How Often Do Couples Fight and When You Should Be Concerned

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How Often Do Couples Fight and When You Should Be Concerned

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Fights and disagreements are part of any relationship. No matter how much you get along with and love each other, fights are bound to happen at some point. Some couples seem to fight more frequently than others and a few others seem like they rarely do. How often do couples fight? And when is it no longer healthy for your relationship?

In this guide, you will find the answers to these questions so you know when it’s time to seek professional help.

How Often Do Couples Fight – An Overview

Once the honeymoon phase is over, most couples begin to argue because their differences start to rear their ugly heads. While you strive to share positive experiences, this isn’t always possible. There will be times when you fight and bicker, but those shouldn’t outweigh the positive memories.

There is no definitive number that would point to when and how often couples should fight. After all, it’s not just the frequency that is being referred to here. You should also look at what you are fighting about. It also depends on whether you managed to resolve the issues at the end of each fight.

How often is “too often” for those couples who fight constantly? This is all a matter of perspective as each relationship is unique. Some couples do not fight but when they do, it’s the end of the relationship. A few others fight regularly, but they always make up and move on. Only those who are involved in the relationship can determine this.

how often do couples fight

What Do Couples Fight About: Healthy vs Toxic

Focusing on the frequency of the fights is not the best way to approach your relationship problems. Experts suggest that you look at the intensity and level of fighting to determine if it’s still healthy or is toxic for your relationship.

Quality vs Quantity

There is no right or wrong number on how often couples fight. Instead, experts believe that the quality of your fights can be an indicator of the health of your relationship.

Healthy relationships are those that engage in a fair, finished, and productive fight. The goal is to achieve a resolution for what you are arguing about. It should not be about winning an argument with your partner.

Listening vs Talking

A healthy argument is when there is mutual respect for each other. This involves a commitment to hear the other’s point of view. Both parties must be willing to listen instead of wanting to air their side only.

Keeping it Respectful

When you argue, do you start calling each other names? It is easy to let anger get the best of you. However, you need to stay committed to your partner even during the heat of an argument. Never strive to say things that could hurt them or leave them feeling frustrated or upset.

Opportunity to Grow

Fights are good for a relationship, say experts, because it helps a relationship to grow. It can strengthen your relationship if you are willing to listen to the other person with sincerity and consider their feelings. Use it as a way to let the other person achieve self-awareness and make the necessary corrections in their behavior.

frequent couple fight and arguments

When Should You Be Concerned?

As mentioned above, fights are beneficial for a relationship if you consider your partner during the argument. However, some fights can be toxic. You need to avoid the following situations if you do not want to cause a strain in your relationship.

  • If the fights start to become physical, this is very concerning. A healthy fight should not involve pushing, hitting, or throwing things. Once it gets to that level, you need to seriously evaluate your relationship and get help immediately.

  • If the fight is about jumping from one grievance to the next, that’s when fights become toxic. You need to focus on the issue at hand and refrain from bringing up past issues that have been resolved.

  • If you start to become dismissive of your partner, you need to be concerned. Your fights should not involve name-calling or trying to ridicule the other person.

  • If you start to shut each other out, that is when you need help. It means one of the two parties is more concerned about winning the argument instead of helping the relationship to progress.

How Often Do Couples Fight – Important Questions to Ask

Most counselors who help with couples use these questions to help evaluate the extent of fighting in a relationship.

Is it normal to fight every day?

Some couples fight every day, others don’t. If you fight every day, you should be concerned when it starts to affect your view of your relationship. It is based on the intensity of the argument. But if you fight about small things, that is rarely something to be worried about.

What is fair fighting?

The concept of fair fighting is something that is encouraged by relationship counselors. Why is it important? Because the one you are arguing with is your partner. You need to be aware that you are on the same team – you are not enemies. The moment you fight to try and bring the other down, you need to pause and think. How will it affect the overall integrity of your relationship?

How long should you take a break between an argument?

When you engage in a heated discussion with your partner, professional counselors recommend taking a break to calm down. This should give you enough time to calm your nerves so you can focus on the issue being discussed. Also, you cannot let an emotionally charged argument ruin your relationship as you could end up saying something that would hurt your partner.

The Bottom Line

How often do couples fight is not the best predictor of a healthy relationship. Some couples who are in a more healthy relationship fight more than those who are not. As counterintuitive as it might sound, the above information should have shed light on the role that fighting plays in a relationship and how you can assess its impact.

If you feel like your arguments are no longer serving your relationship, consult a professional. They can help you to evaluate its impact on your relationship and the steps that need to be taken.

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  • Travis Atkinson

    Travis Atkinson, L.C.S.W., is the Director and Creator of the Loving at Your Best Plan. He has extensive training in marriage and couples therapy, based on over 27 years in practice, earning certificates from top-rated couples therapy models, including: *Certified Advanced Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer for Individuals and Couples *Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist and Supervisor *Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist *Certified Group Psychotherapist *Honorary Lifetime Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy Travis is a co-author of the latest schema mode therapy inventory, the SMI. He is also the co-author of two chapters in the recently published “Creative Methods in Schema Therapy: Advances and Innovation in Clinical Practice (Routledge, 2020) and author of “Schema Therapy for Couples: Healing Partners in a Relationship” in the Handbook of Schema Therapy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

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