Into any relationship a little rain must fall and lets face it, if we were happy, smiley, loving couples all the time life would get pretty boring.
The trick to fighting fair and not completely losing the plot is to remember that this is the person that you love. You may not love them much in this moment but they are the person that you what to keep waking up to everyday.
The trouble with most of us is that we save up all the little niggly things that our partner does and we also harbor grudges from all the past indiscretions they have ever made and then we attach it to the latest grievance and voila, we dump it all on their heads in one fell swoop.
We drag up all the things that they ever said or did wrong. Any time that we caught them glancing at another woman, lets just through that on the fire! POW!
And the time they didn't back us up in that disagreement with their mother. Kapow!
Oh and that time they said they would be home at 7 and then they didn't get in until 9pm? Lets chuck that in to! Biff!
By now things are in full roar and there is no stopping you.
In fact you might have even forgotten what you were originally arguing over.
So back to the idea of fighting fair and believe me it can be done. The main thing is to keep to the topic in hand and not go back to every other argument you have ever had and throw that on the fire.
Express your emotions from an "I feel" perspective instead of a "You did" or "You always" .
Own your feelings and state them clearly: "I felt really let down when you came home at 9 instead of 7. I had been really looking forward to seeing you and when you were late and didn't call me I started to worry about what had happened to you.'"
Do you see how that statement doesn't add any fuel to the fire but at the same time let's the other person know exactly what was going on for you?
If the other party chooses to lash out an drag in other issues then you can quietly remind them that the topic is the one at hand and not past grievances.
The other important thing to remember is that there are three sides to any argument; your side, their side and the truth.
None of us come to an argument with a clean slate. We all have baggage from past relationships, our families and friends. So when we start an argument we are looking at things through the filters of our past and its just like looking through tinted glasses, when you take off the glasses everything looks completely different. Your partner is looking through their filters and so what they see is not the same as what you see.
When you realize this you can shift from your perspective to one of compassion, understanding and love which, ultimately, takes the heat out of any argument.
You gain a new perspective of your partner that gives you a greater understanding of what makes them tick and shifts you back into a loving state.
Try it next time you are arguing, listen for the clues as to what is really going on for your partner and what filters they are looking through.