5 Reasons Why Healthy Fighting in Relationships can be a Good Thing
Healthy fighting in relationships can be part of having a successful relationship. Lots of couples think that fighting is a sign of a major issues. But in reality, having disagreements and being able to repair them is healthy and can create resilience in your relationship. It can also keep you engaged by resolving whatever is bothering you both and making you feel disconnected.
It sounds counterintuitive, but when both partners are able to communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully during arguments, it can lead to a stronger bond.
1. It’s better than avoiding conflict and disconnecting
Some couples have a lot of anxiety about expressing conflictual issues because they’re usually scared of disconnection. Ironically, avoiding conflict creates more long-term lack of connection and intimacy. Sure, expressing uncomfortable issues is usually not fun, but it actually communicates that you care and are committed to trying to work things out. As uncomfortable as it can be in the moment, there is actually a healthy way to do it – and it can bring you closer.
2. It can help you solve problems.
If you can hang into an argument and give each-other time to become vulnerable and listen, you will get to know your partner better and with time be able to resolve conflicts faster. No normal couple agrees on everything all the time – it’s human to be different and disagree about things. All couples have disagreements, but healthy couples know how to keep their disagreements civil so that they don’t become too heated. Even if the outcome of the argument isn’t a solution both parties agree on, it’s still important to listen to the other person’s point of view so that you can gain insight into how they might be feeling. Usually through taking a breath and making the effort to listen, even when it’s hard, you can build trust and and more connection. This ultimately leads to more successful problem solving because both parties come to the table prepared to actually address the problem instead of just trying to “win” the fight. Ultimately, arguments and disagreements can lead to a deeper sense of attachment and understanding between couples. While it’s important to know how to disagree without escalating the situation, it’s also essential to learn how to fight in a way that is productive and doesn’t leave either partner feeling unheard or disrespected. Through understanding how to compromise and negotiate solutions together, couples can learn how to strengthen their relationship and create deepening connection.
3. It is a type of engagement.
You are engaging, not shutting down. This is an important sign of staying connected as a couple and not withdrawing, stonewalling, or shutting down. When couples argue it can be a great sign that you’re still in it and working on your relationship. No, not every conversation needs to be a fight, but if you’re willing to work through tough issues, even if it involves raising your voice a bit, then it’s a sign that you care and are committed to the relationship. So don’t shy away from getting in the ring with your partner – sometimes even if it doesn’t seem that way, it can show them how much you care.
4. It can make you feel closer and more bonded with time.
When you fight and resolve things, repairing any hurts, you become closer to your partner because you were vulnerable and tolerant of your own and your partner’s mistakes. With time, that creates increased bonding, deep understanding, and empathy for one-another. A surplus of attachment is important in a relationship, because it creates a savings account of emotional safety, and allows couples to express emotions without fear of loss or irreparable disconnection. Healthy fighting allows couples to keep their closeness alive by speaking out about how they feel in a respectful manner. Couples therapy can help because you have a trained therapist helping you to communicate in a safe way while creating the traction and bonding to be able to disagree effectively. It can also help you learn healthy ways to manage conflict and disagreements so you can come up with compromises instead of just focusing on who’s right or wrong. Healthy fighting can be beneficial as it helps couples bond through vulnerability, communication, and problem-solving.
5. It can help you make mistakes and then repair.
When you make a mistake or say something you regret or react in anger, you have the chance to express that regret or apology by first getting with how that must have felt for your partner, letting them know you understand, and then expressing an apology. This creates resilience and increased strength and connection in the relationship. Plus, if you can take a little healthy fighting, you can actually learn how to have closer relationships with other people, too. If you can learn to fight fairly with your partner, you can apply those same skills to other relationships in your life, like your family and friends. This helps you have stronger, healthier relationships with the most important people in your life.