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newtscamander's avatar

Are harmonious relationships bound to last longer?

Asked by newtscamander (2825 points ) November 14th, 2012

In your experience, did fighting make a relationship “bad” or did an absence of conflicts make it “good”? Does some conflict from time to time simply show passion and different opinions or does it have to mean that the partners are intolerant with each other? Where are your boundaries, would you say that a relationship can be nurturing and loving but also contain discrepancies? And have you ever ended a relationship because there was simply too much fighting involved?

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17 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

conflict doesn’t equal passion.

In my opinion, the single most important part in a relationship is respect, followed by commitment.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m not a fighter myself. If we’re fighting something else is wrong. I like harmony and respect. But I work with lots of couples that fight all the time and they’re happy that way. Everyone’s different.

filmfann's avatar

My wife and I argue over money fairly often, but not top-of-your-lungs arguing.
Otherwise, we get along fabulously. We have been married 28 years.
I have seen friends who have very violent relationships, who have been together as long as we have, but I worry they won’t live as long.

snapdragon24's avatar

I’d say it really depends. Some couples need conflict and passion to make it work…usually both partners thrive on drama hence it can work for a long time…until one gets tired of the other. Other couples are quiet, and share little conflict at all…but after a certain while…it may be possible that one gets bored of the other! And sometimes it has nothing to do with tolerance or not…the relationship just works. The two people are compatible and thats that. But of course…no relationship is perfect.

marinelife's avatar

I have experienced both kinds of fighting. Bad fighting, which I characterize as unfocused anger from past wounds and good constructive fighting in which each partner uses the fight to look at their own feelings and make forward progress.

Through therapy, I was able to eliminate much of the former and through work on the relationship and its issues much of the latter. Now I am left with a relationship in which we don’t usually fight.

It is blissful! Too much fighting, especially unfocused fighting from which you don’t learn anything about yourself, is not good.

JLeslie's avatar

Hamony is better in my opinion. Although, I like fun even better. Absense of arguing is not the same as really enjoying each other’s company. Relationships are more complex than just arguing or not. Mutual respect, supporting each other’s dreams and goals, having fun together, accomplishing things together, all these things make a fufilling long lasting relationship. Whether people fight a lot, raise their voice a lot, can partly be cultural, how they handle conflict. I know people who bicker a lot and are very happily married, and people who never fight and are miserable and all that vice versa.

Unbroken's avatar

Now I am personally the type that likes playful banter, which is different from fighting but to an outside observer could look like bickering.

It is also my belief that it is normal to disagree with each other, the strength of the relationship is not defined by how quickly one defers to the other, but how successfully you navigate rough waters with each other.

Saying that there must always be respect. Yelling and physical fighting as well as passive agressive nipping tear at each other and your bond and are quite unpleasant.

Imo compatibility issues wise couple’s work better when they are more complementary rather then opposites.

Coloma's avatar

I have read that the “experts” say there must be 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative. I believe it. Relationships are a balance sheet like everything else. If the balance of positive to negative gets out of kilter and stays that way for more than a very short while, it’s doomed.

I have done a complete 180 over the years in my relationships, from being too tolerant of bullshit and taking on the fix it role, to having zero tolerance. I am not willing to “work” on relationships anymore. If a relationship is always in need of work, I don’t want it. lol
I am watching a friend right now who is my age, 52, involved in an emotionally draining relationship, I especially have little empathy for people in my age bracket that choose to stay in crappy relationships with unresolved issues.

I mean, WTF! Have you learned nothing in 50 years on this planet? haha

janbb's avatar

I think my marriage died of the blahs. Just sayin’

rojo's avatar

@Coloma That would make sense. I learned, and passed the knowledge on to my offspring, that 10 attaboys are cancelled out by 1ohshit in all social interactions

livelaughlove21's avatar

Conflict is inevitable in relationships. Absence of any conflict at all is not a good thing. Those that have no conflict are simply not invested enough in that relationship, at least emotionally, to care enough to argue. According to psychologists, “good” relationships have five times as many good experiences as bad ones. Some level of conflict is good, but it’s the conflict resolution skills that help determine how good the relationship is. It’s that communication and balancing that matters most. Harmonious relationships without conflict tend to be boring and partners are quicker to take advantage of the other.

(I’m no expert, as I’ve only been in one serious relationship, and that’s with my husband, so I must admit this information mostly came from my Marriage and Family textbook. I’ve found it to be true, though.)

Coloma's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yep, the 5–1 ratio.
I think a lot of peoples relationships stall in the intermitent reward zone. lolol

newtscamander's avatar

Have these ratios, exmaples from other couples and guidelines from books or people you know ever made you halt when provocating a fight? Or made you stop halfway through because you realised it was one of the fruitless fights @marinelife described?
I agree that some fighting is normal, I always try to keep in mind where my partner’s boundaries are to keep from going to far, but sometimes I am so frustrated that I go too far simply to shock him and get a reaction from him… I try not to, but from time to time my self-control fails.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think the answer is yes, as long as it means they truly agree on things. If one is constantly giving in to maintain the peace, then it’s not really harmonious.

deni's avatar

I think conflict is good, it can bring out issues that one person might not have wanted to bring up in the first place, but it’s best to have things out on the table. If you are fighting constantly, that’s a problem. But every once in a while is normal I think and can make the relationship stronger. I don’t think conflict should be completely absent from a relationship, nor do I think half your time together should be spent screaming at one another. Problems arise when they arise and it’s best to get them out there and address them in a respectful way.

Shippy's avatar

My mother always used to say, if no one is arguing in a relationship, someones keeping quiet. I reckon there is always going to be conflict, as we are two separate human beings. It’s just how it is dealt with that is important. And fighting and arguing never equates to passion in my book ever!

snapdragon24's avatar

@Coloma, you are spot on about the balance sheet. Now I am only 24 but I feel the same as you. Who wants to be in a relationship you constantly need to work at? Im over it too. Its like fighting against wind and in the end its a waste of time. Also, it clearly states that the person isn’t right for you. So no point in thinking its ‘our’ fault that relationship didn’t work, no point in reading retarded books of ‘how to get men’ or ‘what a woman shouldn’t do.’ In the end its all about him wanting to stay with the true you….anf if he goes, its because he wasn’t meant to stay! Uuuuf that was fun!!!

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