Fighting in a relationship is inevitable, and pretty natural. It’s not okay, however, when it leads to emotional wounds, distancing, and even abuse. The most important thing to help you avoid these unsavory outcomes is to understand what couples are most likely to fight about and why. Here are the three most common topics couples fight about to help you deal with these topics more effectively in your relationship.
You would not believe the number of couples who report fighting over household responsibilities. According to Winding Path Counseling, there are all sorts of reasons couples may fight about household responsibilities: perhaps one partner isn’t upholding their end of the responsibilities, maybe there are gender dynamics at play, or perhaps a recent change in employment or goals has led to a shift in expectations on household responsibilities that aren’t being met. Whatever the reason, the key thing to understand is that nobody is a mind reader. The best way to avoid fighting over household responsibilities is to clearly define the expectations for each partner on what their household responsibilities are. This will leave you both accountable to a shared expectation of who is to handle what responsibilities.
Money is probably the most common and most volatile subject that couples fight about. According to Stange Law Firm, money arguments are a top cause of divorce. It may sound somewhat fickle to think that money can play such a large role in divorce and relationship dissatisfaction, but remember that money is also sustenance, retirement savings, expenses for children, etc. that are necessary for a stable lifestyle. To ensure that your relationship isn’t battered with money arguments in the future, the best thing you can do is talk about money openly and honestly and define your expectations. Perhaps each partner will keep a separate bank account for personal finances while maintaining a shared account to which both contribute. Or perhaps there is an agreed upon budget that can reduce tension. Don’t be afraid of opening the conversation and revisiting it whenever your financial situation changes.
According to MensLine Australia, all couples tend to have fights about levels of intimacy every now and again. Changes in work, family health, hobbies, goals, children, etc. can all change the intimacy landscape for your relationship. There is also the common trend that intimacy starts off strong in a relationship and then tapers off as the relationship becomes more dedicated, and then surges in waves of the course of the relationship. Once again, the key to avoiding these types of fights is to have open communication about expectations and constantly revisiting these expectations when life changes occur that alter what is possible. If each partner in the relationship can comfortably outline what they want, like, and need in regards to sex, romance, and emotional closeness, you both can understand exactly how to make your partner feel wanted, validated, and loved.
Fighting is a normal part of being in a relationship, and it doesn’t need to end in a breakup or divorce. In fact, if handled healthily, fighting can strengthen and better your relationship. The key is to communicate openly and honestly about your expectations and revisit these conversations anytime a change occurs that may require adjustments to be made.
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