There’s a common refrain in my house when my husband and I have an argument: “I’m so sick of having the same argument with you.”
We’ve been together almost 12 years, (married for more than 5) and yet, we still fight over the same tired things: whose turn it is to clean up, whose fault it is when we’re running late, and how we should spend our money.
However, this is hardly unique to us. Some couples have variations of the same arguments, while others have a few different ones. But according to research by psychology professor and relationship researcher John Gottman, 69 percent of the topics that couples will disagree over will never go away or get fully resolved.
“Most arguments in a relationship revolve around similar issues,” explains Nicholas Hardy, a psychotherapist in Houston, Texas. “The specifics may vary, but at the core, there is a consistent theme that exists.”
This bickering over the same things isn’t just reserved for couples though: Roommates, siblings, family members, and friends can all find themselves caught having the same disagreements year after year, with seemingly no lasting resolution or change.
A big recipe for common arguments came via the pandemic.
“The pandemic has been very hard on relationships,” says Jessica Small, licensed marriage and family therapist, “[because] people are spending more time together and have significantly less access to their self-care and outside hobbies.”
In other words: Without some of our…