Do you and your partner fight fair? This will help.

Monday, March 26th

Arguments are inevitable in every relationship, but are you exhausted and feeling like nothing is getting resolved? Do you leave these disagreements and feel worse than when you started? It's likely because you and your partner are not fighting fair and often getting way off topic. In this podcast, Elizabeth Kay talks with licensed professional counselor and return guest Patrick Schultz about the 10 tips for fighting fair.

Patrick Schultz focuses on couples therapy. If you'd like to connect with him and set up an appointment, you can reach him at

Thanks for listening!


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

The ten ways to fight fair it Elizabeth K your host of fifty shades of Kaye with a return guest Patrick Schultz is back with me today he's a licensed professional counselor he's with Milwaukee counselor dot com. And we're here to talk about YE a parent thanks for coming Patrick and I appreciate you in the back thanks so much so this podcast is a lifestyle podcast blacked out one of the things that I sense a theme kind of going on here with this podcast now that it's been over a year. Is talking about relationships. I've always been very interested in relationships and what makes them work why sometimes they don't. And ways to improve the relationships that you value and most specifically the one with your partner. And this was a great idea that you brought up in the last time you were here do you remember we're talking in the new kind of branched off ball fighting fair and I said that's another contest Nat check. So seriously put together a list it's the top ten ways to fight fair. Is it possible to fight for Erica I just start with that question. Absolutely I mean why isn't able to fight fair boxers have in the rules in the ring that they got to follow couples can do these vexing thing hey that's an interesting way to look at it still. Let's go through the list one through ten and line kind of dig deep on some of these here but number one is very interesting to me because. This happens I think a lot in relationships about picking a mutually agreed upon time. To talk about the issues and you wrote here if one does not want to talk about it at that moment. Forcing the other person to talk is only going to make the fight worse meant so what can you elaborate on that just a little because sometimes if you're mad at you wanna talk about it now. Oh absolutely I mean you wanna talk about you wanna get your resolution right then in the air by your partner is like I'm not ready I need time to process any kind of think. Don't talk to me about the suit is gonna (%expletive) me off even more yes vote asking for a break a chance to kind of clear had a little bit and say RE two we come back to the table talk about it maybe an hour I'll be ready to talk then. That way you know you're getting your best partner and they're going to be able listen to what you have to say rather than just you trying to get your point across right there and them. Which seems so simple. It I feel like makes. A lot of sense as you aren't going to get anywhere if someone has just shut down in Seminole whether there. Really angry or I get a little angry as my husband islands and it's like I need to eat some pain and that we can sit down and talk about that that's probably better double the bus. Now speaking of angry and food. Point number two little fight in the kitchen and explain this point a little bet. This one kind of came to me as I was just thinking about these things and and trying to come up with a good top ten list here. Oftentimes sites have been at you know it's it's not predictable so I mean not happen anywhere in the house that you can think up but yeah more often than not. I've heard couples that come in for therapy with me that will say. Our fight and up in the bedroom and we're up all night and we are arguing we couldn't sleep and then their home next day is ruined because of not sleeping that night. So the fights tended to naturally this kind of go to where we're comfortable which is the veteran we spent a lot of time there we have an embassy there all of that. So switch it up late in the kitchen if you think about what happens in your kitchen that's where everybody gathers in social situations that's where you gathered to make food that's for things change. You take all these separate ingredients and you thrown together to make something you know spectacular what you're doing. The same thing can go with the couple's while that you guys contain various issues and disagreements and problems that are coming up. And bring it out into the kitchen and make something better in the space that's safe. Being in the bedroom and being in other areas has a lot of memories a lot of emotions that are attached to it so really makes it difficult to a state president and really have a good. Argument now number three I remember talking about this in college in her personal communication classes. Using an ice statement drew explain that one. This is part of one of the biggest tools they use and it it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort because we get really good at pointing the finger and blaming other people. Yeah because it's his fault all the time I guess and activity well. There are. What ever that I statements now instead of you didn't do this or you did do this. Like what would be an example for someone to be never heard this before what patients say about an I statement how can use that. Well I mean really the the biggest piece that you wanna work with on is just not pointing the finger blaming your partner not saying well you did this you didn't do this you don't lists enemies don't care about me. Really making sure to use I statements and I'm upset about I'm frustrated when I don't like it when you. So they yes there's a huge statement and that but you're still starting and with the I piece of it you're letting them know what your reaction to what your problem has. As soon as you start pointing the finger using these statements that causes that other person to become defensive. Because and they feel like they're the ones that that is on the hot seat they're the one that's being blamed for whatever is happening. And that and that makes them get defensive right away so they're not hearing half of what you're saying because they're so focused on. Being defensive about what's coming up that they don't even want to to listen to anything else he had this. You right then nothing's gonna move forward and write things are gonna get sad and people are any more of sat him and it's gonna lead into the back Germany and act and asleep and it's gonna continue on for a day air weaker robber on afterwards. So I love that the use I statements number four this is very interest teen set a time limits. On the fight or discussion and Newt so you're talking about actually. Putting in a timer out insane okay we have thirty minutes had to get through this or solve this yet. Yeah I mean off and how many I'm sure a lot of your listens Denver think of a time that they had an argument with somebody that just seem to go on for hours and you guys kept talking in circles and each of you want to make your point managed just gotten nowhere you guys left probably more frustrated than when you even started the argument. So before you even sit down and have that discussion that fight whatever it is. Set a timer for let's say thirty minutes and then what you doozy block that often two thirds of each person gets ten minutes. To save their peaceably without interruptions without any other issues going on. Then you guys have ten minutes at the end to really come up whiff. Solution to gather in that ten minutes and then once the timer goes off the microwave stops whatever it is you guys walk away and you you move on with your day. Well and there's a lot to be said about setting a timer and sure people listen this may think Pollyanna towns in the perfect world we would do that but if you could. Think well maybe all the things that you would eliminate like he said the talking in circles. That wouldn't even be needed him I was listening to podcasts I was talking about a week to be more productive with your day and on the packet they mention Powell think about how quickly you can clean your house when companies about to come over it you. Felt that way about cleaning your house all the time and set a timer to say. Companies coming over an hour how much you can do Donna do you just get to way to get your projects done right in this regard still. It used at a time are this a very I don't mean to me that you're forced to say okay. You speak your piece I'll speak my peace timer goes off are we need to figure this out. Depth and actually that brings up another good point to me you talked about the cleaning before company comes over you can get so much done when you just put your mind to it. The whole idea of multitasking is something that comes up a lot to during arguments that it can even think of until just now. If you think about it one offer arguments happen one person's doing the laundry summit cooking dinner somebody's trying to put the kids down to bad whatever it might be some are yeah even working right you're not giving your full attention to the argument you're giving your full attention to your partner. So if you block out that time and put that time limit on the air. You take away those distractions and you can be fully focused on just that one piece of it and probably get more out of it and a shorter amount of time and trying to drag and offer. This is great stuff number five stay focused. Still that is pretty self explanatory Boone who you're speaking to about not. Bringing up like all the things even mad about in the last fifteen years bright what is the one thing you're talking about now. And that 107 this is actually more directed bat on the women in the relationships and the man because my why are you JD Nat yeah. I'm sure most of amenable can remember you know something that happened ten years ago I yeah where most of us guys will forget what we have for lunch yesterday let alone what we made you mad about two weeks ago. Is that what I mean what is. There are times I'm jealous of men I I didn't think we aren't there are definitely things are it's like I wish I could have that kind of memory like a man were you just don't think about him that stuff but it just doesn't leave Barbara ends. Tenacity I don't have a good answer for it I mean there are some scientific studies and some things out there that do say that men have a different type of memory and a different way to kind of formulate memories and yeah do. Be that good or bad deal that's up for discussion and argument here but. Deathly staying focused during the argument because can be real tempting to bring up like he said what happened fifteen years ago ten years ago last week last month whatever it is. I hear myself doing and I will tell myself in my subconscious say why. Are you now bringing up that that is nothing to do with right now what. I'm mad at the moment as a movie mad about everything by staying focused may be timer will be helpful thank you senate timer. If you have to really use your time wisely them. I've actually had couples out of also a kind of outlined what they wanted to talk about and an argument to be able to stay focused where they kind of wrote on their main points very much like you do for a paper high school or college. And that helps them sort of stay on point and be able call it really make sure they know what they wanna say yeah up on number six. Allen yeah all. That makes a lot of sense that when you get so mad though it can be hard not to yell them but it doesn't solve anything right. It doesn't it just again like we said what did I statements in the U statements. Going and that attack yelling just tends to make the other person get defensive shut down and and the argument doesn't go anywhere you Mosul has put it to bed and pick it up and -- today and with the don't yell and I know I'm not the licensed professional counselor but I feel like they're yelling also goes in the area like name calling to him like you're just saying the second goal is there it starts to get disrespectful the person gets defensive nothing is going to come of that bright and I really can act as a being childish behavior -- yet. Absolutely legged Ewart of if you order a videotape or audiotape played aren't record. An argument that breaks all these rules I feel like. Civilized normal human beings with sit back and listen to that or see it. And probably be embarrassed him again of all the rules are broken right as it looks like little kids to skid into an argument and that's because that's what we're used to that's how we know sometimes to get our way in the moment is too. Let it all up and whatever we have to yeah. Number seven and be rested and fall this dollars and with EB hey hurry up an expert at my husband no I've not seen this at all to be comical scene always if I start and a little. Little worked up about something he'll often ask. Did you eat lunch was a time mediate because I will gates' soul work like I give him Horry who cannot prop bet that's why I always try to have like a granola bar or. A Clif bar trail mix or something because I I willow just it's so. Anxious when I get that hungry I don't think it's our comment please I hope not but you're saying be rested and falling you're gonna sit on how. A flight yet. Make sure your your best you want just like a boxer going and the rain is has had his work out he's eaten while he's out weigh all that stuff. You wanna make sure that you Wear your best when he won that argument it's going to be hard enough emotionally draining. When you're tired when you're hungry you know you're stressed whatever it might be. You're not going to be on your a game and it's not gonna go as well a number eight to call a timeout that's kind of a sports reference also. This is one of my favorite ones I had a couple that use those religiously. That they actually came up with their own little yellow flag to throw during the middle of an argument if either way I needed a break yeah. It's okay for either partner to call time out if you feel like you're overwhelmed you need to go stream into Apolo go walk away for a minute. You can call a timeout and walk away then you know as long as you guys have done the same rules set that they're gonna be no questions asked the timeout will be for five minutes. You guys can come back together and continue with that discussion when the other person feels like they're ready to go. I really like that idea I feel like a lot of people would utilize that and as long as it was utilized in not in a manipulative way right and a genuine. Hang out and year. It just shows respect that you love your perk your partner that you don't want system drew into something bigger that goes on for weeks and months and I'm sure when you've seen with some couples years oh absolutely than a comeback from that is even harder if it some of these couples what's called time out. Then maybe someone of and said it would of upset somebody else I I really really like that take away call timeout he Mari number now plane. Now I don't know all the grandmas say don't go to that angry and you said put it on hold sometimes. Sometimes arguments can't be resolved on Monday. Sometimes you need a chance to sleep on it you need a chance to walk away may be think of some different perspective kind of process what your partner was saying and what they what they wanted to talk about. And then come back at at a different time. Does that make the hurt go away now does it make to anger go away now but. If you guys need to walk away from it continuing to badger for hours and hours and hours is not gonna get you anywhere you might be better off walking away and then coming back all. Are going to bed angry many years you're saying you heard it here lice and the professional counselors say it's okay to go to bed angry mood as yet that can just even more exhausting Ian Rae York. Mean that you said earlier no one's gonna win if there I wanna say win because it's really about winning but nothing's gonna be solved productively if you're on two hours of sleep exactly there's just no way. My mother Los it's something once about down her husband and they abandoned married firm past told my husband in America 3730 years you'd like ran high school they got married and in the air crazy for each other. And then the last and one time she's like I will always love Steve. My father in law who cracked but sometimes I don't like sixty men and I thought that something that you that I can take away from that going to bed angry so to speak where. I don't love you but we're not solving anything here right so let's just regroup and get back at it tomorrow yup it's okay do everybody is okay. Odd number ten the final point of the ten ways to fight fair use tide. Touch can be really powerful tool can be really really effective. There's been studies that have been shown that. Hugging during an argument or when you're upset about something and actually reduce the frustration levels and anger levels of people have you actually have a better fight overall because then you're not. Feeling like the other person isn't there enough connection with you. Patrick I'm not in my head here in the studio with you because my husband and I are very affectionate that's one of our love languages and there'll be times it will get into an argument. And he is so quick to say can you give me a hug an early in our relationship I would get frustrated it's like you like come right now I'm a little upset. But every time we do it every time we hug him. I can feel physically that I like our rights and I'm not I'm not let that man not that up Sadr it's all gonna be fine and so now he'll do that. And if you don't feel like tugging at that point I mean even to simply holding someone's hand during the middle of it you know sit at the table talking can be. I'm not touched a kind of to start to reduce that stress hobbled in the moment. You are open to working with couples and things right so people listen that's wanna connect with you at Milwaukee counselor dot com that you are taking new clients and things like that and absolutely and what do you focus on specifically do in the marriage counseling in a do you work with you at all. I don't do a whole lot of work with you that relief kind of found my my niche with working with adults the piece that I really love the most is couples. I love you know helping with communication increasing intimacy in getting people back to really where they've they wanna be in the relationship. One of the things that really struck me when I was learning about you know couples counseling in general rule was that by the time couples get to coming into my office. On average they've been fighting or having the same issues or arguments for over four years. Wow and it by that time they finally decide are I think we need to talk about this we need to go find someone who can help us figure this out. But four years as a long time to create a lot of damage and a lot of irreparable harm and it sure there are you know if you just. Were open and gave yourself a chance to go talk to somebody earlier. How much frustration how much stress how much strain could beat. Saved and you know for you personally but assault as well your marriage and getting in to see somebody as soon as problems start. There's actually couples that do marriage counseling before they're even married because they just wanna make sure they have a good foundation. Of communication and support and know how to go forward together. Yeah there's a couple I know in particular that did pre marriage counseling in because they both came from. They were able to marry before they were both kind of scorn in the last relationships they want to have a good foundation like you said and they continued on. Yet aids go to regular session ends and they are proud event and there they have a very successful marriage but I I thought that was really interesting in that they started before. And are still continuing non-GAAP. It can be a really nice neutral safe place where people can feel like they can cannot unload what they want to without fear of retribution without fear of their partner getting defensive. Because you have that person there in the room that can help kind of regulate both sides of the discussion. I feel that women are apt to gold but men. Struggle sometimes to absolutely because. What is it is it fear is it that the our earth I guess afraid that they're going to be told that there are the bad guy or their wrong or something like that because there's a lot of people that I talk with. That it's their it's their husbands that don't wanna gul who. It can be any or all of the above fear is a big part of it and what it's straight out got my ice at their golf are afraid that you'd have a better marriage why would that be somebody be afraid of. If you think about eighty you'd you'd possibly are afraid of having someone point out what you're doing wrong and no one Mike no one likes to have that done no one likes to be told well you're not a good husband you're not a good partner because you out Y and Z. And a lot of times people this figure out that. That's what couples counseling is going to be and that's what they assume and that's really not the case. If you have a good couples counselor it will not be the the pointing the finger at one person all the time that's picking sides in that doesn't help Antonio what do you do that you look at both sides you wanna hear everybody's story and then try to set up. A plan. That couple exactly. General how I work it from my first session and meet with a couple together you know they they both come and we sit down and kind of get a brief overview of what brought them in what's been going on. And then the next two sessions I like to meet with each partner individually without the other one president. So I can already hear from them directly what's going on and that way they can feel like they can unload and tell me everything on there aside that they seem to be a problem and then. The fourth session we are come back together and then we start comparing notes and we develop a plan to kind of figure out how we move forward here to feel like you get more information from people America and the one on one sessions absolutely. That's a really Smart that you Dudack I would bet that you deal because they feel like it's a safe place to just explain kind of what's going on right this is our great stuff. I love having you on. Fifty shades of cape Patrick because your be your very articulate and he make it simple to understand and you make it seemed very achievable because a lot of people. It's their relationship it's their person that they're with all the time every day and if you're feeling like you're coming home to a house that you don't wanna DNA are you just have his gut feeling of something's. Just a little off it be different if you felt like hey my arm is hurting I would go to a doctor ray go work on your relationship me and for people with kids tool. Your kids deserve that exactly to have happy parents and a happy home to go home sale yet so thank you so much against Patrick Schultz. Milwaukee counselor dot com and this list to organ link this up at 99 won the mixed dot com. Every tip there. Maybe take some of these takeaways I definitely know that I struggle with staying focused. I get all over the place. And that the setting the timer I think is really really helpful information at least in the case household is somebody who maybe deal 'cause I have no shortage of things to day. So that's how these can go on her way to the library thank you so much Patrick leaning back up fifty shades of K again if you have mail it lets you absolutely think so much if you enjoyed this podcast and you want to hear more make sure to subscribe so opening your podcast app on your apple product or you can use Google play. Just searched fifty shades of Kate that's 5050. Shades of cake and the make sure to hit the subscribe button. Tell your friends and I love it if you left a review thanks for listening.