Differing priorities is another common reason couples struggle. Priorities can range from seemingly minimal things like what kind of coffee is important to buy, all the way to life direction priorities. We will explore some of these more common areas and provide some tools and tips to overcome these common roadblocks.
“We don’t need to buy the expensive coffee!”
Arguments over purchases like this may seem minor, but over time an argument like this can continue to build and cause a large rift between couples. Usually when this argument comes up, each partner is missing information on the other partner’s perspective of what’s important to them.
How to Handle: Sit down and talk with your partner about why that expensive coffee is important to you. Opening up and adequately explaining both partners’ views can help bring understanding to the argument. Once each partner understands where the other is coming from, compromising can help take care of this argument.
Try meeting in the middle. So instead of making or buying the expensive coffee every day, perhaps the partner cuts down to 3 days per week and uses the cheaper coffee the other 4 days. Again, compromise so that both partners have a say in this issue and can reach a solution you are both okay with.
“You’d rather go out with your friends than spend time together!”
Time and how we spend it tends to be another area which causes many arguments. Does tthe question seem too familiar? Everyone goes through phases in life where they want to spend all their time how they want. Some people go through these phases later in life than others do.
With that being said, there does come a point where priorities do and need to change. Early in a relationship, a couple is learning together who they are as a couple and what defines them. Outside of that time though, they tend to spend time either alone, at work, or with friends.
As the relationship continues to move forward, the couple begins to spend more time together. This change in time takes away time from other areas in life, and soon the priorities of the other person begin to be more apparent. If you both have different priorities you can begin to become frustrated and angry and have those arguments about how someone is spending their time. If these things do not get addressed, the arguments and fights will become more frequent and pull you apart more. Resentment can also come out of this as you may feel like you are not as important to your partner as their other priorities might be.
How to Handle: Don’t shy away from telling your partner how you feel and what your priorities are. This way, they will know exactly how their actions affect you and they can then make changes. Also, compromise again can be an important tool here to give your partner the opportunity to do things they like and want to do outside of your time together.
“You want a house and 2 kids, I don’t!”
Some people may not be in the position of wanting kids or house at one moment in time, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to those things sometime in the future. Having this discussion early on in the relationship will save a lot of potential heartache and pain later on.
If you are both on different life paths and have different dreams, you can see how these differing values will come between you and your partner more times than not. Generally speaking, these types of views tend to come up early in a relationship and people will part ways before getting too involved.
Sometimes, you just cannot make a square peg fit into a round hole. If one partner is not open at all to the life goals of the other partner, this can be difficult to overcome. However, some couples stick it out and try to make it work.
How to Handle: You have stayed together for a reason up to this point. Working together to overcome a large difference like this can be aided by a couples counselor who can help you determine why you stay together and what it may take to work toward a shared dream.
The Two Cs
Priorities come up over and over again for ourselves and our relationships. Compromise and communication are the biggest tools to allowing couples to develop shared visions and goals for life, and cut down the arguments we may have over these priorities.
This is not an exhaustive list, but is one that can hopefully help point out some common areas which many couples fight about and give you some basic tools to begin to overcome them.
Until next time – live truly, love fully!