All Couples Fight: It’s How You Make Up That Matters
Updated: Oct 27, 2019
It’s true, all couples fight. No one agrees on everything all the time. You’re bound to argue with your partner no matter how much you love them.
Fighting can be a good thing in a relationship when a couple does it right. An argument should happen for a reason. But it shouldn’t be an excuse to tear down your partner or bring up a dozen things that are bothering you all at once.
Part of knowing how to fight the right way also involves making up the right way.
While an apology can go a long way, there are a few more things to keep in mind after a big argument that can make a difference in the strength of your relationship.
Understand It’s Not One-Sided
Every argument has two sides. You might think that you’re right and your partner is wrong, but they’re likely feeling the opposite.
At the end of the day, if you’re going to move past an argument, it’s not about who is right or wrong. It’s about understanding your role within the discussion.
Were you an instigator? Were you defensive? Did you say hurtful things that didn’t add anything to your case? Or, did you stonewall your partner and give them the “cold shoulder” as they tried to give their opinion?
Understanding how you argue is an excellent first step to getting better at it. It also makes it easier to recognize your faults and bring those to your partner when you’re ready to make up.
When you admit your role (and that it’s not perfect), and your partner does the same, you can make up knowing the “winner” doesn’t matter.
Make Your Relationship a Priority
During an argument, it’s easy to feel like you and your partner are competing against each other. The critical thing to remember is that you’re both on the same team. You have the same goals and want the same things. You might have different ways of getting there!
When you choose to make your relationship a priority above the disagreements, it’s easier to see that your partner isn’t working against you. Stay strong in your team, and you’ll build your relationship up in disagreements, rather than tearing it apart.
Be Willing to Forgive
You won’t be able to make up from a fight without forgiveness. Of course, it’s sometimes easier said than done to forgive someone who has hurt you. That’s especially true for the people you love the most, including a romantic partner.
But, wouldn’t you want the same thing from your partner when you’ve done something wrong?
Forgiveness is crucial to make up with your partner after a fight. That means more than just saying the words. If you tell someone you forgive them, only to bring up a past argument later, that’s not real forgiveness.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean forgetting what happened; it means learning and growing from it. When you forgive your partner for something and vice versa, your arguments will become more productive. You’ll be able to focus on the issues at hand, rather than digging up the past.
Remember, arguing is normal in a relationship. How you argue and how you ultimately make up will make all the difference in the overall health and strength of your relationship. Try not to overlook those things and, instead, give them the attention they deserve.
If you and your partner are having trouble making up after a fight and need help, please feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.
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COMING SOON! A workshop for couples who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who are expecting a baby or who have children already. Based on years of research and experience and developed by the Gottman Institute, this 12 hour workshop is designed to repair communication skills and jump start your relationship with your partner. For more information, please click here.
Jennifer Perera is a mom, spouse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over a decade’s worth of experience in mental health. She has a private practice in New Jersey, with locations in Cranford and Princeton. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual, group and couples counseling. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with a pregnancy loss or infertility. Her other passion is travelling to different parts of the world and her goal is to vacation in a different locale every time. She also has a great fondness for cats!