Non-stop spats can exhaust a couple. Maybe the fights are over how to pay every bill as it arrives in the mail, or the proper punishment for a child who broke curfew. Both partners feel as though the relationship is a constant power struggle. Through effective communication and compromise, a couple can learn to resolve issues without fighting.
Couples often argue about money, advise psychotherapists Ashley Davis Bush and Daniel Arthur Bush in the book "75 Habits for a Happy Marriage: Marriage Advice to Recharge and Reconnect Every Day." For example, it is problematic if one partner spends more freely or pays bills late in order to buy what her partner sees as unnecessary items. Couples should sit down and work out a household budget. Allow each partner to have a set amount of money to spend freely. This ensures the household bills are paid and each partner has something extra.
The level of intimacy in a relationship is something couples frequently argue about, according to Kevin D. Arnold, a psychologist, in his Psychology Today article, "Loving Deeper Through Fights." Perhaps one partner desires more sex or feels the sex is boring and desires more adventure from his partner. Couples should sit down and talk about how to resolve the issue. Only when partners feel comfortable opening up about sexual issues will there be resolution.
When parents disagree about how to raise children it creates relationship tension, advises licensed mental health counselor Debbie Pincus in her article, "When Parents Disagree: Ten Ways to Parent as a Team" on the Empowering Parents website. These disagreements send mixed messages to the children. Sit down and discuss parenting issues. Resolve disagreements behind closed doors to show a united front to the children. This exhibits cohesive parenting and gives parents the opportunity to build one another up in the eyes of the kids.
Battling for Control
Power struggles area also common in relationships, writes associate professor of psychology and neuroscience Keith Sanford in a Baylor University study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Sanford studied more than 3,500 married couples and found that a partner's perceived threat of not having control over a situation is one of the top reasons for conflict. Each partner should view the relationship as a team effort. Instead of working to win an argument, couples are better served by engaging in cooperative communication. Working together to problem solve can help couples build stronger bonds.
- Cognitive Principle Therapy: Communication: Why Do Couples Argue? The Most Common Response
- Ashley David Bush, Daniel Arthur Bush: 75 Habits for a Happy Marriage: Marriage Advice to Recharge and Reconnect Every Day
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