It seems like a silly thing to get upset about – free stuff! – but deciding on what to register without murdering your fiance is more difficult than you might think. Here are some tips to help get you through it.

Why You’ll Be Fighting

You’ve got the scanner in hand, and you’re walking through your favorite stores just scanning what you want – but why did you just scan that? That color doesn’t even match our living room! This blender is clearly a much better value than that blender! Oh come on, the thread count on those sheets is atrocious.

There are four main things you’ll likely squabble over when registering: style and color, price point, usefulness, and family. Other than clashes in taste and budgeting (or lack thereof), you may disagree about whether you actually need that formal china or deluxe juicing machine, or how much of your in-laws should show in the things that end up in your new married home.

What To Do About It

When conflict arises, start by voicing (accurately!) your thoughts about the product, and why you think your partner might want it when you don’t (or vice versa). For example, if they’ve got their eyes on that juicer, voice your concerns that it’s a sly remark about you needing to eat better and lose weight. This is likely far from the truth, but it’s important to give your partner a chance to counter your internal monologue before you get angry!

When talking about registry decisions, always try and use “I” phrases rather than “you” phrases. It’s very easy for any sentence involving a “you” to sound accusatory, whereas if you use “I” your partner won’t immediately be put on the defensive. It’s a common conversation technique, but that’s because it works. Talk about how I want the juicer because I love juice and never get the chance to have it fresh.

If all else fails, take a step back. Remembering you’re arguing over gifts you may or may not get from guests you invited to share in joining you and your partner for the rest of your lives. Arguing over free stuff seems rather silly in that context, doesn’t it?