Adolescence, anger and what to do – part 3

Unfair fighting


Unfair fighting involves one or both parties arguing in a hurtful way. They say or do things they know will particularly hurt the husband or wife. This is usually done because they are angry and want to hurt the other out of revenge or as a child that is just the way they saw the parents argue.

FC withdrawl Jpeg copy

When there is hurtful unfair fighting the FC will retreat out of the relationship. This is involuntary. The Free Child or emotionally sensitive part of us will retreat into hiding whether we like it or not. We will instinctually put up a wall to protect that part of ourself. And it will need a significant period of changed behaviour (keeping to fair fighting) by the other party before it will trust enough to start coming back into the relationship.

This is something you really, really do not want to have happen in a marriage. To loose the ability to have FC to FC contact is a very retrograde step in a marriage. One way to assist with this is to use the fair fighting contract.

This contract sheet can be used to by the couple to define what is acceptable behaviour in fair fighting. On the chart below define the limits for yourself in clear and specific terms. Also define the limits you would like your spouse to have. Cover areas like physical behaviour, voice tone, how the fight ends, what you do not want said, fighting in the company of others and if so whom.

Both parties fill out their chart with the spouse not there. Then come together, give your chart to the spouse to read, then negotiate what is agreeable to both.

Fair fighting contract sheet

Common features of social angry conflict

1. No physical violence

2. No psychological violence – This is where the fair fighting contract is used.

3. There is no sense of win – loose in the argument

4.The conflict does not reinforce a faulty life script belief – This stops it being a game.

5. There is resolution to the two parts of the conflict –

An emotional resolution

A solution to the issue.


It is hoped adolescents can learn these process of argument and disagreement. The more they do the more successful their relationships in adulthood will be. Successful relationships are not about avoiding conflict but about how well the two parties resolve conflict when it arises. With two adults, like in a marriage it is considered and even playing field. However when a teenager argues with an adult it is not even and the parent must be more considerate of the teenager than the other way around. The teenager has to learn the rules as they practice whereas the parent is meant to be able to adhere to the rules already.

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