3 Things that Will Help You and Your Spouse Fight Fair

BY: - 14 Apr '14 | Communication

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One of the biggest problems Tanya and I had when we first got married was learning how to fight fair. Our first two years of marriage was very reminiscent of Jody and Yvette in “Baby Boy” and I told Tee that we weren’t bringing any kids into this world until we learned how to argue the “right way.” Over the years, we’ve found numerous tips that have helped us to stay on point with fighting fair so it’s only right that we pass on that info. So here’s 3 things that will mos def help you start fighting fair with your spouse.

1. Stop Cutting Each Other Off

One of the biggest problems the used to ALWAYS arise when Tee and I would argue is we’d stay cutting each other off.  And no one could ever get their point across, which helped piss each other off that much more. So what’s the solution? Have each person get a pen and paper and decide who’s going to talk first. Whoever gets to talk first has the floor without ANY interruptions! And if the other person has anything to say, they can write down their thoughts and share them when it’s their time to talk. This is one way that can help stop everyone from talking over each other.

2. Stay on Topic

Have you ever been in an argument that goes a little something like this? “I’m tired of you never taking out the trash!” “Well, I’m tired of you never cooking enough!” Yup…that’s how TOO many arguments go down. My challenge to you is to stay on topic. If the wife brings up that the husband never takes out the trash, ya’ll need to stay on that topic. I believe that whoever brought the beef up has first dibs on discussing what THEIR beef is first. If the husband has a beef with how often his wife cooks, he can bring that up AFTER they FINISH talking about what her problem was. We’ll never get anything solved if as soon as your spouse tells you he/she has a problem with you, you get on the defense and bring up all the problems you have with them.

3. Don’t Get to Bed Mad at Each Other

Ephesians 4:26 says “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Now, some of ya’ll might be saying “what does this have to do with fighting fair?” Well, to me fighting fair doesn’t just pertain to when the argument is happening. It also pertains to how you handle how the argument went down. And TOO many times going to bed mad at each other is a norm with the bulk of marriages nowadays.

When Tee and I first got married, we took this verse SO literal that we stayed up ALL night til like 5 am going back and forth trying to solve the problem. Thank God for maturity in his word! Nowadays we realize that this verse isn’t saying that we have to solve our problems in the same night, it just means to not go to bed mad at each other. Now, I’m sure somebody is saying “well, I’m still mad at him/her so what am I supposed to do?” And my advice is you can be mad, but that doesn’t mean you go to bed not speaking or waking up to each other not speaking. YOU have to check your anger to be able to still speak to your spouse. Nowadays, no matter how heated or how mad Tee and I are at each other, we still are able to say “good night”, “have a good day at work” and send a text or leave a voice mail to check in.

BMWK – please provide us with ways that you and your spouse have learned how to fight fair.

About the author

Rahaman "Kil" Kilpatrick wrote 27 articles on this blog.

Rahaman "Kil" Kilpatrick is a relationship coach, producer, writer, photographer, director and co-creator of Marriage Exposed. He has been married 13 years to his beautiful wife Tanya and they have a beautiful daughter together, Naomi. Through Marriage Exposed & coaching couples with Dr. Roz, Kil encourages people to always continue to fight for their marriages and relationships.

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  • http://JustMeAndYouKid.com JustMeAndYouKid

    I find that staying on topic is the hardest thing to do when in the midst of an argument. Straying off topic is often a defense mechanism, we shift topics to avoid dealing with the true issues.

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4 Little White Lies You Should Never Tell Your Spouse

BY: - 19 Jun '14 | Communication

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Article on BlackandMarriedWithKids.com

One of the key ingredients for any marriage is honesty. It’s challenging building a life with someone we love but can’t trust. Usually when we think about “honesty”, we believe it only covers those substantial situations, like being truthful about finances, how we feel about one another and whether or not we’ve been faithful. We rarely consider the impact of not being honest in the minor areas of our relationships. Trust begins with the basics. The little white lies we tell aren’t as much of a concern as the reason we tell them. Are we hiding something? Do we think our spouse can’t handle our truth? Are we uncomfortable being completely honest with our partner, and if so, why?

Below are a few of those little white lies and the reasons we should avoid them:

“No, you don’t look fat in that outfit”. Seems harmless right? Whenever this question arises, our spouse needs an honest answer. Many of us are concerned with how answering truthfully will make our spouse feel. Our partners need to know we are able to advise them in love. Whenever we share our opinion, it’s how we deliver it that matters most. We can tell them the truth and spare their feelings at the same time. Instead of simply answering “yes, you look fat”, how about saying “That outfit is not as flattering to your shape as your blue dress”.

“I have a headache and I’m not in the mood” Intimacy is one of the major ways couples connect physically. Our spouse has needs. When we choose to lie about the reasons we aren’t up for being intimate we cheat ourselves and our spouse. Instead, what if we said “I’m just really tired from work and and I can’t seem to muster up the energy to make love.” Even with this being said, we should still seek ways to replenish our missing energy and add intimacy with our spouse to the top of that to-do list.

“That new dress in the closet was a gift”.  It’s hard to admit we have a problem with spending or sticking to a budget. Lying about our spending habits only makes the situation worse. It costs us financially and jeopardizes the trust being built in the relationship.  We have to be honest and ask for help when we struggle. If given the opportunity most spouses can assist in creating a realistic spending plan that works for the household and our shopping habits.

“Nope, nothing’s wrong”. Let’s not play this game. If something is bothering you, why not share and provide your partner with an opportunity to correct the situation and their behavior if needed. When we say nothing’s wrong, we’re ensuring that whatever happened will occur again. Instead let’s say “I felt some kind of way when I heard you say… or when this happened…”. Couples need to be solution focused, but that’s challenging when we aren’t honest about what’s bothering us.

Relationships are stronger when both partners can share honestly what’s on their hearts and minds. We should be able to talk about any and everything. Being mindful of how those little white lies can mount up to one big mess is key. Our partners rely on our truth. Remember, it’s always best when it’s delivered in a loving and gentle way of course.

BMWK, what little white lies would you add to this list?

Click here for more ways to transform your marriage. We’ve pulled together six of the top marriage experts in the black community to show you how. 

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 532 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict. She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and on the Michael Baisden Show. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. For more of Tiya's fearless life and love wisdom, visit her blog at www.theboldersister.com

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