Nagging may be commonplace, but it's far from benign.
Additional survey findings include:
- The topic couples bicker about most is not money, sex or in-laws; it's "behavior/attitude" according to 36% of respondents. "Housework/chores" is second (21%) and "money" is third (18%). Just 7% say they bicker most about sex and 5% say they bicker most about relatives/in-laws.
- The form of problematic communication or nagging that respondents are most guilty of is "being negative" or complaining followed by "being defensive."
- The #1 approach couples use to resolve conflict is to "apologize and move on" followed by "taking time to cool off." Logging in third is the "sweep it under the rug" approach, i.e. they don’t actually resolve conflict. Only 13% of couples use makeup sex to resolve conflict.
- During conflict with a partner, respondents behave as follows: 30% want to talk things out; 20.5% tend to yell and get heated and 20.3% claim to avoid conflict at all costs or check out, i.e. leave the room.
- 38% of couples say they usually resolve arguments "within the day," 28% "within the week" and 22% within an hour.
- While 48% of couples say they are "decent" at resolving conflict, 15% say they are "very good at it," 24% say they "aren't the best" and "13% say they are downright "bad at it."
- 44% of respondents say they believe they resolve conflict better than their parents do/did vs. 38% who believe they approach conflict different but not necessarily better.
- 23% of respondents say they are "very happy" with their current love life, 46% of respondents report being "mostly happy," 25% say they are "somewhat unhappy" and just 6% report being "very unhappy."
- Respondents identify less as "the nagger" in their relationships as they age: 40% of respondents ages 18-34 say they are "the nagger" compared to just 18% of those 55+.
- Women are less likely to "remind" their partner to do something they asked him to do as they age. While 42% of women ages 18-34 will give a "gentle reminder" the day after asking their partner to complete a task, just 30% of women 45+ would do the same. Instead, this demographic is likelier to "be annoyed" but complete the task herself.
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Research methodology: Conducted on SurveyMonkey.com, we polled 1,008 individuals between October 17 and November 5, 2012.