The research is clear: Being in a satisfying relationship can predispose you to all sorts of wonderful things. For example, those who report high relationship satisfaction tend to live longer, have a better job, and have lower stress. However, the flip-side is also true: Those who report low relationship satisfaction report poorer health, bad job performance, and high stress.
In essence, being in a good relationship is REALLY good for you, whereas being in a bad relationship is REALLY bad.
When it comes to conflict, the research shows this to be true, as well. Studies show that, even if a conflict is a big disagreement, which means it has negative attributes, such as criticism, anger, and defensiveness, those in happy relationships report it as just a minor bump in the road. Better said--if you're in a happy relationship, even big fights turn out to be not-so-damaging to the relationship.
In fact, those in happy relationships also report big resolutions.
But, for couples who report being in unhappy relationships, big disagreements can have pretty bad outcomes. Instead of big resolutions, those in unhappy relationships don't have the big resolutions. Instead, they can hang-on to the resentment built during the fight.
Bottom line? If you're in a happy relationship, those big fights won't undermine your connection. But, if you're in an unhappy relationship, it's time to make it better!