Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Fair Fighting in Couple Therapy

  • Dara WinleyEmail author
  • Elizabeth Adedokun
  • Jessica Chou
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_592

Introduction

Conflict is inevitable in couple relationships and the ability to do it in a healthy way can yield desired resolution for the partnership (Gurman et al. 2015).

Theoretical Context for Concept

A crucial element to fair fighting is the ability to communicate among partners. Oftentimes, when conflict begins among a couple each person spends time attempting to prove their partner wrong (Gottman et al. 1995). Markman et al. (1998) have identified a framework that carves out clear roles for the speaker, listener, and partnership in working toward managing conflict. The focus of the speaker-listener framework is to utilize techniques that harness skills to speak to each other in a meaningful and fair way that creates space for fair fighting.

Description

Fair fighting includes active listening, gaining perspective, awareness of thoughts/words and body language, and taking a time out (Gottman et al. 1995). Unfair fighting consists of manipulation, abuse, name-calling, avoidance...

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References

  1. Gottman, J., Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1995). Why marriages succeed or fail: And how you can make yours last. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  2. Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., & Snyder, D. K. (Eds.). (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy. New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Johnson, S. M., & Denton, W. (2002). Emotionally focused couple therapy: Creating secure connections. In A. S. Gurman & N. S. Jacobson (Eds.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (pp. 221–250). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  4. Markman, H., Stanley, S., & Blumberg, S. L. (1998). Fighting for your marriage: Positive steps for preventing divorce and preserving a lasting love. Family Court Review, 36(1), 95–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  6. Stanley, S. M., Markman, H. J., & Blumberg, S. L. (1997). The Speaker/listener technique. The Family Journal, 5(1), 82–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel M. Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HartfordUSA