The Five Fights Spouses Should Be Having


I never believe those couples who say they don't fight. Well, that's not true. I believe them. I just doubt that they have a fantastic relationship.

Fighting (or arguing or disagreeing) is a huge part of what keeps me hot for the hubs after what sometimes feels like a million (OK, 10) years together.

Many studies have proven that fighting, in general, is better for relationships than letting anger fester. Of course, not all fights are built the same. Keeping anger inside is not healthy, but neither is exploding all over the place with no clear sense of direction.

Marriage is not easy. It basically involves two people with two different sets of emotions and ideas about the way things should be. Add in some kids, joint bank accounts, cars, a mortgage, and a sex life and there are lot of places to disagree. It's OK (good, in fact) to do it. Here are the five fights you should be having:

  1. The "your turn, now my turn" fight: You each bring your grievances on one issue to the table. He gets a turn to speak, she gets a turn to speak. There are no interruptions. Pass the baton, if you must. But each person in the relationship must feel like they've had equal time to present their point of view.
  2. The "I feel sad when you ..." fight: Any marriage counselor will say that approaching a fight with accusatory language will only make it worse. Do not say how the person makes you feel or what they're doing wrong. Instead focus on how you feel and how the behavior feels to you.
  3. The "let's ONLY talk about the dishes" fight: Many couples have a bad habit of getting into a fight about the dishes and letting that escalate into a fight about the way your mother-in-law acts every time you go to visit her and how she never serves your family on the good china. Don't let it. Keep the fight confined and resolve the individual issue. Talk about the mother-in-law later.
  4. The "I love you more than anything, but this need to be on the table" fight: Do not make your spouse feel less loved because you're fighting. Curse, yell, stomp, and scream if you must, but don't threaten "divorce" or say things like "I hate you."
  5. The "let's each take a little break" fight: If, after an hour, the fighting is only escalating, take a break. Come back to it later.

Disagreements are healthy and normal. Talking about them is healthy and normal. Letting them escalate? Is not.

Also, just think of the make-up sex ...

Do you and your spouse fight?

Image via ganessas/Flickr

love, marriage


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my2.5... my2.5boys

My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and I can say we don't fight. That doesn't mean we don't disagree with eachother, or that we don't occasionally do something that pisses the other off. We are just mature enough to handle it the right way. When he does something that makes me angry, I walk away. I don't adress it, while I'm angry. I wait until I calm down, or he calms down, and then we talk about it. We don't yell and scream at each other. We don't call each other names, and there's never a need to bring up past events, because everything gets worked out.

cdjain cdjain

My husband and I have been married 3 1/2 years now.  The first 2 1/2 years we never really had fights.  But the last year we can't seem to stop.  The reason for the change--his son came into our custody.  I am not saying the son is the problem, I am saying that he parents in a different way then I do.  He has let me do most of the parenting of my daughter, but he would put his 2 cents worth in.  If I felt it was good then it happened (punishment that is).  With his son, I don't feel I can put my 2 cents worth in.  Lets take yesterday for example.  He was in an apple throwing fight (he is the oldest of the kids and he is10).  His father has not punished him for it at all.  Many of the kids went home with black eyes and bloody lips, etc.  Now if it had been my daughter he would have demanded that she be grounded for the next two weeks with nothing to do up sit in the middle of her bed and stare at the wall.

As for the make-up sex--what is that?  We haven't had sex for over 11 months.  First he was injured, then he had surgery, then his meds took him out of the mood.  Well now he has been clear of his meds for over a month, his surgery was over 6 months ago.  The injury was 11 months ago.  But I still don't even get held in bed.  I have begon to wonder if he is cheating, but of course he denies it.

Jennifer Rowe

Great article. My hubby and I have been married for just over 3 years now and we have these fights. We're not great at the 'just one topic' fight yet though. Thanks for reminding me!

nonmember avatar MILA

@cdjain: please divorce that guy. just reading your post makes me sick of all the drama. i really dont understand what brought you 2 together. its sounds like hell. you really do NOT BELONG TOGETHER. please dont force it and waste your lives. you need to find someone else. seriously.

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