Despite what you may have heard—all couples argue. Even those rock solid couples who’ve been together for decades. It’s normal to have occasional disagreements because you’re both different people, with different ideas and opinions, who are trying to exist harmoniously together.
When you have a horrible fight though, it can be difficult to recover from it. But if you know this is someone you want to be with, then calling it quits probably isn’t the right decision. Horrible fights happen too. And though they’re draining and can be especially hard on your relationship, you can move past them.
But how can you bounce back to your happy selves, and make up when the fight is over? Here are a few steps to help you get there:
Talk to each other.
If either of you said things you didn’t mean, or behaved in a less than kind way—don’t be defensive about it. Chances are, you both had a part to play in this, so instead of defending your actions, you should both admit your part in it, and not try to justify your actions.
If you really feel the need to do this, do it once things have calmed down a little.
You might both need a bit more time to fully recover from things, depending on how bad your fight was, and that’s okay. But make sure you schedule some time in down the line to check in with each other, and see if you’re both back on track.
Saying sorry and meaning it requires courage, and a certain amount of vulnerability. It’s okay to mess up from time to time, because you’re not perfect, and none of us are. Sometimes you will hurt people, and sometimes this will be the people you care about most. Sometimes they’ll hurt you.
But then there’s forgiveness. Your partner will probably forgive you for your actions, and it’s important that you ask for forgiveness. Each of you must acknowledge your part in the fight, because it takes two to tango. So but your bravado aside, and admit where you went wrong.
Try to avoid bringing up the past too, because that’s not fair. When you forgive someone, you’re making peace with it, and dragging it back up again is only making someone continually pay for their mistakes.
Forgive your partner.
In asking for forgiveness, you must also forgive your partner for anything that was said or done. Holding grudges only holds you back in your relationship, and stops you from moving forward. Negative feelings grow if they’re not addressed, and will inevitably end up coming out in an explosion of anger or irritation later down the line; so it’s best to make peace with everything now.
When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you’re forgetting it happened or saying it was okay. It’s a way to release anything negative that has arisen within you, and allows you to start afresh. So forgiveness is more for you than it is for the person you’re forgiving.
Put the relationship first.
If you care about being right more than you care about living in a happy, healthy relationship, then you should probably end things now.
It doesn’t matter who was in the right or wrong, what matters is trying to understand where your partner was coming from. Even if you can’t get your head around it—try; because your relationship is more important than being right.
You are both on the same team.
A peace offering.
After talking things through, it can help a lot to offer some kind of peace as an extra gesture, when one or both of you are still feeling a bit fragile after reconciling.
This might be a handwritten letter, a bunch of flowers, a sweet text message or some kind of other thoughtful gesture that you know will mean a lot to the other person. Even something small like making sure you hug each other more often can make a big difference. Making each other smile, and remember what you love about each other should be your focus at this time.
Think about how to deal with disagreements better in the future.
Although all couples argue, there doesn’t have to be any fighting. You can choose to argue in a loving, healthy way. So, what do I mean by that?
It means you set boundaries and rules together for when you have a disagreement in the future. This might mean you always speak to each other lovingly, and avoid attacking or throwing petty insults at each other. You might have a designated spot in your house where you sit down and talk through whatever issues arise. This will encourage you to talk things through in a controlled way, and have you actively listen to your partner while he or she is talking.
This will help you avoid nasty fall outs in the future—nobody likes those—and learn to communicate more effectively with each other going forwards.