When you’re in a relationship, arguments can emerge about just about anything. According to Psychology Today, however, the most common arguments couples end up in six (6) different categories. From arguing about children and chores to criticizing annoying habits, the most common arguments between married couples boil down to:
Inadequate Attention or Affection
At the beginning of a relationship, the sun rises and sets in your partner. As time goes on, however, partners can begin to take each other for granted. Maybe one partner spends more time out with friends or needs more time alone than the other. Maybe it drives you crazy that your partner scrolls on their phone while you are trying to talk to them. All these little arguments happen when one spouse feels like they do not receive enough attention or affection.
Remember to say thank you and take time to appreciate your spouse. Gratitude can go a long way for your happiness and the happiness of your marriage. Planning quality time with your partner is also important. A weekly date night or another regular activity can help you pay attention to one another and keep the romance alive. You should also be aware of love languages. Even if both partners see “quality time” as their primary love language, the definition of quality time may be different for each person.
In most marriages, your spouse is the only person you can have sex with – and some people have higher sex drives than others! This can create a lot of conflict within a relationship, particularly if one partner frequently tries to initiate sex and is rejected. Try to discuss intimacy in a thoughtful way, and don’t take your partner’s behavior too personally. Sometimes, your partner really is just tired.
If one person does not want to have sex or cannot perform, there may be some underlying issues. You can work these out in couples’ therapy or find another way to look deeper than sex and find out what the problem is.
Jealousy and Infidelity
Jealousy is a terrible feeling that arises from insecurity and/or a lack of trust. Couples might be jealous about their partner talking to an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend or flirting with a coworker, but partners can be jealous of more than just other people. For example, your spouse may be jealous if they feel like you have more free time than they do – or if you have a hobby that you really love, and they are sitting at home while you do it.
In most cases, the key to resolving fights about jealousy and infidelity is to build or rebuild trust. If you trust your partner, there’s no reason to feel jealous of them responding to a text from an old flame or an attractive colleague. If you’re jealous about something that isn’t related to (potential) infidelity, consider working on your self-esteem. You won’t feel so jealous of your partner’s cool new hobby if you get one of your own!
Chores and Responsibilities
Arguing about chores and responsibilities can be extremely detrimental to your marriage, and it is especially common for parents of young children. One spouse almost always feels like they are pulling more weight than the other.
To avoid this argument, decide on chores and responsibilities before they arise. As silly as it may sound, a “chore board” can work wonders. If one partner changes the bedsheets one weekend, have the other partner do it the next. Or, if one spouse hates cleaning the bathroom, and the other hates sweeping the floor, split the chores that way!
Another huge issue when it comes to chores and responsibilities is expectations and cleanliness standards. Dirty dishes may not be a big deal for one spouse, but they could drive the other one crazy. Talk about what your shared space should look like, decide what work needs to be done to make that possible, and split the work among yourselves.
Keep in mind that you and your spouse may not always be capable of getting all your chores done, especially if one of you is ill or extra busy at work. When you need help, ask for it, and help your partner out when they need help, too! If you both need extra help around the house, don’t be afraid to hire a babysitter housekeeper when you can afford to.
Control and Dominance
Healthy relationships are not about control and dominance, but power dynamics can shake up even the strongest couplings. One spouse may be jealous to the point of possessive, or you may have heard or uttered the phrase, “but we always do what you want to do!”
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re running into a lot of problems with control and dominance, consider spending some time apart. If you don’t want to go hiking with your spouse, go to the movies by yourself instead! Make time to do the things you want to do, then come to a compromise when you spend time with your spouse. You will be more likely to compromise if you feel like you aren’t sacrificing your own interests. Similarly, if your spouse has time to pursue their interests, they will be more likely to agree on what you should do with your time together.
Independence can benefit relationships, and you and your partner will have more to talk about if you pursue appropriate interests and activities outside of your marriage.
Future Plans and Money
Planning for the future can be stressful, and even the best-laid plans don’t always become reality. Similarly, managing limited resources can create tension if couples disagree on how it should be done. Newlyweds might argue about when they’re having a baby, and parents may argue about just how many field soccer cleats they should buy for their kids.
The reality of sharing everything and being together forever is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. As long as you conduct your arguments in a healthy, respectful way, you should be able to find solutions that work.
What If We’re Having the Same Fight Over and Over?
According to one marriage and family counselor, 69% of marriage conflicts are never fully solved. If you find that you keep having the same fight again and again, you may want to see a couples’ therapist to help you find and defeat harmful patterns and solve ongoing fights, once and for all.
As we all know, sometimes, relationships and marriages just don’t work out. If you need to move on from your marriage, the last thing you want to do is start another fight.
Instead of serving your spouse with divorce papers and taking them to court, consider mediation.
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we offer free consultations so you can explore a respectful, low-conflict way to end arguments that just can’t be resolved.
Our practice is about conversation, not war.
Call us at (949) 558-2624 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options today.