We argue – that’s one of the things humans are good at and in a relationship, there are stresses and strains that mean arguments are almost inevitable. Whether it is your first row or your hundredth, how you deal with the aftermath is a big part of how well your relationship is going to do. But what causes those arguments in the first place?
The three most common reasons for arguments among couples all have the same root:
Not listening (47%)
Saying the wrong thing (34%)
This shows that not taking the time to listen to your partner, consider their feelings or what they want is responsible for the clear majority of arguments. It can be hard sometimes – life is busy and there are lots of things grabbing our attention. Sometimes we just don’t think about the person closest to us in this way and that leads to an argument.
Happily, half of the couples think that arguments are both natural and part of relationships. In fact, for some types of people, an argument can be a good thing – especially for confrontational personalities. In couples that describe themselves as ‘argumentative’, nearly 60% of them find that an argument can be beneficial – clearing the air, helping to face an issue or dealing with a problem.
There are lots of other, more subtle causes of arguments that can be a little harder to deal with and can have a bigger longer term negative effect. Financial worries top the list for 27% of couples and these can be hard to deal with if there is no clear way to deal with the underlying problem.
Problems in the bedroom can lead to issues too. 13% of couples squabble over things like snoring while around one in ten has problems around sex. This can be anything from arguments over when to have sex with problems around when one partner wants to try adult toys for him & her but the other is more conservative.
Technology and our working lives also put strains on relationships. 10% of couples admitted to having arguments about working hours on a regular basis while 13% said that technology often let to problems – most specifically, one partner always being on their smartphone in some way.
Dealing with an argument and the aftermath also has a big impact on life. Conflict resolution is the fancy name for it and it can help to clear the air, just as with those argumentative couples. In fact, once the initial anger and upset has passed, the couple can actually feel closer to each other now that they have dealt with issues and spoken their mind.
Sometimes, opposite personality types don’t have this benefit and that’s where knowing yourself is important. If one is aggressive and the other passive, arguments can have a bigger effect on the latter than the former. So, you need to understand yourself and your partner to know when to stop and change the approach to avoid damaging your relationship long term.