Have you ever heard or experienced the following situations?
- “We are fighting all the time. Does that mean we have a bad relationship?”
- “Let’s not fight because it’s not worth it.”
- “I hate fighting because it’s uncomfortable. I don’t like seeing my partner getting upset”
- “Why bother with fighting when we can just move on?”
- Slamming doors, shouting, yelling, screaming, crying, talking, wanting to pull your hair out because the conversation is getting nowhere.
Why Don't We Like Fighting?
As a Denver Couples & Marriage Counselor, Sex Therapist, and Relationship Specialist, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone and any of my clients told me, “I like fighting" or "I like conflicts."
We are not raised in a culture and a country where fighting is welcome. Going further, we are never taught that fighting is part of life and of relationships. We are told that it’s not ok to feel all those yucky, uncomfortable feelings and emotions when we have conflicts. So most of us don’t even have the possibility of learning and practicing the right skills to fight since there is no permission given at the first place.
As a result, fighting gets a bad rep and an unfair representation of what it is really trying to tell us, show us, and teach us. It has the reputation as being a sign of a bad relationship. Couples and individuals develop high anxiety and fear towards fighting. It is a myth that happy couples don't fight. Some of the most loving and passionate couples I have worked with have some of the most intense fights in their relationships. Somehow, their relationships only become hotter and most intimate.
The Truth About Fighting
Fighting by itself is not a bad thing AT ALL! It is not a villain that tears your relationship apart, that destroy your connection, intimacy, and desire. It is how you fight that determines the quality of a relationship. In fact, fighting is a “requirement class” that we all have to go take in order for our relationships to go to the next level, and for ourselves for grow.
If you want more intimacy and connection in your relationship, then welcome fighting. As a Denver Sex Therapist, I have seen my clients' sex life and relationship transformed when they learn the right skills to use fighting to their advantages. Fighting brings in more heat and fire, and that can make sex hot and relationship passionate.
Plus, you can’t avoid it, right? No matter what you do, where you do, and who you meet, fighting is just part of the whole deal.
Fighting is Not Bad Because...
1. It shows that the relationship has reached its plateau, and it is ready for the next relationship and sexual stages for the couples.
2. It shows that each of partner has been changing and growing, and the previous relationship style and sexual style need to change. It is an opportunity to bring in new information, new sexual play, or new way of showing love and passion.
3. It shows that the couples’ dynamic has been changing but the couples are still trying to function under their old, most often unspoken relationship and sexual contract contracts. Hence, it is time for a newer version of the relationship/marital contracts and sexual contracts.
4. It shows both partners’ deepest needs and wants. It could also be that more needs and wants are showing up, which means it is an opportunity of creating more connection and intimacy. It is also an opportunity window to bring in more spontaneity and passion into couples’ sexual life.
5. It shows both partners still have themselves in the relationship, and have not completely lose themselves and let go of their values and beliefs. You are not afraid to speak up for yourself. That is a strengthen because you have to have “you” in the relationship in order for the relationship to work.
6. It shows that couples still care about their relationships. There is still passion. They have not withdrawal and give up. When couples stop fighting, that’s where the passion starts to flow away, and the light in the dynamic starts to get dimmer and dimmer. Sex also becomes less frequent and less intimate and passionate. (BTW, withdrawing in a relationship is still a form of communication. Just because the couples are not openly and verbally talking, yelling, screaming, or name calling, that does not mean they are not communicating anymore. Couples are always communicating with each other. Please read my blog, We Are Not Communicating! Really? for more details).
7. It shows the unpleasant past and the injuries we have endured as a child in our own family and/or the wounds that still need to be healed due to other relationships in our adulthoods.
Why Fighting is Important for A Relationship?
I know we all long for a perfect relationship where we just understand each other, have fun most of the time or all the time, our partners are always caring and respectful, our needs and wants are always met without discomfort, and you can name the rest.
In fact, it is the fighting with each other and the collision of each other’s differences and the so called “imperfections” that will eventually bring a couple closer, create more connection, have more intimacy and passion, and make relationships last. Moreover, it is the process of fighting, going through those unpleasant moments that will give us the real healing for ourselves. That in turn will make the relationship more complete and “perfect.”
As a Denver Couples Therapist and Relationship Specialist, that's what I see in my clients when they acquire the right skills and develop the right relationship and sexual contracts for their dynamic. Fighting brings a relationship closer and helps individuals to heal from their past woundings.
The Intimate Connection Between Fighting and Relationships
Can you see how it is a full cycle? Without fighting, there’s no passion. Without passion, there’s no fighting. Without fighting, there will be no changes. Without changes, we get boredom and loss intimacy, connection, passion, and sex.
Plus, when we have strong emotions, and we don’t express them, we become lightless, resentful, less appreciative and less grateful, and angrier. (Anger can be a gateway to bring your relationship closer BTW. Please read my blog, Anger - The Most Misunderstood Emotion, to get more details.)
Gautama Buddha once wisely said, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Is that what you want in your relationship?
Use Fighting As A Window of New Opportunity To Have the Relationship That You Want
Fighting is the key ingredient in making a relationship last, passionate, and happy.
Fighting is not the reason that you and your partner are stuck or have an unhappy relationship. It is how you fight that got you guys to the place of gridlock.
Hopefully by now you understand that, fighting does not tear a couple apart. It is actually “your best friend” who can help the two of you get closer and have the relationship that you want.
It is lacking the right skills during fighting and conflicts that cause the hurt, pain, resentment, distance, affairs, loss of sexual desire and intimacy, and many other unwanted actions and scenarios in a relationship.
How's your skill set when it comes to fighting and managing conflicts in your relationship? I would love to hear how your relationship has gotten better due to the right skills. I also want to hear if your relationship is stuck in the same old pattern of fighting and arguing and not getting anywhere.
You don't have to be stuck. Your relationship does not have to suffer from lack of desire, intimacy, connection, and happiness.
As a highly trained Couples & Sex Therapist in Denver, I want to help you have more productive fights with your significant others.
If you are ready to be unstuck and have a happier relationship, Please
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