Regardless of what Hollywood or your friends and family might lead you to believe, fighting is an inevitable part of any relationship. When you share your life with another person, as much as you may like, there will be things that you disagree on.
Having the occasional fight does not mean your relationship is a failure; in fact, it indicates the opposite. But how often is too often when it comes to fighting for a relationship to still be considered healthy? Fear not, for I am here to answer some of your most asked questions regarding fighting in a relationship.
Common Reasons that Couples Fight
Many times, couples gravitate toward a few cyclical arguments throughout their relationship. Arguing about these topics is, in fact, quite normal. Of course, if a common fight you and your partner have is not listed below, do not worry. Every couple is different. This list is not exhaustive; it is simply meant as reassurance.
- Difficulty with finances: Money, or lack thereof, is an incredibly common topic of arguments in couples. One of you may feel as if the other is spending too much, or you may disagree on what to spend money on—the list goes on.
- Difference of opinions on raising children: You and your partner may have very different opinions when it comes to raising children. If your discipline styles do not match up, it could lead to arguments.
- Household responsibilities: No one wants chores to be one-sided—plain and simple.
- Lack of communication: Communication is the absolute key when it comes to every relationship. If communication is lacking, this will certainly lead to more fighting.
How Often is Too Often?
The hard truth is that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how often couples should fight. This comes down to how you define a fight. Some couples have heated debates as often as once a day, and it is completely normal for them. Others try to limit hard discussions to once a month. I highly suggest avoiding looking toward other couples to evaluate how often you should fight and instead look at your own partnership.
Do you feel happy and satisfied most of the time? Or do you feel as if you are harboring feelings of resentment and anger? If the latter is true, perhaps you need to work on your confrontation skills. You should not carry around negative emotions and wait for them to blow up, so to speak.
Sometimes, Fighting can be Healthy
If you and your partner are both coming from a place of love and mutual respect, fighting can be an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether you avoid confrontation, fully embrace arguments, or lie somewhere between the two, fighting is a form of conflict resolution. Just ensure you are fighting the right way. This can be done by doing the following.
- Communicate effectively: Be sure you are saying exactly what you mean and how you mean it. Again, communication is key.
- Pinpoint what the root cause of the issue is: Take some time to look at the main issue and see what the root cause is. For example, if you are arguing over parenting techniques, the root cause might be a concern that your partner does not respect your opinion.
- Identify solutions: After you have identified the root cause, you can now go on to identify potential solutions. Think of ways you can implement ways to respect each other’s wishes to avoid having the same argument in the future.
If you are concerned by the amount you and your partner are fighting or if you would simply like someone to settle a long-held argument, couples counseling is always a viable option. I specialize in working through issues with couples and am happy to help you and your partner strengthen your bond. Call to schedule an appointment today.