Why couples fight about nothing

It’s well known that the three biggest problems for couples are communication, sex, and finances, but that’s not what the majority of couples fight about. The number one conflict is over “nothing” according to relationship experts. Couples rarely sit down and discuss what they’re arguing about and if you listen, you’ll find the content rather tedious. These often silly arguments that appear out of nowhere are a couple’s way of engaging each other; depending on how disconnected the couple has become, they can be hurtful and push one another away.

According to marriage experts, when couples have been together in a long-term relationship it's not the context of the fight that matters but how partners respond to what’s wrong in the relationship. When couples see a conflict as an opportunity to work with their partner and resolve the situation together, their trust in each other deepens. When they feel abandoned by their partner or alone, they trust their partner less and initiate more conflict about nothing arguments.

If you feel as though your relationship has become a daily battleground and you’re arguing every day over nothing, it’s not too late to make changes. The suggestions below help you reconnect and trust your partner so you won’t have to start an argument to get their attention.

  1. When you have an increase of conflict in your relationship, don't tell yourself your marriage or relationship is broken. Instead, tell yourself your relationship needs attention and has an opportunity to grow into something better.
  2. Trust is built in a relationship, and resentment dissipates when your partner knows you’re there for them. Put your phone away when they’re talking, take time to call them during the day, listen to them, and take every opportunity to take their hand and let them know you’re there for them.
  3. Listen to how you’re partner feels instead of trying to convince them how they should feel. What makes a relationship deepen is feeling understood and accepted for the way you feel.
  4. Focus on the positives in your relationship. When you notice negative communication patterns, focus on what you can change to help resolve the problem instead of blaming your partner.

Disagreements and conflict are normal in healthy relationships. However, if you and your partner are arguing more about "nothing," there’s a high probability that your partner is trying to emotionally reconnect with you. When arguing is the only way couples communicate, the relationship becomes filled with resentment, anger, and hostility. Don’t risk the love in your relationship to a fight about nothing.

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