Let me give you, couples, a gift today when you’re fighting! Here it is below:
1. Work for win-win solutions (search for solutions that make each partner a winner, find alternatives)
2. Use the 12 steps (stop the fight and share with each other what step you need to use in connection with this problem; use tools of recovery 12 steps give you).
3. Agree on times to work on problems (fighting when ur tired and depleted is counterproductive; agree that it’s ok to talk about problem at another time, one acceptable to both; have a rule about times of the day when intense issues need to be tabled).
4. Avoid threatening abandonment (avoid dramatic exits, it’s destructive to those whose history is filled with it; shame is about abandonment, if you need time out, ask for it).
5. Focus on the issues, not on history (shame based couples do not resolve things because they keep escalating the conflict by adding in other unresolved problems; cut down on the backlog by concentrating on the current disagreement).
6. Avoid cheap shots (partners know each other’s vulnerabilities; fighting is an act of trust and an invitation to intimacy; do not sabotage it by demeaning, disrespectful, or exploitive comments; support, do not exult, when your partner admits error).
7. Accept issues and feelings of others (there are realities for the other person even if they seem alien or unreal to you; validating your partner’s experiences will add dramatically to your ability to solve things together).
8. When stuck, consult with others (therapist, trusted friends, sponsors, other couples–all can be resources; find support for your relationship as a couple).