We all wish for the perfect romance story. You know, the kind where we’re happy all the time without a single disagreement to ruin our fairy tale love. The truth of the matter is that every couple has disagreements. Whether you’re just starting out with a new flame or have been together for over 50 years, fights can and will happen from time to time. The good news is this is a perfectly normal part of a relationship! Don’t feel surprised if you recognize these common things that couples fight about:
Household Chores & Comforts
The decision to live together is both exciting and stressful. It’s a time to learn about each other more intimately, which can often bring up all those little quirks and habits that you hadn’t noticed before. The first major fight many couples go through is often over daily life things, such as who will wash the dishes, who will fold the laundry, or what temperature the thermostat should be.
What You Can Do: Set up your boundaries and expectations early, even before the big move-in. Talk about how you’ll work as a team to tackle those household chores and find a good middle-ground on the things you disagree with. This might not keep these arguments from happening outright, but it will set up good communication habits for talking things through.
Quality Time & Romance
With your day-to-day obligations getting in the way, it’s difficult to find time to spend together. Sometimes it feels like when one partner is in the mood, the other is not. Or perhaps you both crave some intimacy, but you’re just too busy. It can feel like there’s a distance growing between you.
What You Can Do: Communication is key here, so talk with each other openly when you’re feeling like the romance is lacking in your relationship. Also remember that intimacy isn’t always about sex (though a healthy sex life is important too!). Even little things like enjoying a meal together at home, watching a movie snuggled on the couch, or discussing your day can bring you closer together.
Whether it’s in-laws or co-workers, people outside your relationship can be a source of added stress within. Nosey relatives are a big headache at any stage of a relationship. Likewise, closeness with co-workers or friends can be a source of jealousy for some partners. Many relationships get stuck on this aspect, and some even end because of it.
What You Can Do: This is where boundaries play a crucial role. For prying family members it’s important to let them know that while you appreciate their concern, this is your life and relationship and that you and your partner are the ones ultimately in control. For feelings of jealousy or suspicions of infidelity sometimes communication isn’t so easy. If talking candidly about your worries together isn’t panning out, consider attending couples therapy or other services meant to help you build trust in each other.
Everybody needs it and everybody fights over it. If there’s one major stress in your life, it’s probably related to money. For couples, taking on the spending habits of a partner can become a deal-breaker, particularly if you both have wildly different ways of handling your finances.
What You Can Do: Planning and compromise are great for the pair that squabble endlessly about money. Work together to figure out what things are most important to you and then set up a plan to satisfy you both. Be willing to give up some expenses for your partner if they’re also willing to compromise on theirs. Working towards a goal as a team is also a great way to bring you closer together.
It might seem surprising, but most things couples fight about are overall meaningless. Changing the channel on the television, what to have for dinner, which way the toilet paper should face; these little things eventually stack on until the breaking point.
What You Can Do: You may have noticed that the common thread to fixing problems is good, positive communication. That’s because it’s the key to build trust and respect between people, regardless of the size of your current hurdle. Telling each other about the positive things you appreciate about each other is as important as discussing the negative things you dislike. Being able to set boundaries and compromise on the little stuff will make it easier to handle the tough stuff later on.
Building a strong, lasting relationship takes a lot of work and a lot of love. Every couple will face ups and downs, times of harmony and discord, and sometimes things can feel rather dire. But working together to face your problems head-on can turn a fight into a learning experience that will strengthen your bond from year 1 to year 50 and beyond!
For more tips on how to have a successful, loving relationship, please feel free to visit Safer Dating.