THE BLOG
01/23/2015 05:02 pm ET Updated Mar 25, 2015

Do You Fight Fair?

Chris Tobin via Getty Images

The occasional dispute can be healthy for a relationship, but do you fight with a sense of fairness?

It is healthy to discuss.

It is healthy to have disagreements.

It is healthy to have opinions.

But it is important to fight fairly.

There are some people who get ugly and abusive when they argue, and there are others who can discuss and argue and be productive.

Below are some evaluation questions to consider the next time you have an argument with your significant other:

Do you communicate well?
A lot of arguments stem from one or both parties not effectively communicating. Are you voicing your thoughts, opinions and feelings, or are you assuming your that your spouse is already aware of them? Assuming will get you nowhere, speak up!

Do you actively listen?
Arguments often escalate because each party wants to do all of the talking and none of the listening. You'd be surprised at what can be resolved easily if you take the time to listen, evaluate, discuss and come up with a solution together.

Do you use appropriate eye contact?
Eye contact is a part of good communication and active listening, but it is so important that we gave it its own point. Distractions during conversations can happen, and they can lead to ineffective communicating. Looking each other in the eye and being genuine and real, and talking about what you are really thinking and feeling is hard work, but it pays off.

Do you have a mutual respect for one another?
Even if you take the time to listen to what your spouse has to say, make sure you aren't doing it in a patronizing manner. Avoid condescending and hurtful tones and words, actively listen to the other party, and respect their view point and feelings. Showing respect is usually a two way street, and if you show it, you are more likely to receive it.