Are Fights Ever Good for a Relationship?

Is fighting actually healthy for a relationship?

One of my biggest goals in life is to prove my friend Margaret from work wrong, and beat her in every single argument we ever have.

We know so much about one another, it makes it easy for us to pick on each other and find advantages in battle. The sad thing is that when new employees join our group, they always assume: "Either they hate each other, or they are dating."

It's weird that people can find such a fine line between hatred and dating, but I know plenty of couples who enjoy picking on each other in a playful manner.

Then there are real arguments and fights. These are the ones that I wonder about. Is fighting actually healthy for a relationship?

It seems like fights/arguments are just tests along the way for a relationship. Can your relationship get through an argument and become stronger for that argument? Are you both so compatible that you are able to have organized and healthy arguments?

Hat, Headgear, Costume accessory, Costume hat, Sun hat, Kitchen utensil, Costume,

(Image credit: Archives)

My history of arguments in relationships is not good. Every big argument I've had has lacked resolution. Without this resolution, we continue having spats until we just break up. And things are never the same after that initial argument, which leads me to believe that we are not arguing effectively.

A serious girlfriend from college and I once drove up to Boston to visit my sister. After our visit, we decided to visit Salem and check out witch country. What a curse that turned out to be!

When we hunted for the parking spot in the parking garage at the conclusion of our visit, cracks and fissures began to surface in our relationship. It was if a bunch of dormant volcanoes were all erupting at once. She pretty much lost her mind when we couldn't find the car fast enough. My mood remained happy as though it was kind of funny that I was so stupid I forgot to remember whether we were on P5 or A8, or whatever.

She was none too pleased. She berated me, and became even angrier when my blasé attitude persisted in the face of her yelling. When we finally found the car, I made a snide comment about her coming undone — probably not the smartest move.

Driving back to the University of Delaware, we had five hours to mull over our first big argument. On top of this, she took umbrage with the fact that I said I wanted to stay together after college (we both had no idea where we were going to live or work at this point).

Again, she lost her mind when confronted with the idea that I expected her to remain in the relationship after graduation. I was busy trying to figure out if she really meant this, or was just upset from our parking garage spat.

For the next few weeks we were on-again-off-again until we finally broke up for good. We just could never get the relationship together again, with the same feelings or smoothness as it had before. From the moment of that argument in Salem, the feelings were lost. Steer clear of witch country!

Perhaps arguing is just another form of communication that we have to learn with our significant others.

Couples who can master this type of communication are another step closer to a long, healthy relationship. If you care enough to be with each other for the long haul, you will make it work — arguments and all.

So, what role does fighting and arguing play in a relationship? It's natural to argue when two people are connected so closely. But are there different tiers of arguments, ranging from playful fights to more serious arguments? Do arguments act as

checkpoints that test the strength of your relationship: If you really want to stay together you will work it out? How has arguing and fighting affected your relationship?