Fighting is never fun, especially when it’s with someone you love. The inevitability of it, however, is inescapable.
Once a couple has left the honeymoon phase (which will happen -- you are not the exception), there will be moments of tension and friction. It’s how you resolve these moments that determines the longevity of the relationship.
When we see couples arguing, we usually assume the worst. Clearly, they are having problems and problems always lead to breakups. What we fail to perceive, however, is the silent couple in the corner is probably doomed to fail way before them.
According to Deb Dutilh, in an article for The Huffington Post, “Studies show that a lack of communication is the number one reason couples get divorced.” Even if fighting is loud, harsh and sometimes miserable, it’s a sign of communication.
While it may not be your preferred method of conflict resolution, you are moving forward.
A 2012 survey reported in the Star Tribune found that 44 percent of married couples believe fighting more than once a week helps keep the lines of communication open.
William Doherty, a professor in the University of Minnesota's Department of Family Social Science believes “constructive conflict can put a spark in a relationship. Love needs a spark every now and then."
Fighting is a form of communication, and albeit nasty and loud, it shows the couple is trying to work something out. It's a loud, obnoxious way of saying, "I still love you, and I want to make this work."
While it can be hard to see when you're in the midst of harsh words and deep digs, an evening of unspoken words is much worse.
A relationship is only dead once the couple no longer wants to fight to work it out. It’s silence that kills.
It’s a sign you’re both passionate and still involved in the relationship
Indifference is the kiss of death in a relationship. Once you don’t care enough to fight, you don’t care enough to stay. Fighting, however trivial or ridiculous, is the opposite of indifference.
Fighting is an act of war for the greater good of peace. You fight to accomplish something, to come to a resolution.
When a couple still has the passion and resolve to continue a fight, they still have the passion to continue the relationship.
There’s not one dominant force in the relationship
Arguing requires two sides, both determined to gain ground on their own.
This is a good sign because it means there are two equals in the relationship, two opposing forces who believe they deserve to win. While they may say things they regret and hurt each other, at least they're both consenting to the fight.
When a couple doesn't fight, it's usually because one person is more dominant and doesn't give the weaker one the opportunity to oppose him or her.
He's like an unruly tyrant who doesn't believe in the power or the voice of his opponent. He refuses to put up a fight because he doesn't see his partner as a worthy enough threat.
You have differences, which means you have interests
To fight for something means to believe in something. If a couple has nothing to fight for, then they both have nothing they stand for.
Doherty believes arguing "helps couples recalibrate by addressing the things that are important to them. I see a lot of couples bury these things under the rug -- and that rug ends up getting really lumpy."
The fights are what help couples decide what’s most important to them and what they will give up. It’s a way to figure out priorities and set boundaries with one another.
How can you ever know what’s important to your partner if you’ve never seen him or her fight for it?
It leads to a different way of thinking
Fighting may seem childish and arbitrary, but it’s effective. Only when you’ve said things you didn't mean and experienced the wrath of your partner can you understand another side of him or her.
Sometimes it takes a few serious words to understand the seriousness of the situation.
Once you’ve heard his or her point of you from an elevated, emotional stance, you can see it the way he or she has been asking you to. Sometimes the only way to clear the air is to shed some tears.
The reconciliation is always worth more than the fight
Fighting, like war, should always end in peace.
For many couples, that peace comes in the form of mind-blowing sex. It’s the reconciliation after the fight that leads to new levels in the relationship.
Every fight fought is a stepping-stone toward more solid ground. Every battle lost and won is another layer of depth added to the relationship.
It’s only when a couple argues out those moments of tension and frustration can they advance to the next level.