Fights happen. It's a fact of life. Whether you've been with your significant other for weeks, months, or years, they're bound to happen occasionally. The good news is, the way you handle the aftermath of an argument— even one of volcanic proportion— can make all of the difference. Remembering a few helpful ways to recover after a big fight can not only help the two of you to make up quicker and move on to better things, but can even help you avoid fights in the future.
I don't know about you, but even after being with my SO for four years, our fights seem huge in the moment, but after we take a few minutes (or hours) to collect ourselves, they turn out to be pretty pointless and even silly. Marriage has taught me a few things about fighting fair, but the tools to help patch up the damage of an argument after the fact are perhaps the most important.
These tips aren't rocket science— they're pretty basic, actually. But when they're applied to real life and real arguments, you'll see real change and real make-ups. Because, as the phrase goes, the best things in life are worth fighting for.
1. Give Each Other Space
Sometimes the best thing is to just give each other room to breathe. While you're apart, it's easier to cool down and see things clearly— that way, when you come back together you're able to talk about the fight without repeating it.
2. Think About The Root Of The Problem
When you're in the heat of an argument, you're not always thinking about what caused the fight or why you're feeling a certain way. Once you've had some time to cool off, think back to what actually started the fight. It may seem a little bit inconsequential now, but either way, identifying the root of the problem will help you address it properly.
3. Think About The Things You Love About Them
Even if it means literally writing them out, 10 Things I Hate About You-style. It's hard to stay mad when you're reliving all your favorite mushy-gushy moments in your mind. It's probably the last thing you want to do when you're mad at your partner, but remembering a few of your favorite qualities will help put the argument into perspective.
4. Don't Prolong It
It's easy to draw fights out unnecessarily, re-hashing the same issue over and over again. Instead of introducing the fight all over again, leave it where it's at and know when to be done.
5. Avoid The Silent Treatment
The cold shoulder is probably the easiest and least mature way to handle things. I know because it's my default. Not only does it solve absolutely nothing, it shuts your partner out further, making matters even worse. It's best just to address things head on.
6. Give Up Your Need To Be Right
Relationships are about compromise. Even if you still think you were right, acknowledge that your partner is entitled to their opinion and just because you think something doesn't automatically mean they will too.
7. See Things From Their Point Of View
Think about what caused the fight, but see it through their eyes. Could you have been a little bit more sensitive? Did you say some things that hurt them too? Bringing a little bit of humility into the picture will help smooth things over quicker.
8. Say "I'm Sorry" And Actually Mean It
Apologizing for the wrong reasons is as bad as not apologizing at all. Once you've seen things from their point of view, admit your part in the argument— whether they've apologized or not.
9. Have Sex (But For The Right Reasons)
There's a reason this is last on the list. Make-up sex can be a great way to reconnect the two of you and bring a little bit of passion (the good kind) back into your relationship. But don't use sex as a way to solve your problem for you, because, ultimately, it can't.