Fair Fighting in Couple Therapy
Conflict is inevitable in couple relationships and the ability to do it in a healthy way can yield desired resolution for the partnership (Gurman et al. 2015).
Theoretical Context for Concept
A crucial element to fair fighting is the ability to communicate among partners. Oftentimes, when conflict begins among a couple each person spends time attempting to prove their partner wrong (Gottman et al. 1995). Markman et al. (1998) have identified a framework that carves out clear roles for the speaker, listener, and partnership in working toward managing conflict. The focus of the speaker-listener framework is to utilize techniques that harness skills to speak to each other in a meaningful and fair way that creates space for fair fighting.
Fair fighting includes active listening, gaining perspective, awareness of thoughts/words and body language, and taking a time out (Gottman et al. 1995). Unfair fighting consists of manipulation, abuse, name-calling, avoidance...
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