Money, kids, sex. When we think of couples fighting, these topics immediately come to mind. I mean, who hasn't watched an episode of Divorce Court or witnessed a couple arguing in the middle of a department store about what they can or cannot spend on a new washer and dryer? Watch out! Lovers' spat in aisle seven!
Most couples deal with a roller coaster of financial issues, the craziness of raising families, and when and how to sneak in a little nooky time on a daily basis. Something has to keep Jerry Springer busy, right? Wrong. What actually brings out love's boxing gloves might surprise you.
While working on my latest project, Clash of the Couples, it became apparent that couples fight over trivial, completely absurd stuff. Sure, what's in our bank accounts and how to raise our offspring are still major sources of tension. And sex is at the carnal epicenter of being human. We'll always find a reason to bicker over who initiated what and when. But what causes Adam and Eve to really lose their shizzle nizzle extends far beyond the basics.
Here are five crazy things most couples fight about:
Maybe it's because we need it to survive or maybe it's because we've grown accustomed to certain tastes. Whatever it is, food is the trigger on the relationship AK-47. BANG! One second we're happily discussing little Jimmy's math meet and the next "DID YOU EAT MY $%&! ICE CREAM?" shoots from our pie hole and we're instantly on the attack. If you've ever hidden Twinkies on the top rack of a broken dishwasher or performed a satanic ritual meant to keep your better half's hands off your box of leftovers, you... have relationship food aggression.
It's hard to believe, but a corner hutch or an old man's TV tray can inspire the latest episode of Snapped. Rearranging the garage, furnishing a house with in-law hand-me-downs, or using a lap table as a utility workbench in the middle of the living room can set the stage for huge so happy together (not) meltdowns. My advice: Invest in bean bags.
Whoever said vacations are a time to rest and relax has obviously never gone on vacation as a couple. Hell, no. From agreeing on where to go to squabbling over when to book the trip, vacations nearly kill some relationships. Add in a Drunken Dutchman with full Speedo exposure or lack of vacation insurance during an unexpected hurricane in paradise... you get the picture. You'll need a vacation after the vacation. Or a good lawyer.
4. The Internet
All is fine in love until you discover "college boobs" in the search history of your browser. Before jumping to conclusions or making assumptions, talk to your loved one and ask what they were smoking. Did they mean to search for young, firm boobies? Or were they on the hunt for college books? The Internet is a virtual playground, but sometimes there is a simple explanation for the snarky reply all email or profile on Match.com.
You know that old saying "to assume makes an ass out of you and me?" Oh, honey, it's true. When we let our imaginations fly, we get ourselves into all sorts of trouble. ASS-umptions and miscommunication are at the root of most relationship quarrels. You can't really assume that your partner knows how you feel or what you want. Even when they're looking directly at you, don't assume they're listening. So you asked them to pick up a gallon of milk and maxi pads. They came back with a case of beer and Post-it Notes. At least you can jot down your next request and stick it to their forehead. When in doubt, speak up or forever hold your peace.
Many of the examples in this post are actual stories featured in the new anthology Clash of the Couples.