You fought over what TV show to watch. Really? REALLY?
Unfortunately, as you go about your everyday lives as a couple, you will most likely encounter many opportunities for conflict, both big and small.
One big determinate of your happiness in your relationship is the ability to let the small stuff go. Here are six things that just aren't worth arguing about:
1. Hobbies and spending time apart
It's easy to feel rejected or jealous when your spouse wants to spend time away from you to pursue their own interests. However, independence is an important part of a healthy relationship.
Couples who have hobbies and interests outside of their relationship are more likely to feel fulfilled and content. They also bring back things to talk about when they return to their partners.
Try not to see his time away as any indication about their feelings towards you. Take that time to develop your own individual interests as well. Like anything, moderation is key.
If your partner is constantly avoiding you to spend time away, this merits a discussion, but normal hobbies and separate interests are small things. Keep in mind that if you let someone do what makes them happy, they will come back to the relationship energized.
2. Your in-laws
Many people find it difficult to get along with their in-laws (me included). No matter how nice you are, or how nice they are, topics on which you disagree are bound to come up from time to time. There are a myriad of things to fight over when it comes to in-laws.
For example, here's just a sample of things I've fought over: when to see them, where to see them, how often to see them, that snide comment his mother made, his mother's preferences about who to invite to our wedding and so many more.
Trying to maintain boundaries surrounding the in-laws is a really common hot button with couples.
While they can be maddeningly frustrating, your in-laws aren't worth driving a wedge into your relationship by fighting about them. This puts your spouse in a very awkward situation they don't really deserve to be in since they don't have control over their parents who are grown adults.
Having tension between you and your spouse over in-laws is just not worth it. If you're struggling with your in-laws, there are steps to cope with difficult in-laws.
3. Minor parenting issues
Certain parenting disagreements can often cause problems in your relationship. For example, a Christian may have real problems raising their children with an Atheist or vice versa. Core values merit a discussion, as do safety-related issues.
On the other hand, the majority of couples have different tolerances for certain things when it comes to their children. Perhaps you are more lenient about before-dinner snacks or bedtimes than your partner. Maybe he wants to raise the kids on entirely organic food and you just don't care or vice versa.
These things really aren't worth fighting over. Work to find a way to compromise without undermining your partner's decisions in front of the kids.
4. Chores and housework
In an ideal world, everyone's house would look like it came straight from the pages of Decor & Style magazine. However, actually getting there is not exactly convenient or easy.
Although everybody should do their fair share of work around the house, fighting over this issue can make both of you feel seriously unappreciated and misunderstood.
If you find yourself frustrated over the amount of housework you are both taking on, try to accept the fact that your home may never be as perfect as the houses displayed in magazines and in the media, then divide up the chores fairly.
Remember that your relationship with your partner is worth far more than a clean home. After all, who wants to live in a spotless home with a person they are constantly arguing with?
5. Home decor
Just like chores and housework, arguing over renovations and home decor decisions is simply a huge waste of time and energy. Your flooring, cabinets or paint colors are just not as important as having a happy, safe relationship.
Try to compromise and make sure that you both get to "win" when it comes to decor. Decide what your non-negotiables are and resolve to let the rest go.
6. TV and movie viewing preferences
Ever gotten into a raging argument over which show to watch on tv and/or who gets to pick what you watch together too often? I hate to admit it, but I'll sheepishly raise my hand.
Clearly this falls under the "small stuff" category. If you're hoarding the remote, give it up. If you're always picking the movie or allowing someone else to, relinquish control.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
If your partner is pulling away, snag a free copy of my book, "Why Men Lose Interest" and check out my daily email series free here.