Divorces and breakups spike in January – and is it any wonder?
Our bank accounts are empty after buying all those Christmas gifts, our stomachs are still bloated and we're feeling irritable with the thought of having to leave the bach and head back to work.
All couples argue but especially at this time of the year. And while rows may be unpleasant, the way you solve your problems matters and predicts whether you'll make it long-term.
This is a - by no means exhaustive - list by Tracey Cox for the Daily Mail of the things that most couples fight about and how to stop ... for good.
The issue is often mismatched libidos - one wants it more than the other - though an increasingly common couple issue is porn use (generally his).
Ironically, while dissatisfaction with sex is a major cause of arguments, it's often not discussed directly.
Instead, anger over sex problems like feeling hassled for sex or feeling deprived of it tends to be expressed in a passive-aggressive way, through sarcastic jibes or getting het up over small, insignificant things.
Sort it: You must address the elephant in the room or it will eclipse everything.
Do it by thinking about what you would like to happen, rather than what's not happening, then start any conversation about sex.
"I hear Kim and Kanye are at it all the time. Do you think that's true?"
Once you're talking generally about sex, say something like "Would you like sex more often/to do something we aren't doing?". Once they start talking, you say your piece.
It's new(ish) on the list of things couples argue about but my guess is this will soon nudge out one of the top three (sex, money, housework).
Pre social media, couples got jealous over people their partners know; post social media, your partner can flirt and potentially hook up with thousands of strangers.
Even worse, you can see some of this interaction happening by social media stalking, inflaming the whole situation.
Sort it: Sensible couples set ground rules about their social media behaviour – and stick to them.
For some, it's complete transparency: sharing passwords to everything.
For others, it's the opposite: not wanting to know and see what's going on and remaining completely private.
If you're ever in doubt of what's OK, imagine your partner is looking over your shoulder as you do whatever it is you're doing. What would they think?
KIDS AND PARENTING
"Please shoot me if I turn into my mother/father" is what all kids say when they're growing up.
But when we're suddenly in the parent role, we do the unthinkable: turn into our parents and try to bring up our kids exactly the same way our parents brought us up (even if we hated how they did it).
Unless you both come from extremely similar backgrounds, it's unlikely you grew up being parented the same way.
Most parents are fiercely protective over their children so conflicting views on how to teach them about the world is bound to cause drama.
Sort it: I'm a huge fan of the five-minute clock method for issues like this.
You each get a chance to talk, uninterrupted, for five minutes. At the end, your partner repeats back what you said.
Continue until you're satisfied they got your main points, then swap.
This works well for emotional issues like parenting: think of five must-dos and mustn't do's beforehand.
Progress has been made but women still do the lion's share of housework and social organisation.
The blame for this doesn't rest squarely on the shoulders of the lazy so-and-so who never makes the bed.
Women mother men and clean up after them, rather than letting them do it themselves.
There's huge incentive on both sides to even this up: better sex.
It's a fact: men who do more housework and involve themselves with the kids have better sex lives and happier relationships than those who don't.
Sort it: Do what young people do when they share houses: come up with a chores roster and stick it on the fridge.
Split the chores into who prefers doing what and you often have a win-win solution.
If one of you cheated in the past – even decades ago – I bet you're still arguing about it now.
Cheating hurts: you might have forgiven but by God, you're not going to let them forget you've forgiven!
Past infidelity hurts are often tacked onto other arguments, making every argument end up being about the same thing.
Sort it: Have one last discussion about what happened with the wronged party able to ask anything they like and get honest answers – on the proviso that it's not mentioned again.
If this is impossible, see a good therapist to get some closure.
Another good thing for all couples to agree on: argue about one thing at a time.
The ideal ratio of time spent in a relationship goes like this: time together, time alone, time alone with your friends/family, time together with each other's friends and family.
Some couples naturally get this balance right, others find they've ended up with someone with very different ideas on closeness and intimacy.
Sort it: What specifically do you want from your partner?
If you want more time with them, how much time? When? How often? What do you want to do during this time?
They should do the same: detail how much time they need solo, with friends etc.
Now you have something concrete to work with, it's easier to work out some compromises.
TIMING OF RELATIONSHIP EVENTS
People fall in love at different speeds and are ready for different things at different times.
This means while it's perfect obvious to you that it's time to move in, get married or have kids, it's might not even have occurred to your partner.
You think they're putting things off, they think you're fast-forwarding the relationship.
Sort it: Give up on the old-fashioned idea of things having to happen spontaneously or being 'his job' or 'her job' to instigate things.
If you want to get married, ask "Do you think we'll ever get married?".
If you want kids, ask "When do you think we'll be ready for kids?".
If they say it's too soon, ask when they think they're likely to be ready (if it's never, better to find out now).
I asked a psychiatrist friend of mine what advice she'd give to a couple who love each other but can't tolerate each other's family.
"Move to the other side of the world,' she said wryly. 'If you can't do that, at least keep a sense of humour."
Squabbles over parents and siblings are common and damaging and can topple the most grounded relationship unless it's dealt with effectively – and quickly.
Sort it: The old adage that it's OK for your partner to criticise their family but not you, is spot on. So resist the urge to join into that vitriolic moan about his mother.
Also remember you don't have to adore his family, just have workable relationships with them.
You owe it to your partner to be polite and they owe you the same courtesy.
ROMANCE (OR LACK OF IT)
It's both impossible and exhausting to stay in the 'honeymoon' stage forever because the love and sex hormones that fuel it stop releasing over time.
But romance shouldn't completely disappear to the point where you feel taken for granted.
"He's not romantic enough" is a long-standing complaint of a lot of women in long-term relationships.
Sort it: When asked to be more romantic, five out of ten men do something like wash their wife's car.
I'm serious: aside from the obvious cards, flowers, chocolates thing, most men haven't a clue what 'being romantic' means.
Give him a list of 20 specific things to do as examples (hold my hand when we're out, tell me I look nice) and then see what happens.
You might be surprised.
Just as matching libidos and attitudes to sex mean less problems in the bedroom, matching incomes and attitudes to money mean less problems out of it.
Constant arguments over money can nearly always be traced to spending styles – which are nearly always inherited from our parents.
Match a penny-pincher who has grown up in a household where money was tight with Ms Splash-it-around who had parents who lavished them with expensive gifts and there's bound to be trouble.
Sort it: Talk about how your parents dealt with money and how you felt about it growing up. If you understand each other's influences, you'll be more tolerant.
Also look for underlying influences: is his 'wasting money' your secret fear that he's not keen on buying a home together?
SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Don't let things fester
The longer the two of you simmer in silence, the more emotional the argument is going to be.
'Choose your battles' is a good principle to live by but don't take it to the extreme where you let the little niggles build into huge problems.
Watch your body language
How you talk to each other during arguments is equally as important as what you say.
Speak calmly, make eye contact, try to relax your body. No finger pointing, shouting, eye rolling, exaggerated sighs and sarcastic throwaway remarks.
Keep telling yourself, I love this person. They have behaved badly but that doesn't mean I don't love them.
If you don't love them, what are you bothering arguing for?
Ask the hard questions
I know one couple whose father is in prison and, after two years of marriage, she still doesn't know why.
"I'm too scared to ask because he doesn't want to talk about it," she says.
This is a significant part of her husband's past which has shaped the man he is today.
The fact he doesn't want to discuss it, guarantees it's important.
Little secrets are fine. Big ones aren't.
Criticise the behaviour, not the person
Screaming, "You are a selfish b*****d and don't deserve to live" will get you nowhere.
Saying, "I feel taken advantage of when you leave all the housework to me," might solve the problem.
Chances are you will solve the argument and stay together which means you have to live with all the names and horrible things you said to each other during it.
Go to bed angry if it works for you
If you're arguing about something important, getting nowhere and both exhausted, call a truce and go to bed.
A good night's sleep (or even a half decent one) means a clearer head and a calmer mind.
Assume the best not the worst
Assume any criticism means your partner is about to leave and your body will instantly go into 'fight or flight'.
Adrenaline pumps fiercely through it and your ability to listen and talk rationally goes out the window.
Keep telling yourself, "This isn't about them wanting to leave, it's about this issue."
Listen more, talk less
'Not feeling heard' is one of the top three reasons women cite for divorce: a partner who barely seems to notice you're there, seeming indifferent to any of your needs and wants.
Acknowledge your partner's points and feelings even if you don't agree with them.
Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Competitive couples are unhappy couples.
The aim isn't to 'win' an argument, it's to resolve whatever is making both of you upset.
Think "How can we sort this so that both of us are happy with each other again", not "How can I get him/her to see my point of view?".
Agree to disagree
US relationship researcher John Gottman says 69 per cent of marriage conflicts are never solved with most couples having the same fight over and over.
There is only one way to live with these unsolvable perpetual issues: work out a way to ignore them.
You hate his sister? See her as little as possible but agree to be respectful when you do.