Couples Share the One Argument They Have Over and Over Again
"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting," Sun Tsu wrote in The Art of War. This is fine advice in battle, but a tad trickier when your enemy is also your partner and the same battles will re-occur until you break up.
Photo by KKGAS via Stocksy
My longterm boyfriend is super frugal, while I have a far more relaxed (but responsible) attitude to spending. As far as I'm concerned, we work hard, so we should be able to enjoy a nice lifestyle. But he has a deep-seated fear of spending—he will literally take the finished toothpaste back out of the trash to squeeze out one last drop.
Needless to say, this creates endless small-scale battles that are just exhausting. I want to take an Uber; he insists on the bus. I want to eat out for once; he says we have food at home. It just never ends.
As for changing his name? Hell would freeze over before that happened.
We used to argue all the time about when I would take his family name. He wanted us to be a "proper family" all with the same name, and hated when letters were addressed with all the different combinations of our last names. As for changing his name? Hell would freeze over before that happened.
I finally caved in because I want a quiet life.
I met my girlfriend online and knew she was a smoker, and I thought I didn't have a problem with it. But now we're married and I hate it. I'm a libertarian and I think you should be free to do what you want in your own home, but I really hate that she smokes (and she really loves smoking).
I wanted to ask her not to smoke, but I realized that was like asking me to only have one glass of wine. That is never going to happen. It's always going to be a point of tension in our relationship.
Vaccines. He thinks they're harmful and didn't want to vaccinate our kids; he feels like it's a government-control situation. And he doesn't trust the medical industry.
I understand where he's coming from, but at the same time I don't want our kids to have polio. After our daughter turned one, I started having her vaccinated. He found out when he saw her medical record and was so angry he didn't home from work that day. Whenever I try to talk about it, things get really tense.
Can I just say, on behalf of all the married and co-habiting women on here, that it's housework and the division of labor that causes the most fights between couples. Cleaning up after dinner, doing the washing up, loading the dishwasher... If I do all the cooking and food organizing, while shouldn't he do these things?
I'm not saying it was a factor in the breakup, but it totally was.
Also: Don't drop your clothes everywhere. Why is the trash can overflowing? Put your crap away. Why didn't you change the light bulb you said you were going to change four months ago? I don't know anyone who doesn't have the same cyclical argument about housework on a regular basis.
We hired a cleaner to save our marriage.
It drives my boyfriend crazy that I don't keep my car clean, and it drives me crazy that he cleans it out. Why? It's my car. And you never know when you're going to need a sweater or umbrella or makeup or 15 half empty water bottles... and whatever else I have hoarded in my car.
My ex and I argued for seven years about whether Home Alone is a Christmas movie. He claims it's not. His argument was that "it's not a Christmas movie unless someone saves Christmas," and he refused to accept that Christmas was saved for Kevin McAllister. I'm not saying it was a factor in the breakup but it totally was. Seriously. I tried so hard.
We fight constantly over his interfering mother, who is always trying to tell me how to dress, feed, and care for my son. Overbearing and opinionated isn't the word: I have had three emails, four Whatsapp messages and two texts in the last two days. They were all about the type of vest I put on him; apparently it's the wrong type.
My partner is constantly telling me to be the nice guy, and that she means well. But I know if my mom behaved like that, he wouldn't like it. I kicked him out once because I'd had enough of her. If she moved away I would be ecstatic.
*Names have been changed
- shortform editorial
- Mother in law
- Broadly Dating
- Broadly Relationships