Science confirms that it’s no longer just about how you fight; it’s what you do after the argument that may determine if you’re going to go the long haul.
You’ve recently gotten into an argument with your significant other. Things got more heated than usual and now all you can think about is how you wish it would have happened.
Maybe you fought dirty or didn’t get a chance to say how you really felt? Maybe the issue is still unresolved and you don’t know how to reproach the subject?
So you sit there stewing in your emotions not realizing that the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you break up.
Maybe not immediately, but according to psychologist John Gottman, couples who stewed in their emotion and allowed contempt to be built up with their partner were more likely to get divorced within 16 years.
Conversely, couples who talked about conflict right after it happened and who took the necessary action to resolve it where less likely to divorce.
Arguments are going to happen, but according to the research what you do after will be what makes or breaks your relationship. How can you approach an argument in a healthier manner?
Discuss Your Arguments Almost Immediately
Don’t wait to discuss your feelings or position about the argument. Waiting around allows you to over analyze or get more invested in your emotions and you are less likely to think clearly.
Take Responsibility For Your Actions
Acknowledge your wrongdoing, or what you could have done better to prevent or deflate the argument. Could you have been more sensitive to your partner or taken a different tone?
Listen With An Open Mind
Listen to your partner’s feelings without judgment or criticism. Create a space for you to communicate honestly with one another.
Be Positive In Your Search For A Resolution
Don’t approach the conversation defensively or with accusation because your partner will immediately shut down. Instead ask what you can do better, and what actions you both can take next time that will make a difference?
Acknowledge Your Partner’s Feelings
Apologize to your partner if needed. Repeat back what they said so that they know you heard them and let them know you understand where they are coming from.
Next time your argument escalates, don’t ignore it or wait to address your concerns. Using the above tactic will assure a better way to communicate and strengthen your relationship.