The Five Main Causes of Conflict in Your Relationship

Updated on June 1, 2017
Matty Fernandez profile image

Matty is a Fashion and Beauty Consultant. Started her skin care business in 2018 to offer naturally based and non toxic products.

Conflict in Relationships
Conflict in Relationships


Relationships are made up of two people with different values and often different personalities. These two people can provoke conflict when not fully aware or accepting of their differences. When I say "conflict", I mean disagreements or different points of view. However, it all comes down to behaviors and not knowing how to manage in certain situations.

Conflict is not a bad thing, as long as you are committed to the relationship and willing to work to fix it. Many times conflict can be a blessing. Why? Well, if your relationship is going perfectly fine, that means someone is not being transparent. You both have the right to view things differently and to express it without hurting the other one. When conflict arises, both partners are usually being honest and voicing their opinion. However, what needs to be worked on is finding common ground.

Conflicts in relationships begin for many reasons. Before you try to fix a conflict you need to find the root cause of it. Many times people focus on the surface of the problem not the cause of it. This may for a while numb the symptoms(avoid the fights), but eventually, the problem will continue. For your own peace of mind, please be aware that all relationships have disagreements. Conflict does not mean your relationship is a failure. Also, conflict does not mean you can't be happy. Healthy relationships grow and mature through conflict.

My advice to you is that when a conflict begins to affect you mentally or emotionally, seek professional help. Assuming that you are prepared and educated to solve all of the problems that come your way is wrong.You and your partner can both benefit from the help of a therapist or a relationship coach. You may need someone to see the conflict from another perspective.

Couple Arguing
Couple Arguing

Happiness is your responsibility.

The Five Main Causes of Conflict

1. Selfishness

Too often, we are so determined to get that "thing" we need, that we forget our decisions affect others. This is true for any type of relationship. Couples often have the conflict due to the fact that someone in the relationship fails to think of the other person when making decisions. Sometimes this is done knowingly and happens often, extending the life of the conflict. Selfishness is number one on the list because when a person cannot respect the needs of others, it becomes impossible to have a healthy relationship.

Philippians 2:3 (NLT)

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

2. Communication

"It is not what you say, but how you say it"

Communication is the method of getting it out there. Too often communicating in the relationship means argument, this causes tension and as a result, communication is avoided completely. Communicating the wrong way can cause further conflict in the relationship.

3. Resentment

There may be an occasion( or many) where one of the partners offends the other. When that individual fails to communicate the hurt the offense caused, he/she will keep those negative emotions in their heart causing resentment. This is where the root cause of conflict needs to be evaluated. At times the person will seem discontent or upset and will not say why. The person can also become distant, causing the other individual to think that they are not interested in the relationship.

4. Finger Pointing or Criticism

The most annoying thing is to be surrounded by a person who criticizes everything you do. The second most annoying thing is being surrounded by someone who claims that everything is your fault. Sometimes in relationships, this is the case. One partner accuses the other about everything that goes wrong or finds that he/she has a better way of doing things. The funny part of this is that when things do go right, that person claims responsibility right away.

5. Unrealistic or Distorted Expectations

This was a big one for me. You all have heard of "Prince Charming", "Happily Ever After" and so on. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it is not real. I grew up watching romantic movies and fairy tales that told me that somewhere existed a perfect man for me and that I would be happy. I thought there was nothing I need to do but wait for such great man. After kissing a few frogs, I realized there seemed to be an extinction of such men. Life experiences taught me that you have to build the life and happiness you want. Yes, a loving and accepting person at your side helps a lot, but you can't force that person to make you happy. Happiness is your responsibility. Many relationships have conflicts because one or both individuals feel that their expectations are not being met. Often, these expectations are unrealistic or distorted and the person will need a wake-up call back to reality.

Before you try to fix a conflict you need to find the root cause of it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting analysis.

    • Matty Fernandez profile imageAUTHOR

      Matty Navarro 

      3 years ago from New Jersey

      Well, there are couples who have no problem in that area and still have a great deal of conflict. It all depends on your priorities, but healthy relationships require wellbeing in all areas.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      3 years ago from Jamaica

      I would also say too little sex brings a lot of argument.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thanks for writing, I will use this!


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