1. Be considerate of your partner's demand for privacy.
When one spouse is overwhelmed during a conflict, says Dr. Megan Flemming, a clinical psychologist and professional sex therapist, they may not be able to process their feelings. “That is why you must respect someone who says, 'I need a break.'” It's reasonable to be concerned if your partner needs some time to calm down and collect their thoughts; if this happens, take a few deep breaths and contemplate how you'd like to be handled if the roles were revealed to them. Dr. Flemming clarifies, "Know that it isn't personal."
2. Avoid an all-or-nothing mentality.
After a heated argument with your partner, try to have an open mind. When you're in the heat of a fight, it's tempting to lapse into black-and-white thinking. According to Dr. Flemming, using terminology like "you always" or "never" will never resolve an argument, so take a step back once things have calmed down and assess the disagreement from your partner's perspective.
3. Don't turn away from them.
If you need some space after a disagreement, that's acceptable as long as you tell them.
According to Rachel A. Sussman, a registered psychologist and relationship expert in New York City, stonewalling is one of the most typical blunders people do after an incident. If you dismiss or ignore your spouse, they may believe you're punishing them, which may lead them to keep quiet about their feelings in the future. "My emotions don't evaporate as quickly as yours," add instead, "but give me 24 hours and I'm convinced everything will be fine." If not, we may discuss it further.”
4. Don't keep their statements in your head for a long time.
As the cliche goes, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Whatever your spouse says during a quarrel should stay there. "List-makers never tell their partners what worries them at the present," Michelle Golland, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, told Woman's Dat. So, if they say something during the fight that upsets you, tell them that their words irritate you. Take some time apart from them before approaching them again if their confrontational statements irritate you the next day. Bringing up an argument too often can result in a circle of debate rather than a conclusion.
5. Don't just say "I'm sorry" if they're still hurt.
It reads, "I'm tired of it." I'd appreciate it if you didn't annoy me. "I want to do something different," Laurie Puhn, a couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More, tells Woman's Day. “Say, 'I'm sorry for...,' and then go into detail about what you're talking about. 'In the future, I will...' is the second half of the apology, and you fill in the blank with how you won't make the same mistake again."
6. Don't make excuses when it comes to fighting.
A stressful day at work, a headache, or a restless night could all be contributing reasons to an altercation. According to a University of California Berkeley study, couples who don't get enough sleep are more prone to argue.
Transferring the duty, though, isn't fair to you or your partner. Fighting, according to Dr. Golland, is all about information. “Your partner has to know if you're angry, unhappy, or upset.” Dr. Golland suggests sending a warning SMS before leaving work the next time you're having a bad day. They'll notice you're more agitated in this manner.
7. Do not walk away if they re-enter the argument.
If it's only been a few minutes since your disagreement, tell them you're open to any inquiries or hearing about lingering frustrations once they've had time to think about it. If they want to revisit the matter after a few days, don't ignore them. Nonverbal communication, according to Dr. Golland, is as loud as yelling. If you feel yourself leaving, apologize, return, and pay attention to what they have to say. "'So you're saying [fill in the blank]?' Reflect back to him what he's saying. 'Are you sure?' Check in to make sure you're on the right track.”
8. Don't stab yourself in the back.
Are you still dealing with the aftermath of a fight? That doesn't give you the right to say things that aren't very sweet. Never address a person by their first name. Sussman believes it's difficult to get back on your feet after that. So, if you and your partner had a disagreement about your vacation budget, don't imply they're cheap when you're looking at photos from a friend's trip to Greece. Calling someone a name, according to Sussman, causes them to "come back swinging with insults." Instead, ask them to talk through what's still bothering you when you've calmed down. "I understand you're anxious about money," Sussman suggests, "but here's a budget I made."
9. Don't have physical intimacy if you're not experiencing it.
You both meant it when you said "I'm sorry," but now they're attempting to obtain some, and all you can think is, "Really?"
Sussman says, "It's not like they don't know you battled." “Many men yearn for intimacy in order to feel close.” If going at it is the last thing on your mind, gently lower them. "I appreciate your desire to be close to me," she says, "but I'm not in the mood right now." “ Give him a hug and tell him you're hoping to get intimate with him tomorrow.” Don't just turn around and turn them down without giving them a reason. "That will hurt his feelings," Sussman responds.
10. Don't get too wrapped up in the beginnings of the fight.
Finding solutions to the problem would be a better use of your time and effort. The following is an example from Puhn: Assume your companion forgot to bring money to a cash-only event. You had a fight about it, but then you went to an ATM and the situation was resolved. Enjoy the night instead of replaying your partner's misstep in your head. “Whether you reached a solution or not is the difference between a bad fight and a good fight,” Puhn continues. If they continue to forget things, say something along the lines of, "I've observed that you don't bring cash very often these days." “What the hell is going on over there?” says the narrator. It's a more considerate attitude than exclaiming, "Ugh!" “Not this time!” exclaims the speaker.
11. Never say, "I'm sorry, I wasn't intending to offend you."
Puhn explains, "It's like trying to wipe a permanent pen with an eraser." The author explains, "It aggravates the matter because your husband will say, 'Yes, you did!'" Going back and forth over what you said or didn't say, what you meant or didn't mean, keeps you focused on the past rather than the future, which is the goal of any disagreement. "You didn't mean it, but it made me feel this way," say if they say "I didn't mean it." So, in the future, please do XYZ.”
12. Don't punish yourself too much for getting into a quarrel.
Fighting can suggest that you're both still working on the relationship (which is a good thing!). Puhn argues a pair is doomed if they claim, "We used to dispute a lot, but now we raise our hands and go out." It's not that they don't have differences of opinion. Puhn explains, "It suggests they're letting go of the relationship, which is what happens before they leave or find an affair." So take consolation in the fact that you and your partner are still trying to figure out how to address your issues.
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