FROM loading the dishwasher to taking out the bins, the reason for our rows may not be as simple as they seem.
This Morning’s Holly Willoughby, 40, this week revealed she and her husband Dan Baldwin argue about what she chooses to watch on telly – but she feels it is a power struggle.
Holly said: “If my husband asks, ‘Why are you watching this s**t?’, it’ll spark something deep inside and I’ll get disproportionately angry about it.
“I’m angry because I feel as though someone’s trying to control what I’m doing. Maybe that’s a sign I still need to address the issue of control.”
Sex and relationship expert Kate Taylor looks at couples’ common complaints – and shows you how to fix them.
You think row is about: Comfort
It’s really about: Hormones
Because of their higher oestrogen levels, women prefer a temperature of 24-25C at home, compared to 21.5C for men, according to studies. Women also feel the cold more around the middle of their menstrual cycle.
Fix it: Agree to a compromise (say around 22C) and, ladies, drape yourself in thermal undies and blankets mid-month.
Leaving lights on
You think row is about: Money
It’s really about: Not being the “fun” one
You resent having to be the grown-up in the relationship. Your partner can be carefree because you shoulder all the worry alone. This probably happens in other areas of the relationship, too.
Fix it: Divide chores evenly. Let your partner take care of leccy bills. When they see how it is cutting into funds that could be used for fun stuff, they’ll see the light.
You think row is about: Dirty pots
It’s really about: Tactical ineptitude
Do they load the dishwasher badly? It could be “tactical ineptitude”, where they deliberately make a mess so they are not asked again. See also: Burning dinner, putting jumpers on a hot wash, ignoring supermarket shopping list.
Fix it: Every time they mess up, ask them to do it again. And again. Eventually, it will be quicker to do it right the first time.
Taking bins out
You think row is about: Rubbish
It’s really about: Motivation
The more you remind your partner it’s bin day, the more they forget. To feel motivated to do a boring task, humans need to believe they decide how and when they do it. Autonomy gives motivation.
Fix it: Stop micromanaging. Let your partner take full ownership of their chores, including driving to the tip when they miss the collection.
Always on phone
You think row is about: Phone addiction
It’s really about: Jealousy
A third of those in relationships have been “phubbed” (snubbed in favour of a phone) by their partner, according to YouGov. It causes loneliness and insecurity as you wonder who they’d rather be looking at.
Fix it: Make date nights phone-free. Leave phones out of the bedroom so you snuggle with each other, not Twitter. If it’s extreme, swap to a non-smart phone.
Pants on the floor
You think row is about: Messiness
It’s really about: Being taken for granted
The bedroom sets the scene for your sex life. If it is littered with boxer shorts and dirty socks, it’s hardly Bridgerton – yet one of you is still expected to feel swept away by passion? Hmm.
Fix it: Invest in a stylish laundry basket to hide each other’s shortcomings. Learn some exciting floor-based moves you can only enjoy on an empty expanse of carpet.
Not ready on time
You think row is about: Being late
It’s really about: Feeling sidelined
People prioritise what’s important to them. So when a partner delays going out in favour of beach-waving their fringe or fake-tanning their ankles, it tells everyone waiting: “You’re not as important as me.”
Fix it: If it takes two hours to get ready, find those hours somewhere else in your day. And realise people would rather see you punctually than with a perfect fringe.
You think row is about: Rudeness
It’s really about: Feeling unimportant
The less your partner listens to you, the less connected you’ll feel. Some assume they know what you’re going to say, others ignore conversations as a way to avoid intimacy.
Fix it: Touch a partner’s hand as you talk to focus their attention. Put the important information at the start and ask them to repeat, so you know they’ve heard.
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