You wake up, and for a brief moment things seem normal, until you notice your stiff neck…
Then you look around and realise you’re not in bed next to him. You’re on the couch. Suddenly, it all comes rushing back to you…
You had an argument last night.
It was over something stupid at first but, like always, it turned into something bigger.
He tried to apologise but you just couldn’t let it go. You were so mad. As much as you wanted to take the high road and not go to bed angry, you stewed and ruminated and stomped around the house, until finally you grabbed your pillow and announced dramatically, “I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”
Now it’s the morning, and he’s already left for work. Your stomach is in knots.
You don’t want this argument to drag on forever. You want to forgive him, but you just don’t know how to get over your feelings.
Sound familiar, you’re not alone
If so, you’re definitely going to want to pay close attention to today’s email. That’s because we’re talking about how to recover from an argument.
Contrary to popular belief, arguments themselves aren’t what damage relationships; it’s the amount of time that people take to recover after an argument.
I’m sure you have had disagreements in the past where you apologised and then your partner didn’t get over it. They carried on being stressed and angry. Those types of things can ruin hours of your day, a whole day, or more.
I have had relationships before where someone would literally be prepared to wreck the next 48 hours on the back of an argument. That was so difficult to deal with because when someone’s recovery time is that long, you can actually end up wasting a third of your relationship on just getting back to normal after a fight. Life is too short for that.
But no matter how compatible you are, in relationships, disagreements are inevitable.
So instead of focusing on not having arguments in the first place, what we need to get focused on is recovery time after an argument. If we can have a discussion or have a debate about something and then quickly snap back from it, that’s a very powerful place to be.
The hard part is when we are in a bad place after a disagreement. I know you can relate. I can too. I have been in an argument where afterwards I still don’t feel right and I don’t know quite how to get over it in that moment. I want to move on but I don’t know how. I’m still angry or something is still bothering me.
These, I believe, are moments where you have to get vulnerable.
I’m going to get a little personal with you… I always remember an instance where, in the early stages of our relationship, the woman I was with was downloading photos from her phone from the past three years onto her laptop. We were both sitting together as this was happening and it was flashing through the photos as it does when you download them.
One of the photos was a naked photo. I saw this and, of course, I knew immediately what it was. It was something that had been sent to someone before me. It broke my heart in that moment. Now this is actually a very irrational kind of jealousy if you think about it. It was before me. And I know I would love whoever I am with to send me naked photos, so I can’t be angry at a previous guy for expecting the same.
But it made me angry, and I was annoyed and jealous and territorial. In the rational part of my brain I was like, “How could you send someone else a photo like this?”
I was so angry, but I knew I didn’t have a right to be. I still couldn’t get over it. She was apologetic and she said, “I am so sorry you had to see that.”
I remember ten minutes later still being in this place where I was obsessing about it. I eventually opened up and said, “Listen, I know that I don’t have a right to be angry right now but I am, and I need you to help me. I don’t know how to get over this right now, I just need you to help me get over it.”
Now, the beautiful thing about this is that you are giving someone a road map. Many people in arguments just go into themselves and they don’t give people a clue about how they can help, so they are waiting for that person to say the perfect thing. They are waiting for that person to say something that is going to solve it. But they are not actually helping them or giving them guidance.
If you can say to somebody, “Listen, I am just being sensitive right now but I need you to help me. Just be on my side and help me right now,” what you are really doing is being a great teammate. Because you are showing them how to help you overcome your feelings, you are making them a partner in getting over this situation.
Otherwise, if you alienate them and go inside yourself, they now look at it as a hopeless case. They go, “Argh! Nothing I am saying is working. You are still in this bad mood,” and then they shut down.
When you say these 6 simple words – “I need you to help me” – you are making them a teammate in the situation.
So if you can’t get yourself over an argument in the moment, appeal to your partner. Be vulnerable, tell him that you are feeling sensitive, tell him you are still angry but also tell him that you want him to help you. Then you give him a road map and that’s something we all want with our partner.
It makes you the most beautiful thing you can be in a relationship, which is a genuine team.
To learn more ways to speak your man’s language so you can strengthen your relationship and make it last forever, check out this video: