False memories among top reasons why couples argue

Mar 24, 2015, 5:39 PM

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The Guardian blogger Tim Lott recently came up with the top 10 reasons why couples argue, and a few of the insights could be considered ahead of their time, as far as making it into mainstream consciousness.

Chief among those is what Lott refers to as “false memory syndrome,” meaning iffy recollections can often lead to arguments.

Here’s how Lott breaks the syndrome down:

Many arguments are not about the facts of what happened but how it is remembered. Everybody mythologises the past in order to put themselves in the best light. So when it comes down to trying to work out what went wrong when you had a disagreement, it becomes very hard, as each party uses imagination to supplement memory – indeed, create memory. As therefore you can never quite agree on common facts, this is rich territory for conflict.

The other top reasons why couples quarrel, according to Lott, are:

• sex

• tidiness/cleanliness

• messing with each other’s cooking

• blame addiction (constantly blaming others)

• how to raise the children

• interior design

• money

• relatives (how your parents, siblings, etc. perceive the significant other)

• how to spend the holidays

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False memories among top reasons why couples argue