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How to Fight

Researchers at the University of Michigan report that how you fight in the first year of marriage can predict how likely you are to be divorced.  The researchers found that fighting styles broke down into three categories:

  1. destructive (yelling and screaming)
  2. withdrawal (keeping quiet or leaving), and
  3. constructive (trying to solve the problem calmly).

Destructive conflict most often led to divorce.  Couples where one partner fought constructively but the other withdrew also had a high rate of divorce.

One of the researchers, Kira Birditt, said, “I think it’s important to try to work together to constructively solve problems. The closer you are, the more problems you have but you have to be really careful about how you deal with it when you have them. You should think before you react and try to say things calmly when you’re upset and it’s better to talk about problems than to avoid them or to scream or yell.”

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