Have you and your partner or spouse passed the “honeymoon” phase and are now entering the arguing phase? It’s not fun, but it’s common in any relationship to argue. It’s how you argue – and compromise with each other – that can make or break the relationship. Fortunately, the most common arguments couples have are also ones that you can navigate with some practice and determination. The key is to keep an open mind and focus on what’s best for both of you, individually and as a unit.
1) Who Does the Most Around the House
Household chores are common grounds for arguments among couples. A study from Sex Roles indicated that dividing household chores is important. For a woman, especially, the division of chores directly relates to her happiness within a relationship. If she feels that she is doing more chores than her partner, she is likely to feel unsatisfied with the partnership. Once you choose to live with your partner, one of your first discussions should be about dividing household chores. This will help lay the ground rules for your living situation. Don’t be afraid to make a chart if you think it will help provide a visual reminder. You’ll notice the importance of sharing and delegating chores even more so once you have children old enough to help out.
2) Money-Related Arguments
If you and your partner argue about money frequently, you are more at risk for a break up, or a divorce. Money is, of course, the means by which you and your partner pay the bills and expenses. When money is tight, you stress and your partner stresses, causing angered tempers to collide. Fights about money can also mean much more than just stressing over finances, though. They can show that there are much deeper problems in your relationship that have not yet been resolved. Your fights are, therefore, piling onto each other, creating more tension in your relationship. You and your partner can create a strict budget that includes your monthly bills and spending money. Split the bills fairly, add in a little extra for wiggle room and emergencies. Use what’s left over for spending money for the both of you and, where possible, add in something for the occasional splurge or treat.
3) Too Much, or Not Enough, Physical Intimacy
Research shows that having sex at least once per week results in a happier relationship for most couples. More often than that doesn’t lead to a happier couple. However, having sex less often leaves couples usually wanting more, fighting more and generally resentful. There are no specific rules to how much sex you and your partner should have to stay happy. However, differences of opinions on the subject can pull you apart. One of you may want sex every night, but the other one is too tired to think straight most nights. Schedule and work differences can often leave partners unable to see eye-to-eye on making time for physical intimacy. The key to healthy physical intimacy in a relationship is finding a good balance between life and time for intimacy. When you focus on allowing some time each day strictly for your partner, you’ll find yourself automatically creating the time for intimacy.
4) How to Raise Children
Once kids arrive in a relationship, couples have one more very big thing to worry about – and fight about. Who will discipline, and how? Do you agree on the principles on which to raise your children? What about religious and political views that can affect the way you want to raise kids? These are all important issues near and dear to the hearts of most parents. However, when you come together with another person to raise a child, your views can easily collide. Remember, though, that children will also hear your arguments – every word of them – if you’re not careful. Therefore, you and your partner must learn to navigate through the tough world of parenting to raise your children as a team. Your children will learn a lot about teamwork and respecting differences of opinion when they witness you listening to each other, discussing things calmly and cooperating.
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can sometimes make you forget that your partner loves you. Most likely, you’re each at work eight or more hours per day and come home tired and stressed. At this point, the mere mention of an opposite-sex coworker can easily send one of you into panic mode. Severe jealousy is often thought to stem from events in childhood or a psychological issue. However, some jealousy is common and normal. Even so, it can cause severe strain on a relationship when it goes too far. Excessive jealousy can cause one to become an emotional, or even physical, abuser to a partner. Unless there is a specific incident or reason not to, you should try your best to trust your partner. A constant flux of insults or questions will put him or her on the defensive and do nothing but cause you more concern and your partner more stress. Don’t make up scenarios in your head. Instead, believe what your spouse says. If something is wrong, the truth will come out eventually. Consistently thinking the worst will only cause you unnecessary anguish.
6) Family-Related Arguments
You’ve probably heard of people complaining about their in-laws. Many couples don’t usually see eye-to-eye with their in-laws. That’s because their in-laws may have different values, traditions, and opinions. In fact, 60% of women and 15% of men do not get along with their mothers-in-law. The good thing is, differences make people interesting. If you and your partner were the same, would you love her as much or get along as well? Your negative opinions of your partner’s family can significantly damage your relationship. Think about how you would feel if your partner said the same things about your family. Although it’s important to be honest in a relationship, you can be honest without being rude. Talk to your partner about what is upsetting you without going into attack mode. Come to a conclusion together about how to deal with your in-law issues in a calm manner.
7) Issues from the Past
Women can connect past events to current events more easily than men. This can result in arguments that bring up past events even if you’re arguing about something entirely different. Unfortunately, this brings up things you may have thought you had solved and left behind you. Instead, they can linger in the relationship and cause resentment from the past argument and add that to the hostility of the current one. Try to keep what happens in previous fights in the past. Try not to use it as leverage in your current issue. Think of it like your past. Things you may have regretted doing are still there, but you can’t change the past so there’s no sense in dwelling on it or rehashing it. You just learn from it and move ahead. Arguments should be the same. No matter what was said or done, use them as a growing experience to move your relationship forward instead of backward.
8) Political Disagreements
Although 77% of people avoid discussing politics altogether, you might think it’s safe to discuss it with your partner. Instead, it creates some of the worst arguments in a relationship when partners don’t agree on each other’s political views. Does this mean you shouldn’t talk politics with your partner? Not necessarily. In fact, if you understand why you’re having a political conversation, you’re more likely to overcome your differences. If you want to talk politics with your partner, lay some ground rules. First, talk about why you need to discuss this subject. Then, give each other time to talk without interruption. Be fair in asking questions that are unbiased and non-judgmental. Instead, ask questions that will help you better understand your partner’s point of view.
9) Work and Success
Partners in a relationship tend to want to outdo each other’s successes in their careers. Think about how you’d feel if you have a slow progression of promotions at work. In contrast, your partner comes home every few months with bonuses, an exciting new project, and talks of promotions. You’re happy for him, but also extremely jealous. Rather than looking at yourself and your job to see what you can do about moving up the career ladder, you take out your frustration on your partner. Also, work can cause arguments when you have very different jobs that each other doesn’t fully understand. You have little to talk about, which can cause a rift in your communication. Remain open about your careers. Ask questions about your significant other’s job to learn more and show a genuine interest.
10) Timing of Life’s Milestones
You and your partner disagree about when to buy your first car or home, when to get engaged, when to get married, and when to have kids. It’s common, but it doesn’t help you avoid arguments. Talking about your individual goals with your partner, and listening to his or hers, can help you align them together. One of you wants to wait until you get a promotion to buy a home. The other wants to start looking tomorrow. Look at your finances together, create a budget, and figure out what makes the most sense for both of you in the present and the future. Remember to listen attentively to your partner and be open to his or her concerns and ideas to avoid unnecessary arguments.