The secret habit of the happiest couples

A pair of relationship experts claim a willingness to fight - fairly - may be the key to unlocking relationship bliss.

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There’s always some new relationship advice out there, but this one might take the cake. A married pair of relationship experts just put out a new book called The Heart of the Fight, because, according to co-author Dr. Judith Wright, “Arguing is the most powerful tool that a couple has for growing stronger. Only when a couple masters the art of productive fighting can they reach the highest levels of intimacy and closeness.”

Much like mine, if your eyebrows raised at this premise, Dr. Wright elaborates: “Happy couples are happy because they’re willing to fight! It’s actually how you fight that really matters.”

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Her new book is not so much about fighting advocacy as it is about how to turn ugly fights into golden opportunities for greater intimacy. Here’s a brief rundown of The Heart of the Fight’s “Seven Rules for Fighting Fair.”

1. Reduce negativity. Avoid destructive tactics (blaming, sarcasm, etc.) No fight is perfect but low blows get you nowhere.

2. Promote positivity. Pair each complaint with a way your partner matters to you.

3. Never take or give over 50% of the blame. It’s not easy, but if you can stick to this rule, you’ll be amazed how much more productive your fight will be.

4. Be 100% responsible for your own happiness. It’s your job. If you need help, a partner is not a mind reader. Be direct.

5. Express & agree with the truth, always. Fights reveal a lot of truth, but we don’t admit it. If you were wrong, fess up.

6. Fight for, not against. Identify your desired outcome and go towards that.

7. Assume goodwill. Extend the benefit of the doubt by keeping in mind your love.

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