Ah, love: It can make us blind. That is, until the rose-tinted glasses come off, and you see your partner for what they really are: human.
Like you, your significant other is bound to have a few quirks. Maybe you overlooked the way he has to tuck his napkin into his shirt and slurp spaghetti like a 5-year-old (in public), or the way she leaves unfolded laundry in the basket for days after it’s been washed. But sometimes minor habits can become major annoyances, to the point where these tiny, everyday behaviors are the big reasons couples almost call it quits.
Can minor disagreements lead to breakups?
According to licensed clinical psychotherapist LeslieBeth Wish, Ed.D. MSS, M.A., outside the big issues—such as communication issues, desire discrepancy, cheating, money, etc.—the seemingly “small” discrepancies can cause a rift in the relationship too. In some cases, they’re silent killers, adding up in the back of your mind.
“Couples may not even know that these issues are simmering because other aspects of their relationship fulfill at least a baseline level of their needs that allows them to stay together,” Wish tells mbg. “But, in the process of one of them doing a particular task incorrectly that, in some way, relates to an unresolved issue, then a potent storm erupts into serious thoughts of breaking up.”
Relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Winter tells mbg that things like bickering over where to eat dinner, what movies to see on date night, where to vacation, and who pays for what are some of the most common sources of “pre-breakup” arguments she has counseled. Sanam Hafeez, an NYC-based neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University, says even something as minuscule as who, when, and how often a partner texts or how they tackle (or don’t) chores can become problematic.
“If the same argument happens over and over without resolution, it can create enough frustration to eventually cause a breakup,” Winter tells mbg. “It’s exhausting to fight the same battle and never find an agreeable solution.”
Are you worried that those minor disagreements are leading to your breakup? Reach out and consult with Susan today!