** REMEMBER that when we argue we tend to take opposing sides and don't feel aligned with our partner. We look at winning the argument and that is when we fight dirty.
Below talks about fair fighting - but what you are actually doing is asking for what you want in your relationship, without judging your partner.
Keep your intensity in control so that dirty fighting is less likely - that means you may need to calm down first and decide if the issue is discussion worthy and how best to approach the topic and when.
TEN RULES of FAIR FIGHTING
Silence is a relationship killer...
Stonewalling your partner, punishing them with silence and the various other dismissive tactics people use when angry -- hurt the relationship. They deteriorate trust and respect and don't actually resolve anything.
Another type of silence comes in the form of someone who doesn't want to rock the boat, and skirts the issues to avoid conflict, ultimately damaging the relationship.
So, ask for what you want and say no to what you don't want in your relationship - but, pick your battles wisely and be willing to let go of convincing that person right then and there!
Remember that you are trying to grow together. Don't make winning at any cost the most important goal. If one spouse wins...both lose.
MAINTAIN SENSE OF HUMOR
It's good to be able to laugh at yourselves, but don't laugh at or make fun of your spouse.
Hold Hands and/or Look in Each Others Eyes.
It takes the focus from the issue and puts it where it belongs...on the most important person in your life.
NO NAME CALLING
Except the affectionate ones you normally use, such as "Honey" or "Dear."
DON'T HIT BELOW BELT
Don't throw your partners weaknesses in his or her face.
DO NOT INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE
Couples make the mistake of involving friends or parents. Others don't forget or get the chance to make up, so the couple may feel uncomfortable facing them later, and other's opinions may damage the relationship further.
NO BRINGING UP PAST
It is OK to go back to learn, but not to get something on your spouse.
STICK TO SUBJECT
Don't bring in other issues just to prove your point.
DON'T GO TO BED ANGRY
Storming around, brooding or pouting keep the fight going. Dragging a fight out is life-draining. If no agreement is reached, have patience, table the discussion and make sure to unwind.
This is hard if you have not agreed on a solution, try to end with commitments to each other -- for example: I will think about what you've asked, thanks for bringing it up and being open. We'll talk more about it tomorrow (this weekend, etc.) I love you.