Launching into a difficult conversation first thing in the morning is nobody's idea of a good time. But in some relationships, these driving issues never seem to take a break. For the most part, if you have these red-flag conversations right after waking up, you and your partner may not be built to last. Really, someone who causes this much grief before you've even finished the first cup of coffee is seriously concerning.
Of course no relationship is perfect — there are bound to be some mornings when it seems like at least one of you woke up on the totally wrong side of the bed, but it's not the type of thing that should be happening every day. Because mornings in general can be stressful enough on their own, it's a rough time for potential relationship issues to crop up. Chances are, you just want to brush your teeth and get on with whatever is on tap for the day. So if someone dishes out some unkind words to their partner first thing in the AM, the person receiving those words may not be in the best headspace to hear them. And to be honest, who want to stay with someone who is constantly bringing them down at the start of each day?
That said, it can be difficult to know what sorts of conversations are normal, and what really signifies a potential problem with the relationship. Each person, relationship dynamic, and individual's history is different, so there are no topics that are universally hands off. However, these are some topics that should be saved for a time in the day when both parties can address them reasonably and are not feeling like they're being bombarded and caught off guard. If your partner is consistently trying to rock the emotional boat moments after you wake up, have a conversation with them about how that makes you feel or seek counseling. And if neither of those seem to resolve the problem, it may be time to part ways.
1. The Guilt Trip
Maybe you forgot to set up the coffee machine last night, and suddenly you and your SO and in a heated debate about responsibility. They might turn the honest oversight into a guilt trip about failing to meet their needs, and blow the whole situation out of proportion. (And the whole thing really isn't about the coffee at all.) That said, there's no way to win in the moment with a guilt tripper, because it's a form of manipulation, as explained in HuffPost. Conversations like this may be your cue to get an unbiased party (like a relationship counselor) to help mediate common arguments, or time to get out.
2. The Dishes Debate
Last night's dishes are still piled around the sink, and each of you assumed it was the other's turn. An argument ensues. If you're debating about household chores regularly, and it really is just about the chores, then this is a whole other issue. If one partner feels like they unfairly do a majority of the housework, then this person may be more likely to initiate a breakup, according to a 2017 study in the journal Sociology. This may be a sign that the relationship is not meant to last.
3. The 'Please Put The Phone Down' Talk
If your SO can't even put the phone down long enough to say good morning, then you've probably had the phone chat before. Getting phone snubbed (AKA phubbed) can hurt. "What we discovered was that when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction," said James A. Roberts, Ph.D., who published a study about phubbing in Computers in Human Behavior. Getting phubbed on the regular may mean it's time to move on.
4. The Blame Chat
There's nothing like a round of the blame game to get your day started off wrong. An argument filled with accusations of blame and counter-blame is pretty unproductive, according to Psychology Today. Plus, this sort of behavior points to deeper issues in the relationship.
5. The 'Just A Joke' Talk
Maybe your SO decides to open the day by cracking a joke at your expense yet again. You have a good sense of humor, sure, but sometimes these jests are unnecessarily harsh. Although playful teasing can liven up a relationship, jokes that come across as insults can feel more like bullying, according to Very Well Mind. If your conversations tend to involve put-down humor that isn’t fun for you, then consider whether this relationship is built to last, but you have to be vocal with them about how you feel if you want them to realize how you actually feel. Trying to make it work with a partner who claims every insult is “just a joke” and can't take you seriously when you're not laughing can get tiring quickly.
6. The 'Brutally Honest' Convo
If the emphasis is most always on the "brutal" part, then take note. “‘Brutal honesty’ has gotten a lot of press lately, but I have seen it do more damage than good,” wrote Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. in Psychology Today. “You need to present your issues with some degree of kindness.” If your partner can’t express concerns about your relationship in a civil way, then take note. Nobody needs that kind of brutality first thing in the morning.
7. The Dirty Fight
If you and your SO have no-holds-barred arguments on the regular, then it's a pretty high-flying red flag. Couples who fight dirty and aim to hurt one another are not likely to have a lasting, loving relationship. If you’re unsure about your arguing style, then there are some key signs your fights are toxic, according to Bustle. Although it may sound like an oxymoron, fighting fair is a very real thing.
8. The Old Rehashed Argument
Sometimes couples get stuck in an unwinnable argument that plays out time and time again. It's basically like you're rehearsing a play at this point, you've said these lines so many times. The disagreement itself isn't the problem, because couples can learn to accept and work with gridlocked conflicts, according to the Gottman Institute. But if you can't tune in to the kind of open communication necessary to address these repetitive arguments, then they can keep repeating forever. If this or some of the other types of conversations keep ruining your mornings, then maybe this partner is not the one to stick with you for life.