Blog Post

Cracks in your Romance: Common Couples Conflicts Exposed

Every relationship faces conflicts and since they are inevitable, it’s important to understand the types of common conflicts that couples complain about and how to navigate the ups and downs of your relationship journey. That’s right, your relationship is a journey, not a destination. Do you remember the early stages of your relationship? What were the highlights? What were some of the things you looked forward to on your dates? Were you able to laugh and enjoy your time together?

The early parts of a relationship is usually the ‘fun stage’ and conflicts are yet to be exposed. Now think about as your relationship was developing, what type of conflicts or areas of tension come to your mind? There are way too many conflicts to cover in this blog, therefore we will be focusing on the most common conflicts that are reported by our couples during counseling.

Common Couples Conflicts

  • Breakdown in Communication: During a conversation, when a partner misunderstands or misinterprets the message their partner is attempting to deliver, this can lead to frustration and possibly even resentment.
    • A healthy dialogue between two people requires the ability to actively listen to the speaker without interrupting and reflects back what was heard and even possibly what was understood.
    • If the speaker does not feel heard or understood, this is a great opportunity to get clarification of the message that is being delivered. As the listener, try saying something like this, “I am feeling a little confused and need more clarification so I can understand you better.”
    • Once the message is understood, provide validation of your partners emotions, and empathize with their experience.
  • Money, Money, Money!! This is always a topic of contention with couples. It does not matter how long you’ve been together with your partner; money is always a sensitive topic.
    • Whether you are living paycheck to paycheck or have an over abundance of financial resources, it’s still a conflict. The conflict arises because of differences in spending habits, financial goals, and budgeting or lack of budgeting can create tension within your relationship.
    • How do you navigate these differences? Great question! First, establish financial transparency and trust – be honest with your spending habits. Establish financial goals together and dialogue about your future.
  • Intimacy Issues: The differing levels of desired physical and emotional intimacy in your relationship may become a conflict that progressively grows if left unaddressed.
    • There may be one partner that has a higher libido level and expects to be sexually intimate more often than their partner.
    • This may cause feelings of pressure, rejection, and self-esteem issues. Addressing the underlying issues with empathy and understanding may lead both partners towards adjusting intimacy expectations.
  • Domestic Responsibilities: This is a big one! Who is responsible for cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, taking out the trash? When these types of responsibilities are not outlined in the beginning of your relationship, it can become a conflict.
    • Dividing household responsibilities provides clarity and setting realistic expectations for both partners. Teamwork and cooperation are fostered through this process.
  • Parenting Approaches: “I’m not letting our daughter date until she’s 18!!” Dad exclaims. “Well, I think it’s healthy for her to start dating at 16 so she can get more experience before getting married.” Mom rebuttals.
    • There are no winners with this type of dialogue and will lead both parents to feel frustrated with their differing parenting styles. What do you do?
    • Find common ground … what do you both agree with?
    • Respect each other’s perspectives and find value with both of your approaches.
    • Be calm when dialoguing about your differences and keep in mind that your decision must be in the best interest of your children.


There are many other conflicts and we wanted to identify the most common one that have been brought into our couples counseling sessions. Navigating couples conflicts require patience, understanding, and empathy while working together exploring best outcomes. Fostering open and calm dialogue with mutual respect can lead you and your partner towards compromising. Utilizing these tips can strengthen your bond and weather the challenges together as a team. It’s not about avoiding conflicts, it’s working together with love and compassion together.

Nurturing Connections Counseling’s skilled therapists are ready to assist you. Please reach out if you feel additional professional support can help support you and your partner to navigate conflicts in a healthy manner. We are here to support both of you and help strengthen your relationship during the process of navigating difficult conflicts. We can schedule an appointment without any wait time.

Please contact our office at 714-617-5955 or schedule an appointment directly through our website:

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