Although venting your frustrations while in a relationship can be normal and even healthy, when it ends up in a fight where you’re almost Splitting up, you will have some repair work to do. Here’s six tips on the work you can do to restore things.
- Be the bigger person
Being the bigger person after a fight usually means apologising first. Ensure yours is a heartfelt one, and be clear on your part in the fight. Explain what you shouldn’t have done and that you will work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The more sincere you are, the more chance you have of your partner accepting the role they played in your fight as well. Altogether, this will help you draw a line in the sand, and pave the way for you to reconnect positively again.
- Agree on your new approach
Following the apologies, work out how you will tackle similar issues that may arise in the future. The good thing about arguing is that it gives you something to learn from. Ask yourself how the conflict made you feel and what you learned about you and your partner in the process. Be honest with each other about what made you upset and work out ways to handle future disputes. If your conversation leads to more conflict, then you might want to consider couples’ counselling where you can develop a better understanding of each other’s relationship needs.
- Allow some space
Immediately following an argument, tensions are still running high. You may be thinking about the other things that you are dissatisfied about with your partner and bring those up too. Try to avoid intensifying things by taking some time off, and agree how long this will be for. If you want to resolve things, this may not feel intuitive, but pausing for reflection will give you both the time you need to settle down and gain a new perspective.
- Really listen to your partner
It’s easy to think you are listening, but are you really? Think about whether or not you are trying to score points during conversations. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and let them know you are engaging with what they say. This means not responding immediately after they’ve made a point, picking up on body language and discussing things in a space where you are not distracted. Focus on your partner and reiterate what they have said using different words, this can be a really effective way of demonstrating your empathy for them and can encourage them to listen to you also.
- Consider a relationship break
Space is one thing, but if you have tried to incorporate the above tips and are reaching a brick wall, then it could be time for a more formal breather from your relationship. If the arguments are continuing, tell your partner that you want to have a break from the relationship, explain that you do want to work things out and what the terms of the break are. Be true to your word when you do return but during this time, take full stock of your feelings and your thoughts about the future of your relationship.
- Move forward
It can be hard to move on from hurtful arguments but bringing up the past only demonstrates your inability to move on. A new situation may arise where you desperately want to make a valid point by referencing the past, but resist the urge. This will start a cycle of conflict all over again. This doesn’t mean keep your feelings in, it’s healthy to express your feelings and thoughts, but learn new ways to get your opinions across constructively.
Every fight is different, with some tougher to resolve than others. Repair work can usually always be done though, even if it takes a little longer in some cases. If you ignore the repair stage when you are wanting to reconnect again, this will likely negatively affect your relationship in the long run. Real, honest and productive efforts to resolve things will bring a positive outcome in the end.