Relationship advice: How to get over a fight with your spouse or significant other
Discusses different types of fights couples may have and ideas to help them get over the fights and make up.
I have realized after being in a long-term relationship that every couple has their differences, and they are going to fight at times. It hurts both partners, and it sometimes takes one longer to get over the hurt than the other. However, in order for the relationship to grow without a black cloud always looking over their shoulders, they must let go of their anger and resentment.
Couples can fight for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons include: miscommunication, unmet expectations, or a difference of opinion. Communication is the key to any relationship, but especially a romantic one. If one partner thought their partner meant something, but he really meant something totally different, then she may be hurt because she’ll think he lied but in essence they just misunderstood what they were each saying.
Expectations are really hard, because each person has certain things that are really important to them, such as quality time together, remembering anniversaries and birthdays, or having monthly get-togethers with their own friends. If an expectation is unmet, the partner will grow hurt and resentful towards the other one. My boyfriend and I have had this type when I wanted him to get me something for my birthday and celebrate it just the two of us and his defense was we celebrated it on vacation the month before but I wanted a card or flowers on my actual birthday. When nothing happened, I grew angry and resentful and withdrew for a few days.
Differing opinions could actually be the healthiest type of fight depending on the topic. If the couple is debating an intellectual topic such as politics, or history, these can be interesting, and both people can learn from the opposite points of view. However, when couples start to tread into more personal ground such as views on child raising, abortion, religion is when things tend to get touchy. It’s still good to have more than one viewpoint, but now emotions such as anger, guilt, sadness, and fear are thrown into the mix.
The most important thing is for the couple as soon as they are calm enough to not yell anymore to sit down and reevaluate the situation. In the case of a misunderstanding, I would recommend having each partner ask the other what they really meant to say and in the future what may be a better way to clarify it to avoid this happening again.
I know from experience how much it hurts to not have your expectations met, but I also know it’s unfair to always expect your partner to know what you need. In that case, withdrawing does not work in the long run. It feels good for a few days, but it is important to communicate the hurt and not to punish your partner. We did talk, and we both apologized for not explaining what we needed, and what we really meant. If an important expectation is that a partner takes an effort in planning anniversaries or birthdays, an idea is to write a list of a few ideas that are important to you and give him the list, then he won’t forget but he won’t have the pressure of doing it all himself. I tried that for our anniversary, two months after my birthday, it worked great, and this time, there was no fighting just romance.
With debates, the couple just has to be careful not to let it become too personal because they know each other’s weak points, and when emotions get into the fray, people do not always think before lashing it. If they see themselves getting like this, they should take a step back, and agree to table this discussion until they are both calmer.
The most important thing is to make sure that the issue is resolved to both people’s satisfaction before moving on. While the couple does not want to obsess over the issue, both people have to be ready to let go of it, otherwise one or the other will feel like they did not get their say and they will feel resentment later. It is a nice gesture if they can apologize and reconnect both emotionally and physically, by hugging or spending some time together cuddling. It’s nice to renew their love to one another.