It occurs to me the majority of fights can be broken down into six major categories. This determination is based on first-hand experience and a lot of observation over the years. Just to get this straight right from the get go – I ain’t judging!
Think of this as the relationship equivalent of Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’. You don’t usually get to see what goes on under the surface, but when you do, it’s raw, relatable and a little bit scary. So here they are, the top six major fight categories of any relationship, accompanied by images of disgruntled birds.
‘Money is the root of all evil.’ How about, ‘Money is the root of 80% of arguments in a relationship.’ Quarrels about money are basic entry-level stuff, they are like going to the Dentist, nobody wants to do it but we all know we have to.
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned throw down about how much your partner spent on a new outfit or how you simply cannot afford to buy a Nespresso machine right now. Curse you George Clooney and your stupid ad.
If love is blind, then so are fights. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, you’re definitely going to fight about it at some point. Joint bank accounts? Fight. Separate bank accounts? Fight. No bank account? Fight. You could be earning rice cakes for a living and still fight about who gets more rice cakes and what should be done with them.
There is definitely going to come a point where you just cannot fathom how a pair of shoes could cost $200 and why your partner would even need new shoes when they already have so many sitting unworn in the cupboard. Think it won’t happen to you? You’re dreaming.
It’s not bad enough your own family ticks you off, but when you’re in a relationship you’ve got another entire family just waiting to press your buttons. You get the annoyance of a second family but are stripped of the right to combat them the way you would your own family. Naturally, this means your spouse cops the brunt of your frustrations. After all, it’s their family, right?
This little humdinger of a battle usually rears its ugly head around special events such as birthdays, weddings, the birth of a new child or Christmas. Maybe, if you’re really unlucky, you might go into labour during your sister-in-laws wedding on Christmas Day. Good luck to you dear.
Anything can happen when a family related fight gets started. The subject of the fight can range anywhere from creepy Uncle Jed patting you on the bum (again) at a family BBQ to your overbearing mother-in-law planning a titanic-themed wedding for you both. The joy.
Who said what.
Let’s get ready to ruuuummmbblleeee. You told them to meet you at 8pm but they don’t show up until 8:30pm. In the horrific thirty minutes you have to wait for your partner to show up to your work function, you’ve been cornered by the crazy lady from the mailroom who only wears cat t-shirts to work and smells like Doritos. By the time your partner shows up, you’re furious.
The fireworks kick off when you get down to the nitty-gritty of who said what. You’re certain you said 8pm and they are adamant you said 8:30pm. There’s no winner here. Everyone is going to lose. You aren’t backing down, they aren’t backing down and nobody has any proof.
Even if you do remember, midway through the fight, that you really did say 8:30pm, you aren’t going to admit it. You’re both up on that ledge, locked in an epic game of chicken.
You know, one of those big squabbles where you both drag out every single past argument you’ve ever had, like it is evidence in a criminal trial. “Yea, Bryan? You think I don’t know you were looking at that girl? Remember the blonde waitress from that restaurant we went to on August 3rd 2008? This is the Mario’s Pizza fight all over again. You want to go there? I’ll go there. I was BORN to go there.”
It is a slippery slope and leads only to one place: Fightsville, population: you. Like a swirling vortex of tornadoes, this fight will suck up everything in its path. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days and before you know it you’ve been yelling at each other for 5 days straight and the mail is really starting to pile up in the letterbox.
You’re at breaking point, battling headaches, mustering up the last little bit of energy you’ve got to make dinner, when your partner decides it’s an opportune moment to bring up the fact they are sick of doing laundry. Someone pass the aspirin. Their tirade ends in the words “I do everything around here.” … and just like that, it’s on.
The very definition of ‘do everything’ would require your partner to literally be doing everything. But guess what, they aren’t. You know it, they know it and pretty soon, the neighbours are going to know it because things are about to get heated.
There’s no way to validate who does more around the house, not unless you are both prepared to log your household activities, submit them for verification and turn them into a report, supported with graphs. This is not recommended.
Sometimes you’re just spoiling for a fight and sometimes you’re both feeling particularly stubborn and decide to have an all in brawl about the brand of cereal you purchase. In some cases you’re not sure how the fight got started and most of the time, you don’t even know what it’s about. What you do know is, you want to win.
Love is a battlefield and every scrap of land is valuable. If you lose this one, whatever it’s about, you set a precedent. Time to roll up those sleeves and get down to it.
A fight like this is usually abstract and underpinned by a larger problem nobody is ready to talk about yet. I once watched my sister-in-law and her husband have a fight about The Wiggles, to this day nobody knows why. This particular brand of fight is how you find yourself in a situation where you are throwing coasters at each other from across the room, shouting, “Bruce Springsteen isn’t just a singer, you moron, he’s an INSTITUTION.” It makes no logical sense, it’s primal.
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