Dr. Bob Wright | February 17, 2016

Introducing
The Heart of the Fight:
A Couple’s Guide to
15 Common Fights,
What They Really Mean
& How They Can
Bring You Closer

We’re so pleased to announce the release of our new book, “The Heart of the Fight.” In the book, Judith Wright and I draw on our many years of experience, both in our own relationship (which I can tell you has quite a bit of conflict once in a while) and in the relationships of many of the couples we’ve worked with over the years.


We’ll talk about the beauty and the messiness of love. Believe me when I say: love is a lot of both. Many people have these notions that love is always going to be like it is in the movies. The reality is sometimes love is more about the knock-down, drag-out, emotional upheaval that ultimately serves as a platform for growth.

Love is both a womb that nourishes and a crucible that forges us into what we can become. It’s nourishing, but it’s also intense and deep, and the best love puts you through a lot of tests so you can come out stronger.

Conflict is Good…Really!

We’ve been raised with this idea that conflict is bad. Arguing and fighting must mean something is wrong, as in: “We’re always fighting. We just don’t get along.”

We hear it time and time again. Truth is, couples who are engaged with each other (those who go “all in”) will experience conflict. It’s inevitable. It’s a struggle over your yearnings and meeting the yearnings of the other person. It’s a struggle to be seen openly and honestly for who you are and to have the other person know you, accept you, challenge you, and bring out your best.

I worry much more about the couples who say they never fight.

If a couple cares for one another and cares about working toward common goals, they will experience conflict. Conflict means you feel. As for those couples that “never fight”? Chances are they’re just going through the motions. They’re “over” engaging with each other and working together. Maybe they’ve even given up.

It’s time to get back in the fight. By learning the rules of engagement, couples can learn to fight fairly and productively. They can learn how to work toward (and fight for) the relationship.

The 7 Rules of Engagement: Fight, Don’t War

the heart of the fight rules of engagement


First two rules: Accentuate the positive and Minimize the negative. This doesn’t mean just blowing smoke or trying to pretend everything’s fine when it’s not. Often when we’re really angry at our partner, we get in this mode of believing that absolutely everything has gone to hell. If we step back and look at the positive aspects of our relationship (the way our partner nurtures us, the good parts, and the fun times) and minimize the negative things (the way your partner balls his socks up on the bedroom floor), we can gain a little perspective.

Next rule: No one gets more than 50% of the blame. How easy is it to blame everything on the other person? For example: “Well, I tried to say how I felt, but she didn’t listen, and now it’s all her fault…” Nope. It’s so easy to become the victim of our partner’s behavior, which causes us to fall into the drama triangle. Just like EVERYTHING isn’t entirely your fault, everything isn’t your partner’s fault either.

On the same note, the next rule is another one we’ve mentioned a few times: You are 100% responsible for your own happiness and satisfaction. It isn’t your partner’s job to rescue you or make you happy. It’s your responsibility to work toward your own happiness and it’s your partner’s responsibility to work toward theirs.

Rule #5: Express and agree with the truth, always. The truth might not be what you want to hear. In fact, the truth might be, “You’re really pissing me off right now.” This rule is about expressing the truth and being honest about what you’re feeling. When something is wrong, it’s so easy to say, “It’s fine,” and then spend the rest of the day shutting down and withholding. It’s much more difficult to express what you’re feeling. The truth is hard. The truth makes us vulnerable, and we don’t always like to be vulnerable. You must be trustworthy in your relationship.

Likewise, always Fight FOR (not against) the relationship. When a couple is working toward the relationship, it shifts the approach. You’re fighting to get on the same page. You’re fighting to make the relationship work. You’re fighting to be with each other.

The last rule: Assume good will. In all my years of meeting with couples, I’ve met very few who are actually “out to get” each other. Chances are very likely your partner doesn’t exist just to make you mad and they don’t go through their day scheming ways to make you miserable. Often in the tit-for-tat war couples engage in, a feeling of paranoia starts to build. Assuming good will helps you realize that, at heart, your partner probably wants what you want: to make things work and to learn, engage, and grow together.

As we explore these rules of engagement and get to The Heart of the Fight, we’ll also look at key skills for transformational change and consciously engaging in your transformation. You’ll start to invest in your heart and soul and in the heart and soul of your partner to keep your relationship going strong.

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.
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About the Author

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Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

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