Fighting In Ways To Improve A Relationship
September 7, 2013

Fighting In Ways To Improve A Relationship

Anyone who has been in a long-term, committed relationship knows it is not always roses and lovey eyes. Sometimes people disagree, and sometimes those disagreements lead to a fight, or at least a heated discussion. Much good can come from these if the couple is open, honest, and listens to one another. But if they attack and only fight to win, then it just could lead to the demise of the relationship. According to’s latest findings about fighting, it is not what the couple fights about, but rather how they fight.

In a study of over 27,000 individuals who took Queendom’s Arguing Style Test, here are the stats about those who think negatively about fighting (that is, those who do not really believe there is anything to be gained from fighting with a partner.):

  • 31 percent refuse to be the first one to apologize after a fight (compared to 24 percent for those who have not had a relationship-ending fight).
  • 33 percent point out their partner’s faults/character flaws (compared to 20 percent of those without history of “terminal” fights).
  • 38 percent will purposely “hit below the belt” and make criticisms that they know will hurt their partner (compared to 24 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 42 percent swear/cuss when they fight with their partner (compared to 27 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 45 percent allow old grudges to resurface when arguing (compared to 33 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 47 percent make up right away after a fight (compared to 57 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 47 percent will accept their partner’s feelings and opinions, even if they don’t agree with them (compared to 56 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 51 percent said that when they fight, they want to be the one who wins, no matter what (compared to 44 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 60 percent will bring up ALL the issues that are bothering them at once, rather than focusing on the issue at hand (compared to 47 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 62 percent tend to raise their voice when upset (compared to 50 percent of non-terminal fighters).
  • 66 percent will admit when they are wrong (compared to 72 percent of non-terminal fighters).

These do not seem like they are statistics that anyone would want to fall into. And it is interesting because I took the Arguing Style Test just so I would know what was on it for this article, and it really is a bit subjective. The test asks questions that you answer from your perspective about your own arguing style, so one could easily answer in ways that would make that individual look nicer, yet obviously many people answered with blunt honesty according to these stats of over 27,000 participants. And many fell into these less desirable fighting styles.

So, what can people do if they fall into the more negative fighting styles? Well, suggests the following:

  • Don’t try to avoid confrontation at all costs.
  • Don’t attack your partner’s character.
  • Figure out what the fight is really about and focus on it.
  • Try to understand how your partner sees the situation.
  • Admit your mistakes.
  • Take a time-out if things get too heated.
  • Accept that some issues just can’t be resolved in one argument.

Though this list seems like simple advice, sometimes we forget even these when emotions run high like in an argument. These seven tips will definitely help all of us when we fight whether as reminder to stay focused on the issue at hand or not to lash out and attack our partners or to just step out of the argument for a moment to calm down. Regardless, the Arguing Style Test has led to this interesting information about how couples fight and how to fight with a positive outcome and improve the relationship as opposed to a break-up.

Image Credit: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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