Steer clear of ten common fights almost every couple will have by knowing what to expect before they happen.
By YourTango — Last updated on Jun 23, 2023
Photo: Federico Marsicano / Shutterstock
Couples often face conflicts around common sources of disagreement, so being able to maintain harmony in the relationship becomes challenging.
From differences in family dynamics to financial decisions and observing traditions, these issues can spark arguments and strain the bond between partners. However, with effective communication and a willingness to compromise, it is possible to avoid these common fights and foster a healthier relationship.
Often. with the application of practical strategies you can build a stronger foundation of understanding and mutual respect, and ultimately strengthen your connection with your partner.
10 Common Arguments Couples Have and How to Avoid Them
1. The mother-in-law fight
His mom hates your cooking—he says she’s just being helpful.
How to fix it: Address her directly, with this non-threatening formula: “I feel [insert your feeling here] when you [her action here]. Please [what you want her to do].” Example: “I feel bad when you criticize my cooking. Please don’t tell me my food is awful, even if you don’t like it.”
2. The money fight
You want to throw a party; he says you can’t afford it.
How to fix it: Create a budget in advance that takes into account all related expenses. Decide how much you’ll spend on each expense and don’t deviate.
3. The travel fight
You missed your flight … because he couldn’t find his scarf.
How to fix it: Travel is stressful for everyone, and in frustration we lash out at the nearest person—usually our spouse. Try to avoid placing blame and, remember, he’s upset about missing the flight, too.
4. The location fight
He wants to spend time with his family, you want to spend it with yours.
How to fix it: Find a compromise—which means both of you have to give a little. “Understand that blending two families isn’t going to happen overnight,” YourTango Expert Lisa Steadman says. “You may still want to maintain your own family traditions separately at first, for example one holiday with one family, the next day with the other. This is healthy and normal.”
5. The gifts fight
You got him an iPad and he got you a $25 gift card.
How to fix it: “Discuss what gift-giving means to you within your budget,” says YourTango Expert Julie Spira. Agree ahead of time on a ballpark amount of what you’ll spend and on the nature of your gifts.
6. The family fight
You feel smothered by his family; he doesn’t understand what your “deal” is.
How to fix it: Take some time for yourself. Exercise, offer to walk the dog or volunteer at a soup kitchen. He can’t be mad at you for doing good!
7. The kids fight
You want to give the kids everything they want. He says you’re spoiling them.
How to fix it: Create a list together. Limit yourself, and let him voice his concerns and reasons for placing limits. work together to create a satisfactory list of items and activities that satisfies the wants and needs of your children, as well as your partner.
8. The traditions fight
He wants to skip the obligatory cultural tradition, you don’t.
How to fix it: Explain why this tradition is important to you and try to understand why he wants to skip it. This two-way empathy should help you discuss without arguing and, hopefully, find a middle ground.
9. The time fight
He says you’re working too much; you say you’re trying to earn a big bonus to pay for all your expenses.
How to fix it: Plan some family- or couple-oriented activities and put them on your calendar—in red ink. He’ll feel good knowing you’ve committed time to him, and you’ll feel good knowing you can work the rest of the time.
10. The exhaustion fight
One or both of you is exhausted, and you take it out on each other.
How to fix it: When you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself, “Am I really mad at him, or am I just stressed in general?” To help alleviate stress, YourTango Expert Dr. Carolyn Daitch recommends this breathing exercise: “Take five deep breaths, inhaling to the count of five and exhaling to the count of eight.”
Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, but they don’t have to do harm.
By addressing the common disagreements in your relationship and implementing practical strategies to avoid them, partners can create a more harmonious and fulfilling relationship. Open and honest communication, empathy, and compromise are key ingredients in resolving disputes and strengthening your bond.
Remember, it’s not about avoiding conflicts altogether, but rather navigating them in a way that promotes understanding, growth, and mutual satisfaction.
By applying the tips and techniques in this list, you can overcome these challenges, cultivate a healthier dynamic, and create a solid foundation for a lasting and fulfilling partnership.
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