When we’re young we think of the perfect relationship. Everyone is always smiling and things are going well. Your partner knows exactly what to say and do to make you feel good and vice versa. Those of us who have been in relationships know better. Couples can and will fight for just about anything. The key is to understand that fighting can help improve relationships. Here’s how.
1. You air your dirty laundry
An argument may start over anything. You two may not know what to do for dinner. One of you may have taken that turn a little fast and loose while out driving. Problems in a relationship are like dynamite and little things like not deciding on a place to eat are nothing more than a fuse. Eventually, these little things will open up the table to what is really going wrong. Once you can identify what’s really going on, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to fix it.
2. You will be more comfortable around one another
The classic sign that a couple is comfortable with each other is when the “embarrassing” bodily functions fly even when the other person is in the room. Believe it or not, fighting can actually do the same thing. Couples who fight are not only working out their issues but also showing each other how they deal with problems. It forces you to talk about yourselves and what you think. By the end of it you’ll know the other person way better than you did before and vice versa because both of you will be expressing yourselves, often for the first time.
3. You will have confirmation that both of you want the relationship to work
People will fight for things they believe in. It doesn’t matter if they’re joining the military to fight for their country or shouting at you across the kitchen table to fight for your relationship. A lot of people think that anger means discontent but it actually means that you care so much that when something goes wrong, you get upset about it. Fighting with your partner shows them that you’re upset and that you want to fix things to make them better. If you don’t want to fight or if your partner doesn’t want to fight to make a relationship right, then there might be a problem.
4. You and your partner will restore your sanity
Anger means that you care. Unfortunately, being angry can also drive you insane if you don’t express it. Bottling up those kinds of emotions can be dangerous. It can cause you to have irrational thoughts and eventually you start thinking things that aren’t true. Letting out that anger can help reset your insanity button and get those negative thoughts out of your head. Not fighting and letting those feelings get bottled up is never good. Ever.
5. You will get an honest answer for once
Emotions flying around like witches on broomsticks often means that the truth is also flying around. Have you ever noticed that people in fights make statements they wouldn’t otherwise make. “I never liked it when you did this.” Couples in an argument often air their dirty laundry but more importantly they’re doing it honestly. Those small things you keep bottled up and lie about (“Sure, honey, I don’t mind watching Sex in the City…again”) can be set free because angry people no longer care about the consequences. As long as you’re not hiding anything ridiculous like cheating or something irreparable, chances are that your little issues are fixable.
6. You get to have sex
As long as your relationship survives the fight (and chances are that it will) you get to have make up sex. By the time the argument is over everyone is stressed out. Things are a little tense. There are few better ways our species has access to than a good rumble between the sheets to get some of that tension out. We’re not saying you should pick a fight but plenty of people who are in relationships go through a dry spell that ends after a fight.
7. You get a reminder of what you’re doing wrong
Relationships take work. Sometimes you have to stop doing something or start doing something to keep your partner happy. Not doing those things can result in a fight. During that fight you will be reminded (many times) of what you’re doing wrong. This can seem tedious and awful but sometimes we need a push in the right direction because we don’t always know what the other person wants. A good fight can put those needs into focus.
8. You can understand yourself better
I can’t even remember how many epiphanies I’ve had during fights anymore. It doesn’t always happen but sometimes you are just wrong. It happens to all of us and there is nothing to be ashamed of. The problem is that you don’t know that you’re wrong until someone points it out. In today’s society, telling someone they’re wrong is fighting words. The important part is admitting that you’re wrong after you get caught being wrong. Otherwise this entire point is worthless.
Of course, we are coming at this from a specific point of view. Arguing and fighting is healthy but only if it’s done in a specific way. If your partner is hitting you, abusing you, bullying you, or otherwise hurting you or making you feel unsafe, you should do something about that immediately. There is no fixing that kind of behavior. Otherwise, keep these tips in mind the next time your partner blows up at you (or vice versa) and prepare to work on your relationship the old fashioned way.
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