7 Rules For Fighting Fair With Your Partner, According To Science

couple arguing
Love, Heartbreak

Nighttime is the right time for drama.

Remember that time your partner spilled wine all over your white sofa, and you thought, for sure, you were going to smother him in his sleep after an argument about it? Remember the time and energy wasted on the argument that followed, and the days of letting it stew in your brain as you replayed the accident and harsh words exchanged over and over? Well, stop it, because according to a new study, you're killing yourself.

Here are a few other things about arguing with your partner that might be news to you, and, might I add, news worth considering the next time you and your partner have a blowout.

1. Sweating the Small Stuff Can Kill You
A new study has found that arguing over the stupid, petty stuff can lead to premature death. Is that sofa really worth knocking 10 years off your life? Like, seriously?

As observed in the study led by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, those subjects who were constantly bickering "had about 50 to 100 percent likelihood of dying from life threatening health conditions." Face it: your body and mind can't handle the stress over the small things, so you need to regroup and let it go. Now, doesn't that feel nice?

2. It's OK To Go To Bed Angry.
You may feel the need to resolve the issue that was the cause of your argument before bed, but some studies say that's not always the best route to take. According to Lisa Earle McLeod, author and a 23-year marriage veteran, in letting someone sleep on the couch because of a disagreement, you're actually doing your relationship a favor: "It allows partners to clear their thoughts, get some sleep, and make a date to resume the fight (which might seem less important in the light of day)." It's true that things are less dramatic in the daylight. Nighttime is the right time for drama.

3. Men Break Easier.
Why do more men die from heart disease and strokes at relatively young ages? Your fighting, that's why! Studies have found that when it comes to fighting within a relationship, it's the men who suffer the most, especially when it comes to the stress of providing for a family. We may live in a society where gender equality is becoming the social norm — as it should — but that doesn't change men's inherent need to be the breadwinner and protector.

4. Arguing On An Empty Stomach Is Always Bad News Bears.
Think about how cranky you already are when you’re hungry. Now throw in some argument over misplaced pans, money woes or something as trivial as crumbs on the counter. Are you even more pissed off? Dr. Gail Gross says that if you argue when you're hungry, tired or have any other physical distraction, your argument will literally go nowhere. Who wants to go round and round in circles when what they really want is a pizza? So, go eat something before you let that argument get out of control.

5. A Single Touch Can Make Everything Better. 
You may not want to touch your partner in the heat of a disagreement, but as Melody Brooke, a licensed marriage and family therapist suggests, holding each other through the anger is a great way to take things down several notches. Hopefully, from there, you can evolve into some great make-up sex, but let’s not jump the gun just yet.

6. Kids ARE Part Of The Problem.
It should come as no surprise that kids can really take a toll. Between the financial end of things and just the daily demands of trying to raise an awesome kid, the study led by the team in Copenhagen found that 10% of participants pointed at their kids as the main problem. Yikes. Granted, it's only 10 percent, but that's still a little disconcerting.

7. Arguing Is Actually Healthy.
Once you subtract the petty stuff and focus on what really matters you're halfway there to success. Keeping things all bottled up inside you is even more stressful than arguing about the dumb stuff. As Dr. Stephanie Sarkis points out, "I've never seen a healthy couple that doesn't argue. They never fight, however — they argue. If a couple comes into my office and tells me they've never argued, something isn't quite right." Communication is the stuff that keeps a well-oiled relationship running smoothly, and to avoid arguing about the important issues is actually doing more damage than good. So, grab some food, send the kids to bed, and have it out.


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