Never Fight with Your Spouse? Why That’s NOT a Good Thing

5 Jan

WARNING – you’ll need to set-aside conventional wisdom to read this post!

Haven’t we all been taught that the less conflict in a marriage, the better? Well, recent studies say that’s actually NOT true. In fact, studies now show that couples who have regular conflict actually are happier in their marriages!

So, let me clarify – what we’ve learned is that couples who report little to no conflict in their marriages score very low on marital happiness surveys. Those who report moderate conflict report the highest marital happiness. And, those who report high conflict also score very low on marital happiness surveys.conflict-couples

Confused yet?

Well, it actually makes sense – couples who “keep the peace,” “stuff their feelings,” or “shut-down,” don’t have a lot of conflict, in the traditional sense. Instead of actually discussing disagreements and resolving conflict, those in very low conflict marriages tend to hold onto their feelings, which eventually turn into resentment.

For couples who have a moderate amount of conflict, disagreements happen. But, both sides are open to talking through the problem and coming to a resolution.

But, then, there are couples who have high conflict, meaning they have explosive fights that occur frequently. They often report low marital satisfaction because they haven’t figured out how to resolve the conflict in a healthy way.

So, it’s kind of a like a bell curve – remember those?

It’s good to remember that you don’t have a disastrous marriage just because you have conflict, just as you’re not always a happy couple just because you never argue.

As in most things, it’s all about moderation.



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