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Not Doing This Is the Reason Most Couples Fight, New Study Says

It's a tiny habit that could bother your partner more than you think.

Even the healthiest relationships are susceptible to a fair share of arguments. There are small ones: Why were you late? Why did you leave the toilet seat up? Why did you forget to say "I love you" this morning? And big ones: How could you change your mind about when you want to retire? Why would you spend so much on a car? Why have you been so checked out recently? And often, each disagreement is jarring and uncomfortable, no matter how trivial the subject matter. So, it's only natural to want to avoid bickering as much as possible. Fortunately, there's an easy way to do that—and all you have to do is learn the most common reasons couples fight. Luckily, a recent study looked into just that. Read on so you can discover the behaviors to avoid to keep the peace in your partnership.

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The issues that cause the most arguments.

couple fighting and arguing, prepare children for divorce

A recent study conducted by OnePoll surveyed 2,000 British adults living with a partner to discover the top 30 reasons they argue on a regular basis. The issues they were polled on ranged from chores (things like not taking out the trash) to bad habits (dropping crumbs in bed) to lifestyle disagreements (not wanting to socialize with their partner's friends). The issues that came out on top might shock you.

Most couples fight because one person doesn't do this.

sharpshutter / Shutterstock

Interestingly, the number one issue that causes people to fight is a member of the couple forgetting to turn off lights around the house. This frustration bothered people more than leaving the toilet seat up (which came in at number two) and not putting the dishes away (which came in at number three). So, if you're the type of person who tends to flick on every overhead light or table lamp—and leave them that way when you exit a room—you might want to reevaluate your behavior. It could bother your partner more than you know and may lead to disagreements over time.

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Division of labor was a touchy subject.

older couple fighting with each other, over 50 regrets

In addition to looking at the most common issues that caused arguments, the study also analyzed the division of labor between both members of the couple. The researchers found that 54 percent of women believe that they are doing the majority of the housework. Forty-five percent of women living with a man felt that the household tasks were disproportionately split; just 34 percent of men felt the same. Clearly, there's work to be done on who's doing the work—and who believes they're doing the work.

So was phone and TV usage.

A young couple watching TV with a confused or disappointed look on their faces

Besides chores, couples' phone and TV usage also came under fire. "How much time they spend on their phone" was reason number 15 why couples fight and "what film or TV series to watch" was reason number 20. The amount of sports a partner watched came in at number 25.

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Friends and family also came into play.

Older couple having an argument and fighting on the couch, over 50 regrets

Maybe your partner's version of a perfect Sunday is spending time with their extended family while yours is watching TV on the couch. Or, their idea of a fun Saturday is heading out to the bar with their pals while yours is going on a romantic date night. If these differences of opinion cause disagreements in your relationship, you're not alone. According to the study, "not making enough effort with each other's family" and "having to socialize with a partner's friends" were reasons 24 and 28, respectively, that couples fight.

As with every disagreement in your relationship, the key is to tackle it early. Have an honest discussion with your partner about these issues—or any others that frequently rear their heads—to create a compromise that works for the two of you. Then, do your best to adhere to that compromise so you can enjoy the more blissful aspects of your partnership.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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