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7 Things Couples Always Fight About (And How To Deal With It)

7 Things Couples Always Fight About (And How To Deal With It)

Coexisting peacefully with another human being is difficult even at the best of times. We all have our personal preferences, tastes, needs, desires, fears, insecurities and habits. So when it comes time to spend a good part of every week and even every single day with someone else, it’s just a matter of time before there’s some kind of disagreement. Something’s bound to upset one or both people down the road. This is particularly true when there’s mutual passion and emotions are flying through the roof, e.g. in a romantic relationship.

Fights will break out over all sorts of things, and that is nothing to fear – it’s just the normal course of life. There are some common themes, certain common reasons for fights that keep popping up in nearly every relationship. If you know how to deal with the situation it can go over relatively painlessly, most of the potential damage put under control and end with an apology and effective solution.

1. “Why do I always have to initiate sex?”

A couple in bed

    Intimacy is a big part of any relationship. We are, in essence, sexual beings, but there can be differences sex drive between partners. There are also the issues of stress, bad mood and lack of time. You’ll often find that one partner takes the initiative more readily, and at some point it can start to feel like the other person is disinterested. One of the most common arguments related to sex are about frequency and one partner rarely initiating, while the other one feels like he or she has to virtually beg for it. You should have a serious talk with your partner and try to remedy these issues before getting frustrated. Although in some cases it may be that the attraction is waning, a lot of the time the other partner may be actually throwing small signs your way from time to time.

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    It may also be that they’ve gotten used to the situation and feel more comfortable with you initiating – if they are up for it most times you initiate, then they just might be uncomfortable or guess that you may not be in the mood as you haven’t initiated it yourself. As with most things in a relationship, this comes down to effective communications, so be open yet tactful when discussing your feelings. There are some useful tips for both men and women if you just aren’t sure how to approach the subject gracefully.

    2. “You’re spending an awful lot of time with this “friend” of yours”

    Jealousy is one of the biggest relationships killers. Everyone will get a bit jealous at times, this just shows that you are passionate about the other person and don’t suffer fools lightly, but once it becomes a daily occurrence you’ve gotten out of line. If your partner can’t go out for drinks with friends without you calling 5 times, if you’re being overly possessive when anyone is around him or her and if you often fight about such matters, then it’s time to look at yourself and deal with your issues. Let your partner see that you are making an effort to improve your behaviour, and try to make small steps forward. Work on your sense of self-worth by looking objectively on your life, take up a physical activity that will help you boost confidence, talk to a therapist and look for support. If your significant other is being overbearing and very jealous point this out to him or her – don’t be too subtle about it, but try to convey your feelings without getting overly emotional.

    3. “We can’t have nice things because you keep wasting our money”

    Man counting money

      Fights can break out because of financial issues with an alarming frequency. It can be that we are trying to live a bit above our means or that one partner is indulging in shopping sprees and affording themself certain luxuries, while the other is left out, or the home budget suffers and both get deeper in debt. There should be a bit of compromise, and one partner will most likely have to give up plenty of ground, but you can start by creating a somewhat strict budget that allows for all the basics to be covered – e.g. credit payments, groceries and bills – while still leaving some money aside to spend on luxuries every month or couple of months.

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      If you’ve got too many different credit cards to pay off, you can try using certain services that allow you to consolidate your debt, i.e. you get some first-hand advice and roll all your debt into one bundle with one creditor to make things easier to track. Make sure you are both on the same page, and understand that one partner, the more responsible one, will have to be a bit more lenient. This partner will need to work on balancing the budget while the shopaholic will need to work on controlling those impulses.

      4. “Would it kill you to, for once, clean up after yourself?”

      The little chores around the house tend to always fall on one partner more than the other, and it can get to the point where the other is so used to it that he or she starts behaving like a huge slob. Expending a lot of energy to keep everything clean only to see that someone doesn’t care enough to wash a couple of plates or make the bed can be like a slap to the face. At that moment try controlling that anger and distance yourself so you can blow off some steam before starting a conversation. Unless you’re both tidy, one is going to be doing most of the work simply because he or she cares more and is bothered by such things.

      Just try to make a strong argument about how it is important to you, and if you are the slob and it upsets your partner don’t argue about it – just start picking up after yourself and doing a bit of cleaning from time to time. Don’t make it a huge deal and let your actions do the talking.

      5. “Why can’t we ever do something that I want to do?”

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      Older couple in coffee shop

        When you have a partner who you want to keep happy on top of having to deal with work and a bunch of chores, there is precious little time left to have fun or just kick back and relax. The more dominant partner often gets his or her way, and the other can’t get to spend their free time doing what they want. Instead of starting with the accusations or responding aggressively to such a comment, try diverting attention to the issue with some subtlety, and work on a list of things that you would enjoy doing.

        Don’t try finding something you both enjoy, as that is rarely going to happen, but rather have days where the focus is on your partner and then other days when the focus is on you. You can even do your own separate things – one goes to yoga or dancing classes, and the other can go hang out with some friends and play video games or go fishing.

        6. “I don’t want to watch that stupid show again”

        Making a TV schedule that both partners can be content with is nearly impossible. Words like these should not be uttered, instead opt for something like: “How about we watch something I choose this time, that show is kind of boring to me and I’d really like to watch something else. I’ll make it up to you”. If however someone does throw a fit about it, try compromising and let the other person choose. You can watch a show on Netflix while a big live game is on, or schedule some TV time between the two of you. You should start working out a plan and talking about options, instead of getting heated and yelling, which won’t lead you anywhere.

        7. “I’m tired of having to walk the dog and run after the kids all day by myself”

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        Mom irritated with kids

          Even if there is no clear stay-at-home partner, one might be busier, work weird hours or even take their work home with them and lock themselves in their home office, which means the other gets most of the responsibility with the pets and/or kids. Remember that such arguments start because the other person is very tired and stressed out, so try to be the calm and collected one, even if that means letting them vent their frustrations out on you for a few minutes. Do not tell them to calm down or start getting upset yourself – let them calm down gradually and then offer to help more. You can learn from tactics used when dealing with an aggravated customer. You can also work out an agreement, e.g. the tidier one can focus on household chores, while the other can focus on walking the dog, preparing dinner for the kids or taking them to the park.

          Being in a loving relationship is all about letting little things go, understanding what your partner needs and keeping a relatively level head during arguments. Just try to focus on the problem at hand without bringing up other things or digging up an issue from the past. That way you can allow the other person to vent, work something out and make some improvements in the future.

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          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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          Published on May 18, 2021

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

          The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

          Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

          Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

          Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

          There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

          Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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          Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

          We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

          Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

          A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

          The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

          Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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          Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

          Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

          Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

          While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

          Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

          These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

          Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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          Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

          Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

          Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

          Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

          Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

          Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

          As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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          This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

          Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

          Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

          These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

          Actions Speak Louder Than Words

          Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

          Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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          Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

          More Tips Improving Listening Skills

          Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

          Reference

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