WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR PARTNER ARGUE ABOUT?

11/03/2015

CBS

Whether it be a couple of friends or an old married couple, we all have our moments where heads collide. Studies show that 70% of married couples argue about money more than sex, household chores, the kids, togetherness, snoring, and more.

The one thing Aubrey and I argue about most is what’s for dinner—or breakfast or lunch. He describes himself as a “steak and potatoes” guy, with a side of fried food or tacos. Conversely, I love to eat out, try new cuisines, and experiment with different recipes filled with vegetables, new flavors, and spices. It may sound petty, but this difference in preference has caused a lot of arguments over the years. And on top of Aubrey’s eating habits, I have the pickiest 3-year-old on the planet! Sailor will only eat a handful of foods (including frozen waffles, white rice, Ramen Noodles, and cherry-flavored yogurt), so it’s safe to say that I’ve gone a bit of a cooking hiatus for the time being because half of my family won’t eat what I prepare.

In order to keep the peace, Aubrey and I developed a system where we can go out to eat as long as there is steak (or tacos) on the menu. And if not, I go out with my girlfriends who adore food as much as I do. This way, we can still have our necessary date nights without the unnecessary drama. As far as the big kids go, Julian and Plum have an appetite similar to mine, so they are (for the most part) easier to please and also enjoy trying new foods. The three of us go to our favorite hole-in-the-wall Korean restaurant once a week and dine on chicken bulgogi.

All relationships have their issues, whether romantic or platonic. What I’ve learned from our on-going food fiasco, however, is that compromise is key. Aubrey gets his steak-and-potatoes, and I get my sushi, gnocchi, or moules frites one way or another. It isn’t always easy, in fact, we still argue about what’s for dinner about half of the time, but having somewhat of a system in place has definitely helped cut down on the bickering.

What do and your partner argue about? Have you found out a way to compromise? Feel free to share in the comments below.

P.S. Here’s a fun read on the top 10 reasons why couples argue.

30 comments

  • Mandi

    I needed this today. Thanks.

  • kelseyespecially

    My gf and I argue about…the gym. HA! We’re both competitive…worker-outers (?)…she’s a Regionals-level CrossFit athlete and I’m into powerlifting and Olympic lifting, so we usually wind up arguing over feeling insecure about our (literal) strengths and weaknesses in front of each other at the gym. Or about how much time we spend in the gym (which is A LOT).

  • Joy

    Such an interesting topic! I never thought about how food could be a source of conflict, but that makes sense. For us, the biggest source of conflict in the day to day is over housework and who’s doing what–and I must admit, I’m mostly to blame! I have less of a team mentality and am constantly calculating in my head who is doing what. It’s not good! Also, a lot of our fights early in our marriage had to do with family and expectations about holidays/family obligations. I’m super loyal to my family and enjoy being around them, while my husband is more of a lone wolf who just wants to start our own family and never really look back. Thankfully we have both slowly started to meet in the middle! I’m more interested in having our own family, and he’s seeing the value in our families. :)

    • Yadi G.

      OMG Joy, you sound JUST like me! Those are the things that we also argue about sometimes at home. I’m extremely OCD about our house looking & overall “being” a certain way. My husband, although being a Navy veteran, is very laid back when it comes to organizing & placing things back in order. But slowly, now that we have a new baby, I’m allowing myself to let there be a bit of chaos while he’s now understanding why I’m so organized. Same exact about the families. :) xo

      Great topic James.

    • carlyn greer

      I am totally the same and am so so trying to work on it. I am constantly tallying up who’s doing what housework wise. Trying to work on it, but at the same time ensure things balance out ;)

  • becca waterloo

    we are in the same boat as you two – he is a penny pincher and hates to eat out (spending money) and I love seeing what new restaurant is open, so I do a lot of that with my girlfriends. He also needs meat and a side, which is way too heavy for me a lot of the times. If we don’t have a plan for the week, food wise, whatever we eat, that causes an argument. We also fight about (well, I fight at him) when it comes to making and breaking plans with people. I am very time conscious to the t, and he is the guy that says ‘maybe’ until the last minute, and is always late. It’s something I try to teach him over time, how to be courteous of other people’s time and you can’t do everything last minute! Thanks for the interesting post!

    http://www.beccawaterloo.blogspot.com

  • Amanda

    This is so interesting. My husband and I argue about traveling. He really only cares about going to Asia, and I want to go everywhere! It seems like such a stupid thing to argue about, but it can be really hard. He is so stubborn about not wanting to go places because he thinks he won’t like it. And it can be really hurtful because without him, I might not have the opportunity to go to all these other places I want… The compromise we’ve kind of worked out is that every other year we will go to Asia, and the years in between we will travel somewhere else.

    Thanks for the post and for listening :]

    • Ashley

      that is what my boyfriend and i argue about, too. he loves to stay home, but i want to travel the world. it can be extremely difficult.

  • Nicole

    My boyfriend and I argue about planning. He’s a no plan, figure it out as you go along kind of guy, and I’m more of a better-make-sure kind of girl. We compromise by planning the important stuff and leaving our weekends spontaneous. But, just sayin—we totally drove to Santa Cruz last weekend to go camping without a reservation and had to turn around and drive back to San Francisco the same day because all the camp sites were taken…

    ;),
    Nicole
    http://www.wildlandia.com

  • Adrienne

    Interior decorating. Colors and styles mainly. For the longest time my husband misunderstood my desire for “eclectic” to mean messy… whatever that’s another story. We argue to the point of stalling and nothing gets done. We’ve found that sometimes you just have to plunge with your idea without discussing. We sometimes end up liking it… or not… like the time he surprised me by painting the kitchen while I was out of town. I’ve got two words for you- TEAL and BLACK.

    Oh the horror…

  • MJ

    This is so funny b/c your food arguments described me and my boyfriend to a T. We live in TX and my native Texan man likes bbq, chicken fried steak and some pasta. I love trying weird places and he’s just not up for it. We’re developing a routine of having a few favs that we both like, cooking simple, non-exotic meals together and then saving our preferences meals for times with other friends or when we’re not togther.

  • Aja

    The root to most of the arguments with my wife is her quick decision making paired with my “I don’t know, I need some time to think about it” attitude. She is very fast to make a plan, commitment, decision, where I like to take my sweet time. We have to set deadlines for me to make decisions. She has learned to be patient with things that I think need more attention and don’t require an answer right away.

  • AK

    I feel very lucky – my live-in boyfriend and I share chores, compromise on what to do in our free time, find a happy medium with dining out and communicate healthily on all fronts.

    The only issue we fight about? SEX. And, it’s not what you’re thinking! His drive is deeply affected by stress, so I am the one left felt rejected and frustrated. This is a hard one to compromise on, and we are still figuring it out day by day.

    I think I would trade this one for the chore or food argument!

  • Nicole

    I can relate to the food argument. For us it’s not so much what to eat it’s just coming up with the idea of what’s for dinner! On my side the arguments start from having set expectations or assuming he’ll know what I want. So I’ve learned to ask or state what I want and that helps with most things.

  • Ally

    We argue about how we talk, which is kind of meta. I like overlapping short bursts of each person speaking, building to a crescendo of agreement, ideally! He likes long periods of uninterrupted speech, each person patiently waiting their turn with clear pauses between speakers.

    We basically make it work by trying to meet half-way. I try to overlap/interrupt less, he tries to monologue less.

    Main thing is, we butt heads over this because we’re so eager to communicate with each other!

  • Laura

    Love this article, thank you :)

  • Heather Bristow

    I couldn’t get my hubby to eat a greater variety of vegetables (I’m kinda borderline vegetarian–if I lived alone I would definitely be). But when he was diagnosed with high cholesterol a couple of years ago we both had to make big changes–him in his eating habits and mine in my cooking. He has always said he’ll try anything once. My Mom said my Dad always complimented her on the dinner and ate everything–whatever it was. My Step-Dad, however, is also a steak and potatoes kinda guy. Turns out his cholesterol is fine and that he needs the protein as per the doctor. Sometimes I think it is easier to choose your battles but it can be frustrating!

  • Zena

    the lnlaws!

  • jennlauren

    what an eye opening post! and the comments here are just an meaningful. I am relived to know that my bickering with my husband is normal when it comes to: food and household chores. those are the ONLY two things we butt heads over. seems very common now that I am reading this!

    thanks for sharing, everyone!

  • Paula

    We used to argue about the fact that he is VERY messy and we life in an open space loft!
    So I found the solution -after beging him to change for month- I hired a woman that comes every morning after he leaves and cleans for two hours !!
    I have to say that sometimes hopefully money can save some marriage !!

  • Deborah

    Hilarious. My boyfriend and I argue about food too. Exact same problem as you. He is meat and potatoes, I eat all the things. We are working through it though and he is ok with places if there is at least one “normal” item on the menu. Food and movies. He loves sci-fi, I do not.

  • Ashlee

    My boyfriend and I are constantly arguing over what to eat / where to eat. I’m a bit more adventurous on the food side and like trying smaller, hole-in-the-wall local places. I enjoy figuring out new flavor combos and trying creations I’ve yet to discover. My boyfriend constantly refers to anywhere that has the words “organic” printed on the menu as “hippy dippy.” I don’t drag him to these places often, but he’s usually willing to give somewhere I really want to go at least a try. He says he’ll continue to give places a try because A) I’ve never steered him wrong and B) he likes that I make him break out of his comfort zone.

    We usually can settle on Mexican based cuisine…so anywhere he can get salsa/tacos is a win.

  • eleni

    Can I just say phew?! I LOVE this post! My husband constantly complains about the food I cook. He’ll ask for soup and I’ll put so much effort into making a delicious veggie soup and he turns around and says all he wanted was soup with rice and lemon! Pisses me off every time. Where I come from men think their mothers are the best cooks ever so I also have that to deal with half the time. He insists on traditional Cyprus food when I have made finger-licking amazing fried chicken. So you’re not alone!!!

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