Fights That Are A Waste Of Time, But End Marriages
It’s very rare that a marriage goes from perfect to failing overnight. Those stories in which a woman finds out her husband is a secret polygamist or laundering money are few and far between—that’s why they make for great true crime show episodes. But in real life, marriages end because one type of argument (that doesn’t seem big when it begins) is repeated over, and over again, with no resolution. It wears on the couple, and over time, makes them feel less like a team and more like competitors. Since many of the things married couples fight about don’t seem that grave, they may not realize the danger in continuing to dispute over them. But, over time, seemingly insignificant arguments can ruin marriages. Here are fights that are a waste of time, but ruin marriages.
Keeping in-laws, out
Here’s something you have to remember: your parents will always stick around, but your spouse may not. If your parents overstep their boundaries in a way that makes your partner uncomfortable, even if you don’t think they did anything wrong, you need to side with your spouse. It’s not about who is right or wrong; it’s about respecting the space of the relationship.
The chores debate
If your partner is slacking off on chores, say something, but don’t say something with the tone of, “This is a huge issue and it’s ruining us.” People can take too serious of a tone when they’re just telling their partner they’ve left dirty dishes in the sink for a while. Don’t give tiny problems the importance of big ones, or they will become big problems.
Good parent/bad parent
One parent always says yes to the kids’ demands, leaving the other to be the “bad cop/bad parent.” The problem here is the bad cop thinks the good cop is trying to make the bad cop look bad. They aren’t; they just adore their children and have a hard time saying no. It’s about their love of their kids, not their dislike of their spouse. Keeping that in mind can keep this argument from escalating.
Letting sex die
Sex dies off in a lot of couples. That isn’t the problem—the problem is how they handle it. Too many couples take the passive aggressive approach of becoming angry before their partner has even turned down sex, simply because they assume their partner would turn it down. Hey, if you need to have more sex, just say it—but don’t say it in an accusatory manner. That’s not, well, sexy. Once you’ve made sex a “I’m right and you’re wrong” discussion, it’s hard to come back from that.
Complaining the romance is dead
People can approach this the same way they approach a dwindling sex life; they just start pointing fingers. If your marriage needs a kick-start in the romance department, just take the initiative. Don’t immediately become angry at your partner for not doing that; there are two people in this marriage, you know? Plus, do you want a romantic night, or do you want a fight? Okay. So create the romantic night.
The unfulfilled dreams fight
If you feel that your marriage has stopped you from pursuing your dreams, you may need to face a hard fact; that’s your fault! Nobody can make you do—or not do—anything. So sit down, make a plan, and figure out how you can go after those dreams. If you don’t, you’ll just start resenting your partner, when he didn’t even know you wanted to go after something.
Feeling left out
It’s pretty common for one person to get into a hobby that consumes their life, and that they don’t include their partner in. This is another topic that doesn’t benefit from accusations. If you want to feel more included, then take an interest—don’t start in with, “You don’t pay any attention to me and your stupid hobby takes up all your time.” Now you’ve ostracized yourself by coming down on your partner’s interests.
Whose work gets the most attention
It often happens that one person’s work becomes so all-consuming and stressful that they A) Talk about it too much and B) Don’t give their partner time to talk about their work. At the end of the day, you should be focusing more on connecting at home than arguing over who gets to talk about what happens outside the home.
How to spend/save money
Couples could save themselves a lot of headache by seeing a financial advisor. They can tell you the most realistic ways to achieve your financial goals, rather than you and your partner doing tons of guesswork and arguing about it.
Asking someone to change
Honestly, does it really matter if your partner doesn’t dress up enough for dinner with your parents? Does it really matter if he’s socially shy and doesn’t talk much at parties? If you care about those things, then you care more about what other people think than you care about letting your partner be happy.
Over-sharing with friends
One major mistake couples make when they’re unhappy in their marriage is talking to everyone except their partner about their concerns. Your partner likely wouldn’t have been upset if you brought the issue up to him, but once he finds out you complain to other people, you’ve created a separate issue: you don’t respect the privacy of the relationship.
Getting attention the wrong way
After being together for a long time, your partner may not tell you that you’re gorgeous as often, or post as many selfies, boasting about his beautiful bride. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t think those things. Soliciting attention from other men, however, is not the way to get him to do that again—that’s a way to break trust.
Demanding the same love language
If your partner shows he loves you in a different way than you show love, trying to change that will be a lifelong battle. What matter is that your partner shows love—not how he shows it. If he’s more comfortable helping you out with tasks than writing you love notes, accept that. If you accuse him of not speaking your love language, then he’ll just feel like his efforts go unappreciated.
The “how you fight” fight
There is a good chance that the way you or your partner fight isn’t productive. But bringing that up while you are in the middle of another fight never helps anything. In fact, it can force both parties to become passive, and stop bringing up issues entirely. Bring up your concerns with how your partner fights when you’re calm and on solid ground.
Being treated like a child
It often happens that a couple falls into a parent/child dynamic, where one person feels that they are the responsible one, and the other feels like their partner talks down to them. They usually start triggering each other, and playing more into their opposite roles. Look: if you’re being treated like a child, you’re probably acting like one. And likewise, if your partner is acting more and more like a child, it could be because you’re being condescending. Everybody could compromise a bit more in this situation.
A lack of a social life
You might wake up one day and realize you and your partner have no social life! It happens to the best of couples. The mistake here, however, is starting to look for proof that this is your partner’s fault. Don’t focus on how the problem occurred; focus on fixing it.
The “You’ve changed” fight
You have to be willing to grow with your partner, and let him grow. If part of his lifestyle or personality has changed, rather than jumping right into getting mad—as if you purchased a defective product—try to figure out why your partner has changed. Consider that maybe it’s a good thing or if it’s definitely a bad thing, ask yourself what circumstances could have caused this. People don’t usually intentionally change; life changes them.
Failure to take care of one’s health
This is a fight where the parent/child dynamic comes out. Typically, it’s the man who doesn’t take great care of his health, forcing his wife to drag him to doctor’s appointments or dictate what he eats. It’s important to remember that your partner doesn’t skip doctor’s appointments to spite you. If you’re the unhealthy one, know that your partner isn’t trying to nag you—they just want you to live a long time so you can be together for a long time. This shouldn’t even be a fight.
One person is stuck
One person might get to a point in their life where they don’t know how to advance their career, or really what they want to do with their life next. They might resort to becoming a hermit, and doing nothing at all. This can be frustrating for their partner. If this happens to you, don’t start criticizing your partner for being lazy. Be his friend, and open a dialogue in which he feels safe talking about what he’s going through, and what he feels stuck on.
The kids get all the attention
Remember, again, your partner isn’t trying to ignore you; he’s just trying to connect with his kids. Don’t get stuck in accusing your partner of being a bad partner; just say you want more time together. He probably does, too.