In our last post, we dug into three things couples fight about that can highlight much deeper problems in your marriage. These argument topics should serve as warning signs that larger issues are at play – and that your relationship could be in serious trouble if you don’t do something about it.
Today, we’ll cover three more.
Remember that as long as you and your spouse are willing to rebuild, to face your issues head on, and be honest about how you each might be hurting the marriage, it isn’t too late the save the relationship and create a happy, healthy marriage!
Be on the lookout for these kinds of fights.
1. The Division of Labor Fight
While this one is relatively common, it still illustrates some deeper issues. If you find yourselves arguing because one person feels like they do all the chores, it could be an indication that you don’t have the most egalitarian relationship.
In fact, disagreements about household responsibilities can be a sign that there’s a “power imbalance” in the marriage – that one person is overlooking (or misunderstanding) how their partner feels. Generally speaking, we all want to feel respected and appreciated, and a “fair division of labor” shows that you notice how much work your spouse is doing, and put forth the effort take some of the burden on yourself.
The argument is less about “who does what” and more about NOT trying to help, or not seeing it as a problem. First, make sure you’re both doing your fair share around the house – but more importantly, pay attention to your spouse, and if they are struggling, help them!
2. Regretting Getting Together
In the midst of a big argument, if one of you makes a comment about wishing you never got together in the first place… This spells impending disaster. Even if it’s in the heat of the moment, this is still a dangerous idea to express.
If you’re suddenly doubting the whole marriage – not just its current state, but the whole history – you’re denying that there have been good times, that you are (or were) in love, that there’s anything worth fighting for. You’re also, in effect, rewriting history, and convincing yourself that those good times never even existed. If you do this enough, you’ll succeed (consciously or not) in painting an entirely negative picture of your relationship.
Fight back with optimism. When you feel like you’re at your wit’s end, think about happy memories, and remind yourself that there are positive qualities about the marriage, that the relationship is worth saving, and that with the right changes, you can get back to that place of happiness and love.
3. The Stonewall Maneuver
If one of you just walks away from fights, leaves the house, or simply refuses to participate when things get heated, this is a major red flag. Shutting down doesn’t do anything to solve the problem, and in fact, usually makes the argument worse because it shows your spouse that you don’t care what they have to say.
Now, if you have to pause to calm down or ask your spouse to stop shouting at you, that’s one thing – it’s another thing entirely to just give up and walk away without reason or explanation. If this is happening frequently, it shows that one of you is likely already checked out, and might not be willing to resolve the issues that caused the argument in the first place.
In short, you have to talk about your problems, no matter how tough it might be. If you don’t, your marriage is destined for failure.
Hopefully you can use these warning signs to address the deeper issues in your marriage. It can be a tough road, but once you identify the problems and commit to working on them, you can create a marriage better than it has ever been.
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com