Study: Couples who fight are happier than those who don't

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Yes! Fighting in marriage all the time or confrontation as most of us like to call it, actually works. Read on to know how, and why.

You may not find this on a bumper sticker or even a Valentine’s Day card, but as it turns out, fighting in marriage all the time can keep you both together.

A survey of almost 1,000 adults proved that couples who argue often are 10 times more likely to stay together!

This stands in contrast to those couples who avoid any confrontation and sweep biting issues under the rug.

Fighting in marriage all the time? You are lucky!

Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations, told The Guardian, “Many couples mistakenly believe that avoiding discussing sensitive issues means avoiding an argument, which, in turn, will be good for their relationship.”

“But the biggest mistake that couples make is avoidance,” he explained.

“We feel something but say nothing. At least until we can’t stand it anymore. So we wait until we are certain to discuss it poorly before we bring it up. We tend to avoid these conversations because we are conscious of the risks of speaking up, but unconscious of the risks of not speaking up,” said Grenny.

fighting in marriage all the time

“The success of a relationship is determined by the way in which sensitive issues are debated,” the author observed. | Image courtesy: Pixabay

“We tend to only weigh the immediate and obvious risks without considering the longer term costs to intimacy, trust and connection,” he added.

Shocking revelations in the survey

During the survey, the researchers found that fighting in marriage all the time actually worked for couples to clear any confusion. Whereas those who did not, ended up being resentful.

  • Almost four out of five respondents said that poor communication ruined their past relationships.
  • Less than one in five believe that they do not blame themselves for failure of conversation or relationship.
  • The three most difficult topics — and often the ones that led to a fight — included sex, irritating habits and finances.

Grenny added during the survey he found that that one of the biggest “unconscious mistake” couples were making was “failing to take emotional responsibility for their feelings.”

“We think others are ‘making’ us feel the way we are – and fail to see our role in our own emotions. That’s why when we discuss our concerns with our loved one we are so often filled with blame and provoke defensiveness,” he explained.

Secret of a happy marriage: Fighting in marriage all the time?

So what is the secret of a perfect relation? Does fighting in marriage all the time, or confrontation as most of us like to call it, actually work?

Well, Grenny believes it does.

“The success of a relationship is determined by the way in which sensitive issues are debated,” he shared.

“True love takes work. Real intimacy is not just about love but is also about truth. And crucial conversations are the vehicle for surfacing truth in a way that accelerates a feeling of intimacy, trust and connection,” he added.

Based on this survey it seems that the next time you see a loving couple who never fight, chances are they are not exactly in love! So don’t equate your daily squabbles to failure, you might be doing quite well.

But healthy quarreling is not the only secret to a happy marriage. More than soulmates, you need to be each other’s best friends.

3 things that happen when your partner is your best friend

  • They bring out the best in you. Being friends with your partner allows you to be yourself, more confidently. When you spend time with such a partner, you feel good about yourself because they are not afraid to praise and support you and at the same time, tell you when you are wrong. This results in you being the best possible version of yourself.
  • You are each other’s cheerleader. All of us need somebody to cheer for us. Having somebody who believes in you and encourages you to keep moving on, no matter what is immensely encouraging. This helps in bringing out the best in you. Such partners keep us grounded and closer to reality.
  • You are completely truthful. When you have a partner who is more of a buddy, you don’t have to bother about fake compliments. So yes, if you have such a partner, be prepared to get an honest answer to “Am I looking fat today?”


Sources: The Guardian, Men’s Health

ALSO READ: 10 secrets to a happy marriage

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore


Written by

Deepshikha Punj