This year has been one filled with heated political battles, fights for women’s rights, and new technology to seize all of our attention. Because of all those things and more, couples have plenty of new and modern reasons to argue about that therapists have never seen or heard of before.
Read on to find out these seven things couples in 2017 argue about the most — some of them may surprise you quite a bit.
1. Text Message Communication
Since the majority of the conversations we have with friends, family members, and even people we work with, don’t happen face-to-face anymore, fights can flair over misread emotion, when reading a text message.
“Many arguments start with texts because there is so much left out of the conversation,” says Ana Aluisy, a couples therapist and the author of Reinvent Your Relationship: A Therapist's Insights to Having the Relationship You've Always Wanted. “This is the perfect environment for making unfair and hurtful assumptions. There is no intonation to how you say something, so it can easily be misconstrued.”
2. Talking Too Much About Politics
In 2017, who isn’t fighting about politics? So, if you and your spouse support different ideas, and even opinions on POTUS, things can get ugly.
“It is a very politically charged environment these days and this is even true for couples who are vote the same way,” says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, Founder of online relationship community, Relationup. “With everything becoming politicized and one national crisis after the other, couples are finding that they have more disagreements about headlines in the news than ever before.”
3. No Boundaries on Social Media
No matter how long you’ve been with your significant other, moments of jealously and wonder can pop up when you start browsing their social media channels and see who they are following or talking to online.
“They fight about who they are following, whether they comment on posts, the nature of the comments and how frequently they comment,” says Milard. “What couples are really grappling with is the question of whether their social media accounts are private or something that is shared in the relationship and open to the input and scrutiny of their partner. Couples often have a hard time agreeing on these boundaries.”
4. Spending Too Much Quality Time on Their Phone
If one person notices that the other person is spending all their free-time eyeballing their phone, the relationship could get a bit rocky.
“The fights about being on phones is really a fight about wanting more attention and connection from your partner,” says Milard. “When they are together, one or both feel that the other is too preoccupied with their phone and not putting enough energy and attention into nurturing the bond between them.”
5. Picking a Mutually Agreeable Temperature in the Bedroom
Some like it hot in the bedroom, and we’re not talking about sex here. One of the most common fights in 2017 that Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist sees has to do with temperature.
“It is very typical for one partner in the couple to prefer the room cool while the other wants it warm. It takes two to tango! Compromise is required. It’s best to agree to keep the temperature midrange around 70 degrees and the one who prefers it warmer can layer up with blankets and covers.”
6. Feminist Power
As we become a culture that’s leaning into feminist and women’s rights, relationship roles are changing fast, and sometimes, the male partners can’t keep up.
“Women are expecting a higher level of understanding, empathy and support the more this topic is being thrust into the media - and it's not always sitting well in their relationships,” says Kali Rogers, who has a masters in counseling and is the founder of Blush Online Life Coaching. “Bickering and blow out fights can easily stem from not seeing eye to eye over the modern day female's expectations.”
One the most common fights any two people have in a relationship might be centered on sex, having too much or not enough, even in 2017.
“Sex continues to remain a place of contention for many couples because it's either not often enough, not what they want it to be, etc. It can become a source of frustration,” says Dr. Jane Greer, marriage and family therapist, sex expert, author, radio host, and creator of the popular celebrity sex & relationship commentary, “SHRINK WRAP.” “A good way to handle this is, instead of just rejecting your partner, say 'I'm not in the mood right now, but how about we look to tomorrow/the weekend/etc. to be intimate?' That way, you both have a time to look forward to when you can connect sexually, and you can even flirt your way up to it to build the anticipation.”
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