The moments following a fight with your significant other can be super intense for partners. Even if you’ve resolved your argument on the surface, there can be underlying tension lingering in the air for couples working towards resolution. All these feelings are normal, and how you deal with them can make or break your bond.
Benson, a relationship coach in Seattle, Washington, told NBC, “What’s interesting is the research has shown it’s not necessarily conflict that’s bad, it’s how couples interact in conflict.”
He continued, “The first goal, before even starting to resolve the conflict or try to understand what went wrong, is to try to make a repair attempt …, so then you can actually engage in a dialogue to actually work towards resolving the issue,” he says.
After attempt to repair the rip, following this advice should help to deflate the tension, according to NBC.
Communicate Your Feelings
“By just listing off some of the feelings and not going into the details, it kind of helps both partners start to understand what emotions were present in the conflict and sometimes what was lurking below the surface in terms of the feelings that were there and the perceptions that people had,” Benson advises.
Listen To Hear, Not To Speak
“One of the things about conflict communication with couples is often the big problem is partners aren’t really listening to each other, and one person is speaking and the other is waiting until their turn to speak, and so you have two monologues going on instead of dialogue,” Benson explained.
Explain Triggers & Boundaries
You can’t cross a line that you didn’t know existed. Talk to your partner about your likes, dislikes and past wounds.
“I felt my personal needs weren’t being addressed, and I talked about my boundaries and what I can and cannot do and how to work with that in a relational way with my partner,” Benson described.
Make Plans Going Forward
“Underneath a lot of these conflicts — even things that seem really silly —there’s often a lot of feelings and deeper meanings and often couples will argue about the content or what happened or who’s right and who’s wrong, and that often makes things worse,” Benson explained. “Whereas when we slow down and try to understand each other’s experiences, we can start to bridge the misunderstanding and actually turn that conflict into material for building a much stronger relationship.”
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