The Five Fights Spouses Should Be Having
I never believe those couples who say they don’t fight. Well, that’s not true. I believe them. I just doubt that they have a fantastic relationship.
Fighting (or arguing or disagreeing) is a huge part of what keeps me hot for the hubs after what sometimes feels like a million (OK, 10) years together.
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Many studies have proven that fighting, in general, is better for relationships than letting anger fester. Of course, not all fights are built the same. Keeping anger inside is not healthy, but neither is exploding all over the place with no clear sense of direction.
Marriage is not easy. It basically involves two people with two different sets of emotions and ideas about the way things should be. Add in some kids, joint bank accounts, cars, a mortgage, and a sex life and there are lot of places to disagree. It’s OK (good, in fact) to do it. Here are the five fights you should be having:
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- The “your turn, now my turn” fight: You each bring your grievances on one issue to the table. He gets a turn to speak, she gets a turn to speak. There are no interruptions. Pass the baton, if you must. But each person in the relationship must feel like they’ve had equal time to present their point of view.
- The “I feel sad when you …” fight: Any marriage counselor will say that approaching a fight with accusatory language will only make it worse. Do not say how the person makes you feel or what they’re doing wrong. Instead focus on how you feel and how the behavior feels to you.
- The “let’s ONLY talk about the dishes” fight: Many couples have a bad habit of getting into a fight about the dishes and letting that escalate into a fight about the way your mother-in-law acts every time you go to visit her and how she never serves your family on the good china. Don’t let it. Keep the fight confined and resolve the individual issue. Talk about the mother-in-law later.
- The “I love you more than anything, but this need to be on the table” fight: Do not make your spouse feel less loved because you’re fighting. Curse, yell, stomp, and scream if you must, but don’t threaten “divorce” or say things like “I hate you.”
- The “let’s each take a little break” fight: If, after an hour, the fighting is only escalating, take a break. Come back to it later.