Why is the person we love the most often the person we say the worst things to? We want attention, we feel like we aren't being heard or cared for, or we just have a bad day at work, and all of a sudden, like a wrecking ball gone rogue, we look at our mate and say the exact thing that we know will trigger them. And so a fight starts and we co-create a messy situation that could have been avoided if we had just asked for what we needed.
Most of us missed the "How to Fight With Your Mate 101" class that would have taught us how to manage conflict in ways that create more connection instead of destroying it.
I received my training on the job — meaning in the two long-term relationships I've had. The first one in my 20s was like the Wild West when it came to fighting. There were no rules. We both knew what triggered the other, and when we fought, we had no qualms about hitting below the belt. We broke every rule for fighting fair — including the five that I am about to share with you. Thankfully that relationship ended.
For the past 15 years, I've been in a relationship with my soul partner, Noah, which has taught me how to face conflict with what I call "courageous love." Saying my truth, asking for what I need, without needing to blame, prove, protect, or judge. Sometimes it feels like training for the love Olympics because my previous relationship conditioned me to fight or flee, freak out or freeze, or spew my frustration.
I've had to consciously reprogram myself from the inside out by learning to get angry without turning my mate into my enemy. One brilliant move that supported my retraining is what Noah and I call our "love treaty." When we moved in together, we created rules for fighting so that when either of us got triggered or felt like we weren't getting what we needed, we could create a field of connection instead of a battlefield.
In our love treaty we included The Five Love Outlaws. These are the actions and words that, if employed during the heat of the moment, are sure to ignite a fight. Even when you are triggered, and you could hit below the belt, don't say or do these five things: