No couple is the same. There are plenty of different reasons we fight that all vary depending on the individual people in the relationship. However, there are some consistent topics that almost all couples fight about. These are intimacy and money.
Why do couples fight about intimacy and money?
Intimacy and money are two very vulnerable topics. Both members of the couple bring in a lot of baggage in both areas that the other may not know how to deal with. Experts agree these are two of the most common areas of conflict in relationships. Here’s a brief look at why:
- Intimacy — Intimacy can include quality time, romance and sex. If one partner feels that he or she isn’t getting enough of any of these, it can create tension that eventually boils into conflict. Consequently, it can also lead to tension if one person in the couple feels he or she is forced into too much intimacy, especially when it comes to sex. Since the topic is so sensitive and vulnerable, the fights about it can be frequent and extreme.
- Money — Couples fight about money for several reasons. “My partner spends too much.” “My partner buys stupid things.” “My partner doesn’t help manage our budget.” A lot of these fights stem from core beliefs about money each person brings to the relationship. Couples can line up in many beliefs about money, but where there are discrepancies, there is bound to be conflict.
Healthy ways for couples to fight
Whether it’s about money, intimacy or some other topic, all couples are bound to have conflict over something eventually. If this happens in your relationship, it’s okay. Conflict is crucial to your growth as a couple. However, it’s important to handle conflict in a healthy way if you want to experience any growth from it.
Here are three insights on healthy conflict for couples:
- Listen — Oh, this is the big one. If you get nothing else from this list, at least hammer this into your head. Listening is key to approaching resolution in conflict. You must allow your partner to express themselves and you must be allowed to express yourself. Both people must listen and show they’re listening with eye contact and posture.
Do not get defensive when listening. This may be the most challenging part of conflict. Instead, allow the other person to express themselves without immediately needing to defend yourself or be right.
- Be polite — Do not attack, yell at or swear at the other person. And, it goes without saying, never physically harm one another. These are signs of unhealthy conflict and can lead to roads of abuse.
- Control your emotions — Note, we didn’t say hide your emotions, we said control them. This means, don’t let your emotions guide the conversation and cause you to say or do something hurtful. If things are getting heated, you might want to calmly acknowledge the fact and excuse yourself from the conversation.
Allow yourself to cool down before resuming the conversation. This is important for many people who are internal processors and simply need time in their own heads before reaching resolution.
At Unfiltered Radio, we understand relationships are not like the movies make them seem to be. They require hard work and a lot of patience. But, man, are they worth it! With a little healthy conflict, you can take your relationship to levels you never imagined.