People fight over trying to control each other.
Some people get addicted to yelling and screaming. Some couples bicker and demean each other endlessly. The payoff in the short term is relaxation from venting. But the longer term effect is increased anger and thus a vicious spiral.
Avoid character assassination. Don't attack each other at a personal level. No name calling.
Be proportional in your intensity. Don't over react.
Keep it relevant. Know what you're fighting about.
Keep it real. Fight about what's actually bothering you.
Remain task oriented. Stop when you get to your goal.
Take it private and keep it private. Don't fight in front of your kids or in public.
It's not whether you fight or not but how you end. If you don't allow your partner to retreat with dignity, the relationship is in jeopardy. This is the #1 predictor of divorce, with 90% splitting up in less than 5 years.
Take the lead by refusing to participate in hurting each other.
From: Dr. Phil, 7-21-03