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Relationship: 4 Fights Every Couple Must Have Once…And The 3rd One Will Make You Chuckle

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If you are in a relationship, you will admit that there are some arguments that every loving twosome has to confront – and overcome – before sailing into long-term romantic bliss. Here are four common ‘fights’ that every couple will admit to have had with their partner.1. The ” Let Me Close My Eyes, And Pretend That I’m Asleep” Sex Fight: However hot things start out, there are times when the passion lags – and one person in particular isn’t happy about it. We tend to blame the issue on our all-consuming jobs, demanding kids or the pace of life in the 21st century. But – surprise, surprise! – that’s probably not always the core of the dispute.Alexandra Solomon, a clinical psychologist and marriage therapist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, says an overlooked issue is the passage of time. “How someone is sexually at 23 is going to be different at 33 and 43,” she says. “Our sex drive is always changing, our interests are always changing and our bodies are always changing.” In the early part of a relationship, a woman may initiate making love. Ten years later, she doesn’t, and her husband may either lie there wishing she would start things up or do so himself. Learning how to work through this conflict early is crucial, “since you’ll likely be renegotiating terms throughout a relationship.”2. The “Sunday at Your Mother’s House?!” Fight: Be it Yom Christmas, Eid or Easter, most of us are prepared for disputes over which family (his or mine?) we’re going to spend the holidays with. The less recognised issue is the rest of the year – all those ordinary Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and other days of the year that one spouse plans on spending with his extended kin while the other spouse plans on spending in front of the TV. Part of the reason why battles of those “everyday” days get heated is that often we’re forgetting that other additional family…our own. In other words, while we deal with how much time we’re going to spend with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we may overlook carving out some of those Sundays or holidays for our own nuclear family.3. The “No Self-Respecting, Civilised Person Would Sleep or Eat That Way” Fight: So many people are getting married after they’ve taken care of their education or pursued that crazy, totally demanding job. The national average for men is 29, and for women, 27 – six years older than 50 years ago. This may mean that each of you is wiser, smarter and more ready to deal with huge life challenges. But it also may mean that one of you likes using a top sheet…while the other thinks that’s a waste of time and detergent. For no reason! So there!As Don Baucom, a marital therapist and clinical psychologist at the University of North Carolina, says, “Living with someone else can create difficulties. You’ve been going through life the way you’ve always done it, but now there are problems because you’re faced with someone who’s doing things in a way that’s healthy for them, but it’s not your way.” As a couple, you have to decide if how you want to lay your bed or arrange the laundry.4. The “Help Me! But…Don’t Help Me!” Fight: A lot of couples turn to each other for support when they have a challenging individual goal, only to end up arguing because either they aren’t getting enough assistance or the assistance that they do get makes them feel like a bit of a failure. For example, a husband might say, “I want to stop eating a bag of chips before bed, and I want your help.” And the wife might say, “You’re right, you do need to stop eating a bag of chips before bed, and I’m ready to help.” And then the husband might say, “What!?! You think I need to stop eating a bag of chips before bed! You think I’m a fat piggy?”It would be easy to think this conflict is simply about weight—and the sensitivities about diets that cloud the issue. But Benjamin Karney, co-director of UCLA’s Relationship Institute, has a few more revealing insights: “We all want to support our partners unconditionally, just as they are, and help them change to become the people they want to be.” There are plenty of ways to help without alienating your beloved. Take the above example. When a husband says, “I want to stop eating a bag of chips before bed, and I want your help.” The wife might say, “Great! I’m on board. What kind of help would work for you?” And then the husband might say, “Hmm…can we stop buying chips?” Or “Can you hide the chips?” Or “Can you tell me I’m handsome when I go to open a pack of chips?” All of which will make him feel more encouraged by your encouragement.Photo Credit: Getty

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