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8 Common Issues That Cause Conflict In Relationships And How To Get Better By Avoiding Them

Even if you love your partner very much, it's inevitable that the two of you will disagree on some things. Your conflicts are certainly very personal, but it might surprise to learn you how similar they are to the arguments other couples are having! In this article, I will be breaking down some of the most common issues that cause conflicts in a relationship, as well as how you can get better at avoiding them in the first place.


Finances

Money can be a major source of conflict. One of you comes home with a shopping bag, the other one sighs, and two hours later you're in a full-out argument. Sound familiar? Well, you're definitely not alone. Finances are one of the most common reasons couples argue, even if you have enough to cover the basics. Money arguments frequently occur because one person feels like the other is over-spending. Or, they may feel that they don't have the same access to their funds as their partner. If you and your partner argue about money frequently, try designating one day a month to sit down together and look at your finances. Make a spending plan for the month, pay the bills, and plan out your savings.


Family and friends

If other people interfere in your relationship, you and your partner might argue. Relationships are hard enough when you're close with each others' families and friends. When you struggle to get along, though, tension can build. It's really important that you never try to cut your partner off from the people who are important to them. However, it's okay to set boundaries to make the relationship feel more manageable. For instance, if your mother-in-law frequently comments on your appearance, you might say something like, "Mary, we love having you over, but it hurts my feelings when you say things like that." Remember, these are the people who loves your partner the most! Even when it's hard, keep making your best effort to get along.


Chores

Arguments about housework usually stem from feeling unappreciated. Decades ago, there was a fairly clear-cut division of labor in most households—one person was the breadwinner, and the other stayed home to take care of the home. These days, it's much more common for both partners to work full-time. That can make it tricky to figure out who's responsible for which chores, and if one person ends up doing most of the work, they can start to feel taken for granted. Try dividing up the chores in a way that makes sense for you. One of you might be in charge of dishes and floors, for instance, while the other handles laundry and taking out the trash. You could also make a list of all of the household duties, then trade off each week on who does what. If you're feeling like you're taking on too many of the chores, try saying something like, "I'm feeling overwhelmed and I could really use a little more help getting things done around here."


Difficulty communicating

Differences in your communication style can put a big crimp in a relationship. Does it ever feel like the two of you speak different languages? One of you might feel better if you talk things out, while it might make the other feel worse, for instance. This is really common, and while it can feel tough in the moment, it's something that can definitely improve over time. If your spouse is talking to you about a problem, try asking them something like, "Do you want my input on how to solve this, or would you rather I just listen? "When you're disagreeing, do your best to stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Really listen to what your partner is saying, wait your turn to express yourself, and ask questions about anything they're saying that seems unclear.


Free time

When you and your partner disagree about your leisure time, you may argue. Believe it or not, arguments about free time are really common. These days, we're all so busy that there's often not a whole lot of down time. When you and your partner have different visions for what to do with that free time, it can ultimately lead to conflict. You might want to spend that time with your partner, for instance, while they might want to go out and do things on their own or vice versa. Try this exercise: Both of you write down several things you'd like to do together. Then, compare notes is there any overlap? Is there anything they suggested that you wouldn't have thought of, but that seems fun? This can give you some ideas of how to spend your free time. It's also healthy for you and your partner to have time apart, so both of you should prioritize your own hobbies and spending time with your family and friends.


Intimacy

Differences in desire can create stress around intimacy. It's pretty common for one partner to want sex more than the other. The person who wants sex more often might feel undesired or rejected by their partner. On the other hand, the person with a lower sex drive might feel like there's pressure on them to have sex which can actually cause them to withdraw even further. If you find yourself wanting sex more often than your partner, focus on romance and non-sexual touching, like cuddling and holding hands. If you find that your partner wants sex more than you do, make an effort to initiate intimacy sometimes when you're feeling relaxed and in the mood.


Control

Sometimes one partner tries to dominate the other one's choices. Both partners need to feel like they're able to be independent and make their own decisions in order for the relationship to be healthy. While most issues can be solved with compromise, if one person is trying to control the other, they need to learn to step back and respect their partner's need for autonomy. If you notice your partner is making comments about the way you dress, who you see, or how you spend your time, set a firm boundary by saying something like, "I appreciate your concern, but this is a decision I'm going to make for myself." Control issues can be difficult to change, so consider talking to a licensed relationship therapist, either on your own or as a couple. Unfortunately, controlling behavior tends to get worse over time. If it's paired with abusive behaviors like violence, belittling you, or calling you names, you should leave the relationship immediately.


Insecurity

Insecurities can lead to conflict over distrust, dependence, and jealousy. All of these can be really difficult to deal with in a relationship. The person who's experiencing insecurity is constantly worried that their partner is going to leave them, while their partner may start to feel overwhelmed by the constant need for reassurance. If you're the person who's insecure, focus on building up your self-esteem. List all the things you love about yourself, pursue your own goals, and spend time doing things you enjoy.

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