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What are We Fighting About?

The Top 15 Sources of Conflict in Relationships

The Top 15 Sources of Conflict in Relationships

Relationship conflict is inevitable. To identify the most common sources of conflict, over 100 participants listed the ways that men and women could upset, irritate, hurt, or anger each other. Researchers then analyzed subjects’ responses to identify the most central themes, or common topics, in the list. Based on this analysis, here are the top 15 behaviors that can upset a romantic partner, ranked in order by the frequency each behavior was listed (from the most to least mentioned):

Your Partner is…:

1) …Condescending  (i.e., treats you as stupid or inferior, acts like he/she is better than you)

2) …Possessive, Jealous, and/or Dependent (i.e., demands too much attention or time; generally acts jealous/possessive/dependent)

3) …Neglecting, Rejecting, and/or Unreliable (i.e., ignores your feelings, doesn’t call, doesn’t say they love you, etc.)

4) …Abusive (i.e., slaps, spits, hits, calls names or is verbally abusive)

5) …Unfaithful (i.e., had relations with another person, saw someone intimately, or went out with another partner)

6) …Inconsiderate (i.e., doesn’t help clean up, burps in your face, leaves toilet seat up or down!, etc.)

7) …Physically Self-Absorbed (i.e., worries too much about appearance, focuses too much on hair or face, spends too much on clothes, etc.)

8) …Moody (i.e., moody, emotionally unstable, or bitchy.)

9) …Sexually Withholding or Rejecting (i.e., refuses to make love, doesn’t act interested, or is a sexual tease…but not in the playful way!)

10) …Quick to Sexualize Others (i.e., talks about attractiveness of others, talks about others as sex objects, idolizes someone on TV, etc.)

11) … Abusive with Alcohol and/or is Emotionally Constricted (i.e., drinks too much, smokes too much, or hides emotions in order to appear tough)

12) … Disheveled (i.e., doesn’t dress well, doesn’t groom well, and doesn’t take care of his/her appearance)

13) …Insulting Toward Your Appearance (i.e., says you’re ugly or insults your appearance)

14) …Sexually Aggressive (i.e., forces intimate relations on you)

15) …Self-centered (i.e., too self-centered, selfish, or always thinks of him/herself first)

As you review this list, hopefully your relationship manages to avoid the vast majority of these. At a minimum, being aware of these potential trouble spots can help you and your partner avoid them and increase relationship satisfaction.

Interested in learning more about relationships? Click here for other topics on Science of Relationships. Like us on Facebook to get our articles delivered directly to your NewsFeed.

Buss, D. M. (1989). Conflict between the sexes: Strategic interference and the evocation of anger and upset. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(5), 735-747. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.56.5.735

Dr. Gary Lewandowski – Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Lewandowski’s research explores the role of the self in romantic relationships with a specific focus on self-expansion. He has authored dozens of publications for both academic and non-academic audiences and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Original article here



About steveblizard

Steve Blizard commenced his financial planning career in 1988 from a background of life insurance broking, a field in which he still works. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Responsible Investment Association. His experience ranges from administration of Superannuation to advice regarding insurance, retirement, remuneration and investment planning. Steve is an accredited Remuneration Consultant, specialising in salary packaging. He is a columnist for the Swan Magazine and the WA Business News


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