Have you ever been in an argument with your partner, and realized that what started out as a small disagreement escalated into a full-blown fight? I've definitely been there, and in my experience, it was really scary. I can't pinpoint when it went from a small spat to a relationship-ending blowup, but I do know that when things get that heated and ugly, these fights can be hard to come back from. Bad arguments with your partner should ideally be few and far between, but when they are recurring events in your relationship, knowing how to tell if fights are normal or toxic is important for both your health and happiness, as well as that of the relationship itself.
According to Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples' therapist in Los Angeles, occasional disagreements with your partner are to be expected. "We really need to understand that, even in the very best of relationships, there are going to be disagreements. Hopefully they never rise above the level of an argument, as opposed to all-out fights that can become toxic," he tells Elite Daily. The difference between a disagreement and a fight, he says, has a lot to do with the end goal. "When arguing, both partners are engaging in a debate and the end goal is to find a way for both of you to be heard, understood, and to seek to learn," says Dr. Brown.
In fact, Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of Training Your Love Intuition, tells Elite Daily that having disagreements can be a healthy part of your relationship. "The relationships that work best are when you and your partner bring complementary styles so you can become a richer team. You learn from each other. As you can see, these important differences also can create heated discussions and disagreements. Usually, loving and mature couples can manage the discord without getting dangerous," she says.
The question is, how can you tell the difference between what is a normal fight, and one that is toxic? The experts say this is what to pay attention for.