If you’re in a relationship, then you are probably no stranger to fighting with your significant other. Although nobody truly enjoys them, the truth of the matter is that all couples fight — and you might even be wondering how much fighting is normal. According to Joseph Cilona, Psy.D., some couples argue more than others and “there is no one correct formula when it comes to frequency of conflict,” he told Glamour. In fact, there are some fights so common that almost every couple has them at one point or another.
Although it is important to talk about your needs when dating (or when in a longterm relationship), it is also important to understand that even happy couples fight. You might be the kind of couple that fights frequently about little things or the kind of couple that comes back to the same issues over and over, and that’s all okay. In times when you feel extra stressed about your most recent fight, here are eight relationship fights that it’s totally okay for you and your sweetie to have.
1. You fight because you have different sex drives.
Fights about sex are one of the most common types of fights that couples have, and it often stems from different sex drives — and a general lack of communication. It’s not unusual for one of you to want more regular physical time than the other but the key here is to be able to talk about it clearly. Make sure that you set aside time to talk about sex regularly and are clear on what you want in bed (including how often you’d like to have sex and if you want to experiment more in the bedroom).
2. You fight because your financial priorities don’t line up.
One of you wants to travel more and the other one wants to save to buy a house. It’s not uncommon to fight about money and can lead to resentment over time, unless you are good about sharing your needs and trying to understand theirs. Rebecca Hendrix, L.M.F.T., a therapist in New York, told Women’s Health:
It is important to understand why your partner wants to do what they want to do. Sometimes just validating their point of view will help a mutual decision happen. Help your partner to understand why it will benefit you and them.
3. You fight about your division of chores at home.
No matter how much work you have done to make sure that your household chores are equally divided between each partner, it is likely going to come up that one person feels that they’re doing more than the other. Or maybe both feel that way. When it’s just you focusing on your own chores, it’s hard not to notice that they didn’t do something that’s on their to-do List. It’s best to let it go, though, and trust that they’ll do their tasks, unless it becomes a reocurring problem over weeks or months.
4. You fight because they aren’t doing things “the right way.”
This fight is related to household chores but is more about how they just can’t ever seem to load the dishwasher right. Argh! For this one, really consider whether it’s a fight worth having. Does it matter that much if they fold the socks differently than you do? If it’s an important part of your mental health, then yes, but if not, then you should probably let this go.
5. You fight about what to watch on TV.
According to Mashable, the #1 most common fight that couples have is over the remote. And why not? My husband wants to watch Breaking Bad and I’m dying to see the newest episode of Jane the Virgin. Well, do as Reader’s Digest recommended and rotate shows. The only way to keep the peace in my house (and probably yours) is to keep a big list of your favorite shows and simply take turns to pick what’s next.
6. You fight about whether to go out or stay in.
As someone who is an extrovert in a relationship with an introvert, I know that the argument over whether we go out or stay in is a frequent one. I need socializing to stay sane while my partner needs alone time, so how do we solve this one? Focus on explaining to your partner your needs while also supporting their goals, Hendrix recommended, saying:
Share how you spending not enough or too much time with your partner is affecting your level of connection. Brainstorm together on how you can stay connected and still meet your individual goals.
7. You fight over spending time with your kids.
If you have kids, then you know that sometimes you need to sit down with your spouse and figure out how to divide and conquer your busy schedules — and time spent with your little ones. Although you cherish your time with them, it’s normal for parents to get bored or frustrated if they’re the only ones taking care of all the things that need to be taken care of when it comes to childcare. Make sure to communicate your need for your partner to pitch in, too.
8. You fight because you have different expectations about time with la familia.
It’s not uncommon to have fights about your extended families. From how often the in-laws can come over to how long you want to host out-of-town relatives, the main thing to keep in mind here is that these fights are usually an indication that one of you isn’t feeling valued or as important in the relationship. Jane Greer, Ph.D., author of What About Me? , told Women’s Health that the best way to resolve this fight is to resolve the bigger issue:
You can say, ‘I appreciate that you like spending lots of time with your family and I want you to do keep doing that. But I want to feel that I’m as important as your family.