All couples fight at one point or another. That’s okay and can even sometimes be helpful and healthy.
But there are a few things that should not be argued over. Read on to find some arguments you might be able to avoid if you want to save your relationship some stress.
Your Personal Style
We’ve all heard the age-old joke of a woman asking a man if she looks fat in this, which ultimately has no right answer except for a simple “no.” Anything else could lead into a danger zone: Too skinny? Not skinny enough? And a slew of other passive-aggressive questions.
Well, this goes both way in the sense of style, because regardless of whether you solicit the advice, the problem is that if the couple disagrees then they’ll both remember it and it will come back in some way to start a fight. Couples should encourage each other to dress the way they want and not try to change that. It’s a slippery slope to discuss otherwise.
Your Parents and In-Laws
There is a general rule in life, and that is that you never speak badly about someone’s mother—especially if it is your girlfriend’s mother or your mother-in-law. We all know the running theme of people not loving their in-laws, but there is a fine line between offering your opinion and striking the wrong chord with family.
Even if you are family now, the mother was there first. It’s best to bite your tongue on this one and let it slide. And if you ever do find that you really must say something, try writing it down first. You don’t want a sudden outburst to happen as you start bashing someone’s mom. That’s just not cool.
How the House is Decorated
You’ve seen it in movies or television shows: that scene where the guy comes home and the woman has four different shades of green painted on the wall and asks the guy which is his favorite. He answers, but of course it’s never the right answer, and she becomes annoyed. Or maybe this is just every episode of any show on HGTV.
Either way, if you want to stay away from a fight, let your favorite be known first and ask if the other person has a problem with it. If not, then you are good to go and you get to have your wall color be your first choice. If you really want to be diplomatic, split the rooms and each person gets to choose. Or just limit your options…no one likes a dark red wall anyway. It’s creepy.
Whether or Not You’re Both Ready for Marriage
If you’ve been dating for a while and think you are ready for the next step, then that is a pretty important conversation to have.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it—the right way being a caring, polite conversation and the wrong way being nagging and making passive-aggressive comments. That is a sure path to a fight and will also put an uncomfortable strain on the idea of getting engaged.
It should happen naturally and not be forced. Besides, marriage is supposed to be for life, so if it’s taking longer than expected, remember you have the rest of your days to be married, so don’t make a fuss about it.
Each Other’s Insecurities
When you’re in a relationship, you get to know your partner’s insecurities. Be mindful of that and never use it to hurt them. If they are a little embarrassed about their eyebrows and you go out with friends and someone comments how nice they look, don’t object and say something to let the world know that your significant other is insecure about them. It puts the person in the spotlight and makes everyone notice.
Keep those things private and respect the knowledge that you get to know special secrets about your partner, while most others do not. Then keep it that way.
Making Comparisons to Other People
No one likes being compared with anyone else, unless that person is Jennifer Aniston or Idris Elba. If the comparison you’re making in your head is with someone you know personally, like a coworker, definitely keep that thought to yourself. All it will do is create a pattern of jealousy every time you bring up that coworker.
An example is if your significant other says something funny about food and you comment by saying, “Oh that is hilarious, reminds me of what [coworker] said today that made me laugh.” It downplays the importance of your SO’s comment and makes them feel second best. This is something to be mindful of that could come back as an argument if you ignore your partner’s reaction.
What Other People Do in Their Relationships
This behavior is in the same general vein as a comparison, but with more of an aim to gain something you want. This tactic is a surefire way to get under someone’s skin and possibly start a fight. If you are trying to do something, or trying not to do something, don’t ever argue your case by claiming, “Steve’s girlfriend never cares when he does it,” or “My brother’s girlfriend does it for him all the time.”
These comparisons aren’t helpful, whether it comes to a weekend getaway with the guys or cooking dinner and doing dishes. Be mindful not to throw other people’s laundry in your washer.
The Small Stuff
Let’s hope there aren’t a ton of these small things that add up to one major thing, but it’s generally a good idea to try to let a few of them slide. When two people spend a lot of time together, inevitably there are certain triggers that will happen. Maybe it’s leaving a drawer open, not taking out the trash, leaving dishes in the sink, or keeping the toilet seat up.
There will always be something, but pick your battles. If you make a big deal out of each and every small thing, it will just become a constant annoyance and will give your partner the idea that they can’t do anything right.
That doesn’t mean you should be a pushover, but try to be constructive about addressing minor issues.
A Night Out With the Guys or Girls
Instead of getting frustrated or even jealous about a night or two out with the boys or girls, try to use the time for yourself. If you’re in a serious relationship, you probably spend most of your time together.
If your significant other has a night out planned with just their friends, plan a night out with your own group, or plan a night to just have some time to yourself.
Do the things you used to do as an independent person: popcorn, Netflix, and getting in tune with yourself just having some quality alone time.
Money is the root of all evil. Or so we hear. It is definitely responsible for a number of fights and arguments. That said, proceed in addressing financial woes with respect and patience. We all have the urge to spend every now and then, and sometimes we cave—hopefully those times are rare or else this could be a bigger problem.
If your SO spends a little more than you do one week and you want to discuss it, try to approach with caution rather than lashing out. Have a calm and respectful conversation about spending and money and reach some agreements together.
If you let a problem go on too long, it will surely come to the surface and make things much worse.
We all have exes, unless your first girlfriend became your wife or first boyfriend became your husband, which does happen. If so, you can skip this section. But if you’re one of those who does in fact have an ex and is in a new relationship, tread very carefully. Questions will surely come up and Instagram stalking will commence.
The most important thing to keep in mind? Don’t lie. Your significant other will figure out the truth. Let exes be in the past, and if you happen to be friends with them, make sure there is a clear line drawn that no one will ever have to worry about. Otherwise it will likely lead to a much bigger fight, and rightfully so. Trust is key in a relationship, and lying about an ex is a guaranteed to break it.