Danielle Jagoda, MA, LMFT
Best way to make up after a fight
Fighting, you know, is definitely normal. All couples fight. And I wouldn’t think it would be normal as I had a couple that came in to my office and said, oh, we never fight, you know, we’re perfect. No, we get along all the time. So fighting is very normal. Here is the best way to make up after a fight.
I always encourage people after they’ve had like a big blowup to go their separate ways to cool down. I think there has to be a cool down period and that could be a half hour, it could be an hour, whatever you need and I encourage you to go to your own space if it means listening to calming music, taking deep breaths, what you need. But I really encourage my couples never to go to bed angry and upset with each other.So, if you’re able to, after calming down, come together and discuss whatever happened, whatever the fight was about. I encourage that before the end of the night and I always have my couples practice using “I” statements of feeling.
So, for example, “I felt very hurt when you told me you were going to go out this evening and you hadn’t told me in advance so I wasn’t able to get a baBYsitter. I would want to come along with you. I enjoy being with you and I want to spend more time with you. “
And then what I have is the other partner take that message and repeat back what they just heard their partner say. “So what I just heard you saying is that you were very hurt me wanting to go out tonight on my own and my not giving you any advance notice and you weren’t able to maybe get a sitter and I didn’t invite you.” And then I want that
partner to talk about how they were feeling and what they were thinking with an “I” statement and a feeling statement. So, hopefully, we can kind of resolve the conflict that way.
I would tell my couples if they’re fighting in bed at night and it’s late to say, “you know
what, I know we don’t want to go to bed angry but it’s late. I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow. It’s going to affect our whole next day. So if you can say can we agree to discuss this tomorrow at such and such time and to set up a time for it and to have, you know, to be really fair, I want to resolve. I don’t want to fight with you, but I’m
exhausted. It’s one o’clock in the morning. I don’t have the energy right now. I’m not really in my right mind. I’m emotional. I’m moody. Can we talk — agree to talk about this tomorrow?”
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