How To Repair After Conflict

When you think about it, relationships face a lot of odds. After all, it isn't possible for a person to be emotionally available to their partner 100% of the time. We all make mistakes in relationships, whether its failure to communicate our expectations or putting work ahead of our loved ones from time to time.

So, why do some people stay together while others split? It turns out that happy couples make mistakes just like the rest of us. The secret to a successful relationship lies in how couples repair after a fight.

Repair after a fight is important

Every relationship faces failure at some point. Even in a healthy, supportive marriage, partners will:

  • Scream at one another•Disagree•Say rude or hurtful things •Become defensive or critical•Give the silent treatment
  • Healthy partners do the same things that unhealthy couples do. The difference is that they eventually open a dialogue where they recover from the hurtful behaviours. Healthy partners are just better at repairing the relationship after damage has been done.

    According to relationship counsellors, healthy partners are able to take responsibility for their actions so they can begin the process of healing their bond. People prioritise repair when they truly believe that their relationship is more important than the problem.

    How does a repair work?

    What's the secret to an effective repair? The goal is to understand where both parties went wrong so future behaviours can be positive and constructive.Couples who are able to repair their relationships already have a good emotional climate with their partner. This means that a repair attempt will only work if your relationship has a solid foundation of friendship. Dealing with problems as soon as they arise can help.

    If partners consistently treat each other with respect and understanding, the relationship will have a stronger foundation to weather problems that come up in life. Partners who are consistently distant, disrespectful or downright rude will be less able to repair their relationship because it won't feel genuine.

    After a fight

    Repairs don’t have to be well spoken or even complicated to be effective. If a relationship is healthy, then any genuine attempt at communication should work. Some good ways to start the healing process include:

  • Give your partner a smile.•Acknowledge their feelings in a positive way, i.e. "I hear where you're coming from."•Be respectful in your disagreements, i.e. "We'll have to agree to disagree."•Ask your partner if you can take a break to cool down.•Apologise for any hurtful statements you made.•Simply tell them that you love them.•Affirm your relationship, i.e. "We're stronger than the problem we're facing right now."
  • Build a friendship

    Remember: a relationship that is built on a true, deep connection will always have a better chance of repair. Don't be afraid to express your love and admiration for your significant other on a regular basis. When you engage in feelings of closeness often, it can be easier to repair your relationship after rough patches.