The Ten Commandments for Fair Fighting


Part 3 of 3 in the Conflict Resolution blog series

You can’t make anyone do right, but you can control how you react and what you put into the relationship. Are you doing everything that you can in your relationship to live peaceably with your spouse?

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Mathew 5:9)

Due to the sinful nature of man, we have a natural predilection to fight among ourselves. Being a peacemaker contributes large to families in particular. Will you endeavor to be a peacemaker in your own home?

There is a good way to negotiate. You can say: “alright on a scale of 1-10 how do you rate this?” If your partner says for them it is an 8 and for you it is only a 4, you agree to give them their way. Again this is just about problem solving rather than attacking each other. You can always propose an alternative solution. In assessing the degree of the problem, you have to be honest. You can’t just claim it is a 10 all of the time. You have to honestly rate the severity of the problem as well as the spouse has to rate it honestly. Make allowances for whoever has the bigger problem. This is peaceful productive problem solving.

There are times that you are just diametrically opposed to their proposed solution and the two of you can’t reach an agreement. You could start beating on each other emotionally or you could “agree to disagree”. There is nothing wrong with that. In this way, no one is wrong, you are both convinced that you are both right but neither party will concede. Just agree to disagree.

When getting to a solution is imperative and neither side will budge then the only peaceful solution is to settle it by a flip of the coin. “The lot causes contentions to cease and parts the mighty.” Proverbs 18:18. Casting lots was a dice game, but a modern day corollary would be a flip of the coin to settle the issue. You both have to agree and stick by it.
The Ten Commandments for Fair Fighting

1. Never argue in front of the children, it harms and scares them.

2. Don’t ever hit your spouse.

3. Don’t call your spouse names or use insulting or demeaning language to them, it is abusive.

4. Don’t attempt to get your way by bullying your spouse.

5. Don’t withhold sex to get your way.

6. Do not scream at your spouse.

7. Do not interrupt, it is disrespectful, listen until they are done.

8. Do not take revenge for perceived hurts.

9. Develop a peacemaking attitude with questions like: How can we resolve this?

10. Don’t give people the “silent treatment”. It is revenge and it is emotionally abusive.

Guest blog by John Wilder marriage, relationship and sexual coach. Passages excerpted from his book Sex Education For Adults.