We stick to the real issues. (We do not argue about the dishes when the real issue is unsatisfactory sex).
We are prepared to hear each other’s anger or disappointment, or whatever is being felt, but this means the speaker agrees to keep to the “I “statement, no “you …you always…you never” more like “I feel…I struggle when……”
No one runs away: no one leaves before it has finished, gives the silent treatment, and slams the door or ‘uses’ tears.
Physical violence is out.
We avoid ‘hitting below the belt’ (personal attacks, dragging in the in-laws, name calling and so on).
We do not bring up grievances from the past.
The aim is not to have a winner or loser, but to find a way through together.
We admit our mistakes, and start looking for a positive solution.