Fighting is normal. Friends argue, relatives argue and partners argue too. In every human relationship, there are moments of shared happiness, sadness, and disagreements. If you’re in a relationship where you never argue over small, insignificant things, then I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re a weirdo and a rarity at the same time.
Couple fights should be normalized because relationships are not perfect, so a little disagreement here and there is inevitable. You can be in a healthy, mature relationship and still argue with your partner. According to relationship experts, there are healthy, productive fights that help you grow, and fights that put an end to your relationship.
“Differences of opinion and conflicts will happen no matter how in love a couple may be. However, there are things that partners can do when they encounter difficulty, that are not only more useful ways to argue but can actually foster closeness and connection,” explains couples therapist, Wendi L. Dumbroff, MA.
Read on to find the 8 most common reasons while couples fight!
Reasons to fight: Money
Who earns the most and who spends the most in a household are very common reasons why couples fight all the time. As data from a 2013 study published in the journal Family Relations shows, fights about money were found to be the main indicator of divorce, despite income, net worth, and debt levels.
“What it really comes down to is people just might not be communicating about money in general,” explains Lorna Kapusta, vice president of Fidelity’s Women Investors division.
These disagreements appear between couples especially when one earns way more than the other, or when one doesn’t work. Also, a partner who spends a lot of money might also generate a lot of couple fights, especially if the other wants to save money, or the money is tight.
When money is a constant reason for fighting, it can lower the satisfaction you get from the relationship, and even if it doesn’t lead to a possible breakup/ divorce, it will affect the health and well-being of the family members, including your children.
Reasons to fight: Sex
We can’t deny that sex plays a very important part of every adult relationship. And you don’t even realize how important it is until you’re in a relationship where you’re not having enough, or not at all.
Sex is a fun activity that helps you connect with the person you love, it helps relieve stress and as a bonus, it feels incredible. So it’s a win-win situation for both of you. You’ll feel a lot more relaxed afterward, while being physically and mentally connected with your partner.
When one partner wants more, and the other wants less, a fight is inevitable. Or not, because when it comes to sensitive topics like sex, people avoid talking about it because they don’t want to make their partner feel insecure.
If a relationship lacks sex, the strong bond that was once there can get easily destroyed. It goes without saying that you can’t have a healthy and happy relationship under such circumstances.
Reasons to fight: Holidays
If you’re single, you probably wonder how can a holiday be the cause of an argument in a couple? Well, married couples will understand the struggle. Holidays should be relaxing, but instead, they’re pretty stressful if you take into consideration the shopping, the cooking, the preparation, and the travel. Besides all these exterior factors, you can add the relationship stress, the pressure, and the expectations.
“I have seen way too many relationships head into the holidays strong, and come out of them as if they had never met,” says Nora Dekeyser, a matchmaker at personalized dating and matchmaking service, Three Day Rule. So don’t worry, fighting around the holidays is normal and it happens to most couples.
However, these small inconveniences rarely lead to serious fights. Most of the time, they’re short-term issues that will get overlooked as soon as the holidays are over.
Reasons to fight: Relatives
Holidays are the time of the year where most people want to spend a lot of time with your relatives. The problem here is that it’s hard to decide where to spend the holiday. To be more precise, you have to decide whether you’re going to visit your family this year for Christmas, or your partner’s family.
Most of the time, everyone would prefer to visit their own family, of course, especially if you have a long tradition of spending Christmas with them. However, if your partner has the same tradition, then you’ll have a problem. If your family lives on the East Coast, and your partner’s partner leaves on the West Coast, it’s either one, or another, since you can’t be in two places all at once.
The best solution would be coming to a compromise together. For example, you’ll spend this year’s Christmas at your parents’ house, and next year at your partner’s family. Or you choose between Christmas or Easter. No matter what you choose, it’s important that both partners are ok with the decision, this way, you’ll avoid unnecessary couple fights.
Reasons to fight: Cleaning & chores
Another common reason why couples tend to fight is cleanliness. It’s almost impossible to find a partner that shares the same exact perspectives when it comes to cleanliness. While you might want everything to be perfectly arranged and clean in the house, your partner might not care about these things at all.
It might seem absurd, but the small inconveniences, such as doing laundry or washing the dishes can cause a lot of problems between couples. According to a 2018 survey, more than 80 percent of married American couples fight very often about aspects related to housework and cleaning habits.
The survey has found that 53 percent argue about when to do the cleaning, 50 percent about how to do it, and 48 percent about who should do it. Moreover, 61 percent of American women have stated that they feel the need to clean the house again after their partner does because they don’t like how they do it in the first place.
How to avoid fighting over chores? Firstly, chores can be shared between you and your partner. If you want to clean up the kitchen and bathroom, let your partner clean the living room and do the laundry.
Secondly, you have to recognize that sometimes it’s not about the cleaning at all. There are other problems in your relationship that make you feel very angry and frustrated. The solution would be communicating with your partner and telling them how you feel.
Reasons to fight: Interior design
Anyone who went to a decorating process around the household with their spouse knows that it’s not as fun as it might seem. A minor task such as deciding what color to paint the walls, or what table to buy for the dining area might provoke a lot of unnecessary fights. After all, we all have different tastes, so it’s a chance that you and your partner will like different things.
The secret to a happy marriage is learning to compromise. You have to understand that you can’t be the boss around the house all the time. Sometimes, you need to let your partner make the decisions. For instance, if you like a green velvet sofa, and your partner would prefer a beige one, make a compromise and let them have it, especially if you already choose the rug and the furniture.
Also, you need to accept the fact that you have different perceptions and you like different things, and that’s ok. There’s no need to have a huge fight about chairs, rugs and colors. You can try to come to a common denominator, if not possible, both of you need to be patient and learn to compromise.
Reasons to fight: False memory syndrome
The problem is not what happened, but how you remember it. As humans, we always tend to put ourselves in the best light and pretend we’re always the victim. If two people share the same story, I guarantee you that it will sound a lot different.
It can be hard to distinguish what’s true and what’s not. When couples fight about things that happened a long time ago, the memories will get blurry and each couple member will remember it in a different way. If you two don’t seem to agree on the facts, a couple disagreement is imminent.
Reasons to fight: What’s best for your children
Most parents argue all the time about what’s right for their kids. That happens a lot especially if the parents don’t have the same fundamental values and beliefs. Parenting is not quite an easy task, but it can be even harder if you and your spouse share different opinions about how you should raise your children.
Coparenting is very important, so you need to make sure that you and your partner are both working together, after all, you’re a team. You need to realize that both of you want what’s best for your children, even though you have different opinions about how your family life should look like.
You can start by supporting each other and sharing the good cop/ bad cop roles. No one wants to be stuck in a bad cop role forever, that’s why it’s very important to take turns.