The psychological reason you argue with your significant other

So there's a reason you're always arguing with your spouse — you care about them, a lot, and they'll forgive you.
Feb 11, 2016

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  • There are those moments when we lose our cool and lash out at our spouses, even when the problems have nothing to do with them and they're merely caught in the cross fire.

  • There's a reason for it — love.

  • As School of Life, an organization devoted to helping people understand emotional intelligence, explained in a recent video, couples often argue because their spouses often understand them in ways that others don't and will likely forgive their partner for any of these arguments.

  • Spouses also have the ability to solve their partner's problems.

  • "Part of this is because our loved ones let us crumble and complain in front of them," The Huffington Post reported. "Another factor is that the love they give is reminiscent of the love we were given as children. Our parents could seemingly fix everything, and those expectations carry over into our adult partners, whom we sometimes view as our caretakers."

  • Of course, this video doesn't embrace arguing and shouldn't act as a motivator for couples to start lashing out at each other. Rather, the video serves as a reminder to always remember why you're arguing with your spouse in the first place, HuffPost reported.

  • Complaining in a relationship is nothing new, either, whether it be about the relationship itself or different aspects of life.

  • But as Tamar Chansky, psychologist and author, wrote for The Huffington Post, couples who complain to each other may be making their relationship happier. Letting issues stew will only create negative feelings between partners if they're prolonged for too much time.

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  • "The reason is this: Not complaining and, instead, letting those concerns build up could do more harm than good," Chansky wrote. "The longer you wait, the bigger the problem gets, and the more irrational you become. When you finally explode, and you will, chances are that your complaint won't come out with a cute (however rough around the edges) note. It will be war."

  • Some couples worry, though, about complaining to their spouse in fear that the complaints will spawn larger arguments that will spiral into a dusty whirlwind of digs, disses and derogatory comments.

  • But fear not: there are healthy ways for couples to rationally complain about their work stresses, home life or relationship without it tailspinning into a bigger argument. Guy Winch, Ph.D., wrote for Psychology Today that couples should enter these discussions with productivity in mind, keeping their goals for the conversation in the back of their head.

  • He suggests you make a sandwich — a "complaint sandwich" — to avoid confrontation.

  • It goes like this. The first slice of bread is a positive statement, which lowers everyones defenses and starts the discussion on a soft note. Then, couples can get to the meat of the matter — the actual complaint or issue.

  • "The 'meat' should be lean — that is, keep it to a single incident and single principle," he wrote.

  • The last slice of bread is yet another positive statement. This should hopefully end the conversation on a positive note and keep couples from having a full argument.

  • "To avoid this destructive cycle," he wrote, "we must learn how to voice our complaints productively and get the result we're looking for."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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