Remainly - Online Couples Therapy

Why do couples argue over nothing?

Arguing over “nothing” is a common relationship problem. It usually starts with a harmless comment, a slightly-off tone of voice or a conversation topic that is perceived to be a criticism or attack.

Regardless of how your partner intended their words to come across, your perception of what they have said can cause you to go on the defensive very quickly. From here, an argument can quickly snowball.

A woman putting her hand to her face

Unresolved issues

The truth is, that while it might seem like you’re arguing over nothing, this type of arguing is usually a sign of unresolved issues.

If one or both partners has underlying anxieties or resentments about something, a simple misinterpreted comment can send them into defensiveness, and an argument will start.

Layers of issues

Often, it will turn out that the thing we are arguing about, which may seem like nothing, is just part of a bigger issue.

For example, you and your partner may regularly have an argument about who does more chores in the house. While the argument that results from this may seem small – for example, whose turn it is to do the laundry – the actual basis of the argument uncovers deeper feelings about how supported each partner feels in the relationship.

-> Learn to avoid destructive arguing

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External pressures

Sometimes, external pressures can be the cause of these underlying issues, rather than a problem within the relationship itself. For example, work stresses, financial problems or a bereavement can all put extra pressure on a person.

With external factors playing on your mind, your patience for dealing with anything else can wear thin. This can cause you to have reactions to small comments that can seem extreme.

It is often difficult to resolve these external pressures, as many times they are factors out of your control. However, something you can do is introduce better coping strategies for yourself (or partner) to help calm you in situations that trigger your defensiveness and reduce the risk of starting an argument.

-> Learn to communicate better


Arguments often come when a couple feels disconnected from each other. Maybe you’ve been spending less time together than previously, with work or family commitments getting in the way?

By taking the time to re-connect and spend some quality time together, you might find that you begin to feel more relaxed around one another, and less likely to jump straight to defensiveness.

Old couple holding hands

Breaking the argument cycle

Think about times in the past when you have argued over nothing and see if there are any patterns in the topics or ways in which the conversation starts. You may be able to identify a trigger that is causing these actions.

If you are struggling to uncover or talk about these unresolved issues, then online couples therapy could be of great use to both partners. Therapy is a very useful tool for helping to identify underlying issues and allows both couples to discuss them openly and honestly to find a resolution.

Online counselling

Many couples may see counselling as unnecessary for arguments like these, as on the surface it seems like you’re not really arguing about anything at all.

This is where online counselling can be of great help. Here at Remainly, we use video-led resources that couples can access in their own time at home, without needing to book an appointment, to help them understand and overcome the reasons behind their arguments.

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