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July 29th, 2010
08:27 AM ET

Is fighting a good sign for your marriage?

Fighting in a relationship can be hurtful, stressful and an indicator that the end is near- but it doesn't have to be.

Research shows that it's not that we fight but how we fight- our tone of voice, attitude, word choice and whether or not we listen- that's most important, an article by the Wall Street Journal says.

Professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies, Howard Markman, developed the "speaker-listener" technique to help couples argue successfully.

Dr. Markman tells the Wall Street Journal that each person needs to know that they are being listened to and getting their point across.

Solving a fight using his method, he says, makes couples happier. And a happy couple is less likely to get a divorce.

Has fighting put a strain on your marriage or made it stronger? Share your experiences below.

You can read more about how to fight right here.

Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. donavan

    This article fascinates me. I agree w it- that it is important to fight fair or to respect each other when you don't see eye to eye. But the part that seems odd is that the goal is fewer divorces. This is good except that at every societal level we teach that divorce is right and good. When will we start to go to the root and deal w society. Ex media, courts, government etc. Divorce will continue to skyrocket unless these avenues get challenged to change. However I love the fact that one psychologist is wanting to help bring change. Perhaps many more will rise up as well. Divorce kills our children and we all pretend its no big deal. I work with them everyday and its killing them. Come on people please get over your pride, suck it up and learn to love your spouse even with all of their faults 🙂 we all got them!

    July 29, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  2. Elliot B. Riebman

    My wife and I have been married for 28 lovely years,and the reason that we are together today,is that I consider this lovely person,my truest,best friend in the entire world.We often get the kindness remarks,by ordinary people wondering what our secret is.And I tell them,its an easy question to answer.My wife happens to be my very best friend in the world,and when I took my wedding vows,we had both said ,till deathdue us part,and through sickness,and health,I will always be by your loving side.They are all amazed,and always give us both their Blessings,and wiil follow us both,to the path to everlasting Love.By the way my wife is 70 years young,and I am 55years young,and our love grows stronger and stronger,every day.

    July 29, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  3. Wilfredo Bermudez

    People are angry with Obama no about race but about imcompetence and slide of hands. His behavior is a mirror of the Chinanigans of Chicago Politics; buying a vote for $100 millions dollars?. offering jobs in his administration to congress members for runing or no running for office. His passing Health Care Program is a socialist Communist Idea. He wants to live on the dole with his Wealth Redistribution. What just happened in Arizona has given our Nation a Black Eye; he, himself aknowledge that the Federal Gov. doesnt enfforce the Inmigration Laws and let me ask you who represents the Federal Gov???The Black people do not understant that He is a mediocre man, who speaks out of both sides of his mouth and what ever he says has not substance. He is the black mirror of Biogovich The black people are in denial that Obama is failing to live to our expectations.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  4. Jordan Evans

    Above all other things, a marriage must be based on a great friendship. Friends fight sometimes. Why not your best friend?

    July 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  5. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    I think arguing in a marriage is a good thing. It's better to communicate than sit around not talking and letting little problems just fester and get out of control. In one month I will have reached the 40 year mark and it's worked very well for my wife and I. Also the ability to say I'm sorry when wrong helps too.

    July 30, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  6. Dan

    I have been married for 36 years and I will tell you from 36 years of fights, it doesn't do any good for a marriage. There is so much resentment built up that I literally hate my wife with a passion. The only reason I am still married is my commitment to the sanctity of marriage. But I am a very unhappy person.

    July 30, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  7. Kayla

    No matter what format one receives information, whether it be digital or print, a person should always question the validity of the information they are receiving. There are so many reliable sources available online that when issues such as Sherrod come along, anybody can dig around a little deeper and realize that posting was taken out of context. Regulation is immpractical and would be almost impossible to implement without seriously infringing on our privacy (sorry to whoever on the show talked about posting trackers after posting information online, that's stupid and if that happens that is scary).

    Final note, yes Wikipedia is editted by whoever, whenever, but for those of us who grew up with computers such as myself, we know this and we don't use it for serious information gathering. Good articles have sources at the bottom and are flagged if Wikipedia is unsure of their credibility. A friend of mine changed a Wiki page recently and wrote in some ridiculous fact on a person's profile. He had my friend check the article right after he posted the information, and in under a minute the incorrect statement had been changed back to the correct information.

    I listen to CNN talk about this stuff quite a bit nowadays but it does not seem like they have any good experts on the impacts of technology on society...there are actually people out there who have dedicated their lives to the sociological impact of communication technologies and the internet over the past few decades.

    July 30, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  8. Kim Leatherdale

    The point is "how" you fight is important. Unless one or both of you are constantly stuffing your thoughts and feelings, you will disagree on things (and, yes, stuffing is unhealthy.) You can disagree, discuss the disagreement, and even agree to disagree while still remaining respectful and together.

    I think the biggest mistake people make reading this post is thinking "fighting" means all-out war. If that's how you see fighting, then, no, it is not healthy for you, your spouse, or your relationship. If fighting means disagreeing, getting to the meat of the matter, and finding out where you both stand in a respectful way, then it is healthy.

    That's why I teach my couples how to disagree and what the rules of fair fighting are. That's why I use the skills myself and I'm happily married.

    July 30, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  9. Ronald Krason

    I just wanted to let Kyra that the red chakra is not the color of love, it's the green chakra.Thank You and have a great day.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:04 am |
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