Social Question

ninjacolin's avatar

How normal is fighting in relationships and what kind of fighting (duration, volume, weaponry.. etc..) is unhealthy for a couple?

Asked by ninjacolin (14204points) October 15th, 2012

For example.. If your neighbors can hear it, it must be unacceptable for a couple to continue, right?

What about if your roommates can hear it? Is it cool if it only happens once a month but uncool if it happens weekly? Is it uncool if it lasts more than 5 minutes at elevated volumes?

What are some good guidelines and what should observers and fighting couples do if there’s just too much of this stuff going on for anyone’s comfort.

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16 Answers

ucme's avatar

Once the pan glances off the bonce of the victim, that’s around about the time it’s gotten out of control.
I mean, pans ain’t cheap to replace you know!

psyonicpanda's avatar

Ide say “weaponry” of anykind is an unhealthy relationship including hands. some people just get along better after yelling out all the nonsense they were fighting over. Me? I hate yelling, so I prefer to challenge my SO to a game that I am bound to win. and when I do, the bragging rights is enough.

augustlan's avatar

Some arguing is normal, and pretty much every relationship is bound to have some. Sometimes it’s going to be loud, most likely, and that could still be in the normal range. It’s hard to say how often is normal, because it varies. You might have 5 fights in one week (probably all about the same thing), and no more fights for 5 years after that.

If it’s happening all the time, or if there is violence or verbal abuse, that is not normal.

If you’re witnessing a run-of-the-mill argument, vacate the area and let them argue in (relative) privacy. If it’s happening too often for your comfort, tell them it’s making you uncomfortable and that you might not be around much if it’s going to continue. If it veers into verbal abuse, talk to them both later, when things have calmed down. If it gets physical, call the police.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m not sure if this is a joke.

dabbler's avatar

Disagreement is completely normal. What you do about it makes all the difference.
Physical or emotional violence is usually a mistake and will undermine the relationship.
Some folks will include being (very) loud as violence but I’d say it has a lot to do with what you’re saying. If each keeps their statements to what they feel and what they want and avoid blaming and name-calling and other abusive behaviors a lot can be accomplished with a loud ranting outburst.

I can’t think of any reason to let a disagreement/argument turn into a fight in a relationship you care about. It will always cost more than it’s worth. Happens all the time though, most folks have not developed any control over how they express themselves when upset.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

As long as you remain respectful of the other partner, disagreements are fine. If you always rollover to the other partner’s view then you don’t really have a relationship.

marinelife's avatar

Fighting is only good if it’s productive. That is if the fighting couple sees the underlying issues that are causing the fight, and gaining insight into their own motivations, works to change the dynamic that caused the fight.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends how you define fighting. My husband thinks we fight all the time, and I think we almost never do. To him, any disagreement is a fight, and any voice above a nornal tone is screaming. He grew up in a very passive aggressive home, where passionate verbal fights did not exist, except when something was very very seriously wrong…a parent leaving the house for a while or a smack coming with screaming (he actually never witnessed or experienced a smack, he was the youngest child and all that seemed to have ended by the time of his birth). His sister left her first husband for many reasons, but a huge complaint of hers was his temper. He was screaming a lot, and kind of threw things down, never threw anything across a room, or broke any walls, or lifted a hand, nothing close to that, but his anger was just visible. When she was engaged to her second husband her mom one day when saying how much she liked this guy talked about how she had never seen him raise his voice. It was like a lightbulb for me, what they put so much value on was temper. Husband’s can be having sex with the neighbor, or not speak to their wives for three weeks, but just as long as you don’t raise your voice. That is an exxageration of course, but it isn’t extremely far off. So, in my husband’s s family, maybe it is his culture, fighting regularly is seen as very negative.

Switch to my house growing up and people were screaming all the time. It was too much, not healthy, but we did not think the sky was falling when someone raised their voice. Culturally my group is more likely to yell, I am Jewish from the New York area. Oh, by the way, my SIL’s husband who I spoke of above is Italian, another stereotype that fits the bill.

Somewhere in the middle is nice I think. Being calm and discussing differences is best, but if it gets a little heated woth raised voices, bringing it back down to a nornal tone should be the goal, not shuttng down and dropping the discussion altogether.

Anyone who seems full of anger, on edge, and very controlling. Who criticizes everything the other person does, who ony looks for what they do wrong, and who don’t genuinely have a goal of solving a disagreement, but rather winning and pushing the other person’s opinion out, that is not a good thing, and that person either needs some anger management, or at minimum to learn how to better express themselves; is not in love anymore, not as united in the reationship; or is thinking about cheating or is,

wundayatta's avatar

When we fight, we almost never raise our voices. We do our fighting in private. That’s the way both of us were raised. I don’t know if it’s that good, since I understand you are supposed to model how to disagree in front of children.

Except maybe we aren’t as quiet as I thought. My daughter always says, “stop fighting” when we have a disagreement. We don’t think we’re fighting, but she, at least partially, perceives us to be fighting. I can’t tell if she’s joking with us mostly, because sometimes she tells us to stop fighting and it can’t be serious.

We have a history of not confronting each other. This has not been good. I guess nowadays we take our issues to the therapist, who helps us deal with them in a more constructive way, and keeps us from bullying each other. Both of us are very sensitive.

All this to say that if I heard roommates fighting, that would be cause to deal with it publicly. It is not cool. And hurting each other with or without weapons is decidedly uncool.

They say there are many different styles of dealing with conflict. Some people yell. Some people are quiet. It doesn’t mean it’s a problem, as long as both sides are comfortable with that style.

I’m not comfortable with raising voices and violence. There was only one person who got to raise his voice in my childhood: my father, and that was really scary and unsafe. Sometimes, when we were younger, it led to spanking. So there was always the threat of violence later on, even if it never materialized. Still later, it led to threats of expulsion, and eventually to an actual expulsion from the house.

I think that in the end, the answer to this question has to do with your personal comfort level. If it bothers you, you should talk to your roommates about it and let them know how their behavior makes you feel. If it bothers you enough, you may have to move out.

Sunny2's avatar

Some couples live their lives in constant bickering. They seem comfortable with it. When with them, I feel stressed, so I avoid being with them for any amount of time. Too much arguing depends on the parties involved. Some like to argue a lot because they enjoy “making up.” When the anger gets physical, or threatening that’s too much, in my book.

hearkat's avatar

Fighting is not necessary. Disagreements are inevitable, but can be discussed and resolved with dignity and respect. My earlier relationships were full of fights and arguments, and even got violent at times—and I was the aggressor a good proportion of the time.

Now I’ve shed my baggage and have a sense of self-worth and integrity. I no longer want to control others, nor do I take offense at what others do or say. I have been with my fiancé for 3 years, and we had one tiff over a miscommunication. We don’t like all the same things, and we have some differences of opinion, but we are very compatible, and we both consider our relationship a much higher priority than the petty differences I used to fight with my exes about.

flutherother's avatar

It’s impossible to lay down rules. Some couples thrive on arguments and fights and it is normal for them. In general, as soon as one party starts to feel uncomfortable with the fighting then I suppose you could say it is too much but there again there might be good reasons for it.

deni's avatar

Disagreements are normal, I think, but actually yelling at each other should happen a minimal amount. What’s to yell about, and why can’t it just be discussed? In my experience usually yelling happens when there are more serious issues….mistrust, maybe someone potentially cheated or the relationship is just not fulfilling someones needs. I don’t know, it’s different for every couple, like all things in life. But yeah, if your neighbors can hear it, probably not good. And roommates don’t wanna hear it either. Take it outside or in the car or something. No one wants to be a part of a marital struggle let alone have to deal with hearing someone elses. Ever hear your parents fight when you were younger? It’s scary and really, really unpleasant listening to people scream at each other.

Shippy's avatar

I think if there are raised voices and worry about neighbors hearing, then something is wrong. Disagreements are to be expected but that just sounds out of control to me.

Berserker's avatar


lol bro

It’s probably good for couples, and good friends, to fight every now and then. It’s not a fun ordeal, but it is a way to develop, explore and cement the relationship further, if it’s meant to be. But if physical abuse, threats, blackmail or insults and the like are the main course, then it’s probably time to split up. You can fight with people you love, but it’s not healthy if you intentionally hurt them in any way. Fighting can lead to understanding, but if it’s just a boxing match, then fuck it.

ninjacolin's avatar

not a joke.

Really amazing thoughts, guys. Thanks!

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