We know that arguments and little tiffs are normal and common in long-term relationships. It’s bound to happen, especially if you spend 24/7 together. It doesn’t have to be a major problem, but it can be if you don’t do it intelligently and with respect. So, how often do couples fight in a healthy relationship?
What are the most common things couples fight about?
Money Whether it’s because you disagree on how to spend your money or you’re stressed about debt, this is a big one. Couples with a healthy relationship with money and each other are on the same page when it comes to finances. They know how to budget. They work to pay down debts. Without a common approach to cash, there are bound to be problems.
Sex If one person wants it more than the other, there’s going to be discord. The same goes for if you want to try different things and your partner doesn’t. Intimacy can suffer in a relationship for a number of reasons, and it can become such an issue that it divides an otherwise happy couple.
Romance When you first start dating someone, the romance is likely in high supply. However, later in the relationship, couples often start to fight about a lack of this very thing. Gone are the candlelit dinners, the flowers for no reason, and the passionate weekends away. Instead, you get caught up in the hecticness of everyday life and romance falls by the wayside.
Jealousy This is an issue in a lot of relationships, sadly. While a small amount of jealousy can be healthy, some people do take it too far. If you or your partner can’t talk to someone else without the other person freaking out or starting a fight, that’s a serious problem.
Household chores and responsibilities If one person isn’t pulling their weight, not only is that unfair, but it’s bound to cause arguments. All of the responsibilities — keeping the house clean, making appointments, looking after kids (if any) — should never fall on just one person. Relationships should be as close to 50/50 as possible.
Kids If you have them, chances are you’ll bump heads on how to raise them from time to time. If you don’t have them, you might fight about whether or not you want them. It’s exhausting.
In-laws Do you get along with one another’s families? If not, there’s bound to be some drama. This can cause a lot of tension and upset.
How often do couples fight in a healthy relationship?
The truth is that there’s no one right answer to this question. It varies wildly for every couple, with some couples rarely at odds while others bicker more often. There’s nothing to say that fighting twice a month is too much or that once a week is a breaking point. Your arguments and their frequency should be put into context by considering other elements of your relationship. If the overall vibe is healthy and constructive, you can assume you’re in the clear.
A good litmus, however, is considering how much of your relationship is filled with discord. If you’re spending more time at odds than you are in harmony, chances are you’re in a toxic situation. The issues should be ironed out ASAP before they destroy your overall relationship.
How to fight positively
Don’t shout over each other. This is hard to do, but it’s necessary. In a healthy relationship, couples know that emotions can often become overwhelming during a fight, but they don’t have to rule your behavior. Try not to raise your voice or shout over your partner. Give them time to speak and truly listen to what they have to say.
Respect one another’s opinions even if you don’t agree with them. You’re fighting because you don’t agree on something, clearly. However, that doesn’t give you the right to be condescending or belittle your partner’s feelings, thoughts, or opinions. Agree to disagree.
Stay on topic. Don’t bring up something that happened two weeks ago or two months ago. Instead, stay on topic. What are you arguing about? That should be the only thing you’re discussing right now. Piling other, nonrelated issues on top is unfair and unproductive.
Avoid placing blame or using generalizations. While your partner might have genuinely done something wrong in your eyes, becoming accusatory won’t help. Avoid saying things like “This is all your fault!” or “This is what you always do.” Communicate how you feel about the issue at hand clearly and give them time to respond. Also, be willing to reflect on your own behavior and how that may have played a part.
Take a break if things get too heated. If you both find yourselves getting too angry or het up to continue the argument, take a break. You’re better off stepping away and resuming the conversation in a calmer state than staying and saying things you’ll end up regretting.
Don’t be too proud to apologize. If you’ve done something wrong, own it. Say you’re sorry and mean it. No one should be too prideful fo give a heartfelt apology.
What are the signs your fights are becoming toxic?
They happen way too often and are about the same things. How often couples fight in a healthy relationship varies. Still, if you’re fighting about the exact same things every time, there’s a problem. You can’t keep going around in circles about the same issues. Solve them before they snowball.
You never come to a proper resolution. Your fights never end because you’ve worked through them. Instead, one of you always walks away, or you just go to bed angry. Productive arguments are ones in which you come to a resolution at the end of them. If this isn’t happening, you need to reevaluate your approach.
You feel guilty for things you said or did after the fight is over. You shouldn’t get so heated during a fight that you say awful things to your partner that you end up regretting later. If this is happening, it’s going to destroy your relationship.
You threaten each other or use offensive or aggressive language. No explanation is necessary for why this is not okay.