It’s hard to make up after a fight. Fights break out among the best of us. They can make us feel sad and sometimes even strain our relationships. So, why is it so hard mending things and finding our way back to our loved ones?
None of Us Want to Fight
All of us who are in a relationship have many things in common. First off, we all probably want it to work. We most likely want to live peacefully with the person we love. Another thing we probably all agree on is that we don’t want to fight. We just want to get along and experience good feelings with each other.
Yes, I believe we can all agree on what we want. Now here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want to get our feelings hurt. We don’t want to get mad at our mate. We don’t want to feel bad about ourselves or work too hard for our partner. I bet we can all agree on what we don’t want too.
So, Why Do We Fight and Grow Apart?
So if we all want one thing, to live happy with our mate, why is it so hard to achieve this? I think it’s because one of the hardest parts of being with another person is learning how to reconnect after a fight. I believe this step is so difficult for us and because we are not good at it, many relationships falter or end because people don’t know how to do it.
And this step is even hard for people who like their relationship. And I know there are many of us out there that do. But think about your own situation. What do you do when your partner hurts your feelings? How do you respond? Does the difficulty get bigger? Does it end? If you have figured out how to end it, you are already using skills to re-connect. If you make it bigger, let’s talk about it.
It’s Hard to Make Up After a Fight When Overwhelmed with Pain or Anger
I know when I get my feelings hurt, one of the last things I want to do is talk with the person who hurt them. I am usually very mad and, in the moment, not sure if I could ever talk to them again. That’s where my feelings take me. My hurt feelings make me dislike my person and those loving thoughts that I had before the hurt feelings are gone. I am mad at my person. I expected more: something better from him, and for him not to have done what he did. I am not sure what I am thinking, I only know I’m consumed by negative feelings over what he did.
And while I am in this state, there is no way I am taking a step toward reconciliation. I am making him the bad guy. Now when my hurt feelings subside, then I start to feel other things like, “I don’t want to be alone” and “I want to get back to a good place with my person.” I think this is pretty common for people too. After the heat of our upset subsides, we all crave something closer with our mate.
It’s Important to Decide to Make Up After a Fight
The trick is finding a way to close the gap, and this is not a natural skill. Some of us have to learn it. When I was young I learned to get mad, yell, and then stay away. This was my tool as a little girl and not until I was in my relationship did I realize how ineffective it was. As an adult, no one ever came to me and said, “Hey Linda, I’m so sorry you are hurt. Take as long as you want and come back when you are better. I will be waiting right here for you.”
I may have thought that’s what I wanted, and if I stayed with those old behaviors I would still want this, but I have changed. I don’t want to be separate from my person, even after a fight. I want to reconnect. And I think this is the first thing we have to decide. We have to make a decision to push through our story about them and try and get back.
Learning How to Make Up After a Fight Is Hard, But It Will Bring You Closer
I know it’s hard. It’s probably one of the hardest things a person can learn to do. But if you can, you can lift your relationship to another level. Those long separations and cut-offs after fights get shorter and shorter, and soon you are seeing them as the aberrations, nothing more.
Each of you in your relationship wants closeness. Find a way to work on what you do to stay separate from your mate. Make improvements. They could last a lifetime.
Want to Make Up After a Fight More Quickly, More Easily, and Less Painfully?
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn about how fights emerge and can be conquered in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help give you the communication skills to fight less, feel closer, and better return from conflict to love when fights do break out. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.