You got into an argument and now you are both keeping your mouths shut about it, pretending like it didn’t happen. Working everything out isn’t even on your radar because you don’t want to bring it up again and dredge up those hurt feelings. But, that’s a bad idea! Do not let the argument dissolve away without working out the issue that caused the argument in the first place.
By letting it dissolve away and not working everything out, one person (or both) may be left with an emotional injury, such as hurt, regret, or feelings of being unloved or unheard. Those emotional injuries will impact the relationship negatively – if not now, in the future.
For instance, how many times has a partner brought up something from the past that wasn’t totally resolved between the two of you? I’m willing to bet a few times.
Because it was not dealt with, it has left an emotional scar that constantly reminds them of the hurt they experienced. And, it makes the current situation worse because it compounds the anger and hurt that you are both feeling.
For your relationship health and happiness, it is important to work everything out completely. Resolve the issue. Make everyone happy. Don’t bring up stuff from today during your next argument. Your relationship will be much better off for it.
Following are some steps to implement this habit into your life the next time an argument arises.
1. Stop Fighting For A While
Before things get too heated, stop fighting for a while. Heightened emotions can cause a distortion to what is really happening, and it can cause you and your partner to say things and act in ways that you would not do if you were calmer. In short, it will be too late to say ‘I’m sorry I said that’ or ‘I’m sorry I did that’ later on and you may be too hurt to try and work through the issue.
Therefore, once the fight seems to escalate into heightened emotions, you may need to put some distance between the two of you before you can even think of a resolution.
However, this does not mean one person leaves the home and doesn’t come back for a day. Instead, it should be a mutual and a verbal agreement to stop engaging and go to your corners until you can both think more clearly.
2. See It From The Other Person’s Point Of View
Often in arguments, the only view you see is your own. But, it is much better to look at your partner’s point of view and see where they are coming from. When you do, you will be able to listen to them with an open mind and stop trying to force your opinion on them. In addition, you will be able to find out each other’s needs in the situation, and that can help you come to a win-win resolution.
For example, if you are fighting about one person not listening to the other person, then there are needs that are not being addressed. The person not listening may need some time to relax and unwind, while the person who is not being listened to may need to feel validated. By understanding each other’s needs you can move forward to finding a compromise.
3. Find A Compromise
Use the information you found out while putting yourself in their shoes and find that win-win while working everything out.
By using the above example, the person not listening can agree to sit down and listen to their partner after they have had some alone time to relax. As a bonus, that will give the person not being listened to a chance to express themselves to their partner when they are fully present.
Make sure, though, that you are being honest with your partner and they are being honest with you. There is no way that you can come to a win-win situation when one of you is not fully being honest. Both of your needs should be met fully in order to really feel good about the situation.
Now that you have come to a compromise, take the time to forgive your partner before moving on. Forgiveness is so powerful and important! Once you do it, you will be able to move on from the argument without resentment, blame, or any other negative emotion.
Start by asking your partner to forgive your anger or hurtful words, and then forgive them when they ask you for the same. Hug, kiss, and move on from the argument.
If you really want to practice forgiveness, try reading Iyanla Vanzant’s book on 21 days to forgive everyone for everything.
We Tried And We Can’t Do This
If you tried the above four steps, and you find that you cannot work towards a resolution, counseling may be in order. There is something holding you back from going through the process, and a professional may be able to help you find that something.
Even though seeking help outside of the relationship can be hard, it will be well worth it when you tackle issues that are holding you back from working everything out in a mature and complete way. It could actually make or break your relationship!