While every couple has a special story, it’s funny how often their problems are the same. In the early stages of a new relationship, a buzzy kind of energy hits all the right places and drowns out potential drama. Still, as time passes and the chemistry settles down, things occasionally get rocky. Every couple has fights, and usually, they’re about the same thing.
Here are the most common conflicts in relationships.
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Most people aren’t great at communication. That’s not their fault. They don’t teach classes on time management, setting expectations, and respecting boundaries in high school. Our bodies tell us that we’re ready for a romantic relationship before our minds know how to handle all the emotions and responsibilities that come with them.
Communication is especially difficult in a relationship because our ability to effectively speak and listen to our partner is clouded by our emotional attachments. We might be so busy with our fear or insecurity that we can’t hear them telling us what we need. We may have been burned in the past, so we fear opening up about things that feel raw or vulnerable, like sexual fantasies or desires for what kind of life we’re trying to build.
Many conflicts can be avoided with solid communication. That means:
- Being honest & open.
- Setting clear boundaries.
- Listening to our partner’s needs.
- Communicating our fears.
- Expressing our own needs.
As a couple, we need to solve our problems together. That’s impossible if we can’t be open and honest about what’s bothering us without fear of judgment.
Once you’re really in bed with someone, everything gets all tangled up—especially your money. It’s not uncommon for most couples to argue over money. Sometimes it’s because they have different philosophies on how to handle it. Big spenders don’t always worry about where it’s coming from or how much is going out, and thrifty savers like to watch every penny and fret about splurging on a big vacation or eating out.
Understanding your approach to money and figuring out how to work together is important. Some couples never merge their finances, while others find a middle ground. What’s important is that you find a way for both of you to have some freedom, independence, and a sense of financial security.
When times are tight, remind yourselves that you’re not fighting because you don’t love each other: you’re fighting because you exist in a financial system that’s tough on all of us.
Okay, this is a big one. I cannot tell you how many couples come to me because things in the bedroom are not working for them. Sometimes it’s a low libido \ high libido mismatch. Other times it’s because they haven’t figured out how to communicate with each other around sex. It’s easy for couples to get locked into a loop of rejection, resentment, and loneliness.
We’ve got kids, chores, and work, and all these things add up and wear us down. Even couples who love each other can lose track of it when they don’t have a chance to be at their best together. At the same time, to be at their best, most couples need independence and space so they don’t feel cut off from themselves and their friends.
Healthy couples maintain independence together.
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Reach out today if you’re looking for help getting back on the same page with your partner. You don’t have to keep having the same fight repeatedly. I would love to help you rediscover each other and learn to be a team again through couples therapy.