8 signs you have a healthy relationship even though you argue frequently

by Gemma Clarke | February 28, 2024, 9:25 am

Therapists, counselors, and other relationship experts agree that arguments are normal in any relationship.

As we cannot be perfect humans, we cannot expect our relationship to be smooth sailing all the time.

However, a stark difference exists between ‘healthy arguing’ and ‘toxic conflict.’

How do you determine which one is happening in your relationship?

That’s simple. 

If you relate to the following 8 signs, you can rest assured that you have a healthy relationship even if you argue often.

And if you don’t relate to these signs, keep reading till the end, where I share healthier, more productive conflict-resolution techniques you can try.

1) You sit down and talk things through

While arguing may be healthy in a relationship, allowing the conflict to go on for days or weeks is not.

Healthy couples don’t let feelings of anger and frustration simmer and turn into resentment. Instead, they sit down and talk things through until they resolve the issue.

This is crucial as communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship, especially during conflict. 

So, your relationship is solid if you and your partner end disagreements with an open, honest discussion.

For me and my partner, arguments typically occur because one or both of us is not communicating as openly as usual. 

Thus, the argument serves as a reminder to prioritize communication and spend more time talking.

So that is what we do. 

And once we do that, we sort out whatever the issue is and move on with no lingering anger.

This willingness to engage in constructive dialogue shows you value resolution and mutual understanding over winning arguments.

It also shows you do the following…

2) You say how you really feel

A healthy relationship is one where both partners feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and emotions. 

This signifies strong emotional intimacy and shows that you trust each other enough to open up without fear of ridicule or attack.

According to licensed marriage and family therapist April Eldemire, people in healthy relationships don’t shy away from conflict. Instead, they face it head-on by discussing it.

This doesn’t mean that telling their partner how they feel is easy.

It still feels uncomfortable, but they know that the only way to move past the argument is to be honest with each other, even when it’s challenging.

However, if your relationship lacks trust and emotional intimacy, you would be more likely to bottle up your frustrations and pretend everything is fine.

This reaction breeds resentment, so the conflict is never resolved and continues to play out in the future.

3) You show respect to each other

When you express your thoughts, you expect your partner to listen to you and take your perspective on board.

While this is correct, remember that relationships are two-way streets. 

Along with saying how you feel, you must show that you are willing to listen to your partner’s perspectives.

This means not getting annoyed or angry if they say something that you don’t like or agree with. 

By responding angrily, you invalidate their feelings, so they feel unheard and misunderstood.

This is not a sign of respect!

Respect is:

  • Giving your partner the time and space to express themselves
  • Making them feel comfortable enough to do so
  • Responding to them in a calm and appropriate manner
  • Showing empathy

Moreover, if someone truly respects their partner, they will never resort to personal attacks and derogatory language. 

By maintaining this level of civility, you preserve the integrity of your relationship even during times of conflict.

4) You honor each other’s boundaries

Another sign of respect is honoring your partner’s boundaries.

What does this mean exactly?

Respecting your partner’s boundaries means refraining from crossing lines or making unfair demands.

For example…

Let’s say you’ve told your partner you need space to cool off or reflect after an argument.

If your partner does not give you that space and instead keeps trying to solve the issue immediately, that’s not respecting your boundaries.

Acknowledging and respecting each other’s boundaries demonstrates deep understanding and consideration between both partners. 

What’s more, according to psychotherapist Dr. Sharon Martin, boundaries are crucial for maintaining autonomy and independence. 

So, if you respect each other’s boundaries, it means you also have the following…

5) You both have a sense of independence

According to Dr Martin, we establish a sense of independence when we set boundaries with someone. 

She explains that our boundaries define us as unique people with our own ideas, values, thoughts, and feelings.

This is a crucial thing to establish in a romantic relationship to prevent codependency, a type of dysfunctional relationship with unhealthy levels of reliance.

Common arguments that occur in codependent relationships are when one partner is unhappy about the other not giving them enough attention.

For example, one partner may complain that their spouse spends too much time with their friends. 

This then leads to an argument every time the spouse goes to see a friend.

Moreover, according to The Gottman Institute, codependent-based arguments can lead to one person threatening to leave the relationship as a way to guilt-trip their spouse into doing what they want.

However…

In a healthy relationship, both partners encourage and support each other’s personal interests, hobbies, and goals AND respect their independence.

More importantly, they feel secure.

Codependency is linked to insecurity in the relationship. The more insecure partners are, the more they argue. 

But when you feel secure in a relationship, the environment is much less volatile, meaning the arguments are less frequent and intense.

6) You’re both focused on growth

Another huge sign that your relationship is healthy despite your arguments is if you are both trying to become better partners.

No one is perfect, so no relationship is 100% free from arguments.

Thus, it’s not about avoiding arguments but ensuring you react to them correctly.

People focused on growth see conflict as opportunities for learning and improvement.

So, instead of dwelling on them or assigning blame, both partners will try to understand the underlying issues and find constructive solutions. 

This growth-oriented approach fosters resilience and strengthens your bond, rather than weakening it, which brings me to the next sign of a healthy relationship… 

7) You feel like arguments make your relationship stronger

Healthy couples approach conflict with a positive and solution-focused attitude.

They don’t view arguments as signs of dysfunction or instability but as a reminder and prompt to communicate better and connect deeper.

So that’s exactly what they do.

If you’re in a healthy relationship, you’ll be grateful for the arguments, as they strengthen your bond.

You’ll feel more united and solid every time you successfully overcome the conflict together. 

And guess what? This will also benefit your sex life!

Research shows that feeling closer to our partner after an argument increases intimacy and passion.

8) You’re there for each other when needed

Have you ever been in the middle of a conflict, but then something happened, and one of you needed the other’s support?

People in healthy relationships understand that the anger and frustration they feel when they argue is fleeting and, in the grand scheme of things, not important.

Therefore, no matter how much you’ve been arguing later, if your relationship is healthy, you and your partner will show up for each other when it matters most. 

This can mean dropping an ongoing conflict to support your partner through a difficult time.

Or it could mean offering a listening ear or encouraging words to your partner even if you’re angry with them.

Knowing that your partner always has your back despite your arguing is a highly positive sign.

This sense of reliability and solidarity reinforces your bond. It also shows you’re in this together, no matter what.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

So now we’ve discussed the signs of ‘healthy arguing.’ Let’s talk briefly about what ‘toxic conflict’ may look like.

If you notice several of the following signs, it’s likely that your fighting is NOT normal or healthy:

  • You’ve been arguing about the same issue for months
  • You can’t go a day without fighting
  • You often go to bed angry at your partner
  • You ignore each other for days after a fight
  • You or they frequently resort to using personal attacks and low-blows 
  • You avoid saying how you feel to prevent the conflict from escalating further
  • You’ve changed your views and opinions more than once to please your partner
  • You can’t talk to them about the hard stuff
  • You’re constantly ‘walking on eggshells’ around them
  • The arguing is taking a toll on your mental and emotional health

If you feel like the conflict in your relationship is unhealthy, you need to switch your conflict resolution tactic. 

Rather than ignoring your partner after an argument or trying to win the fight, sit down and talk it out. 

Remind yourself and them that you love each other (even if it doesn’t always feel like it) and that you want the relationship to work.

Try to remain calm no matter what, as anger only escalates the conflict. By switching to a calmer, more empathetic approach, your partner might feel less threatened and follow suit.

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