As anyone who’s been in a relationship for more than a few days knows, conflicts between partners are unavoidable. They can crop up for any number of reasons, but very often it’s because of some perceived inequity in the relationship. Why inequities can cause conflicts is best explained through what researchers call Social Exchange Theory. According to this theory, marriage can be looked as a barter system. Each of us strives to get certain benefits from our partner. We also understand there are things of similar value we have to give in return if we’re to receive these benefits. Said another way, while we might like to do or say nice things to our partner, there are usually strings attached.