Do you worry that fighting in your relationship is becoming too much? If you need help navigating this issue, this guide is here to assist you.
We will start the article by discussing why people argue in relationships. After that, we will investigate when disagreements with your partner may be considered excessive.
Finally, the guide provides some practical tips to help you reduce arguments in your relationships. We also have an FAQ section providing answers to common questions people ask about relationship disagreements.
Why do People Argue in Relationships?
People involved in relationships engage in fights or disagreements for various reasons. These conflicts may arise due to misunderstandings or an inability to communicate effectively.
Here are the top five reasons you may experience excessive fighting in your relationships.
1. Attitude and Tone of Voice
According to a 2019 YouGov survey of 1,000 American adults, 39% of the respondents revealed that they argue most about attitude and tone of voice in their relationships.
But why does tone of voice or attitude matter?
Well, when you speak to your partner, the tone of your voice or your attitude can convey unfriendly emotions. For instance, the volume of your voice or body language might indicate disrespect, rejection, or dismissal.
When your spouse perceives these emotions in your voice, it can elicit an adverse reaction. This, in turn, may lead to further escalations and disagreements.
2. Money Issues
The referenced YouGov survey highlights that money disagreements rank as the second leading cause of arguments among American couples. The survey reports that 28% of interviewed couples experience disputes over financial matters.
These conflicts primarily stem from income disparities and the division of financial responsibilities. Moreover, debt significantly contributes to money-related conflicts in relationships.
Excessive debt creates anxiety and strains the relationship. Additionally, divergent spending preferences often emerge, further complicating the situation.
3. Communication Styles
Some communication styles foster good relationships, while others do not. Criticism tops the list of styles that lead to arguments.
Partners who criticize attack their spouse instead of addressing the issue. According to relationship expert Kylielepri, criticism can make the recipient feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt.
These feelings may lead to further arguments and disagreements.
Besides criticism, Kylielepri mentions other styles like contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
Contempt involves intentionally disrespecting or disregarding one’s partner. Defensiveness arises when feeling attacked, leading to further deterioration of communication.
For instance, when criticized, the instinct to defend oneself worsens the situation. Lastly, stonewalling occurs when one partner withdraws due to feeling overwhelmed.
4. Household Chores
House chores – a never-ending battle.
“Why haven’t you taken out the trash?”
“I always do the dishes, and you never help.”
Sound familiar? But why is this such a significant issue?
According to psychologytoday.com, there are four main reasons: past experiences of neglect and betrayal, representations of social inequality, efforts to gain power and control, and emotional issues.
5. Relationship with Extended families
Couples experience substantial strain due to the influence of extended family members, stemming from disparities in how we perceive our relatives.
Moreover, whether acknowledged or not, conflicts can also arise due to carrying over tensions from our extended families.
For instance, if a partner struggles to relate to their father while their spouse desires a closer bond, it may lead to disagreements in their relationship.
Furthermore, disagreements can sometimes emerge when a partner prefers to maintain a certain level of distance from their extended family members. This may lead to arguments if the partner disagrees.
When Disagreements in Relationships are Considered Excessive
Partners don’t have a fixed rule for how often they should argue. In fact, relationship experts generally view some level of disagreement as beneficial.
As insider.com states, “Disagreements occur, and when they do, they offer a chance for increased self-awareness and relationship growth.”
However, it’s important to note that having more disagreements compared to agreements might indicate an unhealthy relationship. Constant conflict is detrimental, and nobody enjoys being in that situation.
In the following section, we’ll provide five tips to minimize disagreements and conflicts in your relationship. To find out more, continue reading.
How to Minimize Fighting in Relationships
Earlier, we discussed the top five reasons for disagreements in relationships. Now, let’s explore five expert-recommended ways to de-escalate conflict in your relationship.
1. Be Mindful of Your Tone of Voice and Body Language
Tonyrobbins.com suggests four ways to help you regulate your tone of voice: pitch, pace, volume, and timbre. Tony explains that pitch refers to the highness or lowness of your voice, while pace relates to the speed of your speech.
Similarly, volume pertains to the loudness of your voice, while timbre represents the emotional quality it conveys. To prevent conflicts in your relationship, practice speaking with a lower voice when communicating with your partner.
Additionally, Tony Robbins advises being mindful of your choice of words and the emotions you convey.
Another crucial aspect of conflict reduction is monitoring your body language. Surprisingly, facial expressions alone account for 55% of our communication.
In fact, according to the Archdiocese of Detroit blog, facial expressions are one of the seven non-verbal cues that play a significant role in communication. The article rightly emphasizes that the most powerful communication is often wordless.
Hence, before responding to your spouse or uttering any words, be conscious of both your tone of voice and body language.
2. Agree on How to Manage Money
Fighting about money is responsible for 28% of conflicts in relationships. Therefore, it’s beneficial to establish rules for managing money to avoid such conflicts.
One effective way is to have a family budget.
If a family budget isn’t possible, you can reduce money conflicts by following these rules: discuss your financial views early on in your relationship, discuss goals together, and be open about your finances.
Also, giving each other control over there earnings is essential. Finally, never try to control your partner’s finances.
3. Use Positive Communication Styles
To decrease conflict in relationships, the key is to enhance positive communication and minimize negative communication styles. Increase positive communication and reduce negative styles to foster harmony and constructive conversations with your partner.
In practical terms, Kylie Lepri Counselling recommends utilizing phrases like “I feel…,” “About…,” and “I need…” as you initiate sentences. Additionally, refrain from expressing contempt.
Instead, cultivate a culture of mutual respect with your partner to facilitate positive communication. For instance, refraining from giving your partner the “cold shoulder” demonstrates respect.
Moreover, steer clear of criticism. But when you face criticism, take responsibility, acknowledge your mistakes, and genuinely apologize.
4. Participate in Household Chores
Leaving all household chores to one person is unfair. Everyone is busy, and partners should help each other with chores and other tasks.
However, psychologytoday.com suggests that when couples argue about chores, the underlying issue goes beyond the tasks themselves. We previously identified potential root causes of conflicts related to household chores.
So, if you and your partner share the responsibility for chores yet still experience disagreements, consider whether these underlying causes might be the problem.
5. Deal with Extended Family Issues as a Team
Earlier, we noted that extended family influences can lead to relationship conflicts. These conflicts can strain the relationship to its breaking point if left unaddressed.
Fortunately, couples can take proactive steps to prevent this outcome. One effective strategy is presenting a united front.
When a couple faces extended family issues together, they can make decisions that prioritize their own best interests. This doesn’t imply disloyalty to extended family members.
On the contrary, it involves realigning loyalties while remaining committed to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are no strict rules for how much conflict is considered “normal” in a relationship.
Generally, disagreements are not necessarily bad for relationships. Most marriage counselors agree that disagreement is healthy. However, if you argue with your partner daily, use this guide and other materials to seek help.
In a relationship, stonewalling occurs when one partner completely shuts down communication.
A toxic relationship exhibits two key characteristics: frequent conflicts and poor communication. Additionally, indicators such as control and abuse (physical or emotional) further suggest its toxicity.
In a relationship, one person uses gaslighting, a psychological manipulation technique, to make the other doubt themselves.
The gaslighting partner intentionally confuses the other person’s perceptions, memories, and recollection of events.
Beware of gaslighting signs from your partner if they use these phrases to instill self-doubt: “That never happened,” “it’s your fault,” or “everyone agrees with me.”
Check out the complete list in the article “25 Gaslighting Phrases Abusers Use.”
In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the underlying reasons behind arguments in relationships to identify when disagreements cross the line into excessiveness. Throughout this article, we have delved into the five common causes of relationship conflicts.
Additionally, it is essential to acknowledge that a certain level of conflict is normal and can even be healthy for a relationship. However, if arguments outweigh moments of agreement in your partnership, it may be necessary to reassess your approach.
Lastly, we have provided five valuable tips aimed at reducing the occurrence of fighting within your relationship. By implementing these strategies, you can work towards fostering a more harmonious and peaceful connection with your partner.
We hope that you have found this article to be helpful. If so, we encourage you to share it with your friends on social media. For more insightful articles, feel free to visit our Relationships page.
References and Further Reading
- Relationship Arguments | YouGov Poll: April 29 – May 5, 2022 | YouGov
- 4 Toxic communication styles to avoid in your relationship – Kylie Lepri Counselling
- 4 Reasons We Fight Over Chores | Psychology Today
- How Often Do Couples Fight? What Experts Have to Say (insider.com)
- Why is it important to watch your tone in a relationship? (tonyrobbins.com)
- How to change your body language to improve your conflict resolution skills – Talented Ladies Club
- Non-verbal Cues and Tips for Managing Conflict – Archdiocese of Detroit (aod.org)
- Dr Brian Gersho | Money Conflict: The #1 Relationship Killer (therelationshipdoc.org)