By Whitley Louvier, LMFT
“Ugh, not again!” Anthony rolled his eyes as he saw the text alert from the budget app he shared with his husband letting him know that Matthew had just made a purchase at his favorite store. Money was a frequent source of conflict between the two of them, with Matthew admittedly being the “spender” and Anthony “the saver”. They had recently had a discussion about the need to save for the future, and Anthony found himself getting more and more angry the more he thought about Matthew’s apparent disregard for that joint decision.
That evening at home after work, Anthony exploded as soon as he saw Matthew.
“How could you do this after the conversation we had just the other
day? You just don’t care about the future! We’ve had so many of these
conversations before that too, I’m so tired of having the same argument over
and over!” Matthew responded back with anger, “What’s the big deal, it
wasn’t even that much money! I work too, I deserve to buy certain things if
I can afford them! You need to loosen up and stop attacking me!”
According to Dr. John Gottman, a psychologist and relationship researcher, 69% of conflicts between a couple are perpetual problems, meaning they are due to differences in perspective and personality and cannot be solved. Perpetual problems are also sure to resurface between a couple again and again, which understandably can be frustrating and discouraging.