How to Deal with Common Household Conflicts

Sharing a household with someone is big exercise in diplomacy. Living with another person requires compromise and understanding. There are a myriad of conflicts that can arise between two people sharing the same household from chores to finances to rearing children. To deal with these issues, you need to have some preparation and know what kind of conflicts might arise before they do. If you know what kind of difficulties you might encounter, it will be easier for you to deal with them.

A common source of trouble between married couples is the division of chores. When you move in together, married or not, it is important to talk about who is responsible for what in the household. If you were raised in a home where you were assigned chores, this may come easily for you. However, if you were not raised to do your own housework, this division of labor may seem constricting, and you may find it difficult to adhere to the rules.

Talk openly with each other about the expectations you have for the home. Do you expect the kitchen and bathroom to be clean at all times? What about clutter in the living and dining rooms? Who is responsible for the yard work and the laundry? Who takes out the trash and who is responsible for caring for the pets? These questions and many more will help you to see what chores need to be assigned. You may designate a particular person to a chore because they are good at it, or perhaps it is the least objectionable chore for them.

If you find down the line that someone is not holding up their end of the deal, you should sit down when emotions are steady, not when you are angry. Wait until you can have rational and respectful conversation about the home and then address your concerns.

The same type of conversation is often necessary for child rearing. Some couples find that they have completely different parenting styles, but most couples find that their styles mesh except in a few key areas. This is where conflict can arise. You may need to talk about your differences with a professional if you are unable to discuss your different opinions without arguing. Be open to new ideas with each other and pay attention to the source of your partner’s beliefs. Often childhood experiences play a part in their preconceived ideas on parenting.

Today, as most couples are earning two paychecks, the conflicts can arise when both partners are not pulling their weight around the house. This is especially evident when a woman returns to work after staying home with children. The husband may have grown accustomed to the wife’s house management. When she returns to work, he is required to contribute more.

It is important, as with all other sensitive areas, to have a conversation about your expectations before problems are created. Talk about what chores will need to be done in the wife’s absence and what areas you may need to get some more help to maintain.

In the end, running a smooth household takes practice. So do not be too hard on yourselves if you have conflict at first. Be honest, respectful, and open to change, and you will find that compromise becomes a way of life.



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