There are many reasons that couples, even happy ones, are going to fight. It could be about finances, housework, or just leaving the seat up.
Whatever the reasons, we at Mattress Clarity were interested to see how often couples argue across the country. We surveyed over 3,500 American couples and found that, on average, they argue 19 times a month. Also, on average, one partner spends 5.5 nights on the couch per month.
However, that’s just the national average! In some states, like Oklahoma for instance, couples only fight nine times per month. On the other hand, couples in Vermont fight 39 times a month! What’s going on up there, New Hampshire?
To find out just how amicable the couples are in each state, move the cursor across our infographic below. Then, read on for more information on why couples fight, tips to fight properly, and how sleep can help a rocky relationship.
Why Do Couples Argue?
So, why do couples get into arguments, and what are they fighting about? First off, according to some behavioralist Vanessa Van Edwards, here are some of the main issues that cause couples to butt heads:
- Free time
- Physical intimacy
- Extended Family
Now, these are surface issues, and there are some deeper mechanisms at play here. According to researchers, couples argue because one or both partners’ needs are not being met. Partners may feel unattached to their partner, and they may feel unaccepted or simply unliked. They may also feel like they don’t have as much control over their daily life.
Researchers in one 2016 study state it well: “Partners’ unmet needs lead to relationship distress and negative emotions, which give rise to negative interaction cycles between partners.” Simply put, when partners aren’t getting what they both need, they will eventually fight about it.
Are Arguments Really So Bad?
While arguments really aren’t the most fun, they do have their upsides. In fact, numerous studies have shown that arguments can be beneficial for a relationship.
For instance, a survey in India found that 44% of couples said that arguing actually made their relationship better. A 14-year study of married couples found that those who argued were much more likely to stay together.
Other studies have shown that arguing can be better for the health of both partners. A recent study discovered that couples who argue at the same level of intensity are less likely to die prematurely.
Now, this is all based on couples who argue in a healthy way. Psychotherapist Sean Grover suggests that couples keep a few things in mind while arguing. First, both partners should stay flexible and agree to disagree on certain topics. If things get too heated, the partners should separate until they can cool down. Also, partners should voice their concerns calmly and be prepared to apologize if necessary.
Sleep And Relationships
Sleep health, of course, has a huge impact on whether couples will fight more or less. When we aren’t sleeping well, we are often more irritable. With two irritable people in one household, there’s going to be a fight.
What’s more, sleeping with a partner can be difficult. A recent survey found that almost half of Americans would rather sleep alone than with their partner. The couples’ major complaints included snoring, sleeping hot, and fighting over the bedding.
Sleep and relationship expert Dr. Wendy M. Troxel told us that there are a few solutions to these sleep problems. If snoring is the main issue, make sure to see a medical professional, as it can be a sign of sleep apnea. Also, if sleep schedules are a problem, it’s all about finding common ground. If the issues persist, she said sleeping apart can actually be good for the relationship.
Finally, make sure to find the right type of mattress for couples! A mattress with good motion isolation should ensure that sleeping partners don’t disturb each other at night.
Featured image: Anna Kolosiuk/Shutterstock
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.