Arguing once a week is the secret to a happy relationship, a new study has found.
An survey of married couples in India concluded that regular arguments made relationships stronger and happier, provided the fights didn't become abusive.
The research conducted by relationship site Shaadi.com and market research agency IMRB said people reported reduced stress levels when they regularly had it out with their partners instead of bottling their feelings up and growing resentful.
But relationship expert William Doherty, a professor in the University of Minnesota's Department of Family Social Science, has warned that the study's findings shouldn't be seen as encouragement to argue.
Doherty says that while constructive arguments can be productive, abusive rows can be a fast-track to a break-up.
"What the studies have shown is that it's not so much whether couples get angry but how they handle it", Doherty told the StarTribune.com.
To avoid destructive arguments, Doherty advises people steer clear of angry accusations and instead start the discussion with a considered, calm statement about how the other person's behaviour makes you feel.
"A soft start-up is the best way", Doherty says. "Attacking or blaming immediately puts a partner on the defensive."
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