5 Ways To Fight That Are Healthier For Your Relationship

Everyone dreams of having a perfect relationship where there is only love and you never have any arguments.

But of course, that is just a dream. 

The reality is, all relationships have their challenges and all relationship have their arguments. Relationship fights are sometimes unavoidable.

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In fact, research has shown that the average couple has relationship fights about 312 times a year!

We know that just because we fight with our partner or spouse doesn't mean we are heading for a divorce. But it's natural to feel scared.

Because sometimes, the fighting does lead to a breakup.

The key, however, is to not letting a disagreement ruin your relationship is to fight the right way by learning how to communicate better with your partner.


In our latest YourTango Expert video (which you can watch above), we asked Dr. Stan Tatkin — a couples therapist and author of Wired For Dating — to explain how a couple can fight without ruining their relationship. They key, he says, is learning how to communicate better.

Here are 5 things you need to do when fighting (or find yourself about to fight) with your loved one, in order to communicate effectively:

1. Make sure you are facing each other when you argue.


Avoid fighting on the phone, via texts, or in the car.

It's important to that you can look into each other's eyes when you disagree, so you can see how your partner is feeling and how they still love you, despite whatever is bothering them.

2. Listen to your partner.

Listen to the words they are saying and also to what their body language is telling you.

Your partner's face may be showing important clues to what they are looking for or feeling, that they aren't able to express as well verbally.

Make sure you're really listening with all your senses.

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3. Understand where your partner is coming from.


In an argument, both sides have something they believe, something they are fighting for.

But nothing will change if you both remain stubborn and refuse to see things from the other's point of view.

4. Don't stay in a fight too long.

Staying angry and stressed over a long period of time isn't good for the body, the mind or your relationship. One study even found that engaging regularly in petty squabbles may triple your risk of dying from stress-related diseases!

Take a minute and change the conversation, even to ask about something small like dinner or the weather. Something to remind both you and your partner that you might be arguing about something now, but you both still love each other.

5. NEVER leave any negative feelings lingering.


Often we say things in fights that we don't actually mean. Knowing it was only said in the heat of the moment, however, doesn't take away the pain the other person feels.

Make sure you and your partner immediately apologize for any hurt feelings you may have caused and work on fixing it.

Otherwise, your next fight will only bring bad the hard feelings which will destroy any chance of peaceful and effective communication.

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Dr. Stan Tatkin is a couple therapist known for his pioneering work in helping partners form happy, secure, and long-lasting relationships. His method — called PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy®) — draws on principles of neuroscience and teaches partners to become what he terms “secure functioning.” Join the conversation about secure-functioning relationships via the PACT Institute's Facebook page. You can also follow Dr. Tatkin's Twitter account and Facebook page.

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