It’s never easy to bounce back from a serious fight with your other half. No matter what the cause of the fight, if you are fighting in a way that might be considered unproductive (that is, a fight where no one grows or learns anything about themselves or each other), then it’s much harder to walk away from the fight without feeling slighted. To find a way to end every fight while avoiding a breakup and having everyone step away feeling okay about the situation in general, be sure you are considering these guidelines.
Know Them and Know Yourself
Usually, when two people are fighting, it’s because you have been getting on each other’s nerves or because some personality clash has become too much. The best way to cope with any such fight is to remind yourself about your own triggers and issues, as well as those of your significant other. This will help you know what to avoid, know how to phrase things in a productive manner, and know how to patch things up more quickly. A key thing to remember is to always put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Take some time to think about your actions and how they are making your them feel. This is sometimes a good way to own up to your actions and get the issue resolved.
Of course, if you are in a relatively young relationship, you may not yet know your significant other well enough to be able to predict how they will respond to certain things or what kinds of things are triggering for them. While fighting in a healthy way provides you with a great opportunity to learn about this side of them, you won’t be able to know from the start what the most productive way for the two of you to conduct a fight is. However, you can at least win half the battle by knowing yourself. Know what kinds of ways you need to express yourself and know how you need to have things expressed to you. It’s okay to offer your partner some guidance in trying to express themselves to you. If you find that they are saying lots of things that sound accusatory to you, it’s okay to let them know that their phrasing is bothering you and that while you know they don’t mean it to sound as accusatory as it’s coming out, that you would prefer it if instead of saying “You did this…” say, “I feel disrespected when this situation occurs.” Switching from “you” statements to “I” statements is one easy way to remove the sting from a fight.
By fighting with your significant other, you should be learning more about each other and growing together. Just because a fight may be a particularly bad one doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. If you both truly care about each other, you will find a way to work through it. It might be helpful to read some relationship advice books. It may sound silly, but it could help you both gain a better understanding of how to make a relationship thrive.
Take Your Time
A fight is not a race to the finish! If you find that you are both just getting angrier and more heated to the point that you don’t even feel in total control of what you are saying, then it’s time to take a step back to regain your cool. Let your them know that you are not meaning to end the fight, but that you just need some time to think and that you still love them, but you need a moment to recharge. This will help each of you get some perspective and it will take the immediacy out of the situation. If you are living together, you likely know that fighting seems to become more common. Make sure you are able to give each other the space you need when necessary.
Practice journaling during your alone time. Couples who write their feelings down in a journal are much more likely to have productive fights. This is because the process of journaling helps individuals to reflect on the underlying emotions of their fight, which will make them more effective in expressing these deeper feelings to their partner as they fight. It will also help to identify things that bother you and trigger you about the way you fight.
And even during the fight itself, take your time to choose your words. The goal of a fight is to reach a compromise or a solution and even if the solution is not what you’d hoped (i.e., we need to take a break for a while), there’s no reason you each have to leave the fight feeling beat up on. Choosing your words consciously and carefully is the best way to ensure you are being understood in the way you’d hoped.
Try to Resume Normalcy
While you may not exactly feel super warm and cuddly about each other for a little while, finding ways to regain the normalcy of your relationship is a great way to bond and move past it. If you find that you’re having trouble saying or doing affectionate things, try a simpler, less direct approach. Leave a nice note by their car keys in the morning. Schedule a flower delivery to their office or apartment. Make their favorite meal to surprise them. While it might take some time for the sting of the fight to wear off, regaining some of the affection in your relationship is a great step towards healing.