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Why do we fight, honey?

The root of all disputes between spouses can ultimately be traced to just two reasons, reveals a study.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2010 03:27 IST

You might think of a hundred reasons about why you fight with your spouse, but ultimately, there might just be two. A new study published in the June edition of the journal Psychological Assessment reveals that there are two main reasons behind every fight between spouses and partners.

Keith Sanford, PhD, an associate professor in the Psychology and Neuroscience department of Baylor University, Texas, and a Couple Conflict Consultant, conducted two studies with 3,539 married people.

The studies ranged from analysing word choice in recounting a specific fight as well as self-reporting feeling and behaviour during a fight. Sanford and his researchers created and used a questionnaire during the study to measure the couples’ issues and assess the usefulness of the questionnaire.

The team concluded that during every fight, one person in the couple feels as though they are being neglected (the partner is not as committed, invested as the other would like) or threatened (blamed for something or controlled).

The former is the case with Deepali Sharma, 26, and her spouse. She says, “My partner and I are both in professions that require late working hours, and we both feel neglected by each other. In fact, I keep telling him how he is married to his work and I am just a fling.”

Software engineer Nikhil Kotwani says his wife can get very controlling. “At times, I feel like my wife of three years owns me. She is always issuing warnings and telling me how if I do this, we are through. It can be annoying.”

Psychiatrist Dr Deepak Raheja says, “This usually happens in marriages that are preceded by long courtships. People don’t work on the relationship and expect it to be the same. There is a lack of sensitivity and lot of intolerance.”

Experts say that communication about your feelings with your partner is important if you’re feeling neglected. Being honest about your needs could help you create a more meaningful relationship.

RelaxNews (with inputs from Neha Sharma)

First Published: Jul 03, 2010 18:29 IST