To fight or not to fight- that is the question.

As a couples therapist, I often hear stories of these amazing couples who never fight or argue. They always get along, see eye to eye on most issues, are always on the same page! Funny, but when I meet these couples, they just don’t seem all that connected. For the most part, these couples are fearful of confrontation with their partner, don’t want to rock the boat,  sweep issues under the rug, find its too much trouble to bring it up, or feel its not the right time right now (or ever).  This set up can look like they are happy, but ask most of them and they will report the same thing- they don’t feel close to their partner, they are emotionally distant, their partner doesn’t always know how they feel about many issues. Not fighting is not synonymous with closeness. Don’t mix them up! Not fighting generally means distance and distance translates to a dangerous lack of intimacy between people. The decision to disagree or argue about something stems from the need to have oneself understood by the person one loves the most. This is a vital attachment need that, left unmet, often leads to a lack of satisfaction in the relationship.  Its a good instinct to push for understanding with your love. However, that can take on two distinct looks. If it looks like constructive, productive, linear arguing, without name calling, character defamation or abuse- that’s healthy. Generally we feel closer to our partner afterward and our nervous system calms down. If it looks like name calling, swearing, and character assassination- then it is not healthy at all. Research shows that couples who argue safely have the highest satisfaction in their marriages. So get out there and learn how to argue effectively in a way that leaves you feeling close, understood and loved by your partner! Happy coupling!

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