The Benefits of Arguing with Your Spouse

The Benefits of Arguing with Your Spouse

Relieved, are you?  Happy to come across an article that will give you permission to fight?  Hold your horses – it’s not quite what you are thinking. This isn’t a free pass for all out war.  Constant bickering, nagging, resentment isn’t healthy.  But well executed arguing can be.

As a therapist, whenever I hear someone say, “I never fight with my husband or wife,” or “We always get along,” a red flag begins to wave across the horizon.  Really?  You never argue?  You always agree?  What that says to me is…someone isn’t comfortable speaking up in his/her relationship.  Someone isn’t being fully honest with his/her feelings.  Someone is NOT communicating.  Communication is vital in a relationship.  It is the bedrock of a healthy couple.

Sure.  Some couples truly enjoy each other’s company a little more than others.  Some may rarely have a disagreement.  But to say you have no disagreements at all; speaks volumes about what you are not speaking about.  I encourage communication, which means, I also encourage healthy arguing.  Each person is allowed to speak his/her mind.  Each partner should be heard.  Each partner should feel validated within the relationship.  Silence is not validation.

What we have to remember is – if you have children in your home; they are always watching.  The stress in your relationship directly correlates to the stress your children may experience.  No children should be raised watching or hearing domestic violence.  No child should bear witness to verbal and emotional abuse.  However, children can observe two adults arguing in a respectful manner and actually learn from it in a positive way.

How?  Children, who see adults argue and resolve the conflict in a healthy manner learn conflict resolution.  They absorb the argument AND they absorb the resolution.  They can feel better equipped to go out into the big, bad world and speak their minds and know they too can find a way to solve their problem in a healthy manner.

So, go ahead and argue.  BUT play fair!  Remember, your children are learning the rules of the game!