When Fighting Becomes Unhealthy

One of the most common myths about marriage/cohabitation is that fighting is not a healthy thing. Actually, it is quite on the contrary.

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Fighting is a sign of emotional investment and if done properly, it enriches a couple’s understanding and respect for one another. Fighting can make a couple stronger and united, but only if both sides see arguing as an opportunity for growing as a team, not an opportunity to hurt one another.

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It Is Normal to Have Different Viewpoints

As was mentioned in the previous article, it is completely normal for every couple to have a point of disagreement – a topic that you and your partner argue about throughout your relationship. That is not something to be worried about, as long as you and your partner can agree to disagree and respect each other’s points of view.

The Right Way to Fight

When it comes to fighting in a couple, there is the right the way to do it, resulting in personal and interpersonal growth. There is also the wrong way to fight – resulting in drifting apart and running on the path towards divorce. So, how can you tell if your fighting is helping you or going nowhere?

When is Fighting a Sign of An Unhealthy Relationship?

You’ve Crossed Important Lines

When there’s no respect and important boundaries have been crossed, fighting is nothing but two people screaming at each other, rather than making an attempt to understand one another’s points of view and reach a compromise. There are some things that you can’t take back, once you’ve said them.

You Start Fights Abruptly

Once a fight emerges, if you and your spouse/cohabitee lose your tempers, there’s no ground for understanding. Inevitably, your fights will be resumed to two people screaming, each furiously trying to defend their point of view, instead of listening.

You Have Nothing but Criticism to Offer

Criticism is a bad thing to bring to a fight. When criticized, it is normal for a person to try and defend their point of view, rather than listen to what you say. Therefore, criticising will only force your partner to take on a defensive approach.

You Despise Your Partner

Again, respect is key here. If you don’t feel like your partner has anything valuable or an input to offer, you’re no longer listening. And if your spouse doesn’t feel respected, they’ll see no point in carrying on a discussion with you.

You Are Defensive

If you’re feeling attacked or as if you’re always right, you’ll have the need to defend yourself. However, your spouse is not your enemy or your opponent, he/she is your team mate.

You'd Rather Build a Wall of Silence

During an argument, it is always a good idea to respect your partner and avoid saying things just to hurt them. Still, it is also important not to leave things unsaid. Your point of view is valuable for your partner and besides, remember that an argument is always composed of two people – both need to participate in it, to have a positive outcome.

Bad Memories

When a relationship wears out over time, what once were good memories, gain a hue of negativity. If you’re no longer able to remember the positive, or twist your positive experiences together into negative memories, there is no ground for understanding.

Failing to Reconcile

After a fight, when things have cooled off, it is important to make amends with your partner. But if they can’t accept it, then you won’t be able to overcome this obstacle in your relationship and the topic that lead to the fight will still linger between the two of you. Failing to reconcile will likely lead to a dark and heavy mood, as well as recurrent fights.  

Full reference: 

, (Jan 4, 2016). When Fighting Becomes Unhealthy. Retrieved Aug 14, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/when-fighting-becomes-unhealthy

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