He still hasn’t fixed the broken doorknob. You forgot to tell him about the double-date you scheduled (rom-com double feature!), again. Before you know it, you’re having it out about everything you’ve every been mad about. But before you lose your cool and start slamming doors (how do you think that doorknob broke in the first place?), read up on these tips for fighting fair—instead of fighting to the death.
DO have it out face to face. This means truly face to face, not text to text or seething email to seething email. Go ahead, try to find an example of a time you had a fight over G-chat and had it end well.
DON’T avoid the fight. If something’s been bugging you—really? Dirty laundry on the bathroom floor, again?—eventually, it’ll come out. Choosing to let it out in a calm, constructive way will lead to a better outcome than waiting until you unleash on him in the hosiery aisle at Target (“Maybe you wouldn’t need new socks if you managed to throw the ones you have in the hamper!”).
DON’T state opinion as fact. Instead of saying matter-of-factly that your partner is disrespectful—a sure way to get them immediately defensive—pick an example and ease into it with an “I” statement: for example “I felt disrespected when you turned our backyard into a neighborhood petting zoo without asking me first. You know goats scare me.”
Next: More DOs and DONT’S of Arguing