You’re irritated. Your partner is annoyed. Voices that started out calmly respectful are now audibly raised and bordering on rude.
And that piece of your mind you’ve been wanting to share? It’s on the tip of your very sarcastic tongue.
Didn’t you have this same “discussion” last week? Believe me, you are definitely not alone. Couples argue. Sometimes they argue a lot. The thing is, most couples aren’t even that original when it comes to a topic.
Do any of the following fights seem familiar?
Argument #1. Money: An Ongoing Clash over Cash
This is, by far, every couple’s favorite conflict conversation. Couples argue about money from every possible angle. Some dispute the drain on their joint account. Some debate the difference between everyday needs and luxurious lifestyle wants. Others are determined to repeatedly assign blame for the household stack of bills. Arguments over money matters can be telling statements about power, accountability, and security in the relationship.
Argument #2. Chores: Domestic Duty Disagreements
No one likes a lopsided division of labor at home. When one partner feels like the dishes, laundry, and toilet scouring are always his or her responsibility, things can get ugly fast. Assumptions about household responsibilities, differing ideas about how the home should look and function, or an inflexible need to keep the chores split evenly can lead to resentment. Arguments regarding household tasks often stem from perceptions about fairness, appreciation, and acknowledgement.
Argument #3. Sex: A Constant Question of Affection
An unsatisfactory sexual relationship can lead to some very tense conversations, embarrassment, rejection, and detachment. Most of the time, one partner wants more sex or affection while the other feels too busy, too tired, or even too overwhelmed by their partner’s needs. When couples argue about sex, many fights reflect one or both partners’ exasperation regarding a lack of sexual initiation, undivided attention, or creativity in the bedroom.
Argument #4. Time: The Repeatedly Un-Prioritized Partner
Arguments about sex might not be so frequent if couples addressed this point of conflict first. Too often, couples argue because they haven’t set clear boundaries or discussed their individual expectations regarding time together. Are you resentful of your partner’s long hours at work? Do you feel like your children’s needs always usurp your time together? Frustration mounts quickly and frequently boils over for couples whose connection is constantly put on the back burner.
Argument #5. Kids/Relatives: Frequent Family Friction
Couples often have differing ideas regarding child-rearing or interaction with extended family members. Conflicts arise when one partner feels his or her opinions are being disregarded, dismissed, or disrespected. He or she may even question his or her partner’s loyalty and commitment to the family. Teamwork and commitment to a united front are vital. Without boundaries, these arguments can be extremely emotional and divisive.
Arguments are a part of life together.
They don’t have to spell relationship doom.They do present an opportunity to grow past areas of conflict and resentment respectfully.
You don’t have to yell. You can choose to listen and reflect.
Try to put the relationship ahead of individual scorekeeping.
When couples argue, they are actually trying to communicate a need to each other. They are actually sharing a hope or desire for each other.
Communication and understanding are the goal.
Even if you have to leave the issue unresolved for a while, recognize that conflict can be managed and damage minimized.
You can both win.
If yelling, sarcasm, and the “silent treatment” rendered your arguments disrespectful or unproductive, consider meeting with a qualified, experienced couples therapist. At Orenstein Solutions, we help couples break ineffective communication patterns and rebuild relationship harmony.