5 fights every couple should have to be happy

Fighting with your spouse? Good. Every relationship needs a little conflict to keep it interesting. Here are five of the fights you should be having.

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  • Do you and your spouse fight? Don't be embarrassed for saying yes. Every couple has disagreements. In fact, these differences in opinion are what make the marriage relationship vibrant and interesting and able to withstand the challenges of daily living.

  • According to psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker, "A healthy relationship requires knowing the skills necessary for 'friendly fighting' — dealing with conflict respectfully and working together to find a workable solution."

  • She added, "It means engaging passionately about things we feel passionate about, without resorting to hurting one another."

  • Here are some of the "friendly" fights all couples should have.

  • The 'Don't give up' fight

  • You wouldn't let a good friend give up on getting her dream job because of a little setback, would you? And you wouldn't let your son quit soccer just because his team lost one game, right? Why would you treat your spouse any differently? Don't let your spouse give up on his dreams, even if it means your conversations get a little heated. It's worth it if it means motivating him to pursue his passions despite the obstacles in his path.

  • Let him know at the outset you aren't trying to nag him. You just truly care about his hopes and dreams, and you want to see him attain those goals he's made for his life.

  • The budget fight

  • We all have a budget, whether written or implied, and we all know spending less than you earn is the key to making any budget work. Putting that into practice, on the other hand, is not so simple. If you and your spouse have yet to have the budget fight where you hash out your needs and wants, discretionary and nondiscretionary expenses, it's time to have it out. Let your spouse know you don't appreciate it when he eats out for lunch all the time, and find out what he thinks of all the money you spend on makeup and purses.

  • The key to resolving this fight? According to U.S. Money News, you should create your budget together and then hold weekly budget meetings to make sure you're staying on track and to make any necessary adjustments.

  • The healthy lifestyle fight

  • Part of caring about your spouse includes caring about how healthy his or her lifestyle is. You wouldn't just stand by and let your husband eat cookies for breakfast every day, would you? Well, some spouses might, just to avoid the conflict they know will inevitably result if they start commenting on their husband or wife's eating and exercise habits. But if you want your spouse to stick around for as long as possible (and mostly in working order), this is a crucial fight to have.

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  • A great way to to help your partner succeed: Commit to maintaining a healthy lifestyle yourself. The couple that eats well and exercises together lives long and prospers together.

  • The communication fight

  • This one might also be called the misunderstanding fight because every couple has them, and they tend to spring from a lack of communication. At some point, it's important to hash out crucial misunderstandings before a really bad fight breaks out.

  • Match.com lists the signs of a breakdown in communication as the following:

  • Withdrawal and avoidance

  • When one or both partners don't want to address certain topics because of the awkwardness and annoyance that often results.

  • Invalidation

  • When one partner feels his or her opinion is no longer valued

  • Negative interpretations

  • When you become suspicious of everything your partner does or says

  • Escalation

  • When the misunderstanding is so bad you lash out verbally or physically against each other

  • Recognize any of these signs? It could be time to have your communication fight and figure out why you're misunderstanding each other.

  • The anti-distraction fight

  • Distractions take many forms, from work to sports games, from kids to car payments, from smartphones to tablets. Whatever the distraction in your life, don't be afraid to take a stand and ask for your spouse's undivided attention. As important as all those other things might be, nothing can compare to the importance of your marriage.

  • A short film titled "A Hidden Sweetness: The Power of Marriage Amid Hardship" includes the quote, "There is a power in the union between man and woman that allows humanity to thrive in all manner of hardship — through tragedy, poverty and even war." Place your marriage above all distractions and you'll be surprised what trials you and your spouse can conquer.

  • For more insights on how to strengthen your marriage and family visit humanum.it.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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