1. The "what should we do tonight" fight.
Says Michael Boman, LCSW and marriage expert, "Most couples don't balance on what to do for fun." While you may want multiple nights spent watching Netflix reruns, your spouse may hear the call of nature and crave a weekend camping trip. "Hurt feelings — and feeling like ticked-off roommates — can result" from your different approaches to relaxation, Bowman warns. But fixing this fight, he also says, is as simple as compromising. "Nothing abnormal here," he says.
__2. The "I'm not happy with our sex life" fight. __
It's unfortunately all-too-common for married couples to lose sight of the intimacy that brought them together, says Malini Bhatia, founder of Marriage.com. "Once married — and especially once kids enter a marriage — many couples find themselves struggling to establish adequate intimacy in their marriage," she says. "This causes a lot of fights for married couples." So if you're arguing rather than making out, you're not alone. Suggests Bhatia, "set date nights. It might not seem as romantic as a spontaneous tryst, but it can pay huge dividends in a marriage."
__3. The "you refuse to change" fight. __
Did you get married hoping to fix your spouse? "The person you fell in love with — with all the quirks and kinks — is the person that you accepted," says Jenny Triplett, author of Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century. Many married people try to "spruce up" their spouses, which is "the cause of many arguments," says Triplett. "While it's perfectly normal to want your spouse to do something different, dress different, talk different, sleep different, or eat different, that happens over time and only when they see something inside themselves that needs changing. The only person you can change is yourself."
__4. The "who's the boss" fight. __
Says Cindi Sansone-Braff, relationship expert and author of Why Good People Can't Leave Bad Relationships, this fight is all about control. "A very typical fight between married couples happens when one spouse starts acting like mommy or daddy to the other spouse, and this behavior causes all kinds of resentment all the way around," she says. Instead, "spouses need to view each other as two equals. No one is the master over the other, and when one spouse tries to boss the other around an argument is sure to ensue."
See More: How to Squash a Fight
__5. The "how to spend your money" fight. __
It's normal to fight about money, says Nick Savoy, president of Love Systems, "because people are raised with different attitudes toward it, and many of these attitudes — while in opposition to each other — are defensible and justifiable." For example, he says, you may think because you make more money than your spouse that you should have a greater say in how to spend it, while your partner thinks that when it comes to money matters he should have an equal say.
6. The "you are parenting the wrong way" fight.
Says Rick Gabrielly, author of Uncovering the Hidden Currency of Marriage, "I haven't met a couple who has kids and agrees 100 percent of the time on how to parent them." So if you'd rather institute a time-out than let your toddler off the hook as your spouse does, you're not alone. "Every day, we have to negotiate, cooperate, skillfully lobby and duke it out about how to get the rug rats to get in line," says Gabrielly.
__7. The "I don't know" fight. __
Indecision can quickly lead to an all-too-normal argument, says Dino Watt, relationship expert and author of Recession Proof Your Marriage. "When questions such as, 'where do you want to go for dinner' or 'what should we do Saturday night' are consistently met with the answer 'I don't know,' it causes distrust in a partner," Watt explains. "When one spouse feels the other can't make small decisions, even if it's not the right one, is neither sexy nor builds a feeling of trust in their ability to make the big decisions."
__8. The "do your chores" fight. __
Says relationship coach and speaker Fila Antwine, "one person in the relationship is bound to be more domestic than the other. If you are a cleanup queen in the home you are bound to flip out about a toilet seat or sink full of dishes." The best way to banish this kind of bickering, says Antwine, is to let go of your OCD tendencies and "step right over it. Your partner will realize you're not the maid and chip in."
__9. The "I can't stand your parents" fight. __
Bowman jokes that using the term "outlaws" for in-laws "didn't just happen." If you're arguing over your new family, join the club. "Fighting about in-laws is very common — in fact, very normal," he says. "Whether it's mother-in-laws doting over the grandkids or wanting to spend too much time directing the relationship, this is fodder for fighting."
10. The "you're taking me for granted" fight.
This argument, says Sansone-Braff, "is a really common fight that comes up periodically in any long-term relationship. One partner or both partners start feeling like they're not the top priority anymore. If a spouse starts feeling that he or she is being neglected, ignored, not listened to, or discounted, this can cause a lot of petty arguments as a way of getting the other person's attention." The surefire solution? "Sometimes a husband or wife just wants to hear a compliment, a please or a thank you, or to feel the things they do are being appreciated," she says.