Conflict is a fact of life in a marriage. If you’re a normal couple, from time to time you and your spouse will have disagreements about a whole range of things. Some, if not most of it, will be valid. But other arguments aren’t worth the time and energy and are worth solving the first time you encounter them. Here are four arguments you should strike from your list:
1) Whose parenting style is “better.” There is usually no argument that is more heated than a conversation about the proper way to raise your children. Usually one person is more strict, the other is more lax. But the truth is that parenting is not a one-size-fits-all situation. In some cases, Mom’s heavy hand is necessary, but in others, Dad’s firm lectures might do the trick. You might have one kid who responds well to strict rules, and another who flourishes when allowed to express themselves. So quit arguing about who’s going to do the better job with the kids and learn to use your different parenting styles to your advantage.
2) Whose sex drive gets the priority. This is usually a discussion after the kids come, when the stress of keeping the household running takes its toll in the bedroom. When sex drives are out of whack (one person wants it a lot, the other person doesn’t), you usually have one person suppressing their desires or the other person “giving in” when they really aren’t feeling it. But who does that really help? The key is to have a good, healthy conversation about your sex life. Are one or both of you on a medication (birth control can be a factor) that inhibits your sex drive? Is it an energy problem? Is it an attraction problem? Your sex life will undoubtedly need a tune-up from time to time, but having the communication skills to fix the problem will serve you well in the long run.
3) Whether you’re “right.” It’s not about being right. It’s about solving the problem. Period.
4) Whether your in-laws really like you. This is a short one. In-laws can cause a lot of problems in a relationship. If they meddle too much or they outright don’t like you, it can cause for awkward gatherings for the foreseeable future. But the key is this: They don’t have to like you, but they do have to respect you. Have your spouse sit down with their family and lay down the rules.