Forty-four percent of married couples across India agree that the key to a long and happy marriage is having fights more than once a week, says a new survey.
In Shaadi Aajkal, a survey conducted by leading matrimonial site Shaadi.com and market research agency IMRB, these couples believe fighting more than once a week helps keep the communication lines open.
Anand Seth, who works as a business development manager, told IANS that "fights help couples come closer and often clear misunderstandings. Fights are extremely necessary in a relationship as it makes the bond stronger.
"It also helps because each partner develops sensitivity and sensibility on the other's preferences through adversity." Sushila Basu, marketing manager at a multinational company, points out that arguments help as the differences get sorted out instead of "it brewing and festering in the couple's minds".
"Tiffs help one understand what 'ticks off' one's spouse. This also helps in not taking one's spouse for granted," she added. Couples in Delhi and Mumbai are least likely to fight with 32 and 33 percent respondents fighting less than once a month.
Interestingly, fights get fewer with age as only two percent couples aged 41-45 years seem to be getting into an argument once a month as compared to 10 percent couples in the age group of 20-25 years. This is mostly because mutual understanding increases with age and years spent together.
From the gender perspective - women tend to get into an argument more often than men. About 12 percent of women claim to have an argument every day as compared to eight percent men. Prakriti Poddar, clinical hypnotherapist and counsellor with Mind Over Image, doesn't feel that arguments are healthy for married couples, but adds that people try to resolve issues and about 80 percent of her clients come because they want their marriage to work.
"In 20 percent of the cases, one partner feels the marriage isn't working but wanted to take the route of meeting a marriage counsellor just to show their partner the real problem. About 90 percent of the clients that I see have relationship issues and are with me to resolve them," Poddar, who sees about five clients every day, told IANS.
She feels that nobody wants to put up with a less than good marriage. "People are becoming more self-reliant and are hungry for passion, communication, respect and love in a marriage," she said, adding that "in the last five years there has been 100 percent increase in the divorce rates and the issues that lead to separation are violence - emotional and physical, lack of respect, love and communication."
She points out that financial and space issues too rock marriages and that "people want a meaningful and happy companionship with a good sex and communication", said Poddar.
Poonam Darswal, a doctor at a Delhi hospital who got married in 2009, feels that "every fight between me and my husband pushes me away from him a little especially when we don't come to a valid conclusion. We just put the fight off to avoid more hurting and resentment later".
However, she agrees that sometimes fights help in "understanding each other but only when we listen to each other with open heart. But there are times when our fights are lame and over stupid issues, and in this case nothing works."
She also says that "most fights arise from misunderstanding". Asked to name the issues that can't be solved, she said: "There are no issues which can't be solved. It's the lack of desire to solve them that leads to distance. When you stop caring for any solution, problems arise and the piling up of these unsolved issues would separate you forever."
Couples are okay with fights and arguments in marriage, but what is intolerable is extra-marital sex or affairs. Sometimes in-laws become marriage breakers too. "Fights are unavoidable in circumstances concerning in-laws. Reconciliation is impossible in situations where extra-marital sex or affairs are concerned," said Seth.