Healthy Arguments Couples Have During A Relationship
Jan 13, 2021 by apost team
Everybody who has ever been in a relationship knows that sooner or later, an argument will happen. This is not something terrible or avoidable. It just comes with the territory. A relationship is made up of at least two people, who have different life experiences, opinions, likes and dislikes.
But when arguments seem to occur more frequently, or we are unsure whether what we're arguing about is really worth the fight, worry slips in. A lot of arguments are completely natural and understandable, though. Here are some of the most common and normal reasons why couples fight and some tips on making sure your argument doesn't escalate beyond healthy.
Many people have an ideal idea of a healthy relationship in their head: a wonderful, harmonious union with another person, where fights and arguments never happen. This ideal simply doesn't exist in real life. All humans have two things in common: they all make mistakes, and they are all individuals. When two humans are in a relationship with each other, mistakes will be made sooner or later, and individual hobbies or wishes will interfere with each other. Then, the fights will start.
In a healthy relationship, renowned clinical psychologists like Dr. Ramani Durvasula say, arguments are actually good. As she told Glamour back in February 2020:
"When couples fight, it means they care about the relationship. When fighting goes away completely, sometimes one or both people have checked out."
Not having arguments could mean that one of you is no longer as invested in the relationship - and simply doesn't care enough to make their own thoughts and feelings known. This would be a major sign that the relationship is unhealthy or already in its dying phase.
So let's have a look at the most common reasons why a couple fights - and then at some tips on how to continue arguing healthily.
Money is always a problematic subject, but in a relationship, even more so. Many reasons can contribute to arguments about a couple's income and spending: expensive hobbies, worries for the future, a significant difference in income between the two partners. A certain amount of arguments is absolutely normal in healthy relationships. Opinions on the best way to spend or save money can differ, and it's important to talk about this and reach a compromise.
Pet peeves are things a person finds particularly annoying when most people wouldn't expect that. They are not always logical and often very small things: chewing too loudly, not leaving your shoes in the right place, somebody always leaving the body wash cap open. In the grand scheme of things, these peeves aren't noteworthy or even important, but they can add up to a constant low key annoyance that sometimes grows into a full argument in a relationship. To some degree, arguing about such things is normal. Both partners should remember that nobody is trying to annoy the other deliberately - and a little compassion will go a long way.
This is a tricky subject. On the one hand, relationships often have a so-called "honeymoon stage" where everything is new and exciting. Once this stage ends, the romance of a relationship changes. Many people feel that this change lessens the romance, which couldn't be further from the truth. It's just a change from the romance of wooing your partner to the romance of enjoying life with your partner.
For the first, we have handy guidelines and role models all around us in movies, books, and other media: dating tips, expectations on how to behave while getting to know each other, etc. For the second, media offers us fewer examples, and many people only slowly discover what they want their romance to look like in a stable, long-term relationship. In figuring this out and finding your specific long-term romance, arguments are bound to happen.
An important part of a relationship is the time spent together and the time spent apart from each other. Unfortunately, different people prefer different amounts of each. Some partners enjoy spending long amounts of time with their love, while others need regular time alone to decompress. There is no "better" or "more loving" option between these two, but in a relationship between two people with different views of quality time, arguments are bound to happen. The important thing is respecting your partner and finding a compromise that serves both. If small arguments keep happening, this is no reason to worry about your relationship.
There are certain things we need to do to keep our home tidy and clean. And let's be honest - most of us have one or two chores we really, really hate. It's no wonder that even the healthiest of couples end up arguing about who takes out the trash this week or whose turn it is to do the laundry. Small arguments about chores are normal and can be influenced by a lot of factors: being ill, having a bad day, your neighbors deciding once again to mow the lawn at seven in the morning on the weekend. So long as the arguments stay small and do not fester, they are no reason to worry.
How To Argue Without Escalating
There are certain rules for healthy arguments in relationships. They make sure we don't say something in the heat of the moment we will regret later or cause actual harm and hurt with our words. In a healthy relationship, we do not argue because we want to hurt our partner; we argue because we feel that something is not working right in our relationship, and we want to make it better.
The most important rule for a healthy argument is to think before speaking. Give yourself some time to formulate what you want to say. If you have a certain grievance, try going over it in your head. Try to think about how you can make sure your partner understands what you want to say - and take a second to make sure the issue is really as big as you believe it to be. Ask yourself if this is a big problem - or just a pet peeve?
Try to focus on the actual topic you are arguing about. Rehashing older arguments won't help anybody. It won't help with the current issue, and it won't solve the old one either. Suppose you are so unhappy with a compromise you and your partner reached on a previous argument that you keep revisiting it again and again in your thoughts. In that case, you should probably raise this issue again on its own time and explain why you have a problem with it.
If you continuously return to the same argument, also try and rephrase it differently. It could be the case that your partner simply doesn't understand what your problem is.
Any argument that has evolved into name-calling and personal attacks is no longer healthy. If you are no longer talking about what caused the discussion in the first place but instead attacking your partner directly, the argument is over.
This is the most important rule for any healthy argument: stay respectful and kind. Solving relationship problems is a collaborative effort; you are trying to do something together with your partner. Assigning blame or putting the weight of the problem on one person alone is never the answer.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you a bit. Do you and your partner agree about the things couples commonly argue about? Do you have tips for any couples out there? Please share your thoughts and comments with us!