Long-term, committed relationships — like, you know, marriage — can be difficult. You're taking two lives, two personalities, two beliefs, and combining them into an amalgam with which you can both live in relative peace. Undoubtedly, you won't agree on absolutely everything and you'll likely argue from time to time. That being said, there are some things that are guaranteed to cause a fight between you and your spouse and, if you don't take notice of them, they can make your joint lives a bit tumultuous.
It's probably safe to say that, for the most part, the majority of people don't love dealing with conflict and confrontations, especially with their partner. It can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, and leaves you stressed more often than not. You might, however, have developed some habits that cause the fighting without even realizing it.
Granted, according to Psych Central, some fighting is healthy for a relationship, as long as it's done fairly. If you feel like you're fighting nearly constantly, however, you might start to wonder what's going on to encourage all the disagreements, especially if all of the fighting is a change from how your relationship worked previously. Knowing which of your marital habits might be causing you to fight with your partner more than usual is the first step in alleviating some of that tension.
1. You Don't Talk About Issues When They Arise
Not talking about issues as they arise is a good way to ensure a bigger blow up later on. According to research conducted by assistant professor of psychology at Kansas State University Brenda McDaniel, couples who talk through their issues are less stressed than those who keep them bottled up. Sit down and talk it out rather than waiting until you can't keep it inside any longer.
2. You Have Different Eating Preferences
Whether it's that your partner is allergic to or strongly dislikes your favorite food, has horrible table manners, or chew really loud, sticking to your food or eating preferences could lead to more frequent fighting with your partner, according to The Denver Post. Talking openly and honestly — and being willing and ready to compromise on some points — can help diffuse any food-related tensions.
3. You Don't Pitch In Enough Around The House
If one person is left doing all of the chores around the house without much help or input from the other, that could mean more conflict. In an interview with the website for Good Housekeeping, Dr. Judith Wright, a relationship expert and co-author of Heart of the Fight, said that fighting about chores is often more of a power struggle than a legitimate fight about housework. But if one person feels as though they're doing more and not being valued for such, it could lead to some friction between partners.
4. You Worry About Finances
A slight worry about finances can be a good thing if it keeps your spending in line. But extreme financial worries — especially if you see it as a fault of your partner — can put pressure on your relationship and cause an uptick in fighting, according to Psychology Today. Money worries can cause serious stress on you as an individual and it can become even more of an issue if you're feeling like you can't support your family with the way things are going. Whether you brought debt to the relationship or the two of you have come upon hard times, financial worries can make things difficult.
5. You're Stubborn
Do you and your partner bicker and nitpick over ever little decision you need to make? According to the website for The Gottman Institute, it's common for stubborn couples to engage in meaningless fights. If you and your partner both stand your ground on every single thing, you'll spend a lot of time fighting about basically nothing, in addition to anything more major about which you might disagree.
6. You Talk About Your Partner Behind Their Back
Talking behind anyone's back can be extremely hurtful and lead to serious fighting. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, couples therapist Carrie Cole said that talking about your partner shows a certain level of disrespect for your partner and leads to further negativity, which helps nothing. This can lead to nastier, more hurtful fighting, which is the last thing you want when dealing with someone you love.
7. You're Always On Social Media
Though you might think it's no big deal, constant smartphone scrolling can cause more fighting between the two of you. According to Women's Health, a study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking found that those who log on to Facebook multiple times each day are more likely to report social media-related relationship issues. Think before you post or before you log on to minimize potentially harmful arguments.
8. You Hold A Grudge
Forgiveness is an important part of fighting fairly, and if you skip over that point — or intentionally don't do it — it paves the way for more fighting and discontent. According to a 2008 study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, you're hurting your own health when you hold a grudge. That's likely not what you wanted when you skipped forgiving your partner for something.
9. You Expect Them To Read Your Mind
If you want or expect something from your partner, you have to be willing to tell them what that is. Wright said that it's unfair to expect that your partner will just know what you want without you cluing them in. Skip unnecessary fighting by reminding yourself that you can't be mad at them for not knowing if you didn't make your feelings clear.
10. You Always Bring Work Home With You
Although everyone understands a major project or big assignment that requires the occasional overtime, consistently brining home work could start to cause some friction if your partner feels as though you aren't spending time with them or helping with joint responsibilities. According to The Spruce, fighting about jobs and work is a common reality for married couples. Minimize the arguing by saving your late-night work for when you really need it.
11. You Bring Things Up At An Inopportune Time
There's a right and wrong time and place to bring up issues or problems with your partner, just as there is with anyone else. Don't bring up an involved, important conversation when your partner is dealing with something extremely stressful unless it's absolutely essential, according to Greatist, it'll only encourage fighting. Ultimately, knowing what you might be doing to cause frequent fighting can be all you need to help minimize it.