10 Things Every Couple Fights About (And How to Work Through Them)

10 Things Every Couple Fights About (And How to Work Through Them)

10 Things Every Couple Fights About (And How to Work Through Them)

Believe it or not, arguments happen within healthy Christian marriages. A constant state of romance and harmony is an impossible standard for two imperfect sinners living together. Friction is bound to occur, and it’s helpful to realize that you and your spouse are not alone in experiencing conflict. In fact, it’s safe to say that most couples have fought over the same things!

Not all conflict is unhealthy, and your marriage isn’t in trouble just because you don’t see eye-to-eye all the time.

Here are 10 things that every couple argues about and how to communicate well through the fight.

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1. "You don’t help me around the house enough."

1. "You don’t help me around the house enough."

In most relationships there is a clean person and a not-as-clean person. It’s likely that your spouse, who is comfortable with uncleanliness or piles of stuff cluttering surfaces, isn’t being messy to hurt your feelings. They simply don’t care or don’t notice the mess. You both live in the same home, and it’s both of your responsibility to take care of it. However you usually divvy up the chore chart, it’s never too late to establish some roles or create a schedule. My husband does the dishes every night and stays on top of yard work. Other than that, I simply have to ask if I wish for him to vacuum or do laundry. (If I kept hoping he’d notice the dog hair and vacuum without me asking, I’d be waiting forever!)

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2. "Something’s off in our sex life."

2. "Something’s off in our sex life."

A dozen things can affect your sex life. Sometimes it’s obvious, while other times you might not even notice it at first. The issue might be that too much time has passed, or that one of you is disconnected emotionally. Whatever the issue is, fights about sex are deeply uncomfortable because it’s extremely personal and requires vulnerability. Sex is an important part of a healthy marriage and is worth fighting over. Ask one another, what’s your ideal amount of sex in a week? What do I do that turns you on? What do I do that hinders you from enjoying sex? 

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3. "You work too much."

3. "You work too much."

There’s a difference between working long hours to benefit your family and working long hours to escape your family. Have an honest conversation about what working too much looks like. And brainstorm how you can incorporate time together into your schedule, even if it doesn’t look like the “typical” date night. My husband works evenings and weekends, and I constantly battle comparing what our life looks like to that of other families. He may not be able to go to the playground with our daughter on a Saturday afternoon, but they have special snuggle time every morning of the week.

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4. "You’re on your computer or cell phone too much."

4. "You’re on your computer or cell phone too much."

Anger over excessive screen time often stems from a place of loneliness. We desire our spouses to be present for us — and that isn’t a bad thing to desire. But before you point the finger, check your own habits and try to set a positive example. Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Create reasonable screen rules as a couple, such as no cell phones during meals. Heather Caliri also talks about reasonable screen rules in her article, “3 Surprising Ways to Stop Digital Distraction.” “I scroll through Facebook but eliminate notifications so I’m not constantly distracted,” she said. Together, consider and discuss any deeper reasons why you or your spouse is excessively drawn to screens. What is the need that is being met inappropriately?

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5. "We don’t spend enough time together."

5. "We don’t spend enough time together."

It’s hard to be in a loving relationship with someone when you don’t feel pursued. Your husband might feel you give more attention to your kids than you give him. Or you might feel he’s too quick to head to the golf course instead of going on a walk with you. This is a constant struggle for my husband and I, because he values shoulder-to-shoulder time together (such as nights watching Netflix) and I value face to face time (such as talking over coffee). When I am feeling lonely, I pause to reflect on the week and the times Andy did spend with me — and I thank God for those moments. Making that effort to remember the good and lovely things is worth it.

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6. "I don’t agree with your spending choices."

6. "I don’t agree with your spending choices."

Yikes. This one is tricky! Money disagreements are often the most difficult in a marriage. When you marry someone, you marry their money problems — whether they’re over-spenders or are stingy with money. Setting aside monthly “play money” has been a great decision for my husband and me. We each get the same amount of cash each month to spend on “extras” like rounds of golf or pedicures. We can spend it or save it how we choose. Nip money arguments in the bud by sitting down together to look at your finances and make a plan. If this fight is common in your marriage, seek a financial advisor or look into David Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes.

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7. "You don’t help me enough with the kids."

7. "You don’t help me enough with the kids."

Parenting is not for wimps! Children are a blessing, but they are also draining to your energy, time, and finances. If you’re married and have children, you’ve probably felt an imbalance of care at some point. The solution to this issue will look different for every family. It may be that your partner needs to focus on work or school for a season, or that you need to hire a nanny a few times a week to get the help you need. Another solution may be discussing one or two helpful tasks that your partner can be responsible for, such as giving kids their evening bath or always making their school lunches.

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8. "You make me nervous when you drive."

8. "You make me nervous when you drive."

This one is all too real for me right now. After nearly 10 years of marriage, my husband and I are suddenly stressed by the other person’s driving. And it doesn’t help that we’re both sensitive to criticism. This fight really comes down to a lack of control. Shannon Popkin talks about laying down the burden of control in her article, “5 Signs That You Might be a Control Freak.”

“Trying to get and keep control is not a burden God designed for us to carry. He knows that a life spent lunging for control will only cause us to become fretful, frantic, exasperating women, who make everyone (ourselves included) miserable. Instead, God invites us to lay down the burden of control, and surrender to the One who truly does have control—Him! It involves laying down my expectations for how everything is going to turn out in the end, and also in the next five minutes,” Popkin said.

If you truly feel unsafe when your spouse drives, and you can’t keep your gasps and white knuckles to yourself, then be willing to drive all the time.

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9. "You seem to like your friends more than me."

9. "You seem to like your friends more than me."

When one spouse spends a lot of their time with friends, the other spouse is bound to feel left out. Jealousy and resentment can build to a point where the spouse who is unhappy becomes someone no one wants to be around! Remember, having friends and spending time with them is a gift, and you should desire friendships for your spouse. Discuss and agree on a weekly or monthly amount of friend-time that you’re both comfortable with. Also, take the focus off of outside friendships and work on building friendship within your marriage instead.

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10. "I can’t do anything right."

10. "I can’t do anything right."

I can’t tell you how many times both my husband and I have uttered these words to one another! Miscommunication is frustrating. And it’s even more discouraging when you are trying so hard to please your spouse, but you’re still failing. For us, this fight tends to occur when one (or both) of us is experiencing lack of sleep, stress at work, or we feel disconnected from one another. What often works for us is choosing to let frustration go. It’s simply not worth holding on to. Read more about our life-changing three words here!

I encourage you to ask God to reveal what your spouse is doing right and praise God for the positive qualities in your spouse. Ask Him for help and lean on Him for strength and patience. If you are deeply burdened by the state of your relationship, seek counsel from a trusted married friend of the same gender, pastor, or therapist.

Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. She blogs at laurarennieinteriors.com

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