As anyone in a committed or long-term relationship can attest, it is important to know how to fight fairly with your partner. Most people do not do this. I have a few guidelines that I try to follow, though admittedly, when the other person doesn't try to follow the same guidelines it becomes very difficult to follow my own rules.

  • Refrain from personally insulting the other person. That means no name calling. (i.e. bitch, asshole, shrew, etc.)

  • Leave past fights in the past. If that fight is resolved, there is no reason to bring it into the current one.

  • Don't emotionally blackmail the other party. In other words, no "You're angry at me, you must not love me anymore."

  • Do not bring the other party's family into the argument. (This one tends more toward those fights between married couples.)

  • Bringing in other people as messengers is a bad idea. That just makes the other person think you don't care enough to bring the message yourself.

  • Try to not get overly emotional in an argument of logic. That just undermines your own arguments and gives the other person more ammunition.

  • Conversely, in an emotional combat, don't employ solely logic. That tends to give the other party the impression that you are cold and uncaring.

  • Lastly, give the problem time to settle. Don't try to work it out when the other party doesn't want to, or when it is still too fresh a wound.

    Now, if I could just stick to these better than I do...