The Importance of Healthy Fighting for Relationships

The Importance of Healthy Fighting for Relationships

When catching up with a friend, the inevitable question arises: “How are you doing?” It’s that moment when we have the chance to share our inner thoughts, a window into our true feelings. For me, these moments are precious because I have decided to take the opportunity for us to truly connect, to unveil the real answer beneath the surface. Most of my friends are in this tribe…. and this is where the magic happens.

Today, I’ve been pondering the various ways I might respond to this question in my current kid-free situation (around my daughter’s extended trip to Israel.) Amidst my mixed emotions, one surprising revelation stands out – the positive impact of engaging in disagreements with my partner. You might find it odd to associate fighting with anything positive, but let me explain how healthy conflicts have strengthened my relationship.

What I am not referring to is mean, blaming, or explosive fighting….

I am talking about the are battles of understanding, battles of curiosity, battles that lead to growth. Amidst the everyday hustle, parenting duties, and global pandemics, we hadn’t found the time to engage in these meaningful discussions. Our hands were full, and important matters were pushed aside. It wasn’t about blame or fault; it was about survival as a team.

Enter this unique month – a time when circumstances shifted, and our daughter was away. Suddenly, we had a newfound luxury: time, energy, and capacity to engage in those crucial conversations. We used this opportunity to dive deep, to share our differences openly, and to find common ground or agreed to disagree on some topics. These conversations, though sometimes challenging, brought us closer together.

Climbing and camping adventures, shared dinners, and quality time together played their role, but the heart of our rekindled connection lay in our willingness to engage in healthy conflict. I openly acknowledged that I was purposefully sparking disagreements – not out of malice, but out of a desire to draw nearer to my partner. It’s remarkable how vulnerability and open communication can bridge the gap that silence can create.

Amidst the cacophony of life’s demands, we discovered the beauty of reconnection – the kind that arises from authentic conversations. A connection that goes beyond the mundane “How are you?” and delves into the intricate layers of our experiences, fears, and aspirations. I consciously embrace that the path to a stronger relationship is not paved with avoidance but with understanding and embracing our differences.

Relationships, whether with friends or partners, have the potential to be both a source of joy and stress. In my coaching endeavors, I’ve often found myself helping others navigate the complex realm of relationships. It’s a topic that fascinates me – the dynamics, the emotions, the intricate web of human connections. And it’s through these experiences that I’ve learned the value of engaging in open and even hard conversations.

So, what’s the key to fostering meaningful relationships? It’s simple – engage, talk, and yes, even fight when necessary. Embrace those uncomfortable conversations, for they are the crucibles in which connections are forged. Instead of letting relationships stagnate into the realm of distant roommates, take the time to understand, to inquire, and to rekindle the spark that initially brought you together.

As I reflect on this past month – a month without a child and a month filled with productive fights – I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Grateful for the chance to soak in hot springs, to explore the local climbing, and to explore the depths of my relationship. Grateful for the opportunity to truly connect.

So, when you next ask a friend, “How are you doing?” remember that it could be more than just a casual inquiry. It’s an invitation to dive beneath the surface, to uncover the real stories and emotions that lie beneath. Play with NOT settling with “fine” or “okay.” Be curious, be engaged, and watch as your relationships flourish in the fertile ground of authentic conversation. Just as my partner is awesome, amazing, and incredible, so too are the connections we can nurture when we’re truly present for one another.

For similar posts read: The Love Aha that Saved my Relationship or Are You Sabatoging Your Relationship Subconsciously

Ps. Happy connective fighting 🙂

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