Psychologists reveals the top causes of arguments between newly-wed heterosexual couples 

Revealed: The 30 most common reasons married couples argue, from lack of affection to how much sex they’re having – so, how many can YOU relate to?

  • Psychologists at Oakland University, Michigan, researched newlywed couples
  • Local heterosexual couples revealed the causes of arguments in their marriage 
  • Most had disagreements with their partner due to lack of affection and attention 

Every couple experiences conflict, but now researchers have identified the most common topics people argue about in the hope of using the findings to improve marital harmony.  

Led by psychologist Guilherme Lopes, a study at Oakland University, Michigan, found that couples are likely to have disagreements that can be grouped into six categories: affection, sex, money, control, jealousy and housework

Lopes’ team used their findings to create the Reasons for Disagreement in Romantic Relationships Scale, which he hopes can be used by therapists to get to the bottom of what’s causing arguments in relationships. 

‘Understanding the main reasons for disagreement in relationships, and what men and women perceive as disagreement, can help couples mitigate arguments by anticipating conflict,’ he told New Scientist.

Reasons for Disagreement in Romantic Relationships Scale 

  1. Not showing enough love or affection 
  2. Lack of communication
  3. One not paying enough attention to the other
  4. Not being appreciated
  5. Feelings
  6. Jealousy
  7. Talking to an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend
  8. Being possessive
  9. Past relationships
  10. Whose friends we hang around more.
  11. Housekeeping
  12. Chores
  13. Who does more work
  14. Not showing up when supposed to
  15. Sharing responsibilities
  16. One wants sex, the other doesn’t
  17. Frequency of sex
  18. Sexual acts
  19. Telling private information about relationships to others
  20. In-laws
  21. Who’s boss
  22. Who’s in control
  23. Dominance
  24. What to wear
  25. Religion
  26. Goals in life
  27. Future plans 
  28. Children
  29. Who should pay for something
  30. One uses all of the other’s money

Guilherme’s team asked university students to select topics that married couples are likely to argue about, ranging from serious subjects such as abortion to which TV programmes to watch. 

They then agreed on 83 possibilities to put forward for their research, which saw them survey 107 heterosexual couples in the local area who had married in the past year.

The newlyweds scored each topic based on how much they believe they’ve argued about it with their spouse. 

The team then highlighted the most popular answers and grouped them by theme. 

A new study reveals newlywed couples are most likely to argue over inadequate displays of affection and attention (file image)

A new study reveals newlywed couples are most likely to argue over inadequate displays of affection and attention (file image)

Among the final list was disagreements over who should pay, how often to see friends and the frequency of sex. 

The Psychologists have presented their findings as a Reasons for Disagreement in Romantic Relationships Scale, which they hope can be used to explain conflict in relationships.

The psychologists took the most common 30 arguments and grouped them into the six main themes.

Respondents also shared how happy they were in their marriage and if they were likely to have an affair. 

Examining gender, researchers discovered that wives were often made more unhappy than their husbands by arguments over who is in control.