Fighting isn’t really a bad thing—every couple fights—if it’s done the right way.
People that are passive by nature and those who don’t feel comfortable confronting their partners, have a tendency to avoid conflicts. But just because you’re not arguing openly, it doesn’t mean you’re not angry.
Arguments are necessary to find common grounds and reach a solution that the both of you can agree on.
With that being said, there is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy fighting. Unhealthy fighting adds to resentment that may have already been building up. Continuous fighting will create a wedge between the couple and cause them to distant with time.
Here are some key differences between healthy and unhealthy fighting:
Unhealthy – Picking A Fight Over Things That Don’t Matter
Fighting unnecessarily brings needless negativity into the relationship.
There’s no need to bring up incidents from before the two of you were in a relationship – it’s in the past, it can’t be change and if it was before you were together, you have no right to be upset about it.
When you move in together, you’ll find yourself getting frustrated with the little things they do.
Is there a need to pick a fight over the wet towel on the floor when you can just do it yourself? Fighting requires much more energy and no one wants get into a heated argument first thing in the morning and that too over a towel.
Take a deep breath to calm your nerves and pick up the towel yourself. A wet towel isn’t worth an argument.
There will be plenty of things about your partner that will anger you but you’ll have to let them go; with time you’ll learn to live together without feeling the need to fight.
Healthy – Actively Listening
Unless there is active listening involved during a fight, it’s not going to be productive. For the both of you to come to an effective solution to resolve the conflict, both sides need to actively listen to each other.
It’s important to have positive interactions even when you’re not seeing eye-to-eye; you need to try and understand your partner’s perspective.
Unhealthy – Immature Fights
If your fights seem to drag from one thing to another, you’re likely being immature. One of the key distinctions between healthy and unhealthy fighting is that in healthy arguments, you stick to the point.
No they aren’t calling you a bad person when they point out your bad attitude towards certain things; there’s no reason to pack your bags and walk out. They are simply calling you out for behaviors that you should change – it is for your own benefit.
Healthy – Discussing Hurt Feelings
Your partner isn’t a mind reader; they may not be aware that how they’re hurting your feelings unintentionally.
Do you not like it when they bring up their ex? Let them know how you feel so they can change their behavior accordingly.
Unhealthy – The Blame Game
Blaming each other doesn’t help you reach a solution. By focusing on each other’s fault you end up making things worse.
Keep the end goal in mind. You want to a positive resolution out of this argument and finger-pointing isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Healthy – It Ends With A Plan
You should strive to reach a solution that satisfies the both of you. Be honest about what you want. Not talking and instead, fighting at the first chance wouldn’t solve any problems. Focus on deriving a solution that makes both of you happy.
If your fights end with a plan on how to make things better, you’re doing it right!
Are you and your partner struggling to get past disagreements? Let a professional help you out! Relationship counseling can improve communication between both partners and enhance conflict resolution.
David Myers is a seasoned psychotherapist, psychodynamic therapist and relationship counselor based in Birmingham, Alabama. Call (205) 251-8808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment with Myers.