Every relationship has its ups and downs, and conflict is inevitable. But there is a thin line between routine arguments that occur due to lifestyle disagreements, chores, and time spent together–and arguments that occur because the structure of the relationship is completely cracked.
“Arguing is normal in a relationship,” Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at Double Trust Dating, told Bustle. “All couples have disagreements and working through them is the key to creating a strong relationship.”
But small arguments can quickly explode into large ones if respectful boundaries aren’t in place.
“Healthy arguing involves sticking to the topic, not letting it spiral into a bigger argument, and finding a resolution, even if it’s just agreeing to drop it,” Bennett told Bustle. “It also involves not making the argument personal, which can result in name-calling, hurt feelings, and a damaged relationship.”
The experts at Bustle put together a couple of ways to know if your arguments with your significant other are healthy or not.
You Argue In Public
It’s one thing to argue in the safety of your private home, but if it starts spilling out in front of company, there could be a problem. “If you’re bickering at very inappropriate times, it’s a sign that it’s turned into a real problem,” Bennett explained. “Examples can include arguing in public, at parties, at family gatherings, around friends, and so on.”
You Can’t Move On From The Argument
Conflict should have resolution, but if they tend to linger on without any type of understanding, there may be other issues.
“Healthy bickering involves hashing it out and moving on,” Bennett explained. “If you find yourself thinking about the argument long after it’s over or it bothers you hours later, then your fighting is taking an unhealthy turn.”
You Walk On Egg Shells
You should be in a place where you feel comfortable expressing your feelings to your partner. If you think confronting your partner will lead to issues, you’re probably walking on egg shells.
“If you are afraid to share how you really feel with your partner for fear of upsetting them, that is a sign your arguing has taken an unhealthy turn,” Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, told Bustle.
Arguing Is The Way You Communicate
All of your discussions with your partner should not be a fight.
“If you’re mostly communicating through arguments, that’s a sign you are bickering too much,” Dr. Racine Henry, PhD, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Sankofa Marriage and Family Therapy, told Bustle. “Everything shouldn’t be conflictual or solicit an argument.”