Leone Centre Glossary

Fair Fighting Rules in Marriage Counselling

Fair Fighting Rules

Fair fighting rules are a set of guidelines designed to help couples manage conflicts productively. These rules are important in marriage counselling as they promote respectful and healthy communication, helping couples resolve disputes without damaging their relationship.

Productive Conflict

In many relationships, conflicts can escalate quickly, leading to hurtful exchanges and unresolved issues. Fair fighting rules address common problems such as name-calling, blame-shifting, and shouting. By following these rules, couples can engage in more productive and respectful discussions.

Guidelines Overview

Fair fighting rules include key principles such as sticking to the topic, avoiding personal attacks, and taking turns to speak. These guidelines help couples communicate more productively, ensuring that both partners feel heard and respected. The benefits of adhering to these rules include improved understanding, reduced tension, and stronger relationship bonds.

What It Means

Fair fighting rules are structured guidelines used in marriage counselling to help couples handle disagreements in a productive and respectful manner. These rules aim to prevent conflicts from escalating and ensure that both partners can express their feelings and opinions safely.

Why It Matters

Following fair fighting rules is essential for creating understanding and respect between partners. These rules encourage productive communication, which is important for resolving conflicts and maintaining an affirming relationship. By adhering to fair fighting rules, couples can work through disagreements more productively and strengthen their bond.

How It Works

Couples can apply fair fighting rules by committing to specific behaviours during conflicts. For example, they can agree to listen without interrupting, use “I” statements to express their feelings, and take breaks if the discussion becomes too heated. Implementing these rules in daily interactions helps create a more supportive and respectful relationship environment.

Common Questions

What are some examples of fair fighting rules?
Examples of fair fighting rules include avoiding name-calling, staying on topic, taking turns to speak, and using “I” statements to express feelings without blaming the other person.
Why are fair fighting rules important in marriage counselling?
Fair fighting rules are important because they provide a structured way for couples to handle conflicts productively, helping to prevent misunderstandings and maintain respect and understanding in the relationship.
How can couples start using fair fighting rules?
Couples can start using fair fighting rules by discussing and agreeing on specific guidelines to follow during conflicts. It’s helpful to practice these rules regularly and seek guidance from an experienced therapist if needed.


  1. Gottman Institute: Rules for Fair Fighting
  2. Psychology Today: Fair Fighting Rules for Healthy Relationships
  3. Verywell Mind: Fair Fighting Rules for Couples
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision