I want to improve my argument skills. The kind of thing that happens when you put two French people in a room and within 90 seconds one of them is quoting Montaigne is not the kind that happens online.

I would like to know more about the domestic. It seems that the short, sharp spat can be quite therapeutic. I am not sure. After an early phase of massive, horrible fights, my motto has been: "Why say something when you could let it explode at the worst possible time, be horrified and grovellingly row back until the next time."

There is scope for personal growth for even the most evolved of us. I want to improve my conflict skills. I don't expect to enjoy it, but I will tolerate the unpleasantness for the long haul. According to an online poll, couples who argue effectively are ten times more likely to have a happy relationship.

The people we live with thoughtfully foster our personal development daily, filling our favourite mug with WD40, piling washing in a mouldering heap

I have been reading The Five Arguments All Couples. Harrison suggests that there are different types of surface argument, such as "you never listen", "your mother drives me crazy", "you haven't taken the bin out", "stop looking at your phone", "we never have sex", and "we never have They can give rich opportunities to learn about each other.

There are lots of opportunities there. The people who live with us thoughtfully encourage our personal development by filling our favourite mug withWD40, washing in a moldering heap and turning the sink into an art installation called "Teabag Butterknife Pan Soak IX". According to Harrison, she has heard every variation of washing-up fight, and I believe it: dishwasher Tetris topped my unscientific survey of common fight topics.

Harrison says that some of the arguments are more about expressing our individuality than about the subject. I can see how that could be, when you have lived with someone for so long that your mind melds and you can look at a passing cat, both be reminded of the same minor incident in 2003 and then by some circuitous thought process say out loud. We exert our independent existences by disagreeing about where to put the condiments.

These entry-level spats feel manageable, even though most fights are terrible. Harrison encouraged me to have five of my own, in various stages of their lives, on the go. I don't know what deeper truths they are talking about.

The bread bin doesn't have bread on it. This has been lost by me. The bread bin has been converted into a bread display unit and the biscuit tin has been turned into a hiding place.

It is possible to leave a clothes airer on overnight. The tell-tale light is out of sight because this is in the war of attrition.

Couple arguing

Research shows that couples who argue stay together.

You can't get upset about the milk being thrown away unless you are willing to smell it. It was difficult to agree.

You're doing it wrong with recycling. Don't ever give up.

A half-functional slot is all that is needed for a toasting appliance. I think it's fine. You just flip the bread. Our children are younger than that toasting appliance. What do you think you're going to get? My spouse asked if I would toast. I broadcasted this one publicly and was told that I am the global arbiter of arguments.

I am determined to keep fighting despite the fact that this is a poor record. It isn't about winning, it's about taking part

  • She is a columnist for the Guardian.