September 18, 2013 by Kaleb Scharmahorn
Last week at our Holy Smokes meeting at Billy’s Tap Room we discussed a very interesting topic that seems to effect any and every marriage and relationship that exists. The topic of the night was “Fighting Fair.” Some may say, “If this is a group about building better men, you should have talked about ‘stop the fighting’ or ‘NO MORE FIGHTING'”. However, in our discussion it was agreed upon that fighting is not only impossible to stop in your relationships but it is also healthy if it is handled properly. Obviously, we are not talking about physical fighting here, we are simply talking about the situations where two people disagree and even PASSIONATELY DISAGREE.
It was interesting to hear how all relationships fight differently. In some relationships the smallest thing can cause an argument. In other relationships that same small thing can cause a BLOW UP. Some of the guys shared examples of how fights have started in their home over silly and small things. As we discussed around the room, I was very glad to hear this just doesn’t happen to me!
To start the conversation, we watched this funny video:
Other guys shared examples on how they have personally handled fights within their marriage so that it is done in a healthy way. After hearing a few, I can honestly say being a good listener, counting to 5, and even having a “talking stick” are a few approaches that have been tested and proven to work at diffusing the situation.
Throughout the night we discussed how it is a guys responsibility to set the climate in the argument or fight. Fights are healthy because they allow us opportunities to exercise our disagreement. When disagreements are not exercised they can become ticking time bombs. At some point in the future, those bombs go off and it becomes even harder to repair the damages. Fighting fair involves us exercising our disagreements but knowing there are “words” that should never be said.
See what those words are by watching this:
Certain words and attitudes can turn a healthy argument into an unhealthy situation very quickly. As men, Its important for us recognize these indicators and diffuse them. The goal of a fight is not to win at all costs!
Check out this song titled “These are the things you don’t say to your wife.” Hilarious!
We watched some videos illustrating these points and read an article by John Gottman entitled, “The 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse.” In this article he discussed 4 things that happen in a fight that can lead to “the end times.” The 4 things to stay away from are Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. You can read the full article here.
Remember this… “Healthy relationships fight for resolution, unhealthy relationships fight for victory.”