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How to Have a Fight

Fighting has a bad rap. Would you believe me if I told you that research shows that couples who fight are actually happier than those who don't? We hear about couples who never fight. While this might conjure up images of perfect harmony, in reality it usually means that the couple is afraid of conflict. Each partner fears being hurt, ridiculed or abandoned. As one of my clients told me, "Talking about it makes things worse. It's better just to leave it alone".

I certainly don't advise getting into verbal conflict where there is hurt, ridicule, or abandonment. What's the point in that? My client would be right: it would make things worse. But people who are afraid to fight usually end up feeling resentful and distant. Even if they stay together, there's usually not a lot of intimacy. Fights have a purpose in a relationship. They let you express what you feel strongly about and they also let you know what your partner feels strongly about. As opposed to creating distance, they actually work to bring you closer, because you both find out what's important. Fights give you the information you need to find solutions.

What makes some fights awful and destructive, while others are helpful and satisfying? Here is the big secret: Fighting to win equals awful and destructive; fighting to learn equals helpful and satisfying. Children fight to win. They see the world in black and white, so by definition, there have to be winners and losers. Nobody wants to be a loser, so that's what becomes important-doing whatever it takes to win. Adults know that feeling strongly about something doesn't make you right. There are many ways to see almost any situation. Adults fight to learn-about themselves and about their partner. Fights become a conduit to growth. From this perspective, there are only winners.

I invite you this month to see if you fight like a child or like an adult. It's never too late to grow yourself up. I promise you the rewards personally and relationally are well worth the effort.



Check out the new video on How to Have a Fair fight.
Also see Emotional Maturity by clicking on the title. I hope you'll find it useful.


Sally LeBoy, M.S. MFT (14768)
>> Don't Justify It!
>> Guidlines for couples Communication
>> Being Alone
>> Appreciation
>> The Holidays (Again)
>> A Bitter Taste of My Own Medicine
>> Sex!!!
>> Do I Do too Much?
>> Managing Emotions
>> How to Have a Fight
>> Emotional Maturity