How often do couples fight in a healthy relationship? by Kayla McCullough
No relationship is perfect; even the most self-aware couples fight from time to time. Due to the wide range of emotions humans face day to day, it’s nearly impossible to date someone without getting into arguments. Though sometimes harsh and difficult, fighting doesn’t always necessarily indicate an unhealthy relationship. The difference between a toxic couple and a strong couple isn’t whether they have arguments or not, it’s the type of arguments they have.
When you’re in a strong and healthy relationship, the underlying foundation is respect. Meaning, you don’t set out to hurt the other person: you don’t call them names, curse at each other, or threaten to leave. Fighting means both people matter and are valued. It’s because of this that congress has been set up the way it has—to encourage disputes and truths. Of course, valuable fighting doesn’t mean to argue with your significant other all the time – that is an unproductive way of acknowledging your desires. Though the average healthy couple bickers about 3-4 times a day, if you are finding yourself fighting over petty matters, it often means that there may be larger issues that need to surface and it’s worth digging around for patterns and themes so that you can solve the matter indefinitely. And the same can be said if you find yourself never arguing with your significant other. If you never argue, this probably means important things are staying unspoken and one of you is suffering in silence.
But when it comes to disagreements in relationships, the main factor is to never let it get out of control. There is typically a very fine line when it comes to fighting, and depending on if you cross it, the argument can either strengthen or weaken the relationship. Take note of these tips to ensure your arguing is effective.
Watch how you approach the topic. When you are in a disagreement with your partner, make sure you approach the fight as a topic of conversation rather than exploding in front of them. Communication is key in a relationship and conversations involve two people – one listens while the other talks and vice versa. If you can bring a level head into your argument and remain calm, the disagreement will not escalate into a fight. While you are communicating it is prudent that you watch your tone and be very careful and intentional with the word “I”. The more you use first-person ailments, the more you come across as naggy – ultimately bringing the focus back on you instead of the partnership you two have formed.
Focus. Depending on your personality type and how passionate you are when you get into fights, sometimes during these disagreements, it gets too easy to bring in other issues. So, focus on the topic and don’t get carried away. When you bring in other topics, the argument becomes unproductive and too overwhelming, which causes one person to get sick of the other.
Pick and choose your battles. This is something we have all heard, from either our parents or grandparents – and its true, somethings are just not worth the effort. If you live with your partner, of course, there will be little things that end up annoying you but being annoyed and lashing out verses being hurt and lashing out are completely different things. Arguments should always be reserved for the things that are categorized as “high importance” to you.
Cool off before you confront your partner. Once I started walking away and cooling off before approaching my significant other, our relationship shifted. When you put yourself in a timeout, you automatically create an even playing field for the two of you.
Be cautious of timing. When it comes to arguments, it’s important to watch when you decide to bring up a fight. You do not want to bring anything up before work or bedtime, and you do not want to bring a month-old topic up either. Make sure you have time to discuss things when there is plenty of time to communicate.
Of course, keep it out of the bedroom. This one may seem counter intuitive, but many couples still practice arguments as a way to build sexual tension before going to bed. When you do this, yes, the sex might be great, but chances are once you two are finished, the issue that was brought up will remain an issue because it was not properly assessed. Your bedroom is a place of intimacy, it has been constructed as a peaceful place in your house.
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