“The key to a happy marriage? A really good ROW: Study finds couples who argue are more likely to have a good relationship (just don’t mention sex)”.
A recent article offers: “The key to a happy marriage? A really good ROW: Study finds couples who argue are more likely to have a good relationship (just don’t mention sex)”.
In relationships arguing with your partner is normal and can be positive.
If you arguing you are connecting.
You are setting boundaries, telling each other, I am irritated, you have stepped over the line and maybe “You haven’t taken your share of our household duties lately.” “We’ve been really busy and actually you haven’t told me you love me lately?” Sometimes it’s a way of checking in with each other.
A good row can help you resolve issues and in the afterglow of the conflict, you chill, are closer and lovers again. You might worry about arguing in front of your children, but it can be positive and teach them valuable life skills. You are demonstrating that mum and dad can have conflict, express difficult feelings, resolve problems and work things out. Whereas difficult ongoing family conflict creates deep fear and having experienced this people avoid any conflict. This can be a disadvantage in later life, when we encounter conflict we experience emotional distress and are afraid. Ultimately this can create a dynamic in adult relationships, where we find it difficult to say what we feel, are unable to get our needs met and somehow never manage to get relationships right.
So, it can be good for us to arguing and bicker, you have listened and heard the other persons viewpoint, some matters may need attention, you have acknowledged the emotions and feelings of the other and you can make changes if necessary.
It helps if you have a good strong relationship and you each feel good about yourself. The golden rule is to respect the other, do not blame or shame and take responsibility for your feelings. Say “when this happens ….. I feel (sad, mad, etc), rather than you do this, or you make me which can be incendiary and make the other defensive.
Sometimes you find you niggle all the time and wonder how you got into this situation. There are stages in your life when you have to juggle lots of stuff: small children, home, work, financial strain and exhaustion. Of course, this can generate more arguments when really you should give yourself a ‘pat on the back’ for managing to cope with everything.
Sometimes an argument can explode and knocks a couple for six. My advice is to step back and mutually agree with each other that this time ‘you just got it wrong’ and make a pact to patiently working it through next time. A strategy to help with this is to think through the argument in detail at a later time and work out what was really bothering you, what would you want your partner to see and hear about you.
In essence arguments and bickering are not necessarily bad, it can be a nudge for us to give your loved one care and attention. Ask yourself, Are we happy? Are we arguing more than usual? Why? Get together, celebrate your joint strengths, talk about emotions, discuss the distress and consider what you have to juggle and reassess. Use the arguments as a barometer of your relationship and take action if necessary to keep the relationship great.
Sometimes you just can’t resolve conflict, it makes you afraid, or one of you may withdraw and that can leave the other feeling dismissed. Don’t let it get you down, relationship counselling can help you to stop the negative cycle and to help you understand each other. Couples tell me they are really glad they decided on counselling and they feel so much closer to each other.