Glamour wrote an article claiming that not only did all couples fight, but that it was a natural part of being in a relationship.
“When couples fight, it means they care about the relationship […] When fighting goes away completely, sometimes one or both people have checked out.”
When I told people that my boyfriend and I had never fought after two years of being together, they told me to “just wait”, as if massive arguments were inevitable in relationships, and our blow out fight was just around the corner. It’s been 5 years now, and we still have never had one.
Does that mean we’ve checked out of our relationship?
Take a look at what you’re fighting about; the why. There are better ways to deal with it. See below:
The Fight: Money
Money is one of the biggest stressors, and most people don’t have a healthy relationship with it to begin with. Adding another person into the mix can be a recipe for disaster.
Fighting about money, ie: who pays for what, where the money goes, who spends what and how much. It’s common. It’s not healthy.
The Solution: Open Communication
Money isn’t going anywhere. It funds our lives; by extension, our relationships.
Talk about finances with your partner. If you treat money as secretive and shameful, you will never develop healthy positive habits surrounding it.
Open a joint account, discuss who pays what, and when, or make up a system that works for you. Money isn’t going away any time soon — don’t waste your time arguing about it.
Oh! And if one of the two of you is in major debt and isn’t keen on sharing financial information? Big old red flag. Maybe start a fight then.
The Fight: Time Spent Together
You’re doing long distance. Someone works the late shift. One person has too many hobbies, or doesn’t like to spend the weekend doing the same thing.
Maybe they don’t text as often as you’d like during the day. You both get up too early, work too long, and are too tired to even enjoy each others company throughout the day.
You find yourself saying “You’re coming home later again,” or “Why can’t we do X this weekend?” all sad and lonely.
The Solution: Compromise
a) Be okay with spending a little time apart. The only thing less healthy than fighting all the time is needing to be around someone 24/7 (psst, want and need are two different things)
b) Have an honest discussion about spending quality time together. Strike a compromise. Find things you both want to do.
c) Retain your independence. Assuming you were a functional human being pre-relationship, you can manage to be one without your partner there 24/7.
d) It doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Understand that. Life is just busy, okay?
The Fight: Chores
Groceries, cooking, cleaning, leaving their fucking dirty clothes next to the bed every night… it happens.
The Solution: Um, don’t.
Life is too short to argue about socks. If it bothers you (ie, me) that much, pick them up yourselves.
Both people should be putting time and effort into the household stuff because you uh, both live there. If you can’t be adults about it, make a chore wheel or something.
The Fight: Sex
Too much, too little, who initiates it, who feels like this or that way about it.
The Solution: See: Money.
If you can’t talk about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. Yo, let’s bring it back to healthy, open conversation.
The Fight: Individual Opinions
Agreeing on everything is the first step to boring relationships. It’s important. But not always easy.
We want the people we share our lives with to believe the same things do, to have the same goals as we do, at least to an extent. Having differing opinions on the big things in life can lead to heated conversations.
The Solution: Debate
Healthy debates feed my soul. The boyfriend likes to play devils advocate with just about every controversial conversation topic we can find, and we can spend hours discussing different opinions and perspectives.
If you can’t have a healthy debate about these things, the differences may be too much (fighting won’t fix that either).
The Fight: Fidelity
The Solution: Run
Loyalty and love are non-negotiables. If you’re fighting about fidelity, arguing about cheating, or testing the boundaries of your partner’s love and loyalty, stop fighting and walk away.
That fight has no winners.
Healthy couples don’t fight, but passive agreement isn’t healthy either. Discussion and debate are wildly important — they show emotional strength, growth, and a desire to understand the other person.
My partner and I have never yelled at each other, we’ve never been in arguments that lasted longer than a day. We learned really early on that not only did these make us feel terrible, but they were a waste of time.
Fighting isn’t passion. It isn’t love.
Healthy people don’t fight — they discuss. Sure, it can get heated, emotional, and difficult. But they don’t come into conversations with their armour on, ready to go into battle. They don’t need to scream to be heard. They come armed with the tools to listen, debate, and settle with respect, honesty, and love.
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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