A Study Shows That Couples Who Argue Are Likely to Have a Happy Relationship

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Now, one would normally expect an ideal relationship to be one out of a fairy tale: filled with sugar, spice and everything nice, without all the conflicts, arguments and hatred.

And it totally makes sense. Like, who would ever want to get angry at your perfect half, right?

But what if I tell you that couples who argue would actually have a stronger relationship?

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Well, strictly speaking, it isn’t really from me…

But a scientific study.

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Well, here we go!

Studies have shown that…

Couples who argue together, are actually more likely to stay together.

In fact, according to a survey of almost 1,000 adults, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship, compared to those who sweep difficult issues under the carpet.

Many couples are the under the impression that avoiding discussion of sensitive issues means avoiding an argument, which would be beneficial for the relationship, said Joseph Grenny, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations.

“But the biggest mistake that couples make is avoidance,” he said. “We feel something but say nothing. At least until we can’t stand it anymore. So we wait until we are certain to discuss it poorly before we bring it up.

“We tend to avoid these conversations because we are conscious of the risks of speaking up, but unconscious of the risks of not speaking up,” he said. “We tend to only weigh the immediate and obvious risks without considering the long term costs to intimacy, trust and connection.”

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Poor communication

According to The Guardian, more than four in five respondents to the survey said, “poor communication played a role in a previous failed relationship”.

Additionally, one half listed poor communication as a major cause of a failed relationship.

But here’s the thing. Grenny believes that few than one in five feel responsible when a conversation goes poorly.

“The biggest unconscious mistake couples make is failing to take emotional responsibility for their feelings,” he said.

“We think others are ‘making’ us feel the way we are – and fail to see our role in our own emotions. That’s why when we discuss our concerns with our loved one we are so often filled with blame and provoke defensiveness.”

Grenny also mentioned that the three most difficult topics for couples to discuss were sex, finances and irritating habits.

“The success of a relationship is determined by the way in which sensitive issues are debated,” he said.

“True love takes work. Real intimacy is not just about love but is also about truth. And crucial conversations are the vehicle for surfacing truth in a way that accelerates a feeling of intimacy, trust and connection.”

Tips and tricks

Now, in case you didn’t catch it, do not be mistaken: bad arguments and frequent/unnecessary arguments do not contribute to the relationship. Volatile relationships are definitely unhealthy for a relationship.

Rather, master these tips and tricks to truly build a good relationship (courtesy of The Guardian):

  • Manage your thoughts
  • Soften your judgments by asking yourself why a reasonable, rational and decent person would do what your partner is doing
  • Affirm before you complain
  • Don’t start by diving into the issue. Let your partner know you respect and care for them first
  • Start with the facts
  • Strip out the accusatory, judgmental and inflammatory language
  • Be tentative but honest
  • Having laid out the facts, tell your partner why you’re concerned. But don’t do it as an accusation: share it as an opinion
  • Invite dialogue
  • If you’re open to hearing your partner’s view, they’ll be more open to yours

So folks

It’s understandable; we all want to be princes and princesses in our own fantasy, and as such would strive to keep relationships as sweet and smooth-sailing as possible.

But let’s face it; it’s a fairy tale for a reason. And fairy tales, at least to my understanding, don’t quite work like reality.

So if you ever face that critical juncture (first argument) in your relationship, don’t run away from it.

Instead, argue effectively, and build on it.

That, my friend, is the key to a long-lasting relationship. 🙂

P.s. According to the study, anyway.