This Fighting Style Could Be Wrecking Your Relationship

There is bound to be some conflict within any relationship past that initial honeymoon phase; you're combining two people, after all, raised by different parents, who may have wildly different ideas on how to spend money, how many beers is "too many," and whether dishes need to be washed immediately, or can sit in the sink until flies appear at the drain. Fighting is bound to happen! But the way you work out your disagreements is important. Ultimately, you could emerge from your tussle unified, with a compromise in place that will prevent further such disagreements — or, the chasm between you could deepen.

In fact, some relationship experts claim they can predict whether a relationship is on the path to self-destruct based on the way a couple fights. Licensed clinical social worker and marriage counselor Sherry Amatenstein pointed out that what she calls a "destructive fighting style" is a dead giveaway of a dead-in-the-water partnership. "This means yelling, screaming, not listening to, degrading and otherwise disrespecting your partner," she explained in Psycon. "When a couple walks in to my office that are obviously full of contempt for one another and light up only when the opportunity to 'crush' the other appears, I cringe."

If you're insulting each other, that's a really bad sign

Couples fight about many things, from whose turn it is to walk the dog to whose family to visit for Thanksgiving dinner. When the argument graduates from, "But I walked her last time!" to "You're worthless and lazy!" this means your fighting style is "toxic," experts say. "Toxic fights including hitting below the belt by saying things like, 'I knew it was a mistake to ever get involved with you,' or 'Everyone says that you are a loser and I never should have become involved with you to begin with.' These type of statements can be so hurtful as to cause damage to your partner and should always be avoided," Los Angeles-based relationship counselor Dr. Gary Brown told Elite Daily.

Instead of trying to inflict verbal blows upon each other, you should instead take a time-out and walk away. When you've both cooled down, you can calmly can talk through the issue at hand, rather than going for the jugular (per Oprah).