Whether you’re in the throes of newlywed bliss or you’re creeping toward your 20th wedding anniversary, one thing is for sure: You and your wife are bound to have a few heated fights along the way.
But flare-ups aren’t necessarily a bad thing. “Some arguing is necessary in a relationship,” says NYC-based marriage and family therapist Jane Greer, Ph.D.
“If you never make it clear that you disagree with one another, then the anger and resentment go underground and come out in retaliatory behaviors, which can weaken your relationship,” she says.
That said, most of your fights shouldn’t be screaming matches. And they certainly shouldn’t turn physical.
Whatever the conflict, you should both be able to vocalize your concerns, express your preferences, and be able to come up with a reasonable plan that doesn’t end with you sleeping in separate beds.
“You should really be collaboratively talking together rather than fighting,” says Susan Heitler, Ph.D., a marriage and relationship counselor in Denver.
Here are five common fights you should have with your partner, and how to navigate your way through them.
Related: 9 Ways Your Marriage Can Be Ruined