How to: Heal your Relationship and Yourself after a Fight

We can spend all day talking about healthy communication styles, but eventually, you and your partner will get into a fight! It’s inevitable. It might sound a little crazy, but one of the primary goals of marriage counseling is to learn how to have healthier fights.

The truth is, healing after a fight is possible; it just takes working at it. Together. But often times, our natural proclivity is to lash out and blame each other or retreat to our respective corners to lick our wounds in silence.

Let’s make a deal to try things differently. Not just for the good of the relationship, but for yourself! Repeat after me, “To heal after my next fight I will,”

Reflect:

You both need to take a minute to cool off. Arguments leave our bodies coursing with adrenaline and virtually shut off our rational brain. Give each other space to simmer down, regroup and reflect.

Evaluate:

See if you can evaluate the argument on your own. If you retrace your steps, can you pinpoint the root cause of the blow-up? Chances are, it’s never about the dishes or the laundry.

Be careful to not give your partner “too much space” though. There’s still an elephant in the room and waiting too long may send signals to your partner that you’re aloof, or even worse—you don’t care!

Remember, you’re both hurting. This is also the perfect time to be honest about any signs of abuse. We have the tendency to say things we don’t mean in the heat of the moment, but that doesn’t make emotional abuse any less valid.

Talk It Out:

Inevitably, you’ll have to chat and timing will be everything. Emotions may still be raw, meaning conditions are ripe for a rematch! Take it slowly. Start with “I feel phrases,” to share your concerns with your partner without blaming them.

You can also avoid ruffling feathers if you approach your partner with the intention to truly “understand” them.  Chances are, somewhere during this whole fight, you may have made your own mistakes. Don’t wait for your partner to ask you for an apology or point it out in marriage counseling! Be proactive about owning your mistakes.

Reaffirm:

Reconnecting with your partner is an essential part of the healing process after an argument. The goal is to reaffirm your connection, love, and appreciation for each other. Get creative! Date night doesn’t have to break the bank! You’d be surprised how effective the simplicity of a handwritten card or love note can be.

We all know fighting is normal. If we have to do it anyway, why not learn how to get better at it? We can help! During couples therapy sessions, one of the skills we hone is how to have healthier fights! Call us for a consultation if you’d like to learn more.