Fighting Before Marriage is a Good Thing. BOASTING that you’ve “never had a fight” with your partner actually isn’t that great – turns out having an argument is good for your relationship.
What does it really take to have a happy and lasting marriage? Turns out it’s fighting.
Most couples interpret fighting as a bad sign and worry it’s a sign that they might not be compatible partners, after all.
However, fighting before marriage about important issues is better than fighting during the marriage. Figuring out each others personality, beliefs, core values, and goals are very important before you tie the knot with someone.
Fighting before marriage also allows each partner to gain a rich source of information about the process of how you fight and whether you can learn to have conflict without weakening your bond. Only in the context of conflict will you be able to see whether each of you can do things like…
• Manage and de-escalate your own negative emotions
• Understand each other’s perspective even when you don’t agree
• Treat each other with basic respect in the heat of conflict
• Strengthen your bond through the process of post-conflict insight and repair
• Come to new understandings of yourselves and your relationship in a way that deepens intimacy
7 Reasons Why Fighting Is Good For Your Relationship
1. It strengthens the relationship by increasing trust.
Constructive fighting that occurs within boundaries, or rules, that allow for emotional expression while avoiding abuse, strengthen a relationship. Weathering the storm allows a couple to see the clearing skies, and with calm waters approaching, a deeper understanding is glimpsed on the horizon. Coming through the other side of an argument strengthens feelings of trust in the process. Knowing that I can survive makes fighting less threatening. Because it is less threatening I tend to avoid delaying a confrontation and present my concerns earlier to my partner when they are less likely to cause an explosive reaction.
2. You will feel better.
Letting off steam and expressing your feelings releases tension, anxiety and fear. When this happens I feel “unburdened,” lighter,” “like a weight is off my shoulders.” Not only does this feel better, but it is also a healthier state when anxiety and stress, with accompanying harmful hormones, are dissipated (this does not mean venting or dumping toxic shit on your partner). Keeping emotions bottled up all the time leads to rigidity of the mind, body, and soul.
3. Your partner will know your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
When you are able to fully express yourself, your partner will understand the depth of your feelings about the subject. If you say, in a quiet and unobtrusive manner, “I don’t like it when you do X,” if your partner hears you, they will think you are mildly irritated about some little thing. If you are able to put some volume and intensity in the communication, they will get that this is important to you. Fighting has a tendency to bring out our worst tendencies. But it can also bring out our best attributes once we work through the tough stuff. In this process, we get to know the good, the bad and the ugly of ourselves and our partners, and still love them.
4. Intimacy increases.
Fighting tells us what is important for our partner, what they don’t like, what they want, where their boundaries are, how flexible they are, what hurts them, and what they need to feel better. Discovering these aspects breeds a deeper intimacy and appreciation of the other. Fighting can be a growth process in which your self-understanding, and understanding of your partner increases.
5. Your partner is a separate individual.
After we become comfortable in a relationship, it is easy to think our partner knows our mood, our needs, and our wants. Some people even think they can, or should, be able to read our minds. Fortunately, fighting dashes these delusions in an instant. When faced with someone who is clearly upset, and telling us in no uncertain terms that they do not agree with our point of view, belief, or behavior – it becomes blatantly obvious that they are their own person. Sometimes it is hard to recognize them at all as new sides of their personality emerge. It can be a scary sight.
6. Improves your character.
You increase your patience, care, and love by focusing on what is important – that you care for this person and want them to be happy (without losing sight of your own needs). Fighting is like forging steel. In the beginning, there is no strength or flexibility in the unrefined product. As it is repeatedly heated, folded and re-formed – like the samurai swords of old – a beautiful piece of art is forged that can withstand the shocks and strains of heavy engagement without breaking.
7. It is human – you can stop trying to be perfect.
Fighting demonstrates that you are human and not some perfect angelic being, or that you have the perfect relationship, or that you are above it all. It shows that sometimes you are in a bad mood, are stressed out, or just plain tired.
Finally, Two people who go into their marriage knowing that they can stay connected despite conflict have a much better chance of staying married. So, fighting before marriage isn’t always a bad sign. In fact, it can actually strengthen your relationship in the long run — as long as it’s not your only form of communication.