If you’ve been married longer than an hour, chances are that you and your husband or wife have had at least one disagreement. Sometimes, those disagreements can evolve into emotionally-charged arguments and potentially create deep scars in the marriage.
Working through disagreements in a productive way is vital to the longterm health of your marriage.
Below are the tens reasons couples argue the most. I hope these principles compiled from feedback from thousands of couples on our “Marriage” community on Facebook will help you approach disagreements in your own marriage with new perspective.
Before I reveal the list, I want to share the one singe principle which could revolutionize your approach to arguments in your marriage…You and your spouse are on the same team, so your arguments will never have a “winner” and a “loser.” You’ll either win together or lose together so work together to find a solution!
In no particular order, here are the 10 main reasons couples argue (and what to do to make it better):
Many arguments in marriage are simply a case of miscommunication. Make consistent, transparent communication in your marriage a priority. Communicating does for a marriage what breathing does for your lungs!
2. Unmet expectations.
When we have an expectation for how things are supposed to happen, and then they don’t happen that way, it creates frustration and that frustration often leads to an argument. We tend to “blame” (either out loud or subconsciously) our spouse for the unfulfilled expectation. Instead of blaming each other, focus on serving each other.
3. Sexual frustration.
Many marriages are in a constant state of conflict because one of the spouses (usually, but not always, the husband) feels the sexual need is being unmet. If things are going well in the bedroom, there will usually be fewer arguments in all the other rooms of the house!
Financial stress is one of the main causes of divorce (though, ironically, divorce usually causes much more financial stress for both spouses). Money stress can kill your marriage if you don’t get on the same page with a plan.
5. In Laws.
This one really relates to anyone who is imposing their opinions or demands on your marriage (friends, exes, etc.). Often, these stresses come from in-laws.
6. Lack of appreciation.
This one is HUGE. Feeling unappreciated causes hurt feelings, resentment and ongoing conflict. Find ways to encourage, celebrate, appreciate and validate one another. Thoughtfulness is one of the most practical ways to show love.
7. Different parenting styles.
Raising kids is the hardest (and most important) duty a married couple can share. It can be very rewarding, but it can be incredibly stressful and it’s vital that the couple establishes a parenting plan and carries it out with mutual respect and consistency.
8. Past hurts.
Some arguments are the result of wounds from the past that never fully healed (or perhaps they were never fully forgiven).
When you’re in the trenches of life, parenthood, work, etc., you’re probably exhausted. When we’re exhausted or doing life at an unsustainable pace, we tend to have a short fuse.
10. What to watch on TV.
If you can compromise on who gets to hold the remote and what to watch on Netflix, you can figure out almost anything.
Want to learn more about how men think, feel, and process the world around them? Check out the Through A Man's Eyes video series and workshop for expert advice and insight on how to understand and communicate with the men in your life.