Why do couples quarrel – Understanding the psych of love!

Every couple fights! It’s strange but true. Whether it’s a love marriage or an arranged one, whether they share the same interests or they are stark opposite to each other, quarrel among couples is inevitable. But why? Why do couples quarrel

Have you ever pondered on that? Researchers and psychologists have been studying this complex relationship for hundreds of years and now finally it seems we have the answers to ‘why couples quarrel’ and what leads to separation or divorce.

Read on to understand the causes of a fight, the anatomy of a fight, the physiology of a fight, the pathology of a fight, and finally the solutions to live peacefully.

Also Read: Quarrel in marriage

Why do couples quarrel? – Understand the underlying causes!

Every couple has its own set of differences. For some, it is the money that matters, for others it might be sex. Sometimes the feud could be stemming off from a family matter and sometimes it could be because of jealousy or possessiveness. 

The list is very long. You see, when two individuals, who grew up in completely different ecosystems of beliefs and customs, come together to walk a single path of life, there are bound to be some clashes and confusions. 

But psychologists say this list doesn’t matter! 

Many times, couples don’t even end their argument on the same topic where they begin. 

So, what are the main causes of quarrels?

Well, according to experts, it all boils down to the 3 main CsCriticism, Contempt, and Communication.

Also Read: Why are divorce rates on the rise in India?

1. Criticism

Criticism is one of the most common causes of conflict. And the one dissing out criticism hardly realizes that they are pushing the other person away. Nobody likes to be around someone who constantly reminds them of their shortcomings.

Even if it’s done with a good intention, criticism is hurtful and destructive. Constant criticism acts as a constant stressor and it might put the other person on a defensive mode, resulting in clashes. 

Also, when someone is subjected to constant criticism and stress their brain starts signaling that they aren’t safe. They no more feel safe in the relationship and they start viewing their partner as a potential threat to their peace and happiness. They feel stuck in their relationship. 

2. Contempt

Contempt is basically seeing the other person as worthless or inferior. It also means you are labeling them into boxes. Whether you say it loud or mark it in your mind, thinking of someone as characterless, loser, liar, lazy, unworthy makes it hard for you to love and respect that person. And eventually, these thoughts bubbling in your head are bound to slip your tongue. 

This is a very common mistake that couples make. If someone didn’t do the dishes this doesn’t mean they are lazy. Likewise, if someone loves to dress up like youngsters, this doesn’t mean they are immature. These are single events and they cannot be used to define someone’s nature or character!

3. Communication

Communication is the strongest pillar of a relationship. But in many marriages, this pillar is either shaken or completely broken. Relationship experts say that most quarrels happen not because of what is said but because of the way it is said. 

Research also reveals that couples who avoid arguments at all costs are the ones who cannot stand each other. Because they know how each argument goes down and they have been through that path so many times. This is called stonewalling, where they choose to disconnect from their partner rather than making useless efforts of mending things!

This is a popular coping mechanism. The person builds big tall walls around them because it was becoming too painful to deal with. 

Also Read: 7 secret ingredients to a happy marriage

Understand the Anatomy of an argument

All couples argue, even the happy ones. 

It’s not what you argue about, but how you put forth your argument. 

Happiness in the marriage depends on how you two choose to resolve your conflicts. For many couples, their argument rarely ends at the same topic where it all began. As things escalate, the baggage of the past pours in, insults are hurled, statements are made, hurtful words are thrown, and the relationship soon becomes toxic.

Another is the blame game, where one partner has this habit of pinning all the blame on the other one. Sometimes the other one gets defensive and sometimes they stonewall. No matter what mechanism they use to cope, it is never healthy!

Then there is another kind of couple who never fights. This is not because they don’t have differences, but because one of them walks out of the room the moment there is a spur. This is a very common complaint, where one of the partners feels unheard, unattended, uncared. While the other partner chooses to keep mum, they keep their grievances tucked in their heart until the day it all explodes.

Also Read: 13 Tips to train your brain to be happier

Physiology of the fight

Whenever you get into an argument, always make a point to resolve it. Going to bed with all the bitterness is like keeping a wound open and ignoring it till the day it becomes infectious. These bitter thoughts would be circling your mind and you would be stuck in a vicious cycle.  

Research says that 69% of marriage conflicts never get solved. 

Couples who don’t close their arguments with a kiss get stuck in the same pattern. Their arguments are more likely to be repetitive episodes of the same story. They would be talking about the same events but never reach a conclusion. 

In order to step into a happy marriage, you will have to break free of this cycle. 

Resolve the pain that you are carrying in your heart, let the hatred melt and make way for a fresh start. If things get too heated and you two aren’t able to come to a conclusion, then consider speaking to a counselor. 

How to live peacefully?

Getting into an argument every now and then is a normal thing. Sometimes it could be the stress, sometimes it could be a tingling pain irritating you and sometimes it could just be your hunger.

Whatever be the reason, getting into a quarrel is not a bad thing!

What matters is the frequency of your fights, the intensity with which you argue, turning an argument into abuse, whether, physical, mental or emotional, is not acceptable in any circumstances. 

So, if you wish to make your marriage successful, and by successful, I don’t mean just sticking to each other, dragging a dead horse. A successful marriage is one where you live in a happy space with your partner. 

Here are some tips that can help you make your marriage work:

1. Always give your partner the benefit of doubt.

This is the golden rule that can change everything. Rather than thinking that he always does this, think maybe he did it just this time. Seeing your partner as hopelessly flawed will never make things right for you. Always believe that your partner is a good person and everything will change automatically.

2. Never stray from the topic of debate.

Whenever you get into an argument, stick to your present conversation. Don’t open the baggage of your past and if your partner does that then tell him or her to stay on the topic. By not scratching old wounds, you finally let them heal. 

3. Don’t hurl insults at each other.

No matter how bad the fight is, don’t stoop too low. Avoid character assaults at all costs. Cussing at your partner, hurling abuses, labeling them will not make you win the argument. It will cause damage beyond repair.

Also Read: 13 Powerful Tips to overcome negative thoughts

4. Don’t fight to win.

When getting into an argument with your partner always remember there are no winners and losers in a relationship. You both are a team and no matter who wins the argument both will be equally hurt.

5. Don’t generalize the topics.

In most cases, the arguments start with something very small. But making generalized statements, can escalate the situation and make things worse. 

6. Share the load always.

Whether it is about sharing the financial load or doing the household chores, always be there for each other. Just because society said that roles should be defined doesn’t mean you can’t help each other. At the end of the day, you are a family!

7. Listen more and talk less.

This is the biggest secret to a happy marriage. When you argue, your brain gets so busy preparing your defense that you don’t listen to what your partner is trying to communicate. Learn to listen without judgments, without getting defensive, without jumping to conclusions. Things will automatically get better!

Your takeaway – Why do couples quarrel?

There are many reasons why couples quarrel. Creating a family together is a tough job and you are bound to get into a few clashes. Relationship experts say this is rather healthy, as anger, frustration, jealously too are rooted in love. 

But it is important to know where you need to draw the line. Marriage is a constant work and you will have to keep putting in your efforts, hold on to your love, and more than that, never let the respect go! 

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Why divorce rates are increasing in India? - Dr. Brahmanand Nayak December 16, 2021 at 6:35 am

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