  The needs are the parameters a solution must meet to be agreeable to both people.
  • Once the needs are on the table, then start brainstorming solutions. Don’t evaluate yet, just get some ideas out there.  Once the brainstorming is done, evaluate each possible solution against the needs list.  If you hit one that meets the needs, go for it!  If you listened to the Nagging podcast, you will remember to make sure you agree on the timing and completion criteria for whatever solution you select.
  • You can use these non-violent communication skills when your partner is still in the fighting stage. Hopefully, it will help them join you in finding a solution instead of seeking to prevail over you.  If they do not join you, name the behavior  and take a time out from the conversation.

Leave a Reply