Is fighting a necessary evil to have a good relationship?
Whether you fight in your relationship isn’t a sign of its long lasting success or not.
As you read this, maybe you’ve gone through or are currently going through the pains of disagreement, conflict or fighting in your relationship, with details of who said what being at the forefront of your mind.
However, very rarely are the reasons how the argument started the true cause.
Couples fight because a part of them feels unheard, disrespected and unacknowledged. Part of them feels isolated and often feelings of lack of worth or not good enough are bubbling beneath the surface desperate to be heard.
In this modern throw away society, individuals are often (without realising) holding out for the next best thing, all the while criticising them-self along the way.
It’s easy to see how this Criticism is often projected onto our partner when our feelings and needs aren’t being met.
Any fighting that’s happening within a relationship is simply the expression of needs not being met on some level.
How we can recognise that in ourself or each other is key to growing within the relationship as opposed to looking for solutions outside of the relationship.
John Gottman, a researcher who has spent a lifetime focused on signs of divorce, acknowledges that it’s not whether a couple fight, but how they deal with any conflict that arises in their relationship.
Does each partner turn towards each other and engage or turn away and dismiss their partners in everyday situations? Do they show contempt or do they show kindness?
What makes a good relationship isn’t about how much conflict and reconciliation you have, but how much mutual appreciation there is (for yourself and your partners needs) and the willingness to be open and share.
Here are four steps you can implement to have a more fulfilling relationship whether conflict is happening or not
- Be open to speaking your truth. Share your feelings with your partner. What is it you need to feel acknowledged. When your partner said something in an argument, explain how it made you feel as opposed to what was said as a fact.
- Get to know your partners love Language. Similar to the above, but ask them what makes them feel loved specifically. Is it physical touch, gifts, acts of service, Words or time spent. From this place you can have increased awareness around how to make your partner feel the love you have for them.
- Use the power of repeating back to your partner what you understood then to have shared. E.g. “I understand that when I say x y and z it makes you feel like x. Have I understood that?”
- Spend five minutes each day either out loud or writing it down the things your partner does/is that makes you feel appreciation for them. This one tip alone can transform how you feel if done on a daily basis and your partner will pick up on your change of state towards them.
Remind yourself of the above four tips on a daily basis. Whether you and your partner fight or not, you will be able to cultivate a strong relationship built on trust and a commitment to work through anything that might come up for either of you together.