This was advice from a sweet friend who has been married a decently long time, but not long enough to have forgotten the dating stage.
She was sharing some marital/dating advice with me...I was essentially asking about dating and marriage and what some of her nuggets of wisdom were for getting along/making it work. They started dating in high school, got married in college, have two babies, and are raising support for the mission field, so I knew that despite the many ups, they have had some rough times and disagreements...and as I suspected, she had good advice.
Her advice boiled down to this: Fight well. Don't air your dirty laundry to others and go straight to the source of your problems...ie, talk to your spouse, boyfriend, etc about the problem, not always everyone else. Simple enough, righty? But I guess its a lot harder to do...think how much "men bashing" goes on at girls night? and vice versa? There's a difference between joking about how your husband and you fight over the remote and actually spilling the details of your fights/disagreements to others. Words of wisdom I am glad to hear. One day, I would like to apply the same wisdom to my marriage.
So, fight well by actually fighting with/discussing issues with your husband, and not running straight to your girlfriends to whine. But, also, fight well by establishing some ground rules. Clearly these will differ for everyone, but the rules could include not raising your voice, sitting next to each other, even touching (to keep things civil and remember that you care about this person you are fighting with), learning how the other person fights. Take time to calm down if needed. Agree to address issues as they come up. Don't go to bed angry (hmm sounds biblical)
Also, some advice from my mom about fighting and relationships: (1) don't tell your parents about all your fights because you will get over it far sooner than they will; and (2) take a break from fighting. Sometimes the issue isn't a heated in the moment conflict, per se, but an ongoing issue -- IE, should we save for this? should our kids go to school here? Can I handle this personality trait? Is this personality difference going to be a deal breaker in our relationship? You need answers, but unlike a disagreement over a hurtful comment, these won't be settled overnight. The argument can be settled, but not the whole issue. So my mom's advice is to take a break and have fun together. If you don't have to make a big decision today and its causing a lot of strife, end the arguing on a good note, enjoy a weekend of dinner out and no discussion, and revisit the issue when you are calmed down. It's good to remember how much you care for the person you're with and sometimes several days of trying to solve an issue take the fun out of the relationship, so take a break and remember.
So, thats my dating/relationship advice (taken from those who know more than me) - Fight well. I gave some examples, but anyone else have tips on how to fight well?? I'd love to know more!