Fighting is a natural part of any relationship. In fact, it’s healthy to have disagreements occasionally and to talk about them rationally with your partner. Maybe the disagreement ends up with some raised voices and sulking. We’ve all been there and most of the time, these arguments can be fixed with an honest and open conversation.
But what if it was something more? There’s certainly a line between a fight and an emotionally or physically abusive encounter, and it’s important to consider all the factors involved when reflecting on the argument.
“Was the fight a disagreement where both folks were overall respectful of each other’s base level humanity? Was it a case of not seeing the other person’s perspective and getting heated?” sex educator Domina Franco asks Bustle.
“Or was it emotionally or physically violent, or based on a deal-breaker issue for one of you? Was the person demeaning and abusive, and was their approach a big *ss red flag telling you to quit this before you invest any more time and effort into the relationship?”
Experts like licensed marriage and family therapist Jill Whitney agree that what can make or break the relationship is trust. If the argument has resulted in a total lose of trust for the other person, whether it be because of emotional degradation or just a feeling of being unsafe, then it may be time to call it quits, or at least take some time to seriously evaluate the relationship.
The number one priority is to keep yourself safe and happy, so if a fight feels like more than just a fight, take a step back and ask, “what do I want?”