Work, fidelity, money, sex, relatives, communication—in matters of love, them’s fighting words! To learn more about where we stand on all of these things, Women’s Health teamed up with Men’s Health to poll more than 1,400 men and women about the problems couples argue over most frequently. And we unearthed plenty of surprises in the process, including this juicy tidbit:
53 percent of women fantasize about splitting up with their significant others—and 44 percent of men never think about it at all.
…Which is probably why, as a recent Stanford University study revealed, 69 percent of divorces are initiated by the wives.
“These numbers—and the divorce initiation gap—don’t prove that men are happier in marriage,” says Laura Doyle, and intimacy expert and author of First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors. “But they do suggest that women are more willing to do something about it if they are unhappy.
Doyle’s theory is that women are routinely evaluating the ups and downs of their relationships to decide whether or not their romantic investments are paying off emotionally. Men, on the other hand, tend to compartmentalize issues, so one major pain point—while it may cause them emotional stress—is less likely to doom the entire relationships.
“Men will continue to try to make their partners happy, even if they’re not succeeding,” explains Doyle. This is why, when an argument does happen, couples need to be clear and direct about what they need, emotionally and physically, to consider the issue resolved. This provides the man with a road map to a clear resolution, and you with the reassurance that the benefits of your bond far outweigh the speed bumps.
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