The Rules for Marriage Fight Club

The Rules for Marriage Fight Club

Have you ever seen the movie, Fight Club? It’s one of my favorite movies for many reasons. From a psychological perspective, it is mind blowing. It’s a movie that is pretty much required by every student in an abnormal psychology class to watch. I won’t ruin the movie for you, but if you haven’t seen it, you must put it on your queue.

As I work with couples, I realized many couples need rules around their fighting. All couples fight so it isn’t helpful to teach them not to fight and argue. Instead, the work is around fighting fairly. I’ve decided to come up with marriage fight club rules based on the original Fight Club rules.

1. You talk about your problems, thoughts and concerns
Communication is key. Most couples come in and complain about the lack of communication in their relationship. Having healthy communication is one ingredient that is required in order to fight in a clean manner. Make sure to incorporate time every day to talk and communicate with your partner. It will reduce miscommunications and lead to overall greater marriage satisfaction.

2. You talk about your problems, thoughts and concerns
No seriously, you are going to have to communicate with your partner. I know there are some of you out there that aren’t great communicators. Some people prefer to put it in text. Some people don’t like to share their thoughts and feelings at all. You are going to need to step outside of your comfort zone and communicate with your spouse if you want to have a thriving and healthy marriage.

3. If someone says stop, then you stop
At times, it is going to be important to walk away from a fight and revisit it when emotions have calmed down. If one person asks to come back to a discussion, take a break and come back at a later time when you are both able to be fully present.

4. Only the two people involved in the argument should be included
Getting other people involved in your relationship is called triangulation and it’s definitely not recommended. Even if other people are involved in the discussion, it is important to keep the argument between the two of you. If you are fighting about the in-laws, don’t call them during the argument to make your point.

5. One fight at a time
Keep your arguments to one topic at a time. If you are discussing the children, don’t bring up the in-laws. If you are discussing how to plan more date time, don’t bring up the dishes. If you start bringing up different topics it’s much easier to get sidetracked and then forget to resolve the initial discussion topic.

6. Fight in a way that makes you feel safe and comfortable
There are going to be some hard limits in your relationship when it comes to fight. No name calling. No physical violence. No blaming. No guilty. These tactics do not help to resolve any issues. Physical violence should never be allowed or tolerated. The same goes for verbal violence.

7. Fights don’t have to go on as long as you don’t want them to
If your discussion is getting out of hand, take a break. If you only have a limited time, set a time later to discuss the problem. If you have an issue that cannot be resolved without the help of an outsider, call a couple’s counselor. Constant fighting in a relationship is a sign that something more significant is going on.

8. If there is an issue in your marriage, you must talk it out
As previously stated, communicate is key. If there is an issue in your marriage, you are going to need to talk it out. Chances are, it is not going to change with time, ignorance or positive thoughts. Relationships require time and effort and one of the ways you will need to put time and effort into your relationship is through communicate. I often recommend that couples spend 15 minutes a day of uninterrupted time talking to each day. If you can’t commit to 15 minutes a day, how can you expect your relationship to work in the long run?


If you find yourself fighting more regularly than usual or the fights increasing in intensity, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your local couple’s counselor.
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Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

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