BOSTON—A study published this week by psychologists at Northeastern University has determined that even a single instance of backing down during a fight with a significant other can inflict severe damage upon the relationship, often causing irreparable harm. “When a person is in the midst of a heated argument with a romantic partner, we found that nothing is more detrimental to the stability of your relationship than budging from your point of view, regardless of how minor the conflict is,” said study co-author Jenna Herzig-Watts, adding that when an individual surrenders even an inch of ground during such a dispute, he or she appears undesirably weak and vulnerable, undermining any possibility of lasting intimacy and in many cases prompting the person’s partner to initiate a breakup, divorce, or one or more extramarital affairs. “According to our analysis, the best thing you can do is just dig in your heels and keep fighting. While it may be tempting to remain coolheaded and look for ways to resolve the disagreement, you’re ensuring the long-term strength of your bond by erupting in anger and bringing up as many hurtful and completely unrelated matters as possible.” Herzig-Watts went on to state that a good rule of thumb for handling fights with a spouse or partner is to never stop screaming until you’re absolutely positive you’ve gotten the last word in.
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