Are fights normal in a healthy relationship? Yes, it’s perfectly normal for couples in a happy relationship to have arguments or fights from time to time.
This doesn’t mean that they have poor communication or that they are bad at conflict resolution.
The average amount of times a couple fights depends on their personalities, power dynamics, and communication styles.
If you’re asking, “How often do couples fight?” you may be wondering if it’s time to get professional help since you’ve noticed that you are suddenly fighting a lot in your relationship.
You’re not alone!
When you get into a new relationship, it’s easy to assume that you won’t ever fight because you’re deeply in love with each other.
The truth is, all couples fight on a regular basis. Even happy couples in healthy relationships fight too. This doesn’t mean that fighting is bad for you.
In fact, a healthy amount of fighting is important for building strong relationships.
According to Dr. Carla Manly, a clinical psychologist, “Fighting is healthy in any relationship because this is the only way to become more in tune with each other.”
Relationship experts say that couples who fight a lot are actually more in love with each other.
That sounds comforting, but how much is too much fighting in a relationship?
How do you know if your constructive arguments are turning into toxic fights?
Does constant fighting mean you’re having serious problems in your relationship?
It all depends on the type of couple you are! According to family therapist Dr. John Gottman, there are 5 types of couples:
1) Volatile couples
2) Conflict avoidant couples
3) Validating couples
4) Hostile couples and
5) Hostile-detached couples.
A few years ago, my relationship with my partner was blissful and I thought I had found my true love who would give me immense peace.
Everything was perfect until our first year of marriage.
We started arguing constantly about money, house chores, family members, date nights, and other small things that didn’t even make sense.
The constant fighting almost broke our relationship until we decided to do a little research on “How often do couples argue in a healthy relationship?” which led us to a great discovery.
The short answer is, all couples fight, but the frequency of arguments differ in every relationship.
If you’re looking for some statistics on how often couples fight in a healthy relationship, I’m going to answer a lot of questions concerning the topic in this blog post from different angles.
WHY DO MOST COUPLES FIGHT?
Even though every relationship is different, there are many similar issues healthy couples fight or argue about.
According to relationship experts, the most common reasons couples fight is because they feel unseen, unheard, or unloved in a relationship.
In a 2019 study published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal, it was discovered that couples often have arguments about one or more of these topics:
• Children and in-laws
• Inadequate attention or affection
• Jealousy and infidelity
• House chores and responsibilities
• Physical intimacy
• Control and dominance
• Future goals and money
HOW OFTEN DO COUPLES FIGHT ON AVERAGE?
According to a recent survey, couples argue seven times per day on average.
The word “argue” used here means having little arguments or negative interactions with your partner.
If you disagree with your partner several times a day, this is actually normal, but the quality of your fights matter a lot.
Having big fights on a daily basis that leave you bitter, angry, or emotionally drained is a red flag that your relationship is not healthy.
It is not normal to have full blown heated arguments with your partner every day as this can lead to unresolved conflict, prolonged resentments, and a toxic relationship.
HOW OFTEN DO COUPLES FIGHT A WEEK?
If you’re talking about small disagreements about who has to do the dishes or take out the trash, couples fight at least 20 to 50 times a week.
Having more than two big fights per week is often seen as a red flag that the couple is arguing too much according to clinical psychologists.
This is due to the fact that constant fighting is a major stressor on the nervous system.
It’s okay if you have a couple of small arguments and two full blown heated arguments in a week as a healthy couple.
However, if you tend to have big fights on a daily basis, that’s a bad sign that you’re in an unhealthy relationship.
HOW OFTEN DO COUPLES FIGHT PER MONTH?
On average, most healthy couples fight up to 200 times per month. This includes both petty disagreements and nasty fights that escalate into bigger issues.
It was also revealed in a study conducted by Esure that couples argue an average of 2,455 times a year. That sounds like a lot of bickering, doesn’t it?
It’s completely natural for couples to disagree and having frequent arguments doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed.
If you’re always getting into an argument cycle with your partner where you fight about the same thing all the time, this shows you have a negative communication pattern which prevents you from having healthy conversations.
It is important to note that a healthy fight shouldn’t involve physical abuse, emotional abuse, or personal attacks.
HOW OFTEN DO MARRIED COUPLES FIGHT?
Couples who are happily married usually argue somewhere between a few times a month or once in a few months.
It all depends on the type of couple they are, their relationship dynamic, what they are fighting about and how quickly they resolve conflicts.
The top source of conflict for most married couples is financial problems and this can often come up regularly until they find a healthy way to manage their money as a team.
Being married doesn’t mean that you won’t fight.
In fact, in your first few years of marriage, you could find yourself fighting about different things and struggling to settle difficult issues that threaten to break your marriage apart.
The key to staying together and overcoming your challenges is to always fight fair as a couple.
HOW OFTEN DO LONG TERM COUPLES FIGHT?
Research shows that couples in long term relationships tend to fight less often because they use their disagreements to become more in tune with each other instead of growing farther apart.
This means long term couples may fight once a month or a few times a year.
When you’ve been with your partner for a really long time, you get to a comfortable place where you’ve both found common ground, and you don’t need to fight as much because everyone’s relationship needs are being met.
If you discover that you’re still fighting constantly after you’ve been together for a long time, it’s best to learn new ways to settle your disputes or seek professional help.
HOW OFTEN ARE COUPLES SUPPOSED TO FIGHT?
There is no designated amount of times for couples to fight because every relationship is unique.
It doesn’t matter how many times a couple fights, but how quickly they resolve their conflict.
If you usually end up feeling angry, resentful or mentally unstable after a fight, you should consider working on your communication patterns.
When couples argue constantly, this is a sign that they have underlying issues that need to be sorted out as soon as possible.
This doesn’t mean that there is something necessarily wrong because with the right communication skills, a couple should be able to settle their disagreements without external help.
WHEN DO COUPLES START FIGHTING?
Most couples start fighting immediately after the honeymoon phase which can last anywhere from two months to two years.
The length of time a couple spends in this phase is not fixed because of varying factors like a partner’s personality traits, how long it takes to fall deeply in love, and other unforeseeable circumstances.
If you’ve already started fighting with your romantic partner, there is a high chance that your honeymoon phase is officially over.
When the honeymoon phase wears off, couples start to fight regularly and this is totally normal.
HOW LONG DO FIGHTS LAST IN A RELATIONSHIP?
There is a huge difference between having a healthy argument and fighting with your partner.
According to dating and relationship therapist Gary Brown, fights should really only last about 10 minutes at a time.
Fights that tend to last longer than 10 minutes are usually more focused on being right and winning while healthy arguments are more about understanding each other as a couple.
Since every relationship is different, the amount of time your fights lasts depend on your personality styles, communication patterns, and what you’re fighting about.
If you find out that your fights lasts more than 10 minutes in a row, set an intention to take breaks every few minutes to keep your emotions in check during an argument.
IS IT NORMAL FOR COUPLES TO ARGUE EVERY DAY?
Yes, it is completely normal for couples to argue on a daily basis.
As a matter of fact, when couples fight every day, it shows that they are still in love with each other and they are willing to keep making the effort to maintain a healthy relationship.
Once a couple stops fighting or having frequent arguments, it could be a sign that they have given up on trying to make the relationship work.
Couples who don’t argue are actually avoiding conflicts in order to keep the peace, but doing this is often counterproductive in the long run.
IS IT NORMAL FOR COUPLES TO FIGHT AND NOT TALK FOR DAYS?
Fighting is unavoidable in a relationship as this is the only way to create a mutually satisfying relationship.
It is normal for couples to fight and go to bed without resolving their conflict, but a healthy couple will try to settle their issues as soon as they wake up the next day.
In healthy relationships, a fight should not escalate until the next day and even if it does, it should be on rare occasions.
Therefore, it is not normal for a couple to give each other the silent treatment and refuse to talk for days.
If you’re having toxic fights that tend to last for hours, days, weeks, and even months, this is a cause for concern because it’s not a healthy relationship dynamic.
Any partner that uses stonewalling, the silent treatment or plays the blame game is applying a negative communication style.
When you truly love each other, you should be willing to suppress your ego and make amends with your partner after a fight.
WHY DO YOUNG COUPLES FIGHT SO MUCH?
Young couples in a new relationship usually fight often because they’re still getting to know each other.
Fighting in the early stages of a relationship is normal for new couples who are still trying to understand themselves.
When you spend quality time with someone, disagreements are bound to occur due to your different opinions, personality traits and communication styles.
The good news is, couples who navigate the fighting phase in a healthy way often have better chances of building successful relationships that can last.
If you’re constantly fighting with your new partner, try to have an open mind, avoid bringing up past issues and always look at your problems from a different perspective.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD NEW COUPLES FIGHT?
There is no normal amount of times a couple should fight or argue because every relationship is unique.
But, on average, new couples should fight at least five times a day as they try to become more in tune with each other.
The more healthy fights a couple have, the faster they’ll bond with each other and progress into a stable relationship.
If you’re in a new relationship, don’t try to avoid conflict in a bid to keep the peace especially if you’re unhappy.
When couples sweep difficult issues under the rug, they’ll turn into serious problems after a long period of time and it may be too late to work on resolving them.
The best way to build a healthy relationship is to accept that fights are inevitable and focus on finding healthier ways to solve problems as they arise.
HOW TO STOP THE CYCLE OF FIGHTING IN A RELATIONSHIP
Fights are unavoidable in every relationship — in fact, even happy couples fight regularly.
So, if you’re fighting in your relationship, that can actually be a good sign that you feel safe enough to openly share your true feelings and thoughts with your romantic partner.
But when the fights last for too long, they’re more likely to cause emotional stress and even destroy your intimate bond.
If you notice that your fights seem to drag on for days without resolution, it’s time to work on communicating better as a couple.
The first step to getting rid of constant fighting in your relationship is to find out why you’re having those fights in the first place.
You can decide to stop the cycle of fighting by paying more attention to your partner’s point of view, learning healthy communication styles, and focusing on solvable problems instead of arguing endlessly.
Another way to stop fighting constantly is by working with a couples counselor who would be able to help you find more productive ways of communicating during a fight.
The right answer to “How often do healthy couples fight in a healthy relationship?” is at least seven times a day.
The couples who don’t fight are either intimately bonded, codependent or conflict avoidant.
The biggest mistake couples make is to think that not talking about concerns reduces the risk of problems because it doesn’t.
Problems don’t just magically float away without being talked about and resolved in a healthy way.
It’s important to talk about everything as a couple; even the sensitive issues need to be discussed.
The truth is, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep their problems under the carpet.
Not arguing in a relationship is not a healthy communication pattern, but it’s also important to avoid unnecessary fights in a relationship.
If you’re fighting constantly with your partner, it’s totally normal as long as you devise healthy ways to settle your conflicts.
About The Author
Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life. As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.
She strongly believes communication and intimacy are important in building a successful relationship.
Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.