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You’re right.

In a romantic relationship no matter how compatible you are there are going to be times you disagree with one another. How do you handle that in a way that’s fair, kind, compassionate and respectful to your partner?

How do you fight fair?

My answer: There’s no such thing as a fair fight. I do not advocate fighting in your romantic relationship.

Here’s why:

Fighting means there will be a winner and a loser.

You both have to win if the relationship is going to be happy and healthy.

Fighting means there is violence such as name calling or belittling the other person.

Violence has no place in our relationships.

Fighting means one person is right and the other is wrong.

No one wants to be wrong.

Fighting is not healthy in a romantic relationship. It erodes the trust you’ve built with your partner.

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In a romantic relationship, our goal should always be to achieve a win/win outcome with our partners and never a win/lose.

Achieving a win/win outcome can sometimes mean a compromise and rarely could even mean a sacrifice is necessary.

The idea of a win/win outcome might be tough for those really competitive folks out there who like winning and someone else losing. That might be okay in other areas of your life like perhaps in sports, but not in your romantic relationship.

In a romantic relationship, you are partners, not competitors.

Romantic relationships should be about building each other up and bringing out the best in one another.

Fighting is the opposite of that, in fighting you tear one another other down and bring out the worst in each other.

Fighting is not healthy and harms the relationship. It hurts the self-esteem of the “loser” in the fight and diminishes their confidence.

In a romantic relationship, you need to support each other, be on each other’s side, and have each other’s backs. Fighting destroys that camaraderie and what’s worse, it erodes the trust you built together.

Put those boxing gloves away! You can disagree with your partner without fighting with them.

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It is possible to disagree or argue with your partner without fighting with them.

I get it when you don’t agree with your partner it can be stressful, frustrating even scary. Sometimes the fear of the unknown can cause a lot of anxiety. We worry about how our partner will react to our disagreement with them.

However, you can have boundaries around how you and your partner will handle disagreements that will help remove those fears.

Disagreeing with your partner when it’s done peacefully and respectfully is a natural part of having a happy, healthy romantic relationship.

Agreeing to peacefully, lovingly, and respectfully disagree with your partner is a boundary I suggest all couples make non-negotiable in their romantic relationship.

Disagreeing with your partner when it’s done peacefully and respectfully is a natural part of having a happy, healthy romantic relationship.

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What if my partner and I already fight and have fought? Is our relationship doomed?

Absolutely not, it’s never too late to start making changes in how you two interact with each other.  

The first step is to decide that you are going to create a boundary that fighting is no longer an acceptable way to handle conflict and disagreement between you.

You will then create a new way of handling disagreements with the intention of a win/win resolution you both are happy with and can live with.

So, how do you do this?

It’s easy! I’ll walk you through it. Best of all, I promise you it works!

Here’s how to lovingly disagree with your partner.

Step 1: Set the boundary. Set the boundary of how to handle the disagreements is an important first step.

Step 2: Set aside a time that is good for you both of you to present and open to the discussion. Remove any distractions, turn off cell phones. Get support if you desire it from a friend, mediator or a relationship coach.

Step 3: Listen with an open heart to your partner’s side of things.

Give your partner your undivided attention. Fully listen to what your partner has to say without interrupting, without getting defensive or upset and without judgment.

Let your partner finish their entire thought process and express their feelings.

Pause to be sure they are finished. Feel to ask them to be sure. Don’t just try and jump right in with your thoughts yet.

Then repeat what they said back to them in your own words to be sure you understood what they were trying to communicate to you.

If not, let your partner clarify and continue this process again as many times as is needed.

Step 4: Acknowledgement.

Once your partner has said what they needed to say and feels heard and understood, Thank them for sharing and tell them you love them.

You could say, Thank you. I hear you. I love you. You’re right.

This is how you diffuse the argument these two mighty words:  You’re right.

You can also apologize at this point (if an apology is necessary) and again tell your partner you love them. Just like this: You’re right, I’m sorry. I love you.

That is a powerful trifecta right there when said with honesty and sincerity.

I first learned how to diffuse arguments using the words “you’re right” from my beloved mentor Marie Forleo.

Two Words To ‘Win’ Any Argument, Fast

Wait a minute. If I’m saying “you’re right” to my partner doesn’t that mean I’m agreeing to what my partner said?

Don’t worry, you’re not agreeing with your partner. You’re acknowledging them, validating them, and diffusing the situation.

Is it true your partner believes what they are saying?

YES

It is true that you love them and believe in them?

YES (if this answer is no, please reach out to me we need to talk about why you are in this relationship).

Then is it true to say, I hear you, you’re right, and I love you?

Hell YES!

Do you see what I mean? Saying you’re right is an acknowledgment. It is being mature, loving and taking the higher ground. It is giving your partner the space to be seen and heard. It allows your partner to feel how they feel because feelings are never wrong. You may not agree with what they said but they are right to feel what they feel about what they said.

And as Marie says,  the words “you’re right” immediately diffuse the situation. You cannot argue with someone when they say you’re right.

Saying “you’re right” is an acknowledgment. It is giving your partner the space to be seen and heard.

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What if you have something you need to address with your partner?

You’re going to follow the first two steps from above.

Step 1: Set the boundary of how you two will handle disagreements if you haven’t already.

Step 2: Set aside a time that is good for you both of you to present and open to the discussion. Get support if you desire it from a friend, mediator or a relationship coach.

Step 3: You ask your partner to listen to you.

I find scripts really helpful. If you feel nervous feel free to practice your script over and over until you feel comfortable and confident. Some people like to practice out loud in front of a mirror, do what works for you.

You could say something like: “Will you hear me out? I feel this way _________________________,” {insert your accountable this is how I feel statement in the blank} and you lovingly, kindly, (with accountability) share your perspective and feelings with your partner.

Be sure not to place blame on your partner. How you feel is never their fault.

Here’s two examples:

Wrong: You make me so angry when we disagree.

Right: I feel so scared when we disagree because I’m afraid you’ll leave me.

Do you see the difference? The first example places blame on your partner. In the second example, you are taking accountability for your own feelings and the reason why you feel the way you do without blaming your partner.

Your partner may not say you’re right, as they may not have this training but feel free to share it with them and teach them.  Even if they don’t say “you’re right” thank them for listening and tell them you love them.

So, you’ve heard each other out now but you still don’t have a resolution. You still don’t agree, now what?

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Create a win/win resolution you can both live with.

Explore if there is any possible compromise you two can make? Can you work towards a common goal, or mutually agree to a solution?

If not, is it possible to feel differently and respectfully allow that? Yes, it is. This is typically called “agreeing to disagree.”

And guess what, agreeing to disagree is perfectly okay and not only that, sometimes it’s essential!

You and your partner are individuals with unique experiences, ideas, and viewpoints. You will not always agree with each other and that’s okay. If you find yourself faced with a situation like that with your partner, agree to disagree, and love each other just the same.

The good news is that you and your partner don’t have to agree on everything. And you don’t have to fight about it if you don’t.

No matter how compatible you may be with your partner there are going to be times you disagree with one another. Handling disagreements with kindness, compassion, and respect instead of fighting with your partner will strengthen the bond you share with them.

It will strengthen your love and trust for one another and it will make your relationship stronger.

Being able to communicate instead of fight with your partner about a disagreement takes courage, honesty, openness, and vulnerability, but you can do it. And I promise you if you do you will have a much happier, healthier romantic relationship.

Wishing you love, health, and happiness in your romantic relationship and life,

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

How do you handle disagreements in your romantic relationship? If you and your partner typically fight when you disagree, are you willing to try the tips in this blog the next time you disagree with them?

Please share in the comments below and be as detailed as possible. What you share could inspire or help someone else.

P.S. Please don’t share any links to outside websites; any links will be deleted.

Have any questions for me?

Please email me: [email protected]

Your question may be answered in a future blog post!