Home 🐧


1. When you have been hurt by something you partner has said or done, you (mark as many as apply):

πŸ‘Ž Withdraw from your partner.
πŸ‘ Do something to hurt him / her or retaliate in some way.
πŸ‘ Get angry at him / her (whether you show it or not).
πŸ‘Ž Play the martyr hoping that he (or the world!) will change.
🀜 Pretend everything is fine (β€œstuff it”).
πŸ‘Ž Drop hints that he / she can apologize and grovel whenever.
πŸ‘ Get in a β€œmood” or pout.
πŸ‘Ž Wait till he / she initiates an apology or requests forgiveness.

I don’t deliberately set out to retaliate, but sometimes I don’t control my temper well enough by taking time to make sure I’m in an okay emotional state to respond in a way I can be proud of later, or that could answer the question β€œhow can I react in a way that will improve the situation right now?”

2. The reason you respond like this is (mark as many as apply):

πŸ‘Ž To clear the air.
πŸ‘Ž To get your partner to listen.
πŸ‘ Because the two of you are so different.
πŸ‘Ž Making up is so nice.
πŸ‘ The pressure piles up.
πŸ‘Ž You like the attention.
πŸ‘Ž You can’t agree.
πŸ‘Ž You want something very much and this is the way to get it.
πŸ‘ You have a short temper.
πŸ‘Ž He / she starts it (and therefore it is his / her fault).
πŸ‘Ž Nothing else works or gets his / her attention.

3. You are most hurt by your partner when he / she (mark as many as apply):

πŸ‘Ž Pays more attention to work than me
πŸ‘Ž Puts another relationship first
πŸ‘Ž Is careless about money
πŸ‘Ž Doesn’t keep up his / her appearance
πŸ‘Ž Embarrasses me publicly
πŸ‘Ž Does all the talking
πŸ‘Ž Leaves everything up to me
πŸ‘Ž Doesn’t listen to me
πŸ‘Ž Goes out too much with friends
πŸ‘Ž Doesn’t give me any space/peace
πŸ‘Ž Says β€œno” to sexual advances

I don’t think she does any of those things. I’m most hurt when I interpret something she says as implying that I am stupid or wrong for not behaving in the way she would expect of β€œmost people”. I find it unfair.

4. The worst things about our disagreements are (mark as many as apply):

πŸ‘Ž Name calling
πŸ‘Ž Physical violence
πŸ‘ Never finishing
πŸ‘Ž Hard to apologize
πŸ‘ Bringing up the past
πŸ‘Ž I always lose
πŸ‘Ž They’re so frequent
πŸ‘ They last too long
πŸ‘ We never solve the problem
πŸ‘Ž They are vengeful
πŸ‘ My feelings are hurt

I think giving binary responses to this kind of thing is a little dangerous. Anything I’ve answered yes to, I can take total or partial credit for.

5. Write some rules for β€œfair fighting” that you can apply to your relationship.

In addition to some Gottman stuff:

  1. No name calling
  2. No interrupting
  3. No blaming or accusations
  4. No cussing
  5. No yelling
  6. No sarcasm
  7. No defensiveness
  8. No generalizations
  9. No physically/emotionally intimidating gestures or threats
  10. No walking out without naming a follow up time

I’ve had the following suggested to me:

  1. We agree we are on the same team
  2. Adapt the rules and review them before attempting to resolve any conflict
  3. Limit discussion of loaded topics to 30 minutes. If we hit that time, agree to continue for another 30 minutes or reschedule.
  4. Identify the issue that needs to be discussed and keep the conversation to that topic only.
  5. Ask for help or let the other person know if we are struggling to adhere to the rules we agree to.