Why Arguing Keeps Our Marriage Healthy

You’ve seen that couple — you know the one that’s always bickering about something trivial, like whether soy milk is better than cream? They’re super annoying to be around, but it turns out that they might be onto something: Done the right way, arguments can be good for a marriage, according to Psychology Today.

The research tells us that harmful patterns of fighting hurt marriages, but healthy arguing makes couples closer…We win any fight when we remember to love, even when we hurt, and to use our affection to learn from every disagreement.

My husband and I squabble about plenty of things. We disagree over whose turn it is to clean the bathroom (always his) and where we should go for dinner (I never know what I want). I get annoyed by how he doesn’t do anything about a sink full of dirty dishes while I’ve stared at it for two days, hoping it’ll bother him enough to actually wash them.

Our fighting styles are generally passive. Thanks to my mother, I’ve become an unwilling expert of the cold shoulder. My husband avoids confrontation whenever possible. We rarely have all-out shouting matches, but when we do start to shout at each other, it means we’re currently not in sync with each other.

After years and years together, we’ve learned that when things escalate to shouting we need to take a step back, express our feelings in an open way, and really listen to each other. Psychologists call this a “soft” approach, and it’s supposed to help rebuild trust and increase intimacy in a marriage.

Once our feelings are out there, we can begin to fix the problem. We always start by saying, “I’m sorry.” And then, after we’ve resolved the issue, we always have make-up sex. And we all know that make-up sex is mind blowing.

What do you and your husband bicker about most often?