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Blackberry's avatar

How do we know if all the small battles we go through in relationships are healthy or not?

Asked by Blackberry (31878points) December 14th, 2011

Doesn’t it seem like in the media and in our lives, we see long term relationships as two people bickering back and forth? One person wins an argument over here, the other person wins an argument over there etc.

It just seems like a lot of relationships are like that. Why do we do that? Of course we can’t expect two humans to be completely synchronized for decades, but do we accept these small battles as a part of a relationship? How do you know if the battles are healthy or not?

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It depends on whether the outcome is constructive.

Do you openly share your feelings and your partner shares theirs?

Is the conflict resolved? Or do you have the same battles over and over again?

If it is the later case, you are not arguing constructively.

janbb's avatar

If he walks out the door, the bickering was not healthy. (Or the people weren’t.) Do I sound a bit jaded? Forgive me.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

It is like music. There is tension and release. Human brains and emotions respond to that tension in a relationship, the same way we respond to good music, or a junkie responds to a fix and the withdrawal afterwards.

We know instinctively whether or not the relationship itself is healthy or not the same way. After interacting with the person, do you feel elated and want to do it again, or are we ashamed of ourselves and feel used.

All strong relationships have a tension and release, you cannot separate it from the relationship. It is the attraction part, the lust and fun part. You can decide that after interacting with the person you feel crummy and used, and break it off as unhealthy.

CWOTUS's avatar

I think it depends on how you “fight” them. If you see every disagreement as “a fight” for example, then I think that’s not healthy on its face. If you can handle disagreement – and even cheerfully retain the disagreement – without having it affect your feeling for the other person, then you’re doing it right.

There are all kinds of websites to describe effective and healthy ways to work out disagreements. It took me a long time to learn some of that on my own, but it’s definitely worth knowing.

Sunny2's avatar

I think the bickering seen in the media is supposed to be funny, although I found it very tiresome. Talk about it with your SO. I’d say, if it doesn’t solve anything, then it is useless. How do you feel after a fight? Arguing always made my stomach ache. I avoided it. Talk together about your problem solving techniques. We decided that whoever ‘cared’ the most got his/her choice. (This won’t work if one person is always the one who gets to choose. )

john65pennington's avatar

Battles in a relationship are not always bad. Sometimes, there is really a need for a small conflict, so the problem at hand can be resolved, with both parties understanding why it happened.

The best part….......IS THE MAKEUP !

Blackberry's avatar

@john65pennington It looks like you had some great makeup sessions.

john65pennington's avatar


linguaphile's avatar

If there is any condescension at all, it isn’t healthy.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I think they’re just indicative of our wanting our own way or at least believing it’s best, neither of which are inherently bad, but sometimes we let them get the better of us. If the small battles aren’t adding up to bigger ones, stemming from vindictiveness, or overly one-sided there’s little to be concerned with; particularly in what would be seen as an otherwise healthy relationship.

Coloma's avatar

Relationships are a LOT of work, and it takes two progressive and self aware people to pull off anything remotely healthy.

‘Healthy” is respect, compassion, empathy, and also the ability to look at ones own programing, triggers, hot spots.

‘Unhealthy” is hard core ego, gotta “win”, be “right” at all costs.

Personally, I have done a shitload of “work” over the years and I find that most relationships are a lot more work than I care to participate in these days.

Oh the joys of being a fully self realized person. It only takes 4–5 decades. lol

tranquilsea's avatar

Any fight my hubby and I have gotten into has been followed by talks later about what we could have done better and apologies, if needed. The thing about our fights is that we generally feel better about one another after.

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