Arguing, disagreeing, bickering, whatever you want to call it, happens in all relationships. It’s easy to do, easy to say the wrong thing without thinking, easy to half deal with issues or to sweep them under the carpet.  However you both choose to tackle your own unique blend of communication, one thing for sure is that once in a while you’ll need to call a truce and make up. To help you along, we’ve put together a list of the best ways to do just exactly that.

Hearing and listening

It’s essential that you learn the difference between these two states, as it will be an asset not only for your relationship, but for every other area of your life.  When we’re in the middle of a heated debate with someone, our defenses can go up and our ears somehow take on a mind of their own.  We hear what we want to hear by putting whatever they’re saying through an emotional filter of the relationship, or our own personal history.  You must learn to recognise and limit this reaction.

One way to do this is to stop waiting for your turn to speak, or trying to come up with ways to outwit or use superior logic on your partner.  Just take a mental step back and listen to what they’re actually saying.  What sort of language are they using, are they talking about their thoughts or their feelings, are they commenting on your entire personality, or how you behave in particular situations.  Let your guard down, this is love not war, and be very clear about what you’re really discussing.  Focus on fixing that.

Say sorry when you mean it

Even though it may seem less hassle and quicker, don’t make the mistake of apologising for things that you’re not truly sorry for just to make your partner feel better.  This is a false economy that needs to be stamped out.

If you apologise for actions that you have no remorse over, it can be easy to repeat them because there’s little connection to why they were deemed wrong in the first place.  False apologies also leave little room for discussion and therefore even less scope for your partner to understand where it is you’re coming from.  For this reason, own up to your wrongdoings, but try to stand firm in your honesty when saying sorry.

Keep it private

One of the most questionable decisions you can make is to allow multiple people into either your original argument or the making up process you’re going through. Partners don’t need to be reminded of their mistakes by in-laws or your best friends.  They also don’t need it explained just how lucky they are to have you, or how understanding and patient you’ve been.

Making up is about you, and your feelings for and between each other.  Anyone who has input into your difficult moments should be politely reminded where the boundaries lie.

Do have a ritual

This is perhaps more for those couples who don’t argue often, but when you do it’s big and it’s serious.  It can be useful to have a special, specific activity that you both engage in after an argument like this, or even during, in order to help realign with each other as solidly as you were before.  It might be spending a night outside of your regular environment, driving to the beach, taking a day off work to walk in your favourite park, or simply having some sofa time together.  Whatever it is, and whether you call it regrouping, re-centring or realigning your love, ensure you recognise when it’s necessary, that you do it when you both feel the need and that you’re clear about its purpose.

Do let it go

We spend too much of our lives holding on to the past and things that can’t be changed.  Making up after an argument with a clear heart will always serve you and your relationship best in the long run. If there’s something you can’t let go, discuss it and work on it until you can.  Learning to let go is the relationship gift that keeps on giving

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