3 Most Common Reasons Couples Fight

Top argument triggers, plus how to make peace.
It seemed to come out of nowhere. Just a minute ago, you and your guy were snuggling on the couch, and the next thing you knew, you're bickering over who should clean the dishes. Like it or not, fights are an inevitable part of relationships. Ask any married couple, and they'll tell you that when the excitement of new love wears off, it's the mundane issues that make you get on each other's nerves.

But there's a silver lining: Working through these disagreements together as a couple can strengthen your relationship. As you learn to negotiate differences and compromise, this essentially brings you closer together, say relationship experts.

So without further ado, here's a list of the most common reasons couples fight, and tips to resolve the conflicts.

1. Money

Research has shown that couples fight more about money than about anything else -- regardless of their income. Why is money such a touchy subject? It's not about the dollars and cents per se, but how differently we view money. "Our money personalities are formed early and often lead to couples having conflicting spending and saving styles," explains Sherry Amatenstein, relationship expert and author of The Complete Marriage Counselor.

How to make peace: Sit down together and create a list of financial goals for the short- and long-term. Then work out the ground rules: Talk about how money should be spent so there are no surprises further down the line. When it comes to making big-ticket purchases, you should always discuss with each other first. Opening communication lines early on can save you from countless fights down the road.

2. Housework

"Housework consistently ranks as one of the top argument-provokers among married couples," says Amatenstein. Whether it's leaving dirty clothes lying around or forgetting to take out the trash, frustration and resentment over a partner not "pulling their weight" around the house can build up and trigger a fight. "These disagreements often expose more than the surface dirt festering in a relationship," she adds.

How to make peace: The best way to divide housework is to make a list of the chores that each of you absolutely hates to do. He'll take care of the chores that you detest, and vice versa. If both of you hate the same task, then tackle it together as a team. Lastly, if you want your partner to help out, yelling won't help. Rather than using accusatory "you" statements ("You never help with the housework"), try "I" statements ("I really appreciate it if you can take out the trash").

3. In-laws

As every newlywed discovers, you don't just acquire a spouse when you get married -- you get the whole family! The key is to learn to coexist with the in-laws. (They're going to stick around -- for better or worse -- so you might as well try to make a positive experience out of it.) Otherwise, every issue from meddling mothers to how often to visit each other's family will only become a source of contention between you and your SO.

How to make peace: His mom may not be your favorite person on the planet, but the more you zoom in on her flaws, the worse she appears. Instead, focus on the good stuff -- remember she is someone who loves the same person you love, and she's always there whenever you need help to look after the kids -- and you'll see her in a different light. Also keep in mind that the most important part of dealing with in-laws is making sure that they do not get in the way of your marriage, so you need to make a mutual commitment that your relationship gets top priority. And if this means skipping a family get-together to catch up on couple time, hey, that's perfectly okay.








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