Quarreling with your guy? Not only is it normal, it's healthy!
Your guy is wonderful. He's smart, funny, and you melt when he plays with the kids. But sometimes his cleaning skills aren't always spot on, or your ideas about saving money vastly differ. Sure, it's normal to be irked by your hubby sometimes, but did you know those little spats are actually good for your bond?
Scientists at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research found that while the things that bug you about your spouse may never change, your squabbles are a sign you two are closer than ever.
"As we age and become closer and more comfortable with one another, it could be that we're more able to express ourselves to each other," said lead study author Kira Birditt, a research fellow at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. "In other words, it's possible that negativity is a normal aspect of close relationships that include a great deal of daily contact."
So if you can't help but speak up when he doesn't wipe kitchen counter, it's likely because you take your bond as a given and feel good letting him know whatever's on your mind.
This study supports past research about the benefits of anger. A study conducted by the University of California at Santa Barbara showed when people argue, they make better decisions, because anger triggers the brain to ignore outside distractions and focus on the matter at hand.
"It's true that anger can motivate you to makes changes in your relationship, but it all depends on how you use it," says Jane Greer, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist in New York City. "The key is to cool off first so you don't say something you'll regret. Instead, take a step back and ask yourself, Why am I so angry? How can we both fix this? When you use your anger to problem solve--not lash out--you'll feel in control of your decisions and in turn more optimistic about your union."
And here's the best news: As time goes by, things do look up. In the study, young married people (ages 20-30) had the most conflict in their relationship, while older couples had the least negativity. Why? "Over time, couples learn to work around each other's quirks. His habits may still annoy you, but your acceptance level and conflict-resolution skills improve," says Greer.
Fess up: What annoys you most about your husband?