How often do couples fight, and how often does a healthy couple fight?
We’ll be able to answer this in this article and even learn the difference between healthy fighting vs. unhealthy fighting.
Why do couples fight?
The first thing that we want to know is why do couples argue?
Even if you’ve been together for a long time and you think you know everything about your partner, you will still disagree on some things.
The reason is pretty basic – you’re two different individuals.
You grew up and experienced life differently, so when life gives you a situation, there will be times when you won’t agree with each other.
These differences that we have mentioned can lead to arguments. Remember, no person thinks like the other. But that doesn’t mean you don’t love each other anymore.
Is it normal to fight in a relationship, and statistically, how often do couples fight?
The frequency of fights in relationships will not determine the couple’s status.
There are couples who fight often but then turn their disagreement into their strengths. Then there are those couples who try to avoid fighting but end their relationship eventually because of their differences.
How often do couples fight in a healthy relationship? And when thinking about fighting in relationships, how much is too much?
The truth is there is no ideal number of fights or frequency of arguments that qualify a relationship as “healthy.” Rather it is the quality of your fights that give you a clue about the health of your relationship.
Still confusing, isn’t it?
Healthy couples aren’t necessarily couples that don’t fight; they are those whose fights are productive, fair, and finished.
Healthy couples fight over one issue at a time, seek solutions, fight fair, and finish the fight with a solution or agreement to revisit.
We get it-you’re angry, and you just want to say everything you want to say, but after you do, allow your partner to have the same opportunity to air their anger and whatever they want to say.
Only do so if you need to clarify something important but do it politely.
2. Healthy couples keep short accounts
Part of learning to fight fair is understanding to keep short accounts with each other. This means you either bring something up right when it happens (or shortly after that) if it bothers you, or you let it go.
You do not keep a running list of everything your partner does that aggravates you and then let it all loose in an argument six months later.
Research shows that practicing forgiveness and letting go of grudges can enhance your mental health and well-being.
Keeping short accounts also means not bringing past issues that have been resolved into later arguments as ammunition. It can be hard to let go of resentments and past grudges, but to fight fair and keep your relationship healthy, it’s essential to work on resentments.
3. Healthy fights are finished fights
A key way to keep fighting in your relationship healthy is to finish a fight when it happens. This means working the issue through to a solution so that you can re-establish harmony.
If you regularly fight over the same issue that can’t be resolved, that’s a red flag. Either you’re not really fighting over that issue and need to drill down to the core, or you have a fundamental difference that may not be reconcilable.
After the agreement, compromise, or another solution has been reached, the key is to re-establish harmony by reaffirming the relationship. Make necessary repair attempts and agree that this issue will not be brought up in future fights over unrelated matters.
Some will start gaslighting you, while some will deprive you of your rights. Some abusers will torture you with words and even start physically hurting you.
Remember that you don’t have to tolerate this type of vicious fighting!
7. Healthy couples fight when they aren’t being heard
Did you know that couples want to maintain intimacy? Research shows that daily experiences of intimacy contribute significantly toward relationship satisfaction.
All of us want to be heard, especially by our partners.
Therefore, sometimes, we fight with our partners. We want to let this person know we want to be heard, and we want that intimacy back. Chances are, because of the busy schedule and stressors, we’re unable to maintain the intimacy we need.
Most often, this causes conflict.
It’s a chance for the couple to let each one know what they feel. Treat it as an open forum where you could devise a solution together.
8. Healthy couples find a solution to their problems
You let your partner know what you don’t like, and vice versa, so what’s next?
The goal of every healthy fight is to find common ground or a solution.
A healthy argument will focus on the problem and how both of you can meet halfway and decide on the most appropriate solution.
If there is no solution to the issue, you could at least talk and understand the situation better.
In the end, you gain more experience, understanding, and respect for one another.
9. Healthy fights will never include threats
No one wants to experience threats in their relationships, but this would be present in an unhealthy fight.
Some people who don’t get the upper hand during fights, resort to threats. Threats could be physical, emotional, and even financial.
People might threaten to end the relationship, file for divorce, or abandon their kids, just to make a point and win.
Remember that this is already abuse and is not a healthy argument.
10. Healthy fights are fair fights
Fighting fair can be hard when we are hurt, angry, or otherwise riled up. But for the fight to contribute to an overall healthy relationship, it has to be fair.
What is a fair fight?
A fair fight is one in which you both focus on the issue at hand rather than bringing up everything that’s made you angry throughout the relationship.
A fair fight also avoids name-calling, personal attacks, weaponizing your partner’s fears or past traumas, or otherwise “hitting below the belt.”
Are too many fights and therapy signs of a breakup?
Knowing how often is it normal to fight in a relationship may or may not lead to a strong partnership, but it doesn’t mean that you should lose hope if you fight often.
Couples that argue a lot often realize that they are not compatible with each other and choose to end the relationship.
Others decide to fight for their love and family, often seeking the help of therapists.
“We often fight and seek therapy, but I want to know, do we still have a chance?”
The answer to this is yes!
It is an excellent decision to seek the help of professionals. They are knowledgeable about these situations and equipped with the tools to help you and your partner.
As long as the two of you will work on the relationship, then you can change it.
So while it might be challenging to determine a general census to answer the question ‘how often do couples fight,’ it is much easier to determine what a healthy fight is versus a toxic fight.
The frequency of how often couples fight will not determine the health of your relationship, but it could help you realize the points to work on and determine if you are experiencing healthy or unhealthy fights.
Ultimately, how you and your partner resolve your conflicts will determine the health of your relationship.
And if your fights are more regular but healthy than a couple who fights less frequently – but their fights are toxic, maybe it’s time to acknowledge the healthy and passionate dynamic in your relationship rather than concerning yourself over whether you fight too often.
Remember, love is just the start of your relationship. It takes time and years to get to know the person you choose to love.
In those years, you’ll disagree with each other – a lot.
How you solve your fights will determine if you’re moving forward with a healthy relationship or are staying in an unhealthy one.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle Read more in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.