23 Oct 2012

How Much Arguing is Healthy in a Relationship?

No Comments Featured Articles, Relationships

Arguing can be a good thing – but let’s be careful to define what we’re talking about when we use the word “arguing.” Take a heated discussion and add just enough additional emotion to make it a little over the top, and that’s an argument. Adults who are mature, loving and compassionate know how to argue in a productive, positive way. A loving argument is not petty, nor is it an argument for its own dramatic sake. It is an emotional conversation that is honest but considerate, not out of control but not overly constrained, focused and within understood boundaries. For an argument to be healthy, there must be a pattern of healthy communication in the relationship – no kitchen-sinking, no insulting, no sarcasm. It can be a problem when an argument is used as a way to gain power over a partner, or to win points as if playing a game. But given all those parameters, arguing can be a healthy thing for a couple to do – here’s why.

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So Just How Much Arguing Is Healthy In A Relationship? Go Let It Out

Typically when a couple argues, they let fly with whatever is on their minds, no holds barred, except for what was mentioned above. Emotions are involved, there’s no doubt about that, but the communication is flowing too. The good thing is that thoughts and emotions that might have been repressed, censored, kept in the background, are all brought to light. And as we’ve heard, sunlight is the best antiseptic. Getting everything out into the open means repression is not an issue, which is a very healthy situation for any couple. When the air is cleared, it is possible to breathe again. Starting arguments as a way of creating intentional drama in your relationship is never the answer, and nothing good can ever come of it.

Stay Involved With One Another

In the midst of an argument between two people who love each other, an interesting thing happens – the couple feels engaged with one another, they feel connected as if they had just made love or shared a life changing experience together. The process of letting out formerly buried feelings and thoughts is very intimate, and both feel that with no backing off, they are actually getting closer – something else about arguing that turns out to be for the good of the relationship.

Follow The Policy

Honesty is not only the best policy, it’s the only policy when it comes to arguing. Holding back and censoring is just as dishonest as telling a lie, and simply can’t be allowed in this case. The benefits of arguing can only accrue to a couple who have decided to be as open as possible, and not to leave out anything that might be appropriate to the discussion.

Don’t Fear The Spouse

Many people are raised to avoid conflict. It just seems like the right thing to do for someone who was always told to stay in control, don’t let negative emotions be expressed, and don’t let raised voices continue to dominate the conversation. But ironically, in order to learn not to fear conflict, you must engage in it and understand that it’s OK – the world will not end if people get emotional, say what they think, and clear the air. On the contrary, it can be a very healthy thing to be amenable to an argument, as long as all the rules of fairness are followed. Conflict can be a good thing, but without argument there’s no way to know that for sure.

Get It Done

Finally, arguing can be healthy for a couple because it gets the job done – whatever that job may be. Usually a decision needs to be made, or a situation has to be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties involved. With a loving, open argument, there can be no postponement of decisions, because the argument will go on until an appropriate conclusion is reached.

What’s your experience in the arguing debate? Are you passive and the recipient of arguments you never understand or are you more of the argument starting type? Alternatively, are you in a passive relationship where neither party argues? Please share your stories below.


Grace Pamer is a full time romance and relationship writer. She writes romance and marriage proposal tip columns for various publications including YourTango.com and GalTime.com. As seen on FoxNews.com, Cosmopolitan.com, DivineCaroline.com and CanadianLiving.com to name but a few.

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