Sharing a deep connection with the one you love is amazing – until it isn’t. Sometimes arguing with the one you love is just plain annoying. Why can’t we just get along and enjoy life together? Why is everything a battle?
Eric and I have gone through seasons of ease and seasons of being constantly exasperated by the other. Why won’t she get going? Why won’t he calm down? Why won’t she be more outgoing? Why can’t he get it through his head that I’m an introvert? Why can’t she be more driven? Why can’t he be less driven?
Relationships entail relating with someone else – and sometimes relating with another person, especially one with whom we are constantly existing, is exhausting. Exhausted people are more likely to fight. It’s a fact. ~smile~
So, the question isn’t, “Will you and your future spouse fight“ Rather, it is, “What will you do when you and your future spouse fight?” Arguments will happen, so it’s good to have a reconnecting plan on hand!
- Go to mutual corners. Each of you go to a room or space where you can be alone to think and chill out. If you can do this at the beginning of a fight, before too many angry words are exchanged, that is ideal! After a cooling off period, the issue at hand rarely seems as infuriating as it did initially. You may even want to have the following rule in place: When you and your sweetie feel a big fight coming on, pick a word to say (e.g., explosion, fire, time-out, etc.) which means “We need to separate for fifteen minutes to collect ourselves.”
- After cooling down for a while (15-30 minutes), come back and talk together calmly. Make understanding each other the goal instead of winning the argument. Remember, you are on the same team, so fighting with your sweetie or spouse is like fighting with yourself. No one wins.
- Once you have talked out your issues, apologize to each other, and agree to forgive. When Eric and I get into an argument, I am almost always a little to blame (if not a lot). If the way I reacted was disrespectful, or my attitude was unkind, I still have something for which to apologize – even if his “sin” seems so much greater than mine. So, search your heart and find the part you played in the fight, and then sincerely apologize for it. If you need a little more time to pray and decompress, let your sweetie know; but, after you have done so, it is important to verbalize your forgiveness. I recommend holding hands, looking each other in the eyes, and honestly saying, “I forgive you” out loud to each other.
- Embrace. Once a fight is over, it is great to show your inner reconciliation through an outward demonstration such as hugging, holding hands, sitting close to each other, or a loving kiss. Soft human touch is healing.
- Remind your sweetie why you love him or her. Fights can leave us feeling unsure and vulnerable. Release each other from any doubts by reminding each other of your devotion, affection, and the reasons why you chose each other. ~smile~
- After the uncomfortable conflict has passed, do a fun activity together if you have the time. If you are able, snuggle and watch a TV show, go for a walk, go out to eat, or play one of your favorite sports. Show that you are still best friends and decimate any lingering awkwardness between you. ~smile~
- A day or so later, talk about the argument rationally, and discuss ways you can avoid such a fight in the future. If you fought about his work hours, talk about how you and he can reach a compromise. If you argued about her interaction with other men, discuss your feelings and brainstorm (together) some less threatening ways she can relate to men. You can also discuss ways to improve your future conflicts. For example, you can talk about rules for conflicts, boundaries during conflicts, and a plan of action for when you feel hateful words approaching your lips! Praying for wisdom is always a good idea as well! Don’t just endure occasional conflicts. Learn from them! ~smile~
Fighting with your sweetie is no fun, but many couples find that they are actually closer after working through a conflict effectively. Talking out problems allows couples to see each other’s hearts and learn new tidbits about each other.
Wow, I didn’t know she was yelled at so much as a child. No wonder she gets so upset when I raise my voice.
I didn’t realize his Dad called him names all those years. It’s not surprising that he can’t stand to be teased.
After a fight, make reconnecting your first order of business. Your relationship with your future spouse will hopefully be your closest human connection. Take good care of it, prepare for future storms, and repair damage as soon as possible!
How do you and your sweetie reconnect after a fight?