After a Marital Storm: What You Do After a Fight
Let’s start off by acknowledging that fights between spouses are normal. When two people live and relate to each other in the closeness of marriage, they are bound to get into a disagreement. What is important is how they fight and what the couple does after the fight.
The heat of an argument can result in raised voices, unfair accusations and hurtful words. During that time, you may get mad at your spouse. However, after the argument is over, what do you do? Do you kiss and make up? Do you apologize if ever you resorted into unfair fighting practices? When two spouses are able to reconcile and talk about the matter more calmly after the storm has passed, it is a good sign of the strength of a marriage. It shows that despite the anger you felt during the argument, it doesn’t take away the love.
When a couple is able to talk it out after a fight, that very fight can become a learning experience for the couple. First, it teaches the couple to communicate in order to resolve conflict. Second, it enables the couple to explore the ways by which the issue can be properly resolved whenever it comes up in the future. You can also get into an agreement about how you can fight fairly and how you can avoid fighting unfairly whenever you get into a spat.
Talking, reconciling and resolving the issues calmly are ideal behaviors for a couple, according to Utah marriage counselors. However, not all couples behave this way. There are some negative behaviors that a couple can resort to after a fight. Sadly, though, these behaviors are destructive and can wreak more damage on the marriage.
Engaging in passive-aggressive behavior. Passive-aggressive behaviors make a pretense that everything is okay while doing things that say otherwise. For instance, after a fight, one spouse could do the task being argued about but do it so badly that it irritates the other spouse. Or, after an argument, one tries to make it hard for the other person to complete something. Passive-aggressive behavior is rooted in anger which is suppressed and unexpressed. The spouse who tends to behave passive-aggressively may need the help of family counseling in Provo to fight against the temptation of acting that way.
Ignoring the other spouse. Giving the other spouse the silent treatment is another negative behavior after the fight. It is one way to punish or wreak revenge on the other spouse – albeit in an immature and manipulative way. It sends out the message, “Since you did not give in to what I want, I will withhold pretend that I don’t see you, that you don’t even exist.” It is manipulative since the silent treatment attempts to get what the spouse wants. Also, giving your spouse the silent treatment means there was no dialogue between you, your spouse does not fully understand what he or she did wrong. Thus, there is no understanding as to how the situation can be rectified.
Delivering ultimatums. Threatening divorce every time you get into an argument is not helpful, especially if your spouse knows that you don’t really plan to go through with it. It’s a lose-lose proposition. If your spouse recognizes that you’re not serious with your threat, he or she won’t take you seriously. If he or she does comply due to your threats, your spouse will do it but resent it because you are forcing his or her hand.
Keeping tabs on your hurt feelings. Love, as the Bible describes it, keeps no record of wrongs. However, there are people who simply can’t get over the hurt and holds on to the anger (and to the hurt caused by the actions of the other spouse). Past hurts are brought up and rehashed. Over time, the grudges and resentments grow. When left unattended and without the help of couples counseling in Utah, refusing to grant complete forgiveness to a spouse can wreak serious damage to the relationship.
Learning from Fights
Fights are opportunities to learn more about yourself and your spouse. Nothing brings out the worst out of us than that kind of tension. But it is also how you can learn and grow by discovering positive ways to react when you and your partner disagree. Provo marriage counseling can provide you an increased awareness of you and your spouse’s reactions.
Utah marriage counseling can equip you with essential communication skills so that you can effectively resolve conflicts. This includes learning to recognize the negative behaviors you do during and after a fight. It is particularly tempting to indulge in these behaviors but it is important to recognize that these won’t do your marriage any good.