The Montfort Group

Why Arguing Can Help Relationships

What does the perfect relationship look like? Is it a couple who always sees eye-to-eye on everything and never gets into fights?

Surprisingly, a survey from India found that 44% of couples believe weekly arguments help foster communication. A different study conducted over 14 years found that couples who disagreed peacefully were less likely to break up. These researchers predicted divorce with 93% accuracy.

Arguing might not be ideal, but bottling up your emotions is worse. The latter is unhealthy as it can cause stress and pain. That doesn’t mean that you should argue with your significant other all the time. Partners who insult each other, mock, or guilt-trip aren’t healthy either.

Envision all the minor disappointments in your relationship, such as a dish that remains unwashed or an errand overlooked. Those minor irritations may build up with time, the uncertainties wearing down your joy throughout the years. Eventually, the attrition has you prepared to detonate and vent about everything annoying you.

Arguing the Correct Way

If every couple argues, why are some successful and others not? It all comes down to the way they disagree. You and your partner must learn to argue healthily without insults, put-downs, or negativity.

Remember that you two seek to have a future together. Think about how your words now will impact your relationship years down the line. Do you want to hold on to your resentment or desire for revenge? Probably not.

Being Truthful

Would you rather be with someone who tells you what they think or what you want to hear? Do you want to spend your life with someone who never tells you how they honestly feel? Sure, it feels great to have someone validate your opinions. However, this isn’t a good strategy for a long-term relationship.

It never helps to equivocate or keep secrets. You should be comfortable expressing your feelings to your partner. Hiding your thoughts and emotions won’t end well for either party.

If you are annoyed when your partner is late for a date or doesn’t call when they said they would, then you should let them know. Of course, be kind and respectful. Avoid blaming. Just let them know how you felt without being mean.

Staying Grounded in Reality

In the beginning, every relationship seems like a dream. You might be on Cloud 9, confident that your future will be idyllic. However, your first argument with your partner might be a wake-up call. You may think this single incident has scarred your relationship permanently, and your perfect vision has just been shattered.

All this means is that it’s time for you to start viewing things realistically. Every couple argues, so no matter how perfect they seem, avoiding all disagreements is impossible. Don’t think your relationship is immune from conflict. Just embrace it and accept having disagreements as a natural part of growth.

Learn Better Communication Skills

What’s the most common reason for divorce? When YourTango surveyed 100 mental health specialists, they found the answer was lousy communication, followed by the lack of conflict resolution. The study also discovered that men often felt underappreciated or that their partner complained too much. Many of the women reported that their partners didn’t validate their feelings or spent too much time talking about themselves.

Couples need to take the time to practice active listening. Be honest and open, and focus on what your partner is saying. Don’t interrupt them or make assumptions about how they feel. These techniques will help differentiate between couples who stay together and those who break up.

Conclusion

Couples who argue constructively want to secure a better future together. They work together to try and solve a common problem, with neither party aiming for the satisfaction of being right.

Arguing might not always be pretty; in fact, it can get quite ugly. Successful couples, however, see this as nothing more than a bump in the road to happiness. Yeah, the first argument (or any of them for that matter) might sting slightly or feel like a significant setback. Instead, remember to learn to embrace conflict and roll with the emotional punches. Just make sure to do it in a healthy, constructive way.

Picture of Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S

Cory Montfort, MS, LPC-S

I completed my Masters of Science in Counseling from Southern Methodist University where I specialized in working with individuals, couples, and families. I have extensive experience working within the mental health community facilitating groups, conducting assessments, counseling individuals, and performing crisis intervention. I hold an active License in Professional Counseling and am also a board-approved Counselor Supervisor for the state of Texas.

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