Getting Back To Happy: How To Recover From A Huge Argument
Almost every couple argues, especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship. And while a tiff here and there is normal, what happens after you’ve had a huge blow up – the first (or the 50th) biggest argument of your relationship? While feelings of hurt, anger, resentment and anxiety are to be expected, how do you move past it to a point where you’re no longer nursing the upset that follows? If you want to make things right and move past the pain, try these things to bring your relationship back to happy.
Acknowledge Hurt Feelings
The worst thing you can do after a big blow up is act like nothing is wrong when you’re still harboring resentment or hurt feelings. It’s okay to be a little broken and bruised emotionally after a fight, and your partner is probably still feeling the residual effects of the argument as well. You may be wondering if you’ll break up, or if what you argued about is something you can resolve, which is scary. But not facing it only makes the fear grow stronger.
It’s okay to say, “I’m upset that we fought” or “I feel bad about our fight and I’m still a little upset.” Acknowledging pain is a form of acceptance rather than avoidance, and it’s normal to feel the way you do. Allow the feelings to come with the understanding that feelings are temporary, and hopefully time will heal all wounds.
Evaluate the Cause of the Argument
Once you’ve had a chance to cool down, do some soul-searching to get to the REAL root of the fight. Most times what you’re arguing about isn’t really what’s bothering you – it’s a deeper issue that needs to be probed and dissected so that you can resolve the issue rather than fighting about the same thing over and over again. Repeat arguments can signal that there is something going on that is a deal breaker for the relationship, or it can simply mean that neither of you are being totally honest with each other which is hindering a complete resolution. Be brave and tell the truth. If what you uncover means that the relationship could be over, summon the strength to do what you both need to do in order to have peace. But if after discussing it honestly you find that you love each other enough to work through the conflict, this can help to eliminate this argument forever.
Write it Out
Sometimes in an argument, you don’t get a chance to say what’s on your mind because words get lost in the heat of the moment. If you’re yelling, screaming, or cursing, you’re most likely feeling defensive under attack, and the hostile confrontation leaves you forgetting what you want to say or why you’re even arguing in the first place. Calm down, grab a pen, and list some talking points that don’t involve name calling, blame, or any other negative or hurtful language. This way you stay focused on the subject and don’t get sidetracked into going in any direction other than a positive one.
Go to Bed Angry
I understand not wanting to go to bed mad at your significant other. But sometimes things are said that we don’t mean, words are spoken that can’t be taken back and no one is thinking logically. So, in that case, I think it’s okay to go to bed angry. I know that goes against all the couple or marriage advice out there, but trying to stay up to resolve an issue may actually do more harm than good. When you’re angry and tired, you’re not thinking straight. That’s when real damage can be done, especially if it’s clear that neither of you are listening to each other, no one is backing down, and neither are nowhere near coming to a resolution anytime soon. Once you get some rest, you can awake refreshed with a better perspective on your disagreement; and you may be able to see your situation in a more reasonable light – thus able to discuss your differences without yelling or arguing. Some disagreements can be resolved quickly and painlessly, but huge fights may require you to sleep on it and save the discussion for a new day. If your relationship is worth it, take a break, and get some sleep so that you don’t say or do something you’ll regret later.
Simply Agree to Disagree
Your partner is allowed to have a different perspective than you do; it’s called being an individual. Sometimes we want to be right so bad, we don’t give our partner the respect of having their own opinion. Everyone’s experiences, thoughts, opinions and backgrounds are varied, complex and layered, so you’re not going to agree on EVERY thing. If you can’t agree on a certain subject, avoid it and agree never to speak about it again – especially if it’s something you argue about infrequently or if it’s nothing detrimental to the relationship itself. If you value your partner as an intelligent, thoughtful individual with a mind of his or her own, simply accept your differences and keep it moving.
If the other person is still angry or upset, give him or her space to shake it off or work through it in their own time. If you’ve gotten to a place where you’re willing to talk it out or your hurt feelings have subsided, simply let the other person know you’re willing to talk about it when he or she is ready. People process and forgive differently and at their own pace, so pushing the issue or rushing the other person to discuss the subject of the argument may make matters worse. Give your mate his space to calm down or heal. A resolution, whether good or bad…one way or the other…will come in due time, so be patient.
Know Your Triggers
In the aftermath of an argument, the best thing to do is find a way to prevent future arguments from reaching the same boiling point. We all know what our triggers are, or how to push our partner’s buttons, so rather than allowing an argument to escalate, figure out a way to defuse the situation before it gets to the point of no return. If that means going for a walk or giving your partner a SOFT touch on the arm or holding his or her hand, sometimes that very act can bring your heart rate back to its normal pulse. Make sure there is no name calling, cursing or disrespectful language used – no hitting below the belt. Not fighting fair, especially when having a huge disagreement, is a sure way to destroy the relationship – so unless you truly want it to be over, try adopting a calmer, more thoughtful and respectful approach.
Saying “I’m sorry” can go a long way, but most people refuse to do it because they feel that it’s an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. However, apologizing doesn’t have to be an act of surrender, it can be seen as a peace-offering or a truce. It takes two people to argue, so you can apologize for the role you played in engaging in the argument. Not all blow-ups can be avoided, but you can be sorry when they happen.