Sometimes it is not totally apparent what causes fights in a relationship. Sometimes something happens that doesn’t result in an immediate fight, but, instead, causes a chain of events that eventually leads to a fight. If you are stumped as to why you are fighting in your relationship, following are some issues that may be occurring with either you or your partner.
Focusing On Yourself
If you only focus on yourself in a relationship, then the other person will feel neglected, unimportant, and unloved. Those feelings can cause them to act out negatively in little ways and, eventually, a fight will occur. That’s why it’s important to focus on yourself and your partner in a relationship; otherwise, why be in a relationship? If you want to just focus on yourself, then be single.
There are a few different aspects in your relationship where you need to avoid focusing on yourself at all costs. These aspects are huge causes of fights, and they include.
Having fun: If you are always going out and having fun while your partner sits at home taking care of the house, kids, or other responsibilities, then you are not taking them into consideration.
Sex: The bedroom is not all about you. You have to put in the effort to make your partner happy in the bedroom.
Money: When you become a couple, how you spend your money needs to be a joint decision.
Money is a big one! For example, I have a friend who is married to a man who focuses only on himself when it comes to money. They’ve actually gone bankrupt simply from him ignoring bills and buying himself stuff he wants. They just got a large sum of money from family members, and it all went towards new toys and gadgets for him. He didn’t even consider what his wife wanted, and because of that, she felt uncared about. Of course, she isn’t speaking up to him right now, but she is upset and it is causing her to act out in little ways that are unhealthy for the relationship. Soon those little things will result in big things and a fight will ensue.
In any relationship, especially a romantic relationship, you need to be compassionate towards the other person. Think about their needs, wants, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, etc. You need to act out of a place that benefits not just you, but them too. This doesn’t mean you can’t focus on yourself, sometimes, but you can’t ignore someone else’s needs and focus only on your own and not expect to have fights in the relationship.
You should always do a few things.
– Consider your partner before making plans solo or together.
– Consider your partner before spending money.
– Take the time to really sit down and understand what matters to your partner and what they need.
– Remind yourself that it is not all about you in a relationship – ever.
Taking Your Frustrations Out On Your Partner
It’s interesting that we often treat people on the street better than we do our partner. We show respect. We listen. We sympathize. And we don’t say rude things to them or blame them for our problems. Yet, when we get home after a bad day, our partner can become the person that we yell at, are mean to, and say horrible things to.
Psychologists call this displaced aggression, and it happens all the time. While many people will put up with that for a while, fights will eventually ensue.
For instance, an older couple I know are quite different. The wife never takes her frustrations out on her husband, but he always takes his out on her. He has no friends besides her, so she gets to hear all of his complaining and opinions. One day he was waiting for some blood test results to come back, and in his frustration, he started being very mean to her. Yelling at her. Talking down to her. Treating her very poorly. She blew up. She couldn’t take it anymore. And they have been fighting ever since then. Once she stood up for herself, she never stopped, and because he hasn’t stopped taking his frustrations out on her, the fighting can’t stop.
It is important to be accountable for your own life and have practices in place to reduce stress, work through your problems, and identify the real enemy (hint: it’s not your partner!)
Developing a sense of unity with your partner can help too. If you feel as if your partner is your biggest ally in life, and that they are the one person that you can turn to and feel good with, then you are less likely to treat them poorly. Don’t let yourself be mean without thinking first about what you are going to say. Make a conscious choice to avoid it, even if you feel the words bubbling up in your throat.
This is a part of most relationships. One person will keep score about how many times they’ve done something nice for their partner and not received anything in return. Another person will keep score about sex, and who is actually doing the initiating of it. The person keeping score is doing it because they feel like they are lacking in some way, and eventually – when that score gets too much of a gap in between it, a fight is going to ensue.
For example, one woman I knew decided to keep score on making dinner. She and her husband both worked full-time, and they both came home around the same time. She would usually run into the kitchen and start making supper while he would sit down and look at his computer. She wanted to make supper. She enjoyed cooking. And she never asked her husband to cook. But, she was secretly keeping score in her mind, and eventually when she had cooked 50 suppers to his 1, she started fighting with him about all the chores in the house. She felt used and underappreciated, and he didn’t know what was going on! It turns out he was never hungry when he got home, so he never took the initiative to cook because he didn’t feel the need to. If she would have waited an hour after getting home, he would have gone into the kitchen and started making something for them to eat.
And that’s the point. We all do things differently, so keep score is solely based on your habits and schedules, not someone else’s. Some people are fine with leaving their laundry until they absolutely run out of clothes, but someone who likes to keep things clean would do much more laundry. It’s all about perspective and rituals.
Some common traits that can cause you to keep score include:
– Jealousy: When you feel like your partner is getting more than you.
– Insecurity: When you feel like you need to receive more in order to feel valued or loved.
– Low confidence: When you feel like you are being used by your partner.
Instead of keeping score, do things out of love. Do what you are good at and what you enjoy. Do things with the intention of making your partner happy, instead of holding it above his or her head. And, when you don’t feel like doing something, tell your partner and ask them to do it instead of fighting about the fact that they never step up and do something for you.
Moreover, you may want to sit down and talk with your partner about where you feel you are lacking in the relationship – you know, the areas where you are keeping score. And, come up with a system to make sure that you don’t feel used or abused in any way so that you can keep the future fights away.
Having Different Priorities
We all have different priorities in life. Some of us value family, friends, and free time over money, career, and tropical vacations. However, when your priorities don’t line up with your partner’s priorities, the fights are going to happen! You may give up some things for a while, but eventually you will feel as if you are lacking, and that will cause resentment towards your partner.
You don’t have to develop the same priorities in life in order to avoid fights. You just have to be understanding that your partner places more value on some things than you, and you place more value on some things than them. And then you can find a way to compromise in the relationship so you are both able to focus on the important things in life – the things that matter most to you.
Often the compromise involves giving the other person space and allowing them to focus on things that matter most to them while you focus on things that matter to you. Doing that can help you reconnect in a place of love and satisfaction. When your needs are both being met inside and outside of the relationship, you will have much fewer fights.
Do You See Some Common Denominators?
There are some common denominators to what causes fights in a relationship. Fix these things, and you will fix the reasons for fighting in your relationship.
1. Communication Problems
You are allowed to be hurt and angry. You are allowed to feel bad and have miserable days. You are allowed to be moody. You are allowed to want more out of the relationship. But, you have to learn how to communicate in a way that doesn’t offend your partner. Moreover, you have to learn to communicate things to your partner instead of bottling them up and keeping your partner in the dark.
That means you can’t be mean. You can’t say hurtful things. And you can’t result to the silent treatment in order to punish your partner in some way. You have to learn how to openly talk to your partner in a way that makes them feel good and helps them understand where you are coming from.
Communication is key. And it can be hard. But it is worth it because the angry, tearful, and dirty fights get replaced with working things out and a happier relationship. While it takes practice, the big things to remember are that you have to really listen to your partner, understand why they are saying what they are saying, be honest, watch their body language, stay present during conversations, keep your tone normal, and respond to their concerns with real, not defensive, answers.
You can’t be focused on yourself in a relationship. If you only care about your feelings, needs, or interests, then you are going to cause fights in the relationship – there is no doubt about that.
Always remember that you are not more important than your partner. Be humble, and get off your high horse.
You may think that you are going to miss out when you don’t focus on yourself, but the truth is that you will gain so much by focusing on both yourself and your partner – much more than you ever could by focusing solely on yourself. You will feel amazing as you make them feel good, and the chances are good that they will return the favor, but even if they don’t, remembering that you are not more important than them will keep you humble and happy.
3. Holding It All In
It seems better to bite your tongue than speak up many times, but the truth is that holding in what you want to say will end up causing fights later on down the line. It will come out. You will process it, ponder it, let it make you angry, and eventually say everything you’ve wanted to say for a long time. That can cause major fights that could be hard to come back from.
Instead, say what you got to say. Don’t be mean. In fact, if you are just saying something to hurt your partner’s feelings, then don’t say it all. But, if you have something to say that could help you feel better or help your partner understand you better, then say it! Don’t let it fester. Nip in the bud now and you won’t have to worry about it affecting your relationship later on.
4. Allowing Your Partner To Be Themselves
Lastly, trying to make your partner into you is what causes fights in a relationship. When you want them to think like you, act like you, or talk like you, then you are asking for trouble. Accept your partner for who they are. Allow them to enjoy life on their terms and not have to give it all up because you say so. Do that, and you will find your relationship will grow stronger and happier by the day.