Getting Over Fights

tanned skin man explains to curly black hair girl while she not listen with unhappy face
by Dr. Margaret Paul

Do you get over fights with a partner quickly, or does it take you a long time to get over them?

Most couples fight at times. This is generally not a problem unless they fight unfairly, hitting below the belt and saying very hurtful things, or becoming physically abusive. Couples who engage in verbal or physical abuse need to get individual help and help with their relationship, or leave the relationship. Ongoing verbal and physical abuse takes a huge toll on everyone.

This article is not about abusive fights – it’s about the regular run-of-the mill fights where each person gets angry, defensive, or blames their partner. Often, the issue that they are upset about doesn’t even have much importance. In fact, the next day, they often can’t even remember what they were fighting about. Likely one got triggered into irritation, which triggered their partner, and they went at it.

Often the underlying issue is about control – one wanting to control the other and the other not wanting to be controlled. While the presenting issue may be about time or money or parenting or sex or chores or messiness, the underlying issue is generally about control.

This article is not about the fight itself, but about how you get over fights and back into loving connection with your partner.

What do you do after a fight?

fighting in a relationship
  • Do you shut down, withdrawing your love to punish your partner?
  • Do you sulk and act miserable?
  • Do you keep sniping at your partner, letting him or her know you are still angry?
  • Do you insist on an apology?
  • Do you keep trying to get your partner to understand your point of view?
  • Do you try to ‘process’ with your partner to get him or her to take responsibility for their end of the fight?
  • Do you continue to blame your partner for your feelings?

If you do any of these things, then you are continuing to try to control your partner by using various manipulations in the hopes of getting him her to change.

Reconnecting After a Fight

reconnecting after a fight

None of the above choices will lead to loving reconnection. Loving reconnection occurs when you:

  • Do your own inner work after the fight to see what triggered you and how you would rather have handled the situation.
  • Stay disengaged until you are able to open your heart to your partner.
  • Let go of getting your partner to apologize or own their end of the conflict.
  • Let go of ‘processing’ the conflict, until the two of you are open to learning about yourselves and with each other. Even then, the processing needs to be about yourself rather than about your partner.
  • When your partner shares his or her learning, you accept it with compassion and caring.
  • When you realize that the issue you were fighting over is not important, you decide to just let the whole thing go and reach out with warmth.

It might seem contrary to creating a loving relationship to just let it go, but actually this is often what creates the reconnection necessary to be able to talk about it lovingly at some later time.

“But,” you might be thinking, “is it loving to myself to just let it go? Aren’t I allowing my partner to treat me badly if I just let it go?”

The truth is that you have no control over whether or not your partner treats you badly. If your partner is treating you badly, the best thing you can do is learn how to take loving care of yourself in the face of it, rather than trying to get your partner to change. People often treat us the way we treat ourselves, so rather than focusing on how your partner is treating you, why not focus on how you are treating yourself?

You will find that it is easy to get over fights and lovingly reconnect when you focus on:

When you open to compassion for your feelings and allow your feeling to move through you and release, then you can keep your heart open and reconnect with your partner when he or she is open.

To learn more about the path to Happiness and Contentment see: Discovering Self-Love

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