Latin American woman crying while sitting next to her bed

Is Struggling & Fighting Normal in Relationships?


A recent article, “No More Struggle Porn,” makes an excellent case for not buying into the myth that if you’re not struggling, you’re not doing the right thing to succeed at your chosen profession. I see a parallel in the world of amateur marriage advice.

The Difference Between Struggling and Working Hard

The article affirmed that working hard is not bad. The author takes issue with the idea that struggling is the same thing as working hard and that you have to struggle to succeed. But this idea gets in the way of realizing when quitting is actually the smarter thing to do. The article says:

“When you believe the normal state of affairs is to feel like you’re struggling to make progress, you’ll be less likely to quit something that isn’t going anywhere.”

People often believe the same thing when it comes to relationships. Have you ever heard the idea that all couples fight and that if you’re not fighting, you should be or your relationship will fall apart?

Fighting Shouldn’t Be the Barometer of Your Relationship’s Success

Many, maybe even most, couples do indeed fight. Or at least have arguments and conflict. That is fairly normal.

However, fighting in a relationship shouldn’t be the barometer to measure success. Some people come to their current relationship with enough maturity and experience to be able to approach the inevitable moments of conflict with calm, rational discussions, rather than screaming matches.

Let Go of an Attachment to Struggling

On the other hand, if you think that fighting in relationships is normal and means that you’re doing it right, you might not know that you don’t have to argue to be happy. Some partnerships are too toxic – and too hurtful. You don’t have to wound each other emotionally (and definitely never physically).

It’s important to learn how to assess the amount and types of conflict in your relationship and know whether they are part of the normal consequence of two completely different people trying to blend their lives, or if you’re in an unhealthy situation that needs intervention or even professional help to end the relationship.

Let go of this attachment to struggling. As the author of this article says, “How hard you’re working isn’t a good indicator of the value you’re creating or the progress you’re making.”

The same is true in your relationships.

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