How Often Do Couples Fight?

Wondering if arguing is just part and parcel of relationships? Well, it’s all about finding that sweet spot of balance! Think of conflicts as your relationship’s growth spurts, nudging you both towards healing and evolution. Sure, when tensions rise, it’s a sign that something needs your attention, but it’s also an opportunity to level up your communication game. 

But what if those arguments start feeling like they’re happening more often and getting more intense? How much arguing is too much? Don’t worry; in this post, we will dive into all of these questions and more, so buckle up as we navigate this somewhat heavy topic together!


The Pros: 5 Benefits of Healthy Arguments in a Relationship

A healthy amount of arguments in a relationship or marriage can have some of the following benefits:

1. Opportunity for Growth

Conflict presents a chance for both healing and personal development. It arises when there’s something that requires resolution. By mastering the skill of navigating through your disparities, you pave the way for a relationship that’s not only more harmonious but also filled with joy.

2. Increase Curiosity

Conflict serves as a learning opportunity about your partner. By resolving relationship conflicts together, you gain insight into your partner’s values, aspirations, desires, and necessities.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Arguments can actually strengthen your bond and fortify your relationship. By addressing and resolving conflicts, you become more resilient as a couple. Even during disagreements, you can express love and commitment, reassuring each other with statements like, “I may be frustrated and upset right now, but my love for you remains steadfast, and I’m here for the long haul.”

4. Self-Awareness & Accountability

Healthy arguments in a marriage or a relationship can lead to personal growth by enhancing self-awareness and accountability. When faced with differing opinions, individuals reflect on their beliefs and emotions, gaining a deeper understanding of themselves. Effective communication and active listening foster accountability as each person takes responsibility for their words and actions, fostering mutual respect and trust.

5. Post Conflict Intimacy & Repair

Coming back together after a disagreement brings a sense of relief and joy. Offering a heartfelt apology not only strengthens your relationship bond but can also ignite the spark for some unforgettable makeup intimacy moments.

The Cons: 5 Red Flags that Couples’ Arguments are Crossing the Line

1. You’re Stuck in an Endless Loop

Alrighty, picture this: You and your partner, like characters in a sitcom, keep hitting rewind on the same argument reel; stuck in a loop. Instead of just brushing it off as a quirky theme in your relationship, maybe it’s time to grab the popcorn and consider if your communication skills need a little sprucing up. Could it be that these recurring spats are like hidden treasure maps leading you to some deeper, buried issues? Time to grab your explorer hats and dive in!

2. Arguments End with One of You Stonewalling

Let’s talk about stonewalling, the “exit stage left” move in arguments. Stonewalling happens when one person shuts down the argument before you’ve reached any sort of conclusion. It’s like hitting the mute button on your partner’s spiel before you’ve even gotten to the good part. Usually, it happens when someone is either so fed up they’re seeing steam come out of their ears or they’re just drowning in feelings. If one of you finds yourselves itching to bolt mid-debate, well, you might just be toeing the line of argument landmines. 

3. You’re Insulting Each Other

Maybe it’s not the argument itself that’s causing the ruckus, but rather, it’s the way you are sparring with words. If your back-and-forths start sounding like a scene from a rowdy sitcom, or you’re tossing insults around like confetti at a party, it might be time to switch gears. When frustration levels are through the roof, it’s time to hit the brakes and dig a little deeper to uncover what’s really bugging you both.

4. The Physical Space Between is Growing

Has the consistency or intensity of your arguments reached a point where you are feeling disconnected? Is the dinner dialogue reaching a place that prevents you from feeling connected as you crawl into bed, the same bed that once was a place for vulnerable and connected physical intimacy? 

You are now living together with a space between, that keeps you so far apart emotionally that you cannot reach out physically. When the conflicts you engage in with your partner start to negatively influence your ability to emotionally connect with physical intimacy, it becomes imperative to address these issues head-on.

5. You Feel the Need to be Right

Imagine your relationship as a playful game of tug-of-war. Now, when we’re fixated on being the undisputed champion of “I’m right!”, it’s like pulling on that rope with all our might, leaving our partner stuck in the mud. And let’s face it, nobody likes being stuck in the mud! This tug-of-war quickly turns into a not-so-fun power struggle, where one person’s victory becomes the other’s defeat, and the relationship ends up suffering the most.

Recognize Your Conflict Style & Find Ways Improve 

In order to help keep relationship arguments from going too far, it’s important to identify what kind of “fighter” you are. According to the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, there are at least six categories most people fall under when they’re fighting.

  1. You avoid conflict at all costs
  2. You feel that any criticism or disagreement is an attack on you
  3. You hit “below the belt” and regret it later
  4. You feel out of control when conflict arises
  5. You withdraw and become silent when you’re angry
  6. You store up complaints from the distant past

At one time or another, we’ve all done or found ourselves doing one or more of these. Mainly, that’s because conflict can cause discomfort and we’ll use anything in our arsenal to avoid it or find a way to just get through it without actually having come to a resolution. Our couples therapists in Brooklyn, NY can help you identify your conflict style and find better ways to manage your relationship or marriage arguments.

How Can Couples Manage an Argument

Here are some recommended ways for couples to manage their arguments and find a solution:

1.Remain calm

Nothing is ever accomplished successfully by stressing out or getting more upset. Taking the approach of staying calm during a conflict will help keep it from escalating or going too far.

2.Express feelings in words, not actions

In this sense, actions do speak louder than words. If your body language is in conflict with what you’re saying to your partner, an argument is sure to intensify. Remember to relax your body. Don’t tense up, roll your eyes, ball your fists or show any signs that contradicts your words.

3. Don’t revisit old conflicts

It’s never a good idea to bring up old arguments, especially if those conflicts were seemingly resolved. No one wins any extra points (or points at all) by bringing up old conflicts. This can also make solving the conflict at hand even more difficult, because you may forget what you were even arguing about in the first place.

4.Avoid accusations

Never begin an argument by accusing a partner of wrongdoing. This only serves to put the other person on defense. Defending actions or words doesn’t help get to the root of the issue.

5.Avoid staying silent

This might seem like the smart option when a partner is upset about something, but it can be very counterproductive. Staying silent can be misconstrued as insensitivity, which can make the other person feel as though their partner doesn’t care about how they feel. 

If you feel the need to stay silent, at least let the other person know why you’ve decided to keep quiet for now (e.g., trying to collect your thoughts, trying to keep from saying something you’ll regret, etc.).


Is It Normal to Argue in a Relationship?

It’s completely normal (and healthy) to argue in a relationship. The truth is, you’re never going to not argue. The ultimate goal is having a disagreement, understanding where the other person is coming from, and moving on.

How Often Do Couples Fight?

Since we are all individuals and there are far too many variables to take into account to come up with a number that fits all relationships, the best way to better understand how often couples fight is the 5:1 Ratio from the Gottman Institute. This is a highly researched, evidence based ratio of how many fights, or negative interactions, healthy relationships have. For every 1 argument, or fight, there needs to be 5 positive, connecting interactions. Pull out your notepads so that you can start tracking the interactions within your relationship to see if you are landing within that healthy ratio of fights.

Find Solutions with Couples Therapy for Arguing in Brooklyn, NY

Don’t worry. Even if your arguing is causing more serious problems in your relationship, you’re not doomed! Couples therapy for arguing and forgiveness can help identify and manage deeper problems, and help couples learn new conflict resolution skills so they can argue better. If you think arguments may be causing more serious problems in your relationship, CONTACT US today for a free 15-minute virtual consultation with one of our many, talented couples therapists in Brooklyn, NYC today.’’