When couples come to therapy, disagreement and fighting can be a sign that they still care about one another. Tension is normal, especially in close relationships. It’s couples who never fight or are indifferent that often end up getting divorced. It is difficult for a relationship to recover if one of both members of the couple don’t seem to care that the relationship is falling apart. Some couples who never fight have become more like married roommates. Some couples who don’t fight have given up on sex. Some couples secretly resent how their partner spends money, but are avoidant in talking about it.
Too much fighting is not an ideal goal either, but it is usually better than no fighting at all. The lack of arguments can also be a sign that one or both members of the couple are holding emotions in, preventing conflicts from being resolved. Many people don’t like tension or perhaps grew up in a family where arguments were not okay. This can be a dangerous way to approach marriage and relationships, however.
The Gottman method of couples therapy refers to keeping important thoughts to ourselves as stonewalling. Stonewalling at its worst can entail total avoidance and is not a healthy way to conduct a relationship.
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