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So your partner won't fight fair.......

We've all been there. You're fighting with your partner and you're trying sooo hard to follow the rules. You're not name calling, you're staying on topic, you're asking for a break when you feel you are reaching a breaking point and you're using killer I-statements. But they aren't doing any of that. You feel like you're on opposite sides of the fence. So what do you do?

Be consistent. It's really hard for someone to continue yelling if the other person is whispering. We meet energy with energy and so if you remain calm and respectful, it's harder for them to stay escalated. Walk away. You don't have to stay in the fight. If they refuse to meet in the middle, walk away, take a break, and come back at a time when they are less heated. Talk about it when you're both calm. When both parties have calmed down, take a moment and talk about the fight. Express how you felt (still using I-statements) and talk to them about where they were coming from. Therapy. Sometimes we need a third person to help us get out of our own way and find other actions that are more appropriate for those conflict moments. A great couples therapist can help you both identify barriers in communication, identify ways you can effectively change/adapt behaviors for better outcomes, and feel safe to express feelings.

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