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Couples Who Argue Have Better Relationships, According To Science

Couples Who Argue Have Better Relationships, According To Science

Guess what? You’re off the hook. You don’t need to sit around wonder if all the arguing means that your relationship is doomed. Science says that, that isn’t the case.

Recently, a survey was done in India among married couples to figure out how much arguing affected their relationship. And it turns out that 44% of responders attribute part of their marital success to how much they argue. They said that fighting more than once a week helps keep the lines of communication open.

And that isn’t all, another study done over 14 years found that couples who argued often and in a peaceful manner were more likely not be separated. This study followed 79 married couples across the US Midwest. According to FamilyShare, the common thread between the strongest couples is that they argued, and immediately talked openly and honestly about the argument.

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Arguing for A Healthy Relationship

First, there is a difference between fighting and arguing. Arguing is a healthy way to get emotions out on the table. In fact, the quickest relationship killer is allowing your emotions to stew. Next thing you know, you’re a bomb waiting to explode. It isn’t a matter of if at this point, it’s a matter of when your emotions will get the better of you and you’ll have a relationship altering fight.

Without question, letting your emotions stew will lead to resentment.

And, frankly, arguments are just part of a relationship that isn’t boring. In fact, in this article at the Star Tribune, Sandy Burris, who’s been married almost 60 years, says, “We do [argue all the time]. There are a lot of things we don’t agree on. If we did agree all the time, it would be boring.”

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If you’ve been married happily for that long, you must be doing something right. I’m sure you can remember a relationship that just went stale when you’ve been thinking just tell me I did something wrong for once!

As for kids, many family counselors site peaceful arguing as part of a positive model, as William Doherty, a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Social Science stated. “If they never see you argue, they’re going to get a very unrealistic image of marriage,” he said, “If it’s hostile, contemptuous, full of shouting and name-calling, that’s bad. But if it’s a small irritation that is addressed respectfully and the kids see that 15 minutes later you’ve gotten over it and everything is fine again, that’s helpful.”

The point is, you can’t play the blame game and expect your kids to grow positively, but you can teach them by example that it’s okay to disagree. It’s easy to show them that you can argue, come to a compromise, and still love each other fully. It seems that arguing is healthy for everyone involved, not just the couple. Arguing isn’t just a magic pill. There are obvious reasons why arguing makes couples stay together longer.

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1. There’s No Resentment Between Partners

If you’re constantly holding it it, there will be resentment. The healthiest way to deal with negative feelings is to get them out in the open!

2. Couples Who Argue See Themselves as Equals

In a relationship is so important for partners to be on a level playing field. No one wins if someone is dominant over the other. And that’s what happens when couples don’t argue. Let’s face it, all people feel the need to stand their ground. In a relationship, if you don’t stand your ground and argue, you’re showing your partner that their opinion is more important, and they can have whatever they want. That’s the road to an unhealthy relationship.

3. Couples Who Challenge Each Other, Grow Together

It’s no secret that the quickest way to grow as a person is to overcome challenges. It’s also no secret that good relationships require both partners to push the other to be the best version of themselves. When arguing with a partner, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You will learn a lot about each other, and more importantly yourself. You’ll learn how to lose better, you will learn how to win with sportsmanship, and you’ll learn how to compromise more. These are all valuable traits in all parts of life.

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If you want a healthy relationship, you shouldn’t avoid arguments. However, you shouldn’t go pick a fight with your spouse as soon as you’re done reading this. The bigger point here is that all people argue, and the way you argue is really important.

It’s important that arguments aren’t fights or all out wars. They need to be peaceful. And you should practice listening with the intent of understanding your partner, not so you can find our opportunity to speak. Next time you get in an argument with your partner, remember that you’re strengthening your bond if you’re doing it right.

Featured photo credit: Daily Record via dailyrecord.co.uk

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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