4 things that are completely normal to fight about in marriage
Posted May 28, 2016
We don’t go into marriage thinking we are going to fight and disagree about things. We are in love, we think the person we are marrying is perfect, and there is nothing they can do that will upset you. But that is just not realistic.
There are probably going to be several things that annoy, bother and upset you. There are some things that every couple argues about, and it’s normal.
Here are 4 of those things:
1. How to do things
Agreeing on what is the right way to do something is not the easiest thing to do. This is often the topic of contention between spouses. Perhaps you can’t agree on how to fold the towels, or when to open presents on Christmas, or what method to use when teaching your kids to use the potty.
Whatever it may be, just know it is possible it may end in a fight. Try to stay patient, compromise, and ask yourself if it is really worth fighting about. Look at the bigger picture and see how this one thing really matters in the grand scheme of things.
The term “pick your battles” comes into play here. Perhaps you feel really strongly about how your socks are folded, but can let go of your desire to have white bread instead of wheat bread. It’s all about compromise.
2. Your kids
Arguing about your kids is normal. Your kids are someone you both love and care about and you want the best for them. Sometimes you may not agree with your spouse about what that means. Perhaps he really wants them to take karate and you are dead against it. Or he feels strongly about not giving sweets to the kids during the week, but you’re a little more relaxed on the topic. These disagreements can lead to arguments and inconsistencies with your kids. While it may be natural to argue about your kids, it is important to not argue in front of them. You don’t want your kids to have to take sides or hear some things about them you don’t want them to know. Make sure your discussions happen when you are alone with each other and can really work out what is best for them.
3. Extended family
Your extended family can definitely be a point of contention with your spouse. It is hard enough blending two people’s lives together when you get married, but learning to accept and love each other’s families as equally as your spouse does, can be difficult. Fighting over whose house you spend holidays at, who you name your kids after, and who you tell good news to first can cause hard feelings not only for the two of you, but your families as well.
Try to approach the topic of each other’s families gently. Remember that even if you really don’t get along with your brother-in-law, it is still your spouse’s brother, and he may not be okay listening to you complain about him. It is natural to get defensive when someone has an issue with your family, even when that person is your spouse. Be aware that it is a sensitive topic, and approach it with ease.
4. The budget
Fighting over finances can be normal. Perhaps he made a major purchase without telling you, or you overdrew in the checking account. These things can be frustrating and cause tension. Arguing about them can be normal, as long as you don’t let it go too far. Money is already a stressful topic, and when you disagree or aren’t on the same page, it just adds to the tension.
Make a date each week to sit down together and look over the budget. When just one person is in charge of finances, it can be frustrating when the other person spends too much. It may be that they don’t understand where the money is going, or why they can’t spend money. By setting up a budget together, you both agree on where your money is going, so there won’t be an argument later when you have to tell him he can’t buy dinner for his 15 guy friends after the game next week.
Disagreeing and arguing is normal in a marriage, as long as it does not get out of hand or happen too often. There should definitely be happier conversations than arguments. When you do fight, make sure you are not crossing the line, going too far, or carrying on the fight for too long. Be kind, be open to solutions, and remember that this person is someone you love, not your enemy, so don’t treat them like they are.
Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in Anthropology and a masters in Psychology. She lives in Orange County, CA and is a mother of twins. Contact her at Meganshauri@gmail.com