It often feels like Hollywood and romance writers have taught us that true love should not involve conflict.
These writers may lead us to believe our partner should never hurt our feelings and they should always be sensitive. They should anticipate our needs, always be there for us, and above all there should be no fighting.
This external belief can put a lot of pressure on people. It often worsens the negative feelings that arise with a fight. Not only are you in conflict with your partner, but you are also wondering if this is normal.
Are happy couples supposed to fight? Is something wrong with us?
Conflict is a complicated, messy topic. It is very individual – each person has their own relationship with conflict, and what it means to them. Conflict looks different for each couple.
For some couples, a fight can involve yelling and harsh words. For others, it involves silent treatment and withdrawing from the other. However, one thing is certain: there will be at least some conflict.
In every relationship involving two separate individuals, there will be areas upon which they do not agree on.
Conflict does not mean the end of a relationship. Nor does it mean there is something deeply wrong with you or your relationship. Fights and disagreements are part of a healthy relationship. The question is not if you’ll fight, or should we be fighting; a better question is how do we fight?
Do we both know how to handle a conflict? Do I know how my partner feels about conflict? Every couple has a pattern, and sometimes this pattern stops working.
HOW MUCH FIGHTING IS TOO MUCH FIGHTING?
If you asked five different couples that question, you would probably get five different answers. There is no absolute number of fights that is considered “ok.” It would be better to focus on what feels right for my partner and myself.
A conflict is not always a bad thing. It can be an opportunity to get to know your partner better, and make changes for the better in your relationship. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if your current fight ratio works for you:
- How do I feel after a fight?
- Do I feel closer to my partner or more distant after fighting?
- Do I feel like we are on the same team, or are we always against each other?
- Do I feel heard and seen?
If you are feeling locked in an endless cycle of arguments, it might be a good time to seek therapy.
Therapy can help you take a step back and see where the pattern is not working.
READY TO MAKE A CHANGE?
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