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Fighting Fair May be a Key in Keeping Relationships Healthy

With Valentine’s Day this week, one expert says the best gift some couples can give each other is a healthier relationship based on honest communication. Amber Sherman, a licensed clinical social worker in Iowa, says all couples have disagreements, but to keep things from spiraling out of control, she suggests couples set ground rules for “fair” fights when they’re not in the middle of one.

She says conflict resolution for a couple is much easier when that couple isn’t already embroiled in a conflict. Disagreements need to be productive, Sherman says, not nasty, which is why some basic rules are really helpful.

Some people face relationship challenges based on how they were brought up, their personal preferences and personality types, but Sherman says everyone is capable of having a healthy relationship. For some, she says counseling may help, as it takes work. * [mkrelate3] :18 “sort through”

Sherman is manager of the Employee Assistance Program at Gundersen Health System, which has clinics in Fayette, Decorah, Waukon, Lansing, Postville and Calmar, and a hospital in West Union.

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