Do you want maximal warmth and affection? The price is being real. Does profound partnership appeal to you? Then learn to express your deepest truths. Interested in intimacy? Then intend to be satisfied. In short, do you want a great relationship as best friends and lovers? Then be prepared for great fights.
Unfortunately, most people don't know how to fight—or don't fight enough or even at all. They tend to teach conflict resolution rather than conflict completion. Contrary to conventional wisdom, conflict can be a couple's secret weapon for coming closer—not a sign they're falling apart—that is, when couples know why they fight, how to fight, and what to fight for.
Fighting requires rules of engagement, or it's war. We need rules to generate the safety to engage fully. And while it's ideal if both people in a relationship agree and adhere to these rules, for even one person to do this makes a big difference in the quality of the relationship. And often, the other partner becomes more responsible, too. This isn't always easy in the heat of an argument, when you're ready to pull the trigger. The rules of engagement facilitate freedom, build trust, and lead to greater intimacy.
Here are three key rules you can use to move your relationship forward and learn to fight fair: