Jordan Zipkin, LMFT
Key Ways to Quickly Recover From a Fight with Your Partner
If the aftermath of a fight between you and your partner feels like a city after it’s hit by a terrible hurricane, then this blog is for you. The devastated city takes days to weeks to reconnect its electricity and resume its daily sense of normalcy, peace, and success. If only there were better ways to recover from such profound destruction. Armed with the right set of skills, you and your loved one should expect a speedy recovery.
Here’s the trick to quickly moving forward from a fight with your partner: talk about the fight without going back into battle again; in their renowned Gottman Method, which has transformed the lives of thousands of couples, Dr. John and Julie Gottman state, “it needs to be a conversation as if you were both sitting in the balcony of a theater looking down on a stage where the action had occurred.”
Key Ways to Accomplish This:
1. Ensure You’re Both Calm
If you try to resolve the fight without you both first being calm, you’re likely to do battle once again. So, ensure both you and your partner are feeling relaxed. Reading, journaling, or taking a walk are some examples of ways to help you and your loved one calm down. When you’re both noticeably calmer, you can then approach the important topic.
2. Concentrate on the Goal of Improved Understanding
Now that you’re both calm, I know it’s tempting to want to be right and convey what you believe to be the facts in a situation. These goals, however, will not help you in quickly resolving conflicts and they will only worsen the outcomes. Focus, instead, on how you felt and your overall perception of the event.
3. Take Turns Sharing Your Perspectives and Feelings
Now, share your feelings and perception of the experience with your partner. Once you’re done, encourage your partner to summarize what you said. If s/he gets any of your views wrong, do your best to gently correct him/her.
Once your partner accurately captures your experience, reality, and feelings as they pertain to the fight, it’s time to switch.
Now, give your partner the opportunity to share his/her own reality of the experience, including his/her feelings about it. Once done, you’ll then go through that same process of summarizing what you heard until your partner confirms that you got it right.
4. Agree on Improvements
At the end of this process, ensure that each of you shares one thing both you and your partner can do in the future to help prevent this kind of fight. It’s critical that you both concentrate on being as agreeable as possible with the plans you both suggest to one another.
I can help you and your partner bounce back from fights much more quickly so you can much more readily be that loving, supportive, calm, and caring couple again.
I provide telehealth couples counseling within a secure HIPAA compliant video or phone session. Give me a call and we'll discuss how I can help. Jordan Zipkin, LMFT, at 954-391-5305.