Even the healthiest couples are known to fight, though some fights are simply a matter of course in a relationship while others are symptomatic of something more serious that might threaten the entire relationship. In extreme cases, a married couple might end up separated, and if marriage counseling cannot help, then they might even turn to divorce lawyers next. But that does not have to be the case for you. Instead, collaborate with your spouse to figure out how to tackle some big projects now and in the future, and figure out a course of action that you will both like. Preparing for these major arguments early can help prevent sudden conflicts of interest later on.
This is a big one, since you and your spouse both need to live somewhere, and the house can be a reflection of not only your household’s income but also your lifestyle and tastes. This ranges from getting new furniture or repainting/refinishing furniture to putting down new carpeting or having the kitchen and bathrooms remodeled. For example, the industry-standard says that carpets in a home should be replaced every 10-15 years, and you and your spouse may decide together when to replace the carpets, and what color the new carpeting should be.
Most rooms in a house are shared, and this means that you and your spouse should maintain clear communication on what you want each room to look like and how it should function. In fact, getting new furniture can change a room’s entire purpose, from the bedroom to the hobby room to a baby nursery to home office, and perhaps one of you has been intending to create a hobby room or music room for some time. Speak clearly about this interest, and see if the household can be conveniently arranged for that new room’s formation. It may do wonders for you to have a room where you can pursue your hobby for a few hours, such as a room for quilting or making music, or creating a home entertainment system in a cleaned-up and remodeled basement.
Many couples and spouses today have different ideas on how often they should go on trips, as well as where to go when to go, and how much to spend. Some spouses may be uncomfortable being dragged along to exotic trips around the world, while others may feel cooped up if their spouse shows no interest in going anywhere far from home. To avoid this issue, two dating people are urged to figure out each other’s lifestyle and preferences, and if the relationship gets far enough (such as marriage), there should be a compromise.
Taking trips always requires time, money, and effort, whether or not it’s international travel, and this should be accounted for. If you and your spouse differ significantly on your vacation preferences, be sure to work out a compromise, and that can take any number of forms. For example, you might limit trips to low-cost domestic tourism only, or the vacation-lover can agree to take one trip per year all on their own, and make it up to their spouse somehow later. Whatever you and your spouse come up with, be sure that both of you are in agreement on clear terms and both feel comfortable about it. Compromises and sacrifices are one thing, but regret is another. A spouse may be unhappy if they are denied all the trips that they want to take and end up stuck at home.
Many couples fight because one of them spent a large sum of money on a project that the other has no interest in, or one spouse simply spent more on an agreed-upon project than the other intended. This includes not only travel, as mentioned earlier but also plastic surgery. Both men and women often get plastic surgery, including the elderly, and they may do this to improve the quality of their skin, hair, nose, ears, and other superficial body parts. Some are specific to men or women; for example, every year some 90,000 breast reductions are performed by plastic surgeons who have certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Some plastic surgery is based on hair, such as FUE transplants, to fill up bald or thinning patches (men often do this). Or, a woman may get Botox for her lips, or a person may have surgery done on an ear that’s been deformed by surgery.
Before any expensive surgery is done, you and your spouse should talk it over, including trying to agree on whether or not the surgery is even needed. Many adults are insecure about their appearance, and they might rashly want to get such surgery to impress their spouse, coworkers, friends, and other people. A person who rashly spends money on extensive surgery, though, might end up sending the wrong message to their spouse, who may object to the cost and/or argue that no surgery was really needed.
Cars and Motorcycles
There is a running joke that husbands are absolutely fixated on their cars and motorcycles at the expense of their wives, but in real life, there is no punchline. Instead, both spouses should be a well-coordinated team for auto expenses, such as deciding what sort of vehicle(s) they want, and how much they are willing to spend on this. After all, cars are among the most costly expenses that Americans have, aside from homeownership, furniture, and healthcare costs, so it should be taken seriously. You and your spouse should always decide together when and if you get a new vehicle, and each describes what features or styles you want; for example, a certain brand or color, or whether the car has two doors or four or whether it could hold a larger family in the future.
What is more, you can also run the numbers with your spouse and decide whether it’s money-wise to keep your current vehicles, or possibly sell one and buy a cheaper replacement (or even none at all). You might be surprised; a certain car or motorcycle or ATV may be eating up too much money that your spouse would rather spend on something else that makes them happy. This is an important reference to have.
Most households are a busy place in terms of items and cleaning needs; nearly anything can get dirty, and the average home has an incredible 300,000 items inside. Just being around excessive clutter can be stressful and mentally exhausting, and of course, that can shorten tempers. In fact, your spouse might get upset with you if too many of your hobby-related items are taking up a lot of room or getting in the way or causing messes. Don’t let mere possessions get between you and your spouse.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to take place in spring; in fact, why not try it with your spouse every quarter of the year and split the work 50/50? As for dividing the work, factor in each of your physical prowess and height (for heavy or high-up items), and allow a spouse to work on their own hobby items. You will know better than your spouse how to handle your hobby items, from art supplies to muscle car parts, and the same will be true of your spouse and their own hobby items.
As for cleaning, it’s best to draft a schedule together to split the work evenly, factoring in your respective schedules. All rooms and items need attention, from wiping down the bathroom to vacuuming the carpets to mowing the lawn and dusting off shelves, and a spouse who is overworked is liable to become quite resentful of the other. But a clearly-written, agreed-upon schedule can keep things balanced and make sure that both of you are doing your fair share. You’ll never have to guess “who’s turn is it to vacuum?” or “when did we last clean the bathtub?”
There are many things, even mundane ones, that can come between you and your spouse and prompt each other to argue and clash over spending and saving money, how much time to spend together, and what sort items are in the house, not to mention responsibilities for cleaning, pets, and children. The key is to avoid guesswork or spontaneous decisions, and instead, plan everything with your spouse ahead of time and commit your ideas to paper so there’s no ambiguity. Everyone fights, yes, but this way, you can keep a costly car hobby or a dirty carpet from igniting unnecessary arguments in your daily life.