Is There Such A Thing As A “Healthy” Marital Fight? Experts Say Yes & Explain How to Tell the Difference

Two people cannot live in harmony 24/7. Each person has their own personality and desires. So expecting fights to never happen in your marriage is just unrealistic. But, there’s a difference between healthy and unhealthy fighting. Healthy fights can get heated, but couples in a healthy fight don’t attack and put down their partner.

Sarah Smelser, an LPC specializing in marriage counseling, says couples most frequently fight about the budget and their children. In-laws can be a source of contention, too. A healthy fight may start with an unfeeling comment and hurt feelings, but it ends with both sides being willing to communicate and truly listen to the other. “Fighting is an attempt to express needs within the relationship; however, true intention and meaning can often times get lost in translation,” Smelser says. “Couples need to express their needs, wants, and expectations. Knowing yourself, asking for what you need, and being willing to be flexible with your partner will help the communication stay clear and focused,” she explains.

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