1. Respect your partner's need for personal space.
Dr. Megan Flemming, clinical psychologist, and trained sex therapist tells Woman's Dat that when one spouse is overwhelmed during a fight, they may not be able to process their thoughts. “That's why it's critical to respect someone who says, 'I need a break.'” If your partner needs some time to cool off and collect their thoughts, it's natural to feel apprehensive; if this happens, take a few deep breaths and consider how you'd want to be treated if the roles were revealed to them that. “Know that it isn't personal,” Dr. Flemming explains.
2. Avoid having an all-or-nothing mindset.
Try to have an open mind after a strong dispute with your partner. It's easy to fall into black-or-white thinking when you're in the middle of a conflict. Using language like "you always" or "never" will never solve an argument, according to Dr. Flemming, so take a step back once things have calmed down and evaluated the disagreement from your partner's perspective.
3. Don't turn your back on them.
It's fine if you need some distance after a disagreement, as long as you let them know.
. Stonewalling is one of the most common blunders people do after an altercation, according to Rachel A. Sussman, a registered psychotherapist and relationship expert in New York City. If you dismiss or neglect your spouse, they may believe you're punishing them, which may cause them to refrain from telling you how they feel in the future. Instead, say something like, "My emotions don't fade as quickly as yours but give me 24 hours and I'm confident everything will be great." If not, we may talk about it further.”
4. Don't stockpile their words in your mind.
"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," as the adage goes. During a fight, whatever your spouse says should stay there. =Michelle Golland, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, told Woman's Dat, "List-makers never tell their spouses what troubles them at the moment." So, if they say something that irritates you during the conflict, inform them that their words are irritating you. If their combative comments irritate you the next day, take some time apart from them before approaching them again. Bringing up an argument too frequently can lead to a circle of discussion rather than a conclusion.
5. If they're still hurt, don't just say "I'm sorry."
“I'm tired of it,” it says. Please don't bother me. Laurie Puhn, a couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More, tells Woman's Day, "I want to do something new." “What you want to say is, 'I'm sorry for...,' and then go into detail about what you're talking about. The second half of the apology is, 'In the future, I will...' and you fill in the blank with how you won't make the same mistake again."
6. Don't make excuses for fighting.
An argument could be blamed on a variety of factors, including a difficult day at work, a headache, or a restless night. Couples who don't get enough sleep are more likely to fight, according to a University of California Berkeley study.
Still, it isn't fair to you or your partner to transfer the responsibility. Dr. Golland thinks that fights are all about information. “If you're furious, unhappy, or upset, your husband has to know about it.” Send a warning text before you leave work the next time you're having a difficult day, recommends Dr. Golland. They'll be aware that you're more agitated this way.
7. If they re-enter the argument, don't walk away.
Tell you're SO you're open to any questions or hearing about lingering frustrations after they've had time to ponder if it's only been a few minutes since your disagreement. Don't turn your back on them if they wish to revisit the topic after a few days. According to Dr. Golland, nonverbal communication is as loud as yelling. If you find yourself going away, apologize, come back, and listen to what they have to say. "Reflect what he's saying back to him: 'So you're saying [fill in the blank].' Correct?’ Check in to make sure you're doing everything correctly.”
8. Don't keep jabbing yourself.
Are you still suffering from a brawl? That doesn't give you the right to say some less-than-sweet things. “Never refer to someone by their first name. “It's difficult to get back on your feet after that,” Sussman says. So, if you and your partner clashed about your vacation budget, don't imply they're cheap when you're gazing at images from your friend's trip to Greece. Sussman claims that calling someone a name simply makes them "come back swinging with insults." Instead, after you've cooled down, ask them to talk through what's still troubling you. Sussman proposes saying something like, "I know you're worried about money, but here's a budget I developed."
9. If you're not feeling it, don't have makeup sex.
You both meant it when you said “I'm sorry,” but now they're trying to get some, and all you can think is, Seriously?
“It's not like they don't know you fought,” Sussman says. “Many men desire sex to feel close.” Let them down gently if going at it is the last thing on your mind. "Thank you for feeling like you want to be close to me," she suggests, "but I'm not in the mood right now." “Give him a hug and tell him you might be able to have sex tomorrow.” Don't just turn around and refuse them without a reason. Sussman responds, "That will hurt his feelings."
10. Don't get caught up in the fight's origins.
Your time and effort would be better spent on finding solutions to the problem. Puhn gives the following example: Let's pretend your partner neglected to bring cash to a cash-only event. You got into an argument about it, but then you went to an ATM and the problem was fixed. Instead of repeating your partner's blunder in your brain, enjoy the night. “Whether or not you reached a solution is the difference between a poor fight and a good one,” adds Puhn. If their forgetfulness is persistent, remark something like, "I'm noticed that you don't carry cash very often these days." “What the hell is going on over there?” It's a less judgmental approach than saying, "Ugh!" “Not this time!”
11. Never say, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it."
“It's like attempting to erase a permanent pen with an eraser,” Puhn explains. “It aggravates the situation because your husband will say, 'Yes, you did!'” says the author. Going back and forth about what you said or didn't say, what you meant or didn't mean, keeps you focused on the past rather than working toward a future solution, which is the purpose of any disagreement. If they answer, "I didn't mean it," respond, "You didn't mean it, but it made me feel this way." So please do XYZ in the future.”
12. Don't be too hard on yourself for getting into a fight.
Everyone wants a committed spouse, yet fighting can indicate that you're both still working on the relationship (which is a good thing!). When a couple says, "We used to argue a lot, but now we raise our hands and go out," Puhn says they're doomed. It's not that they don't have disagreements. “It suggests they're letting go of the relationship,” Puhn explains, “which is what happens before they leave or find an affair.” So take heart in the fact that you and your partner still want to solve your problems.
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