Whether you’re fighting about something big or small, there’s always a lesson to be learned. Besides giving the silent treatment for a few hours, calming down, saying ‘sorry’ and making up, there’s also a lesson that you should learn from every argument.
John Gottman’s research has shown that when a couple fights, it’s not about what sparked the fire, it’s how you put the fire out.
What did you do to fix the problem? Did you compromise? Sweep it under the rug?
All of these questions are valid when it comes to the healthiness of your relationship. If you tend to sweep issues under the rug, they’ll always come up sooner or later and it’s usually filled with a lot of resentment. Compromising and putting your differences aside is the best way to resolve any issues you’re having.
If you’ve had a big blow out with your partner in the past and you never really resolved it, that hurt and anger will always linger around in the back of your mind. Then, when you have a fight about something extremely small, that pain and anger will come out again even though it wasn’t a big deal. This is an unresolved conflict that needs to be resolved when it happens, not months or years later.
We tend to hold onto memories both good or bad and our emotions get in the way. However, it’s always best to talk about it openly with your partner. Once it’s resolved, that bad memory will turn into a good one because you’ve remembered that you spoke about it and solved the problem.
After an argument that you have, think about where the fight stemmed from and how you came to resolve it. Simple questions can really help you step outside of your body and figure out how it all happened.
Did I overreact in this situation?
Am I angry about something that caused me to overreact?
Did I just have a bad day and am bringing this anger onto my partner?
At the end of the day, you really just need to pick your battles. Is it worth getting angry over when you could be happy and laughing with your partner?
Life is so short.