You’re not a bad boyfriend when you nag your girlfriend for leaving bits of her hair in the shower.
You’re not a bad boyfriend when you nag your girlfriend for leaving bits of her hair in the shower. Or her dirty dishes in the sink. Or her laundry scattered all over the floor. When you’ve been with a person for long enough, bickering over the little things is kind of inevitable.
But some fights are bigger than others, and can complicate your relationship if you don’t address the issue before things get out of hand.
The problem that typically tops the list? You guessed it. Money is the number one relationship stressor, according to a survey of 5,000 people by U.K. couples counseling centers Relate, Relationships Scotland, and Marriage Care.
Of the people surveyed, 26 percent reported money worries as their biggest relationship woe, followed by not understanding each other, sex drive differences, and a lack of work-life balance.
What’s more, the longer you’ve been together, the more likely you are to argue, the survey found.
Fighting about how you spend your cash is common. Good news is, it’s not always a deal breaker if you can’t see eye to eye right away. (In fact, here’s why you should fight about money at least once.)
“Usually, when couples argue over money, it is because both individuals have very different spending habits," explains Marriage Care counselor Jenny Porter in a press release. “For example, one person may be more risk-averse and want to put more money away for retirement, while the other person may be more focused on spending for today.
Although many couples find it awkward to talk about finances, it is essential to talk things through together to ensure both partners are on the same wavelength and to prevent problems from escalating.”
Sound like you? Resolving your differences is a team effort: Try these four ways stop fighting about money before you separate your bank accounts for good.