Let’s face it, even people who are madly in love with each other will fight eventually. Certain arguments often test the couples’ love, respect and patience with each other. Having conflicts and arguments does not mean you are not compatible and fighting does not always have to end in a messy breakup. As long as the couple is having a “fair fight,” it may strengthen their relationship because they COMMUNICATE.
If you are in a relationship in which fighting is common, let me tell you the positive side of it. Couples that fight a lot are well positioned to strengthen their bond through five key stages.
1. We love.
When we love, apparently our significant other glows in front of us. Flaws tend to dissolve. If a love is strong, we tend to think NOTHING can break the relationship apart.
2. We argue.
We compromise a lot. It may not always be 50/50 (at times 60/40 or 70/30), but we compromise. Out of respect. Out of love and for our significant other’s happiness. But we get tired eventually and when we do, we go into little rebellions. We tend to fight for what we want, what we deserve, and what we think of as “This time, it’s my turn.” We tell our significant other our side, and we persuade the other person to accept the idea that we are correct. We argue.
3. We fight.
This is the highest form of argument when two parties vehemently disagree: Fighting. It may be cold wars, giving each other space, word wars or anything associated with emotional pain. In this phase, we realize that the same person who makes us happy is the same person who makes us sad. Communication happens at this point. Mature couples try a respectful, structured way of confronting issues or fair-fighting (no blaming, talking softly, sticking to the issue, listening, looking for a common ground, being open minded, etc). This is also a make-or-break phase; either we stay or leave.
4. We make up.
When we decide to accept the situation, the essence of true love sets in. By embracing conflicts, we realize we have a lot to learn. Cooperation ends fighting. Respect plays a big role when resolving conflicts. Love should be the core value of the relationship. Trust cultivates the bond. Prayers strengthens faith. Acceptance provides relief. We make up to let the other person feel more special. We forgive and move on.
5. We love even more.
Everything feels brand new. We let go. We list the lessons learned. We rebuild our trust and adjust expectations. We accept that everything in this world is not perfect and that we get hurt and bounce back at some point. We realize that unconditional love is patient and kind. We make peace. It takes two souls to make the relationship work. As long as there is a strong love, both can endure through any trials and circumstances. Forgiveness becomes the default button in resolving conflicts that strengthens the relationship.
Having a healthy relationship depends on the couple. Love, respect, acceptance, forgiveness, patience and having a God-centered life are essential for a long-lasting relationship.