The longer you've been with someone, the more things you have to fight about. Each year together can bring more situations that cause conflict. Work gets stressful, children enter the picture — the fights long-term couples have span the spectrum of all the things that have compiled in the life you've shared, as well as things you feel are missing.
When it comes to couples and fighting, it doesn't all have to end in a three week silence of not speaking to each other. In fact, according to Psychology Today, couples who work to solve conflict grow stronger. The key is communication — being respectful and non judgmental — as well as being willing to let things go once the problem has been resolved. Although these skills take time, practice, and commitment, it's worth it for long term couples to invest their best strategies into conflict resolution, because fights happen.
No matter how many years you've invested into a being couple, sometimes the fights can make you want to give up. It's really hard work to keep going sometimes. To help you remember you're not alone, find some validation in these nine fights every long term couple has, because no one's relationship is perfect.
1. The One About Appreciation
Over the years, couples can get complacent with their praise and compliments, which can make you feel like your partner takes you for granted. Everyone wants to feel like their contributions to the relationship are appreciated, and sometimes all it takes is a few thank yous to keep spirits up.
2. The One About The Furniture
If your relationship can survive furniture shopping, you have yourself a winner. Never have my husband and I been more cut throat in our arguing, than when need a new couch, mattress, or dining table. And when I glance around the store, I see we are not alone. Dirty looks and cold shoulders are just part of the process.
3. The One About Pushing Buttons
It's hard to hide your weak spots when you have been with the same person for an extended number of years. But when your partner starts to pick at those spots, or push your buttons, it can really infuriate you. What might start out as a silly joke to one person, leads to the other screaming and shouting.
4. The One About Going Out Or Staying In
Date nights help to keep couples connected. But inevitably, there comes a point in a long term relationship where one of the parties doesn't feel like going to every party. (This is especially hard for couples that have one introvert and one extrovert.) Feeling like your SO wants to stay home all the time, when you want to go out, can be the catalyst for plenty of fights.
5. The One About Listening
Let's face it, when you've had the same argument a dozen times, it's easy to tune the other person out. This fight can be worse than the fight that started the not listening. Everyone wants to feel like they are being heard and that their thoughts are valued.
6. The One About Keeping Score
Resentment is a bitter pill when it comes to relationships. Keeping tabs of who does what is a one way ticket to fighting town. You will always feel like you are doing more, and pointing that out doesn't lead to anywhere good.
7. The One About Folding Towels
In long term relationships, even the little things becomes big. That's because when you spend that much time together, the little things happen all the time, making them feel like big things. Chores are no exception. Arguing over how to fold towels, put away dishes, and bag up the recycling seem to be common themes in my house.
8. The One When You're The Worst Sick Person, Ever
When you get sick, all you want is for your partner to bring you hot tea and fluff your pillow until you're back on your feet. But when a sick SO becomes super needy and demanding of nose wipes and absolute silence, tempers can get a little heated.