How to Fight and Stay Together

When you’re in a long-term relationship, fighting with your partner is inevitable. Whether it’s a small one about laundry or big, reoccurring one about money, every couple fights.

relationship difficulties: young couple having a fightBut there are healthy ways to argue with your partner that may actually lead to stronger bonds. Then, there are also unhealthy ways to argue that will damage the relationship and may lead to the end.

After all is said and done after a fight with your partner, it’s hard to not think about the words you should’ve said, or worse, the words you shouldn’t have said. But what makes some couples survive after blowout arguments and some break up? A new study found, the key to fighting with your partner is not in what you said or should not have said, but how you approach the conflict.

In a 14-year study of 79 married couples from the Midwest, John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute and University of California, Berkeley psychologist, Robert Levensen explored the predictability of divorce in early and later marriages. While 21 couples ended up divorcing over the course of their study, Gottman and Levensen noticed some key behaviors among couples who fought but managed to stay together in the end. Here’s what they found:

They Tackled Their Problems Immediately

Couples who ended up splitting took a lot longer to address arguments than couples who stayed together. In fact, those who separated let their partners “stew” for hours or days post-fight, while those who stayed together addressed their conflict immediately. As Gotten told Business Insider, think of it like you and your partner are in a boat. The emotions and feelings from your fight represent the sea. While a small argument “stirs the waters a bit and gets the boat rocking,” quickly stabilizing the boat via an open discussion can easily bring you back to smooth sailing. Furthermore, stalling can only strengthen the waves, thus causing bigger problems.
This actually keeps in line with a study published last year in the Journal of Counseling Psychology. In a study of 145 couples who received conflict management training, those who immediately addressed their conflict felt happier in their relationships in the long run than those who didn’t receive any sort of training.

They Allowed Each Other To Be Heard

Young woman crying while husband soothing her.Among those couples who got divorced, it was found that frequently cutting each other off during arguments were a common occurrence. In many cases, partners would throw out unhelpful or insensitive comments, which only served to make matters worse. Couples who were identified as “strong” on the other hand, approached the situation with an open mind. Most importantly, they took responsibility for their actions and listened to their partners.

n a 16-year study of 373 married couples published in 2010 in the Journal of Marriage and Family, it was found that when both partners “engaged positively during an argument” they were less likely to divorce than couples who didn’t have positive engagement or only had one partner put in any effort.

Generally, fights can be hard on a couple. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do what you can to minimize damage. If you want to successfully come out of a fight stronger than ever, do what the couples in the study did. Tackle your problems immediately, keep an open mind, and make sure to listen to what they have to say. Don’t try to make yourself the “winner.” Because, let’s face it, when you’re fighting with your partner, there are no winners.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Don’t Want to Fight? Tips from Couples Who Don’t

I sometimes like to think of these people as lucky, but really they’re just smart. They approach their relationship the right way, and because of it are extremely happy.

Likely you know at least one couple that you sometimes look at and think, “How are they so happy together all the time? Do they know a secret that I don’t?” Chances are, they might. It’s quite possible that very couple practices some habits of couples who never fight, and therefore are as happy as could be with each other. If you’re in a relationship where fighting happens every day, take a breeze through this article and check out the helpful hints as to why some couples never fight. It could end up changing the way you approach your relationship, especially if your partner is on board with making a few changes as well.

Let’s be honest — it’s doubtful there has ever in the creation of time been a long-term couple who hasn’t gotten into at least a teeny disagreement. It’s just impractical to think partners will see eye-to-eye on everything all the time. However, there are the blessed individuals who are in a relationship where varying views on things are discussed rationally, rather than through arguments. I sometimes like to think of these people as lucky, but really they’re just smart. They approach their relationship the right way, and because of it are extremely happy. They might be making us all jealous, but perhaps we can emulate what they’re doing and get to that happy place ourselves, too.

For those who want to increase that happiness in their relationships, here are six habits of couples who never fight for you and your partner to try on for size.

1. They Prioritize Each Other

Of course, having career goals and aspirations is incredibly important; however, happy couples know that they also need to make their partner something of importance in their life as well, according to Relevant Magazine.The outlet said that happy couples know that even when they’re stretched for time, the one area they won’t cut back on is spending time with their partner. As with many things in life, relationships require the right kind of nurturing.

2. They Compliment Each Other

You know what the couples who aren’t fighting are spending their words on? Compliments. First off, anyone knows getting a compliment from anyone makes you feel good (and is a mega-ego booster), but when it comes from your partner it can feel even better. According to, telling your partner how amazing they are is a bona fide way to keep you happy — and avoid unnecessary fighting. According to the article by social worker Marcia Naomi Berger, “compliments set a positive tone for collaborative discussion.” Also, it helps encourage each partner to do nice things for each other, another major bonus.

3. They Practice Forgiveness Regularly

The motto here is forgive and forget, according to Real Simple. The outlet cited forgiveness as one of the main things practiced by happy couples. It makes sense — the more you hold on to anger the more it seems to boil up, which would lead to a potentially explosive fight. Forgiving quickly and moving on seems much better all around.

4. They’re Touchy-Feely

It’s been said time and time again that couples who show affection are the happiest. According to Psychology Today, happy couples prioritize emotional and physical intimacy — even things as simple as holding hands or hugging. Happy couples, the outlet said, are the ones who often express affection in gestures (and in words, too, like the compliments we discussed).

5. They Make Sex A Regular Thing

You know when people say, “Sex isn’t everything”? Well, they are semi-correct in that it’s not everything, but it surely is important in terms of happiness. According to an analysis reported on by Reader’s Digest, 60 percent of extremely happy couples have sex three or four times a week. Yes, this includes people who have been married for decades.

6. They Communicate

Communication is top of the chain in regards to having a healthy and happy relationship — and a good way to prevent fighting, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). This communication between happy couples runs across all topics, from daily household responsibilities to personal subjects like work, to things that might seem difficult to talk about. The APA said bottling up emotions and feelings can lead to resentment (and you guessed it, big fights). Also worth noting is that those in happy and healthy relationships, according to APA, are kind when communicating, and avoid negative communication patterns like anger.

If your relationship is littered with arguments, consider implementing some of these habits as a means of cutting back the fights. You and your SO might be able to turn it all around, and reach that truly happy place where arguments rarely exist.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article