The biggest cause of divorce and separation in the UK is [apparently] adultery. Lack of preparation is number two according to Single Parents publication and excessive arguing is third. Well, if arguing is something that happens in your relationships often we have a simple solution… and counterintuitive opinion you might find surprising.
A lot of people fear that if they raise issues with their partner it can lead to arguing and that will end the relationship. So they stay silent...
But it is wrongthink to believe that complaining is a problem. The latest research shows that bottling up actually ends more marriages than arguing.
Complaining, in the big picture, is actually a positive – it gets issues out in the open where they can be resolved. What leads to divorce indeed isn’t just complaining; it’s criticism.
Complaining is actually healthy for a marriage.
It’s criticism that causes divorce.
Complaining is when you say your partner did not wash the dishes. Criticism is when you label your partner a horrible person who never listens and you throw a few other adjectives because they did not wash the dishes.
The first is about an event, the second is about the personal.
To keep your relationship solid, turn your criticisms into complaints. Address the event, not the person.
So don’t be afraid to raise that issue - but never make it personal. Address the problem, not their character. This will lead to conversations that actually can make your relationship stronger.
More relationship tips in Plays Well With Others, by Eric Barker.