Arguments in a Relationship Can Be Positive
It’s often believed that arguments in a relationship are a sign that things aren’t going so well. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, as in so many other aspects of social relationships, what matters isn’t that arguments occur, but how frequently.
Whether we like it or not, no relationship escapes arguments. It’s completely normal for them to occur. Sometimes, they can become an eroding agent in a relationship. At others, they constitute a space for partners to discuss their differences or disagreements and foster mutual growth. It all depends on the couple.
It’s normal for coexistence to generate friction and tension. It happens, not only between spouses but also in families, with roommates, etc. It’s healthy that all these frictions find a way to be expressed and processed. Therefore, arguments can be positive. In fact, it’s a bad sign if couples never have any disagreements.
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved through understanding .”
Arguments in a relationship
Unless partners have nothing in common anymore or have a neurotic desire to avoid conflict at all costs, arguments in a relationship are inevitable. Indeed, it’s normal and healthy that certain disagreements occur and that partners discuss them.
These types of intense negotiations aren’t a sign of deterioration in the relationship. Nor do they signify that love is disappearing. Conflict is a natural result when decisions made by one partner affect the other.
The desire to avoid arguments, by blocking emotions and thoughts, ends up taking its toll. Accumulating unresolved points of disagreement causes serious storms to break out in the future that really affect the root of a relationship. In fact, relationships need to be ventilated in the same way that physical spaces do.
A study conducted by the University of Tennessee (USA) claims that couples who argue over solvable problems tend to be happier. They argue about matters such as housework, managing finances, vacations, etc. However, when they touch on more serious difficulties, such as sexuality, raising children, frustrated expectations, etc, they try to talk about them in a non-controversial way.
Therefore, arguments can be positive, as long as they don’t end up being a gateway to an existential crossroads for which there are no easy or quick solutions. Positive arguments involve deep reflection and, occasionally, structural changes.
It could be said that the main contributions of arguments in relationships are as follows:
- They favor mutual knowledge. In arguments, certain attitudes and behaviors of partners arise that aren’t visible to the naked eye in other types of situations.
- They contribute to frankness. The framework of an argument is more conducive to expressing disagreements. In other situations, it’s not so easy or comfortable to do so. In effect, once the gate has been opened, it’s easier for everything behind it to flow.
- They increase intimacy. Although in principle, arguments in a relationship mark distances and establish differences, in reality, they represent a really close level of communication. When handled well, they result in increased mutual trust.
- They allow problems that partners had overlooked to be detected. Often, during arguments in a relationship, new aspects that partners hadn’t previously paid attention to come to light. If both of them adopt a listening attitude, this new information could prove to be really valuable.
- They prolong life. Indeed, a study conducted by the University of Michigan (USA) found that when couples argue on reasonable terms, the relationship lasts longer and the spouses live longer.
Strong relationships go through various stages. Each one contributes to the construction of a deeper and more stable bond, as long as the changes are managed appropriately. In fact, in all relationships, partners have to learn to process conflicts.
If arguments in a relationship occur in a healthy way, it results in a closer relationship. However, the red lines that shouldn’t ever be crossed are mistreatment or disrespect. Indeed, no matter how passionate an argument may be, no partner has the right to attack the other. As a matter of fact, learning to argue as a couple is an art and those who learn how to do it are happier.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
How happy couples argue: Focus on solvable issues first. (s. f.). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190916114014.htm.
A good fight may keep you and your marriage healthy. (2008, 12 febrero). University of Michigan News. https://news.umich.edu/a-good-fight-may-keep-you-and-your-marriage-healthy/.
Villanueva, L. (2001). Algunas consideraciones para una terapia de pareja basada en la evidencia. De familias y terapias, 9(14), 7-30.