If you’ve been in a relationship for any amount of time, you already know that arguments and fighting are part of the normal conflict/resolution cycle of any partnership. You could be having full-blown fights, or you could have small snips at each other through the day. Either way, there does come a point when you’re arguing too much. So what’s actually a normal amount to fight for happy couples?
How often do couples fight?
The answer is not necessarily as clear-cut as you might think. First of all, no one can tell you what a healthy amount to fight would be for your relationship because everyone has different expectations and needs from their partner. Secondly, the frequency that happy couples argue can vary depending on individuals’ personality traits and lifestyles (e.g., how much stress they’re under at work).
That said, there are some general trends that have been observed in healthy relationships. Research indicates that happy couples generally argue around once a week (or every other week). This isn’t to say that you and your partner need to start counting how many times per month you disagree – but it can be an indicator of whether or not you’re fighting too much. If it happens several times a day, then that may be cause for concern (or at least an indication to think about what’s really going on with the two of you).
How you argue is important
Another factor is how couples argue. Healthy relationships are typically characterized by more constructive arguments than destructive ones – these are arguments in which both parties are able to share their thoughts and feelings openly, listen to what the other person has to say, and compromise. On the other hand, destructive arguments involve yelling, name-calling, and making assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling can lead to the demise of your relationship.
If you’re generally engaging in healthy arguments with your partner then that’s a good sign that you’re fighting at the right frequency. However, if it feels like your relationship is filled with destructive arguments and bickering all day long – then this may be an indication to take stock of where things are going wrong in your interactions together. But there are lots of reasons why relationships might fail.
How to fight well
Regardless of how often happy couples argue or what they fight about, the key to a healthy relationship is how you fight. The aforementioned study from UCLA found that happy couples tend to be better at conflict resolution than unhappy ones: they’re able to resolve their disagreements more quickly and with fewer negative repercussions for both parties.
Essentially, there are three steps in successful conflict resolution:
- expressing your emotions about the disagreement in a constructive way
- listening to your partner’s perspective and trying to understand their point of view, not just arguing back at them, but actually hearing what they have to say
- whether you decide on compromise or one person gives in completely is less important than that both parties are satisfied with how things are settled.
These three steps are a great way to approach any argument with your partner, whether they’re the one initiating it or you are. If both of you can manage this successfully then that’s an even better sign of a healthy relationship!
When fighting too much is a problem
If arguing several times per day about rather inconsequential things seems like a bad sign for your relationship, then it might be time to think about what’s causing the fighting. Do you have different expectations of each other? Are there underlying issues that are being brought up too often in arguments – e.g., constant bickering over chores or finances when things were supposed to even out after moving in together? There are lots of signs your relationship might be coming to an end, but an increase in arguing isn’t necessarily one of them.
If you’re not sure, it might be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you and your partner figure out where things are going wrong. Constant fighting is definitely a sign that something is wrong in your relationship – but it’s not always easy to see what that is on our own. Seeking professional help can be the first step in saving your relationship!
So what do all of these things mean? Well, generally, happy couples fight about the same amount as unhappy ones. The key difference between them is how they handle those arguments – and if you struggle to make your partner feel heard during an argument or address underlying issues in a healthy way then that’s definitely something you need to work on!
Healthy relationships involve fighting from time to time, as it’s a way for both parties to share their thoughts and feelings openly with each other. It’s how you fight that determines whether or not your relationship will be successful in the long run! If you’re finding that you’re constantly arguing and bickering with your partner then there might be some underlying issues that need to be addressed before it’s too late. Consulting a professional can help you and your partner figure out where things are going wrong in your relationship – and how to make them right again.