A fight with your partner usually doesn’t feel productive, but the right kind of fight can actually be important for the health of your connection. When you think about it, couples that never fight are the ones you have to watch out for, because it’s likely that one or both partners aren’t saying something just to avoid having to deal with tension. It’s always the quiet ones, you know?
On this week’s episode of the podcast we talked about this article from Bustle.com, which covers the 11 major relationship fights that mean you should probably break up.
They ranged from an unsupportive partner to differences in values or long-term goals, and everything in between. On the flip side, here are a few fights that are worth having, as tough as they may be at the time:
You have a need that’s not being met
None of us are mind readers, unfortunately, so if you’ve got a need that’s not being met it’s most likely because your partner is unaware. A serious discussion about the topic is worthwhile.
It involves something situational
Their behavior at an event upset you. They wished you had invited them to a family function. Situational issues are worth investing in. Learn from them and do better next time.
It involves communication preferences
One of you falls off the grid when you travel for work, or you wish the two of you could talk more frequently during the day. Discussions about how you prefer to communicate are essential. The problem can typically be corrected if you’re both willing to compromise and understand where the other person is coming from.
Before you get ready for a knock-down, drag-out confrontation, here are four elements of a productive fight to keep it in mind:
- It has a resolution: Even if you can’t quite find a solution you both agree upon right then and there, you agree to put the topic aside for now and pick a time to come back to it.
- It allows both people to speak: You should be able to do this without fear of being interrupted, belittled or tuned out by your partner. They might not love everything you’re saying, but they listen intently. When you’re through, you give them the same courtesy.
- It doesn’t contain yelling or name calling: Inside, you may want to scream, but in order to accomplish anything you both have to reign it in and talk using inside voices.
- It happens in person or on the phone: We all know what a mess texting can be. When you’re adding a sensitive topic into the mix it’s a recipe for a dumpster fire. Making small talk via text during the work day is fine, but hashing out important relationship issues is worthy of a face-to-face meeting or at least a phone call.
Lastly, whenever possible, avoid starting the discussion in public. We’ve all been that couple trying to have it out in a restaurant without anyone noticing, but this is definitely not the ideal situation. Both for your sake and the sake of your fellow diners.