How To Fix A Relationship After A Fight And Move Forward
Updated February 28, 2020
Reviewer Audrey Kelly, LMFT
In relationships, fights are commonplace, and you shouldn't be too concerned if you have one here or there. However, some fights can leave both partners feeling less at ease and may make them nervous that more serious complications are forming within the relationship. Couples will also need to take into consideration what the fights are about, what these fights mean, and what the outcome of these fights are.
For example, let's imagine that you are a couple who fights on occasion or may have minor arguments regarding certain things within your relationship. However, you and your partner generally don't have any issues stemming from your fights because you are properly able to take care of whatever the issues may be, the argument itself isn't truly an issue on its own but is just part of the healing process as you and your partner work through any issues that do come up and figure out a solution. Put simply, an argument doesn't necessarily indicate a problem or cause a problem unless there is nothing that comes after the argument. Still, they may have you worried and there are things that you can do to limit their appearances.
On the other hand, there are those who are fighting and constantly doing so but never actually taking care of the underlying problems lying behind these conflicts. When this happens, the argument does become the issue because nothing is being solved and the anger and other motions that are igniting the fight become the common emotions that the couple feels as they continue to fight about the same thing and never get to the root of the issue of the problem that is starting the fight. When this happens, couples may not know what to do and will view this constant fighting as a major problem within their relationship. In this case, (when compared to the previous situation) this can be an issue that needs attention immediately and will require a little bit of extra work from both you and your partner.
Either way, you have managed to come to this article, which means you and your partner just have just had a fight. Perhaps it was a little one that came up randomly. Perhaps it was a big one that was rather new to you. Perhaps it was the first fight you've really had as a couple. Perhaps you seem to do nothing but fight nowadays. Whichever situation may be the case for you and your partner, you will want to know how to fix a relationship after a fight because it's not always easy. The truth is that if you follow the right steps, you can get started on fixing things a whole lot faster than you might think and that can improve your relationship. Let's look at some helpful tips that will guide you through this process post-argument.
How to Fix a Relationship After a Fight
#1 Blow Off Steam
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are able to calmly discuss whatever it is that you were fighting about. If you come into a conversation with your partner with negative emotions and that strong urge to continue where you left off, it is almost guaranteed that you are going to start another fight rather than engage in a helpful conversation, which can produce negative results that will only build upon the existing problems. In order to properly prepare for such as conversation, this may mean that you need to walk away for a minute so that you can calm down and get to a state where you can be rational and relaxed. Let your partner know that you need some time to collect yourself before you start discussing the issue and give your partner an opportunity to do the same. Take a few breaths, compose yourself, think about some things that relax you, and come back when you're ready to speak with your partner about the argument and the problem behind it. You will be able to communicate much more effectively if you are not angry or defensive.
#2 Tell Your Partner How You Feel
Although there is communication going on when you are arguing with your partner, the problem is that this communication doesn't actually solve any problems as we are often fighting with the intent to place blame on the other person, to upset them, or hurt them. Instead, sit them down and tell your partner what it is that you're thinking and how you feel when they do whatever it is that they did to make you angry. Tell them why this bothers you and what you would rather they do instead and make sure to position each of your statements around your feelings rather than around their actions. After all, it tends to be the reaction to issues that is causing the problem rather than the issue itself. (This is not always the case and you can feel free to address major problems as well.) It's important to be honest and open with your partner regarding your relationship and the things that you're experiencing at this point.
#3 Listen to Your Partner
Once you've had a chance to explain what you think and feel, it's time to let your partner do the same. Let them talk about why they do whatever it is that they do and what they think or feel about it and about your potential solution for the problem. often we tend to think that we're right in each fight we're having and that's why arguments only lead to more issues. There are no winners or losers in a fight, and we must come to the realization that a relationship is a group effort that requires both partners to be in harmony and to understand and care about the feelings of each other. Don't take this approach if you are seeking a long, healthy relationship. Instead, realize that your partner may feel negatively about the situation as well and understand that there are things that you can do as well to make sure that the problem is solved. Compromise is necessary and when you and your partner work together, it is possible to fix whatever issues have managed to come up in the relationship.
#4 Stay Focused
If you and your partner have a history of fighting, the likelihood that there are plenty of issues lying at the source of these arguments. When this happens and you choose to talk about them, you experience the added difficulty of trying to avoid bringing other arguments into the conversation. However, this can do more harm than good, and you want to make sure that you are only tackling the issues that are at the heart of your argument now. Make sure that you and your partner stay focused on only one issue at a time. If you start jumping around to several different issues all at once, it can result in another fight and that's not something either of you want. By staying focused and sticking to one thing, you can resolve the issue and then move on to the next problem when you need to. Sticking to this model will make it easier to problem solve both now as well as in the future.
#5 Discuss the Solution
As we stated in the introduction, there are couples who argue and continue to experience the snowball effects of their increased arguments and then there are couples who solve their problems and who can recover from their fights each time. Conflict always has a solution and if you want to maintain your relationship and keep it healthy, it is necessary to find that solution and to resolve your arguments as quickly as you can. Sit down with your partner and take a look at your current issue. What can you do to make you and your partner happy? What is the main problem behind the argument and what can you or your partner do to change the behavior or actions behind these issues? How can you make this happen as soon as possible and make sure that this behavior is kept up? You want to make sure that you discuss these options and that you're actively considering any other alternatives as well and listing them down so that you can move onto those if some of your initial plans don't work. Work out a compromise or a choice on how you're going to resolve the issue this time and how you're going to keep it from becoming an issue in the future. After all, continuous arguments will only lead to added tension that could burst and ruin a relationship.
#6 Agree on a Result
One issue that may come up for some couples is that they will find a resolution but both partners may not necessarily be happy with the outcome. However, one partner will stay quiet to keep the other partner happy. Although this may seem like a kind thing for your partner do, it only makes it easier for them to become resentful and angry and start more arguments in the future or create additional issues that alter the state of your relationship. Make sure that, when you finally come to a conclusion about what you can do for your relationship, you both agree to whatever result is. If you can't be happy with that result, then it's not going to be good for you and your partner and you need to consider a solution that works for both of you. The same goes for your partner and if either of you isn't going to be happy, it will result in more arguments in the future. Keep discussing until you come to a conclusion.
Getting Your Help
If you and your partner seem to fight frequently or don't seem to have the skills to resolve the arguments after a fight, you might want to seek out professional help to help with learning the skills necessary to follow through on the tips above. Regain provides several high-quality, online therapists that you can call whenever you need them and who will be able to be accessed through the internet rather than setting up an appointment in an office. Get started on working on your repairing your relationship today and watch it thrive!