Couples Who Argue Together, Stay Together, Study Finds

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If you find yourself regularly arguing with your partner, it could actually be a good thing, a study has found.

Thinking about it, it does make a bit of sense, so long as the arguments are constructive and not just vindictive and mean!

The study found couples who argue are ’10 times more likely to have a happy relationship’ than those who avoid confrontation and don’t deal with their issues.

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And this is according to a survey of almost 1,000 adults, writes The Guardian.

Joseph Grenny, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations, said a lot of couples are under the impression if they avoid discussing sensitive issues, they avoid having an argument, which can only be a good thing, right? Wrong.

He said:

The biggest mistake couples make is avoidance. 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. We tend to only weigh the immediate and obvious risks without considering the longer term costs to intimacy, trust and connection.


More than four in five of the people studied said ‘poor communication’ had played a role in a break-up of a past relationship.

Less than one in five people said they believe they’re usually to blame when a conversation goes badly, which I guess they don’t admit to their other half, hence more arguments.

Mr Grenny added:

The biggest unconscious mistake couples make is failing to take emotional responsibility for their feelings.

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.


So what are they three most difficult topics for a couple to discuss? According to Mr Grenny, they are: sex, finances and irritating habits.

He said:

The success of a relationship is determined by the way in which sensitive issues are debated.

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.

Of course, there are more effective ways of enjoying a healthy relationship and it comes in the form of talking through your problems as opposed to arguing about them.

However, don’t mistake arguing a lot for a healthy relationship, volatile relationships are not good for you!