Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Couple Who NEVER Fights

Recently a friend and I had lunch and she shared with me a concern about her relationship: She and her boyfriend have been together for over a year and have never had an argument. The cause for concern stemmed from my friend’s questioning whether there was something inauthentic or unnatural about their relationship. Certainly everyone believes that an occasional fight is a natural symptom of a long-term relationship. Why, then, would this couple never have had an argument? Is their relationship better or worse than another?

Below is a quote that I located that speaks to this issue.

There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

For those of you who have loved someone dearly – lover, friend, or family member – you can probably easily relate to this quote. One of the ways that men and women often wound each other is by expressing harsh words in the heat of an argument. Why is such a hurt a natural consequence of love? In a nutshell, because hurt is at the heart of intimacy.

What is intimacy? It is equal part safety and equal part danger; equal part happiness and equal part sadness; equal part togetherness and equal part loneliness. Love carries all the flavors of the human heart – these are the feelings generated when you truly love and know someone.

In terms of the couple I referred to earlier, does their lack of argument ever suggest that they bear little intimacy in their relationship? In brief, it means that they probably have as much intimacy as they are capable of having at this point in time. However, there is likely much more room for the two of them to get to know each other better and to show each other all the sides of their respective characters.

As a rule, it’s important and healthy to get along and good to have an occasional argument. In the end, you should strike a balance in your relationship where you can easily express your wide range of feelings.

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