Couples Who Fight Live Longer, According to Science
As statistics show, the average American has around 19 fights with their partner and 5 nights alone on the couch in a month. It’s easy to assume that most of us hate fighting with our significant others — remember that last one you had? Ugh. But in life, there will always be some disagreements that create a charged-up atmosphere in your home. But every cloud has a silver lining and fights with loved ones are no exception.
The Bright Side team is ready to shed some positive light on family squabbles. And we’re pretty sure you don’t want to miss out on this information — it may help you to live longer!
Fights can be beneficial if you know one thing.
Here’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: family conflicts aren’t necessarily bad for your health. You may not believe this after experiencing the not-so-pleasant feelings of devastation and disappointment that go along with fights. Sometimes it’s even difficult to breathe or calm down your racing heart during an argument.
However, a new study claims that family conflicts can become the key to a considerably longer life. But there’s always a “but”. Researchers say that if you want to live a longer, healthier life, you have to match fighting styles with your spouse. And this is the only way to make things work.
This revelation is science-based.
The study focused on 192 married couples over the course of 32 years. Its primary goal was to find out if the behavior of their partners influenced their mortality. Each couple was asked a number of questions about conflicts in their family life and the way they usually deal with them. For example, they could answer, “I would freak out and let everything out” or “I would get furious, but I’d prefer to bottle my emotions up.”
According to the results, a greater difference in response styles between a wife and husband is linked to the increased risk of early death. In a situation where one of the partners tends to choke back anger while the other vents it out, the risk of death almost doubles. The most advantageous way to deal with fights is to have a blazing dialogue where each partner speaks out about their pains and doubts.
Silence never helps to overcome a problem.
Why is it so important to express your feelings similarly? It is crucial because partners who respond differently to a conflict are usually not satisfied with how the fight was handled. For example, a husband wanted to turn blue airing his grievances while his wife decided not to respond and avoid conflict altogether, refusing to let her own emotions out.
This can lead to continuous stress, increased tension in family life, and a negative impact on the spouses’ health. Moreover, at some point, everything that was bottled up will come out. And the same pattern will repeat itself.
Opening up is the only way for your partner to understand what hurts you.
Couples who are able to match their response syles have fewer fights, and based on the above, maintain better health. Together they find the right exit for their emotions and agree on something that is beneficial for both of them.
Here is a task for you: during your next fight, pay attention to the fighting styles you and your partner usually use. If you notice that your response is different and don’t feel satisfaction when the fight is over, this is a great time to discuss the matter. Maybe this will help you get along better in the future.
Do you think it’s important to argue with the same level of intensity as each other? How does it usually happen in your family?
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