After the Argument
Couples Arguing Ask: Talk or Don't Talk After the Blow-Up?
Couples arguing…a common occurrence…you’ve just had a huge blow-up between you and your spouse and now the situation is relatively calm.
You went to do your activities and your spouse went somewhere else in the house. As time moves on do you bring the issue up again and risk another blow-up, or let it go and hope that the issue will resolve itself?
Or, you recently found out your spouse was having an affair.
You’ve yelled and screamed about it, cried and sobbed about it, and now there is a lull in the hostilities. However, you still have questions about the affair and your spouse’s activities, motivations, feelings, and thoughts. Do you enjoy the peace and hope this is over, or do you voice your concerns and risk more rage from either one of you?
What do you do after a big argument, or after a big fight?
Women and Men Usually Have Different Methods
Although not always true, women usually want to talk things out, while men want to “fix” the situation or “drop it” and move on.
When the wife continues to bring up the painful issue, the husband feels attacked and responds accordingly. The wife feels misunderstood and isolated: she thinks, “he doesn’t care enough to work this out.”
If you don’t actively stop this process, your relationship will deteriorate over the years until you wonder what you ever saw in each other to get together in the first place.
Getting Out Of This Vicious Cycle
First, remember that you are friends, not enemies. Your job as a friend is to consider what you say and how you say it. Friends don’t run away from or ignore issues, either. They work through the issues together with their friend.
For the person who wants to talk:
- Being a friend means being sensitive to how the discussion is begun.
- If at all possible, avoid attacks.
- It means being sensitive to when is a good time to begin.
- Notice when the other person might need a break.
- When you take a break set a specific time to revisit the issue.
For the person who wants to avoid talking:
- Being a friend means bringing up the issue even though you know it’s not going to be comfortable or pleasant.
- If you don’t know what to say, you can describe how you’ve been thinking about it.
- You can admit that you don’t know how to proceed.
- You want to go back over the issue because you value your relationship.
- And you don’t want your partner to think that their concerns are being ignored.
Start Acting Like A Friend Again
There is a good chance that you haven’t acted as a friend since soon after you married.
You’re both out of practice and it will be very uncomfortable at first. You might even feel it is risky because you are openly showing your care and concern for your partner even if you might think he or she doesn’t deserve it right now. Love is about making yourself vulnerable.
With consistent practice, you will get better, and you have to continue trying to talk like a friend even when you think your spouse doesn’t deserve it. You might try a communication exercise for your marriage to give you some ideas about improving your communication skills.
I wish you all the best in your efforts to improve your marriage. Work to make your marriage better than it’s ever been. A great marriage doesn’t just happen, you have to create it through your consistent efforts.
Warm regards and my best wishes for a wonderful marriage,