Psychology Today: Why Do Couples Fight—and How Can They Stop?December 2, 2020 by Lemos Kelly

February 21 2018 // by Seth J. Gilihan Ph.D.

Psychology Today analyzes arguments in romantic relationships, where they come from and how can they stop.

One of the fundamental human needs according to the Self-Determination Theory of Richard Ryan and Edward Deci is to be the agent of our own actions. We need to sense that we have some measure of control over what we do and that we're authoring our own lives. Not surprisingly, Vanhee and her co-authors found that people were more unsatisfied with their relationships when they felt overly controlled and less autonomous in them. Additionally, they found more unhealthy communication patterns when partners (particularly men) lacked a sense of autonomy.