How to Fight Fair and Have Healthy Debates With Your Partner, According to Relationship Experts
No matter how much you have in common, you and your partner will never have the exact same thoughts, feelings, or values. And that's a great thing. Think about how boring it would be never to be challenged or never to learn from the person you're building your life alongside.
In some cases, you may have a healthy debate over politics, current events, or other situations where you don't share an opinion. Other times, you'll find yourselves fighting over things like chores, the kids, the in-laws, and other normal life things. The conversations may become heated or passionate, but as long as they stay respectful, these can be meaningful moments and good for the relationship because they teach you valuable communication skills. But healthy fighting is a skill you probably both need to work on in some capacity (we all do).
Challenging each other intellectually and communicating openly provides oxygen to your couplehood, says Tray Kearney, a certified life and relationship coach. "Trying to have healthy debates helps you identify with how your partner communicates, and how and when you should react or end the conversation," Kearney explains. "It gives you awareness of how the other person deals with being able to agree to disagree and how soon and if the debate goes left. It shows a level of self-control as well as an ability to handle a difference of opinion without it leading to an argument."
So how can you resolve conflicts—or agree to disagree—in a healthy, constructive way without actually hurting your partnership? Whether you're squabbling about the laundry or having an intense discussion about climate change, relationship experts share their top fair fighting rules so that butting heads can actually help you build a stronger bond.