A Psychologist Reveals What It Really Means When Couples Always Bicker, & It's Surprising
It's a familiar scene: You're out at Trader Joe's on a Sunday night, shopping for the essentials that you need for a week of healthy eating (even though you're fully aware you're going to let these groceries go bad and order takeout) when you hear it. That couple next to the grapes who have been arguing since they were looking at the seasonal cookies. They seem angry, and you can't help but wonder what it really means when couples always bicker.
Or maybe it's a different scene, and you and your partner are the ones fighting at Trader Joe's. Don't freak out! You are definitely not alone in that arena. If it feels like you and your partner always argue, there's likely a logical explanation for what's going on.
"Many couples get caught in the trap of arguing about what the truth is," Gregory Kushnick, a licensed New York psychologist, tells Elite Daily. If you and your partner can't come to an agreement, then hashing it out all the time likely won't solve anything, he says. Couples will "spend a lot of time trying to prove the other person wrong, and there really is no end to that, especially if two people are seeing one situation differently."
The thing is, when two people swear that they're right about a certain point, they're probably not going to stop trying to convince you that you're wrong. But the best thing you can do is realize that you're not going to change their mind, and they're not going to change yours, so agreeing to disagree is the best route to take.
"Essentially the key is to get the couple to realize that there are two rights to every story," Kushnick says. "You can't deny the other person's reality; it's more about respecting the other person's opinion than figuring out a solution." But according to Kushnick, there is another big reason that a couple might always bicker.
"The other reason is because they're keeping score, and it's a matter of building up resentment over time so it takes less and less for someone to get angry at their partner," he says. "When you're keeping score it means you're not letting things go and you're keeping a case against them." Do you find yourself holding a past argument against your partner? According to Kushnick, this might not be the healthiest thing.
When you keep score and constantly remember fights between you and your partner, "your tolerance for your partner's errors, quirks, and mistakes goes down, and over time it takes less and less to set you off." So what should you do if this is how you and your partner argue? "The cure is to learn to let go of resentment and keeping score, and to wipe the slate clean for honesty and open communication," Kushnick explains.
It might not feel possible, but if you want to move past constant bickering, Kushnick recommends that you "learn to respect [the] other person's view point as just as valid as your own. That's the key to a successful relationship." No matter how in love you are, it's "inevitable that you're going to disagree, so it's more of a matter of respect and listening." Pay attention to your partner, stop keeping score, and respect each other's differences. According to Kushnick, that's the best way to have a happy and healthy relationship, sans public fighting at Trader Joe's.