Arguments are good for you, if they’re controlled.
The start of every relationship is truly beautiful, filled with carefree passion, butterflies in your stomach, and an excitement that feels unreal. Everything stays absolutely beautiful and problem free during the start.
You agree with everything your partner says and you’re more than ready to compromise. But as you two start to move past this honeymoon period, and the realities of life start to settle in, you begin to display your opinions, differences and the intricate details of your personalities. This is the time when you experience the first fluctuation in your harmonious life together.
This is where your relationship actually gets tested. If you’re both mature enough to have healthy and productive arguments at this point, then this is where you actually start to learn from each other.
Arguing is one of the most essential forms of communication. It helps you show your individuality and unique perspective about things. And it gives you the ability to teach each other something new, something you’ve never thought about before. So if you’re having a lot of arguments lately, it isn’t necessarily the sign of a problem in your relationship. Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, explains how you need to build a few skills to argue productively. Here are his five suggestions:
Don’t insist on being right
As soon as you feel the anger rising, speak up
Stick to the topic under discussion
Stop yourself from saying something that you’ll regret later
WHY COUPLES WHO ARGUE LOVE EACH OTHER MORE
The number of arguments you have with your partner doesn’t determine whether your relationship is suffering. The only thing that an argument indicates for sure is the fact that you both are two different individuals with unique opinions and ideas. And if you can bring these opinions and ideas to the table and discuss them in a healthy manner, then your relationship is stronger than most. Couples who don’t argue are sometimes extremely withdrawn and filled with tension, because neither of them is willing to share their true thoughts and risk hurting the other.
So they bottle it all up inside. And this lack of arguments can also be seen as a lack of engagement and commitment to the relationship. It might even be a lack of trust. If you feel like your relationship is completely argument- free, then you need to ask yourself these questions:
How committed do you think you’ll stay if you can’t express your true ideas to your partner? Are you scared that you’ll step over certain boundaries? Can you really be your true and authentic self in this relationship? Do you feel scared of speaking your actual opinions?
Dr. Stephanie Sarkis has explained how a happy and healthy relationship requires seven main ingredients, and arguing is definitely one of them. She adds on to this, “I’ve never seen a healthy couple that doesn’t argue. They never fight, however – they argue.
If a couple comes into my office and tells me they’ve never argued, something isn’t quite right. You can argue without fighting. Arguing is non-combative – you and your partner state your points of view without name-calling or raising your voice. Sometimes you agree to disagree – and that’s okay. Figure out what your ‘non-negotiables’ are – the things that you will not budge on. Now rethink that list. I like the saying, You can either be right, or married.”
You will always face a number of conflicts and challenges in your relationship. Because once the initial stages of passion and excitement start changing into longevity and stability, you and your partner will begin to fall back into your own territories again. You both want to be heard. You both want to feel understood.
You both want to follow your individual passions. And you both want to be acknowledged for who you truly are. Couples who argue a lot are actually expressing this desire to be heard. And when this is done constructively, it doesn’t end up in a fight. It’s just a form of expressing your needs. And happy couples do make the effort to hear each other out.
There is a very thin line between fighting angrily and expressing your true thoughts and opinions in a relationship. So you need to pick your battles. You need to understand what things are important enough to argue on and what things you need to let go of. Elizabeth Gilbert, motivational speaker and author, explains this best:
“You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.”
Staying quiet is not always the most healthy way to build trust in a relationship. And staying submissive is not an act of valor. It is actually an act of vowing down in order to please another person while feeling like a martyr at the end. Therefore, it is possible to develop a loving and trusting relationship when you argue without getting angry.
Couples who argue a lot have the tendency to be very passionate. Quite a lot of couples look forward to the make-up sex that follows an intense and heated argument. Relationship expert, Dr. Pam Spurr agrees with this, stating,
“The way in which you argue signals so much about a relationship. The wise couple acknowledges this and keeps an eye on how they treat each other over disagreements. Subconsciously, bickering demonstrates you care about each other even if while bickering you feel annoyed towards your partner. For instance, it shows that you do want your partner to drink less and look after their health. Or you do want them to be on time so that neither of you are stressed out when you have places to be and things to do, etc.”
Mutual compromise, respect, compassion, trust, and love are the most essential factors that make up a healthy relationship. Similar to everything else in life, relationships are also about moderation. No one wants to insult or disrespect their loved ones.
And it’s always possible to state your point in a respectable manner, one that both partners can hear and understand. If you stay sincere and authentic in your relationship, you can always share the things you truly believe in. It all depends on the way you present your discussion.