According to Colorado State University (2014), approximately 50% of 1st marriages end in divorce. In addition, subsequent marriages (i.e. 2nd and 3rd marriages) tend to fail at a higher rate than 1st marriages. Furthermore, out of the 50% of people, who remain in the marriage, most report being dissatisfied. A recent study on relationships found that the most pressing issues that couples argued about were: finances, work demands, time constraints, and household/parenting responsibilities.
It is common to have disagreements within a relationship, but when these conflicts interfere with your connection as a couple, it may be time to seek help with a mental health professional (i.e. counselor, therapist, or psychologist). The key to having a successful relationship is knowing how to resolve issues in a respectful and understanding way (i.e. open and honest communication, respect, patience, empathy, etc.). Are you wondering what couples mostly argue about? If so, you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with the top 5 issues that couples argue about, so that you can avoid conflict within your own relationship.
Listed below are the top 5 issues most couples argue about:
• Financial Concerns (Debt)
One of the most common issues that many couples face is debt. A recent study found that financial concerns and debt affects people of all socio-economic brackets. In other words, it is not restricted to “poor people.” Moreover, according to Ceridian Corporation (2007), the actual amount of funds in the couple’s bank account is not what really fuels disagreements in relationships, rather it is the explanations surrounding the spending of the funds that causes the issues. For example, if you are the type of person, who prefers to save as much money as possible (only spending money on necessities and emergencies), but your partner is the type of person, who prefers to spend money as it comes in (poor money management skills), issues arise and disagreements occur. A breakdown in communication and problem-solving occurs when couples have very different ways of managing finances.
• Work Demands
Yes, work demands can cause issues in a relationship. How and why? Well, when one partner is all consumed with work responsibilities (i.e. long hours, low pay, non-existent vacation and sick time, overtime, etc.) it can wreak havoc on the amount of time available for the other partner. As a result, issues arise and the relationship suffers. Why does this occur? Well, when one partner or both partners are stressed from work pressures, it can place a strain on the relationship. In other words, work stress can lead to personal stress and relationship stress. When workplace stress filters into a person’s personal life, it can cause both partners to take their frustrations, anger, disappointment, and pain out on one another. When that happens, couples often find themselves at each other’s throats. They take the pain, anger and frustration they feel at work and project it onto their partners.
• Time Constraints
Another issue that couples often face is time constraints. When one or both partners do not have enough time to complete tasks it can lead to disagreements. It is not uncommon for couples to feel that they are constantly on a schedule (i.e. running out of time). Many times, these individuals feel that they are unable to alter their schedules or slow down because it will prevent them from accomplishing their tasks and meeting deadlines. As a result, the couple experiences high levels of stress, which in some cases leads to arguments.
• Household/Parenting Responsibilities
Household/parenting responsibilities can present issues in a relationship. It is important to note that household/parenting responsibilities are rarely about the tasks, in fact, most of the time the issues actually stem from time constraints and feelings of disrespect. For example, if the woman in the relationship ends up completing all of the household tasks and taking the lead on parenting responsibilities, she may feel devalued or disrespected. In this case, she may feel as if her partner does not understand or care how tired, stressed or overwhelmed she is because he does not offer to help or share the burden. These feelings of disrespect can ultimately lead to feelings of anger, hostility and resentment towards the other partner. As a result, issues occur within the relationship, and the couple argues.
Surprise! Surprise! Yes, many couples argue about sex. Why? Well, in most cases, one partner wants to have sex more often than the other. Shocking, I know! According to the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (2014), the average adult engages in sexual intercourse approximately 61 times a year. Unfortunately, medical conditions, illnesses, and emotional problems (i.e. stress) can cause a sharp decline in sexual activity in a relationship. It is important to note that multiple studies have found that couples that have sex more often tend to be happier.
In most cases, arguing about when and how often to have sex is more about feeling connected, loved, and valued by the partner then about the actual act. Sadly, in many cases, work schedules, parenting responsibilities, and other stresses interfere with a healthy sex life. In fact, often sex is pushed to the backburner, which can wreak havoc on relationships. It is important that both people in the relationship make time to reconnect on a physical, emotional, and sexual level.
Dr. R. Y. Langham
Ceridian Corporation. (2007). Couples and money. Docstoc. Retrieved from http://www.docstoc.com/docs/17701387/couples-and-money#top
Colorado State University. (2014). Dealing with couples’ anger. Retrieved from http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/consumer/10238.html
Sixwise. (2014). the top 5 things couples argue about. Retrieved from http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/02/22/the-top-5-things-couples-argue-about.htm