COUPLES ARGUING: Tips On How Couples Can Argue Fairly

couples arguing
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One of the natural occurrences among couples is arguing—yes, Arguing is what couples do often. Consider siblings who came out of the same womb and share the same parents. If they can argue and fight over issues, how much more for a stranger turned lover? Do all couples fight? It’s completely natural and comes with the territory of being in a relationship. Sometimes, it could be about problems like sex and money, and other times, the dialogue surrounds more contemporary battles like the use of social media, partying habits, and how to spend each other’s spare time.

However, it’s not majorly what you argue about but how you argue about it. How happy you are as a couple depends on how you resolve the conflicts, get over them, and move on back to the good times.

Constructive conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and some fighting is both inevitable and healthy when it helps couples air out and resolve issues, “Avoiding conflict and suppressing your thoughts and feelings can be problematic as well.”  

Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D

Topics Couples Argue About

A Couple of reasons could lead to arguing among couples. Let’s consider the common ones

Households Chores

One of the most common arguments couples have is about household chores. This may seem unimportant compared to all the sensationalism of sex and money, but the study reported that a whopping 25 percent of conflicts were about household tasks (as much as arguments about sex and money combined).

Open and honest dialogue is the path to finding the right rhythm and structure for balancing the work. Sharing your emotions, as vulnerable as it may be, is often much more proactive than pointing fingers, which often just causes the other person to shut down and assume a defensive position. The results could be well worth the effort: One study found that heterosexual couples felt more “sexually satisfied” when the man helped out with the housework. It seems like this could solve more areas of conflict than one. Though, as with all things in life, the simple act of showing appreciation can move mountains.

Nothing (or the little things)

What people consider to be “nothing” is entirely subjective. It’s also exactly why so many of us can immediately recall a fight with a significant other over a topic they perceived as nothing and what we considered to be very much something. Whether it’s annoying behaviors like leaving cabinets open, qualms around social media usage, or that one friend whose vibes just seem off, these little things often compound in big ways.

The best way to talk them out is to find the right balance. Know when to say something and when to pick your battles, but don’t ever let something fester until it turns into an explosive reaction. If you find yourself constantly repeating the same cycle, reconsider what you’re arguing about and get to the root of the problem.


The most frequent source of conflict between couples is reportedly money. So it came as quite a shock to hear that the statistics contradict this. Money only accounted for 19% of the arguments in a 2009 study in which 100 couples reported disputes over 15 days. What gives money such a poor reputation, then? Most likely as a result of how closely it is connected to sentiments of autonomy and power. It is important that you sit down together as a couple, go over the household finances, determine how much you are spending, and agree to a compromise. If you and your partner are arguing over who is spending too much money and who is being too frugal.

Read also: Couples Counseling: What Common Relationship Problems Can It Solve?

Tips On How Couples Can Argue Fairly

When one or both couples are uncaring about their union, arguing becomes less common between them. But frequent, acrimonious, and destructive disagreement is neither healthy nor sustainable. According to a 2012 paper released by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, you can have disagreements with your partner in a productive way that may even bring you closer together.

While expressing anger towards a romantic partner can make you feel uncomfortable at the moment, doing so can also lead to open discussions that are good for the relationship in the long run. Keep the following in mind when you and your partner are having a conflict so you can resolve it in a healthier and more effective way.

1. Begin Carefully

The way arguments start has a big influence on how they end. Couples should be pushed by this to be deliberate about how they start a conversation. Your tone, words you utter, and loudness all play a part in how you start. It can be important to consider how you typically start conversations with your significant other since if any of those are unpleasant, the conversation will likely go south. “Ask yourself: When I bring up issues, do I empower my partner or do I put him/her in an attack stance?”

2. Listen Well

During a quarrel, attempt to see the world through your partner’s eyes. Easier said than done, right? However, Dr. Gary encourages attempting to understand how they see the issue and what they’re feeling before asking clarifying questions. Once you grasp where they’re coming from, he suggests saying something like, “I think I understand what you’re saying, what you’re experiencing, and it makes a lot of sense.” That sentence alone is powerful and can do a lot of good at that time.

3. Get Curious

It’s quite uncommon to actually feel heard and understood, according to Dziedzic, who has also worked with other arguing couples. He counsels couples to use phrases like “Tell me more,” “Can you unpack that,” and “I don’t comprehend it yet, but please keep going” to demonstrate to their partner that they are trying to understand them. According to him, doing so fosters empathy in the listener and gives the speaker a sense of empowerment.

4. Call A Timeout For You And Your Partner

During an argument, one or both partners may frequently switch between the fight, flight, or freeze modes. When a person feels threatened, they go into one of these modes. When stress hormones become active, humans have more energy to either battle the stressor or flee the situation. This is referred to as the “fight or flight” response.

In “freeze” mode, on the other hand, a person just does not respond at all in an effort to make the offender go away.

When a couple is in this heat-up zone, problem-solving is highly unlikely because each person is solely focused on reacting to the perceived threat they feel from their partner. Additionally, it can aggravate both parties and intensify the argument if only one person is in the “fight, flight, or freeze” state while the other is attempting to resolve the conflict.

When you’re truly furious with someone, and they’re not sorry about what they’ve done, it can feel like they’re not even listening. In these situations, you should call a timeout. You can phrase this timeout so that your spouse doesn’t get the impression that you’re simply going away. When you return to the topic after the brief break, you will be better positioned to make significant progress.

5. Get To The Emotional Root

Every quarrel stems from an unmet emotional need. For example, despite your repeated requests, your partner has not taken out the trash. This can lead to a fight, but the underlying issue may be something like “I don’t feel respected” or “I don’t feel like I’m coming in the first place.” When you take the time to investigate the reason for this particular action, the basic emotional need can be addressed, and more understanding can be attained. You should also never presume that your partner understands how you feel and always communicate your emotions.

Is arguing normal for couples?

The good news is that feeling upset with your partner is entirely natural and healthy—when managed right. When you feel your rage flare up in response to something your partner did or said, take a deep breath and step back.

How do couples settle arguments?

  • Avoid being defensive.
  • Step Away From the Situation to Cool Down.
  • Always Fight or Argue Face to Face.
  • Create Boundaries for A Fight.
  • Remember Why You’re in The Relationship.
  • Take Care of The Conflict as Soon as Possible.
  • Consider Therapy.
  • Take Some Time Apart.

What are the main topics couples argue about?

  • Money: The issues related to money that couples argue about are numerous and many.
  • Sex: This is probably the most frequent source of conflict between couples. …
  • Children: Particularly when one partner is ready for a child while the other is not.

In conclusion,

Creating a consistent, loving environment is essential for any set of conflict resolution techniques. Before sharing your heart, listen empathically. This allows you to concentrate your efforts on finding a solution rather than winning the argument. Couples who are looking for a solution will always find one.

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