There are a lot of factors that differentiate healthy relationships from toxic ones. From how you treat each other to how often you spend time together, these little things come together and reflect just how good your relationship is.
How you deal with conflicts is also one of the indications of the strength of any couple. How do healthy couples argue? Here are five things they do that you should copy for a happy relationship:
1. They’re respectful, even in anger
A couple’s quarrel isn’t an opportunity for both partners to hurl every insult under the sun at each other. You can disagree without resorting to degrading and offensive words. When you can argue with your partner without insulting them, then you’re keeping that line of communication open. But once you become rude and cruel, your partner either shuts down or responds in kind which isn’t constructive. Also, insulting words, even if they were said in anger, sting long after that fight you had. And if you use those words over and over again to refer to your partner during fights, it weakens the bond you share.
2. They stick with the issue at hand
Do you have the habit of bringing up past sins during fights? This is very bad for the relationship especially if those issues were already resolved. It may be tempting to use what your partner did a long time ago as a weapon to prove your point, but that is neither smart nor effective. Stick with the issue at hand. And if you feel like you’re not over something he did in the past, then have a different conversation about that.
3. They are clear about what’s bothering them
Many people become passive-aggressive instead of addressing what really bothers them. It could be because they don’t know how to express themselves or they are worried about being too vulnerable. When you aren’t clear about what upsetting you and why, you don’t give your partner a clear idea of how to respond. So he sees you’re upset about something but the lack of directness means he has no clue how to address the issue.
4. They actually listen
Many couples form a habit of yelling over each other during arguments without actually listening to what the other is saying. You’re both trying so hard to share what’s on your mind, which is great. But it’s completely useless if you are doing it at the same time. At some point, you have to take turns. He talks, then you talk, back and forth like that until each person not only expresses themselves but also understands their partner’s position.
5. They make up
No real argument should end without going through that process of making up. Yelling at each other and then waking up the next day, pretending as if nothing happened, is unhealthy. A few more unfinished fights like that and your relationship will crash and burn sooner than later. Make sure that, at the end of each argument, you both feel heard and understood. You may end it with a compromise, an apology, an agreement, etc. But the point is that you have a calm conversation where both partners feel better about things.
If you don’t learn to properly resolve conflicts as a couple, it can affect other areas of the relationship, including your sex life. Find out how here.
Featured Image via Tyler Perry Productions / Acrimony