Can fighting in a relationship be healthy? A certain amount of conflict is natural and to be expected. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship we have with a person, conflict will occur at some point. This will also be true for our romantic partners. So if fights occur naturally, why do we worry about it in our relationships?
When we have a close, romantic relationship with someone, we can have more intense reactions to conflict with them. It makes the fights more intense. It can also make us question our relationships and whether or not our partner is the right person for us. So how can we tell good fights from bad ones? Too much fighting over not enough?
What Causes Fights and Why Do They Get So Heated?
How often we fight with our partner will range on a variety of factors. It can be influenced by things like the temperament of each person or how their life beliefs and experiences compare to each other. Everyone is influenced by their history and past relationships. All of this comes together to form a complex picture of how each person reacts in a relationship. As our relationships develop, we can fall into certain patterns with our partners. Sometimes these patterns can cause tension and conflict for us.
Fighting with our partner can feel much more intense than fights we have with anyone else because of our sense of vulnerability. Most of us feel closer to our romantic partners than anyone else. With this sense of closeness and intimacy comes a feeling of vulnerability. They know more about us than others. Our partners also have the ability to hurt our feelings in ways that others usually can’t.
Is Conflict Always Bad?
Many people feel that fighting is a sign that the relationship may be in trouble. Fighting is seen as inherently bad. Too much conflict can place the couple under a higher level of stress compared to couples that quarrel less often. When fights get really heated, people can say some pretty hurtful things. Some of those things can be hard to come back from. If we hear something from our partner that is hurtful or damaging to our trust in them, it can change the relationship forever.
Conflict isn’t always a bad sign though. A couple who never quarrel may just be sweeping issues under the rug. This can be equally damaging to a relationship. Resentment can build to emerge in a much larger fight over something the couple could have easily moved passed with proper communication. It’s important for people to address problems that arise in their relationships. Working those issues out is how we can build stronger relationships with our partners.
Conflict gives us the chance to air our feelings instead of keeping them bottled up. It gives us a chance to voice our concerns and let our partners know about our unmet needs. Fights give us the chance to work towards compromises that can make things better for us.
Fighting in a Relationship is About Quality, Not Quantity
How often a couple fight isn’t a reliable gauge of whether a relationship will be successful. What makes a difference is how those fights happen and how they are resolved. The way we engage with our partner in a fight is much more significant than how often it happens.
Fighting can be destructive if the problem fueling the fight never gets resolved. Couples need a way to work through the issue. If a compromise is never reached, or the primary reason for the conflict is never addressed, then the fight will just continue. As more time passes, resentment over the unresolved issue will grow and cause more conflict. This is what usually causes the end to most relationships. People can no longer tolerate the problem that continues to persist in the relationship.
Learn to Up Your Relationship Game
Relationships are not always the easiest things to navigate. We can hit a lot of bumps along the way trying to connect with our partners. Continuing to learn about relationships, communication, and conflict can help you avoid pitfalls. Join our mailing list for more great information and tips on how to increase the intimacy and strength of your relationship.