To Fight or Not To Fight….

To fight or not to fight? That should not be the question. The real question should be "how do we fight fair in our relationships?" Often I share with clients just because couples fight and argue with one another doesn't mean that they do not love each other or that they are in a major relationship crisis.  In my experience, when couples say they don’t fight, someone is being untruthful. No two or more people agree on everything. It isn’t the fact that they are fighting, but how and why they choose to fight that determines the fate of the relationship. Healthy confrontation occurs in a space where relationship parties feel that they can express themselves authentically, are open to hear, and feel that they are heard.  Avoiding confrontation and not being open/honest with yourself or your partner can be the breeding ground for unspoken resentment and bitterness.  This resentment and bitterness, if left unaddressed or addressed poorly, can be devastatingly destructive to all interactions, intimacy, relationship, love, etc.

Let’s examine what this looks like. Imagine that you and your partner are going to the movies. You hate missing the beginning of the movie and your partner is running late. No phone call is made ahead of time and in haste to get to the show, no apology or explanation is offered. The tension mounts to a point where you verbally explode and a huge fight ruins the night. The next morning you have no clue as to why you were fighting and how the previous night’s movie date escalated into a disappointing argument. It seems silly that all of this craziness started over a 15-minute delay, only missing the upcoming movie previews. It is important for you to know that content and environment are only small parts of the equation.   Life is about feelings and emotions. While you were waiting for your partner you became angry, disappointed, and hurt as a result of not feeling valued or that you are a priority by your partner. This momentary feeling of not being valued or made as a priority by your partner connects to other moments of not feeling valued or important at previous times in the relationship that were not expressed and even similar hurts prior to the relationship. These feelings combine to create a red-eyed monster more powerful than the movie instance would imply. When you do not address an issue head on and allow the feelings to fester you can present to your partner as if you are over the top emotionally, when you reach your tipping point.

Arguments in relationships occur when primary needs are not met.  When either or both partners don’t feel that one or more of their primary needs, safety, security, connection, feeling wanted, valued, desired, heard, or being accepted adverse feeling arise. Current research has identified 5 reasons couples fight:

  1. Work Stress
  2. In-Laws
  3. Money
  4. Sex
  5. Housework
  6. The Children

The 6th is added from my years in private practice.

Each of these topics can be very sensitive and emotional issues that can create various feelings that are often conflicting for both partners. Disagreeing is not uncommon and fighting/arguing can happen; however, learning how to fight fairly is important. Ultimately, the goal must be to fight for the relationship, not to belittle or destroy the other person. Remember, neither of you are the enemy. In stressful situations conversations can get disjointed and the arguing becomes toxic. The quest to win a fight leads to distance that push couples apart.

Fighting, arguments, and disagreements are inevitable, but there are ways of fighting and arguing that can strengthen relationships and not erode the foundation of love.

Key factors in fair fighting are:

  1. Identify your intent upfront: State the goal and objective of the conversation upfront. (I love and value who you are and who we are together. Because of that I want to understand what happened when…… I’m confused and would like clarity on something, I know you love me but I can’t see, taste, or smell where the love is in this situation…. please help me find it….)
  2. Slow down: Connect to yourself, your core feeling and experience. Then allow yourself to speak from that space. Avoid speaking from your mental, intellectual, presumptuous, calculated self.
  3. Own your experience: State how you feel by using I statements, “when you do this…., I feel……”
  4. Be authentic/open, be willing to be vulnerable: Be willing to share your experience in the moment to yourself and your partner. This allows you to stay present and not blend multiple moments, which leads to becoming mentally and emotionally overwhelmed.
  5. Be open to listen: You must be willing to listen to your partner’s underlying feelings and emotions.
  6. Collaborate: Work with your partner for an amicable resolve or understanding. You are both on the same team working towards the same goals. You are not opponents or adversaries.

Arguing skillfully and respectfully can make a relationship healthy and stronger and protect against highly destructive anger, resentment, and emotions. Paying attention to when and how you fight, in all phases of life, is good for your personal wellbeing, relationship, intimacy, and love life.

Todd Malloy is a relationship and sex therapist in private practice in Charlotte, NC, USA. He is an academic lecturer, a public speaker, and a show developer and producer. For more information on enabling your inner power to celebrate and live an empowered life, visit, mancave, or call (704) 937-2286.

Female Masturbation Has A New Name & Attitude!

Women how will changing the name of Female Masturbation to Klittra change your perspective on exploring your sensual self? Throughout the decade’s masturbation, particularly Female Masturbation, has been thought of as taboo, with horrifying consequences. As little girl or a young woman you were not taught to explore your sensual self, especially for your personal pleasure. Equally stunning, you were not given the proper name for your “private parts,” the vulva.”

Your private parts should not be private to you, hummmm!  They should only be as private as you decide them to be. To change the perspective of what you have learned about Female Masturbation, and your private parts from your mom’s, church, temple, mosque, or your friends ideals, you are being encouraged to empower yourself to explore your outer and inner parts. By a change in name to Klittra, to catapult your way into destroying faulty programing and celebrate your personal sensual self.

Let’s blow up the term masturbation and use the unofficial Swedish name of “Klittra.” Klittra combines the words "clitoris" (klitoris) and "glitter" (glittra) in an effort to encourage a positive outlook on women's sexual pleasure. Tell me what you think! Share how you believe changing the term of Female Masturbation to klittra changes your view on exploring your sensual self!

Todd Malloy is a relationship and sex therapist in in private practice in Charlotte, N.C. and on the staff of the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program (UMSHCP), which provides comprehensive education and training to professionals interested in the field of sexual health. For more information on enabling your inner power to celebrate and live an empowered life, visit or call (704) 937-2286.

Being a Great Lover Starts with Self Awareness and Personal Exploration

Sexuality is influenced by the many components that make you who you are. It is not just a physical thing, mental, emotional, and social factors all play a role in intimate connections. These components are influenced by

  • Identity, culture, ethnicity,
  • personal beliefs, family influences, finances,
  • body awareness, social environment,
  • knowledge about sexuality and prior sexual and intimate experiences

The power of Media and Societal influences can’t be dismissed. They perpetuate stigmas that tell men that they are to have four (4) hour erections. These same entities send the message that the primary role of women is to provide (and not receive) pleasure.

There are so many voices, sights and sounds that attempt to define/influence /and direct your sensuality. It is your intimate knowledge of self that creates the best loving and sensual experience, alone or with a partner.

Think about this, the clothes/products you purchase, food you prepare, and the car you drive come with instructions which teach you how to take best care of them and receive the greatest value from them. How are you communicating your inner and outer sensual desires to inform and educate your partner? Asking yourself the following questions can assist in your quest to explore and partake in all of your favor?

  • Each area of the body responds differently and requires a different touch experience for maximum pleasure, what are they for me?
  • How does it feel to be touched on each area of my body? Explore and acknowledge if touching certain areas makes you feel good, bad, or indifferent
  • How do I like to be touched to be aroused?

What is the best pressure and motion that stimulates the most tantalizing experience? To be the Great Lover you desire start with exploring and knowing your most intimate self. Your comfort with this will make it possible to explore and openly receive how your partner would respond to the same set of questions. Self-discovery and communication will put you well on the way to experiencing the freedom and safety of explosive intimacy.

Todd Malloy, MA, LMFT, CST is a relationship and sex therapist in in private practice in Charlotte, N.C. and on the teaching staff of the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program (UMSHCP), For more information on enabling your inner power to celebrate and live an empowered life, visit or call (704) 937-2286.