Even if you love your spouse with your whole heart and you have a happy, loving marriage, conflict is inevitable. Sometimes you both have differing points of view on things and the smallest disagreements can trigger full-blown fights. Fighting can in some ways be healthy for a relationship, but it’s also important to take steps to heal it after a big fight:
Take a Timeout
After a heated argument with your spouse, you may feel the urge to resolve the problem right away. This can actually make things worse, so it’s better to take a timeout. Stepping away gives you both a chance to let off steam. It can also keep the situation from getting worse, like turning physical. The 2020 Crime in Texas report finds that family violence incidents in the state numbered more than 200,000 in 2020, nearly nine percent more than in 2019. Bottom line: take some time to let your emotions cool so neither one of you does something you regret.
Huge, explosive fights can be draining and it may feel like things will never get better. But time has a way of helping heal. After emotions have cooled and time has passed, it’s time to apologize. Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but sometimes the easier way to extend that olive branch is to flat out say, ‘I’m sorry.’ You can also show that you’re sorry through a physical action like a hug, or trying to make light-hearted conversation. Anything either one of you can do to ease the tension is a good thing. If you have kids, this also shows them that their parents can fight, but also makeup.
Talk Things Out
In the making-up process, it’s important to actively listen and hear your spouse’s side of things. When you do that, don’t interrupt or get defensive. It’s important that you hear everything your partner has to say. When it’s time to share your side, don’t focus on pointing fingers. Talk about what the problems you’re having are, but start your statements with ‘I’ instead of ‘you.’ This can be another good example for kids if you want to teach about conflict resolution.
If you need to, you can also talk to a neighbor or close friend. Research shows that 70% of residents have had a good or very good community association experience, so if you need an impartial voice before you talk to your spouse, talking to a community member is a good idea.
Work Together For Resolution
Once you both have had your space, talked things out, and apologized, it’s time to work together to find a solution. Leaving an issue to linger can cause future arguments, and can deepen feelings of anger, jealousy, or resentment. The issue may not resolve itself overnight, but taking steps to talk things out and resolve the issue shows you can work together. It also shows that you both aren’t too proud to admit when you’re wrong. This may even deepen your connection as a couple and it shows your kids that teamwork gets things done.
Chances are you’d do anything for your spouse. If they’re sick, you’ll take them to urgent care for the aid they need, as 98% of urgent care patients do. If they’re feeling sad, you’ll do anything to cheer them up. When or if you have a big fight with your spouse, it’s important to let things cool down and then work on resolving the issue. By working together, you can strengthen your relationship, deepen your bonds, and not let minor issues turn into major ones.