Making Peace After the Argument

marriage conflict

So what happens after the argument is over or you're feeling ready to reconnect? People do it in different ways. Some approach their partner and apologize. Some try to tease, tickle or touch their partner in some way. Still others try to do something nice for the other though they may avoid any direct mention of the upset. All of these are fine as long as the other recognizes it and doesn't have different expectations about how to reconnect.

But what about those times when you know you've had a long standing resentment, tension or argument? It can feel difficult to bridge the gap, even if you're ready to let bygones be bygones.

So, here's my advice. Do these four things and your reconnection will go a lot more smoothly.

1. Be direct with your partner and tell him or her that you'd like to reconnect. You can say things like, "Well, I guess it's been tough these last few days/weeks, but I miss you and I'd really like to be close again."

2. Validate, validate, validate him or her. After you express your desire for reconnection, say things like, "I know I've been hard on you lately." or "I know you haven't liked the tension either." or "I've been thinking lately about how you have a point about..."

3. Listen if s/he still has something to say about the issue. Don't resist or be defensive. Continue to validate. [Note to partners on the receiving end of a reconnection attempt-- accept their repair! Don't rehash old stuff more than necessary].

4. Do things to appreciate your partner and get back swiftly into those things that connect you like dates, hugs, sex, compliments, notes, etc.

Extending the olive branch after arguments or even weeks of tension is critical to your overall relationship health. It can be done even if it feels impossible to let things go and start over.

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