Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to talk with your partner without fighting, you’d always end that conversation mad at each other. It tends to happen to long-time couples or new couples who don’t know each other well yet. But apparently, couples who fight more stay together longer, according to research.
Researchers said that avoiding arguments only results in bigger conflict, as it refuses to acknowledge issues rather than face them. On the contrary, arguing can strengthen a relationship, because it faces issues and resolves them. But up to what extent fighting is healthy? When does it become toxic?
Anybody will get tired of a relationship plagued with conflict and fights. If your partner doesn’t communicate well, then patching things up becomes even more challenging, because you don’t know what they’re thinking and what they’re truly feeling.
Arguments That May End a Relationship
Sadly, not all kinds of arguments lead to a longer-lasting relationship. If you get mad at your partner because they disrespect you, it’s better to move on and find someone else that deserves you.
Disrespect can manifest in minor arguments like forgetting to wash the dishes or to fold the laundry. If your partner calls you out for those, then proceeds to taunt you with scathing remarks like “you’re lazy”, that’s a huge red flag because they don’t need to call you lazy for simply forgetting to perform a chore. Calling you names and other labels describing a trait rather than a state are signs of a disrespectful attitude. In fact, any hostile remark starting with “you” is often disrespectful. If you normalize that behavior in your partner, your marriage or relationship will eventually go stale.
Insisting that you’re right all the time can also thwart your marriage. Remember that arguments aren’t supposed to be a competition. Instead, it should allow you to speak out your opposing thoughts and feelings about a certain issue until you find a common ground. Arguing just to win weakens you and your partner’s teamwork. It contradicts the real objective of an argument.
Arguments about lifestyle choices aren’t the healthiest as well. If your partner is an extrovert who loves to go out with their friends, while you’re a homebody introvert, that lifestyle difference may take a toll on your marriage. Their frequent night-outs may cause you to feel unloved, making your partner feel guilty. While lifestyle differences don’t always result in divorce or separation, it can lead to those outcomes if neither of you is willing to compromise.
Arguments That Can Strengthen a Relationship
Any argument can strengthen a relationship because the key to a lasting relationship is the way you handle arguments. If you go to an effective couple’s therapy, you will be asked how you address the challenges in your relationship. Your therapist will then ask you specific questions to help you and your partner communicate more effectively. Contrary to what some people believe, getting couple’s therapy doesn’t mean your marriage is in doom. Instead, it teaches couples how to communicate better, and thus understand each other more. It leads to a stronger marriage and healthier coping mechanisms.
Therapy, however, isn’t a magical solution that will stop fights and end conflicts forever. Every marriage and relationship has conflicts. But if you know how to work them out without hurting the other, no amount of arguing can break you apart.
Healthy arguments do exist. If you identify what triggers an argument between you and your partner, you’ll be able to adjust your communication methods so that you can avoid a fight. For example, if your partner hates it when you ask them about their day as soon as they step into the house, refrain from that habit. Instead, kiss or hug them hello, then give them time to decompress and be ready to talk about their day. That small change in your habits can result in a big difference in your marriage.
And when an argument arises due to a different conflict, allow your partner to call for a timeout if they need to. Forcing them to argue may only exacerbate the conflict. It is completely normal for a person to go on a “fight or flight” response when exposed to a stressful situation. If your partner chooses flight, give them time to simmer. Talk again when both of you are already in a state of level-headedness.
Most importantly, learn how to apologize properly. Saying “sorry” isn’t the only way to end arguments. Recognize what you’ve done wrong, and how you’ve hurt the other person. Be conscious of those mistakes, and make them right. Even if you have the biggest fights and the most difficult conflicts, you can stay together if you strive to correct your hurtful behaviors.
Meta title: Fight or Flight: Should You Stay With a Partner You Fight With All the Time?
meta desc: Studies may claim that couples who fight a lot love each other more, but in many cases, frequent fights lead to breakups. So, should you stay with a partner who often starts fights with you?