There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. It’s normal to have disagreements but it’s even more important to learn how to overcome those unpleasant discussions, without letting them transform into a huge fight. Usually, many fights start from small things, so you should think twice before saying something that you might regret later.
Here are 10 things you should never say to your partner after a fight. Also, it’s important to make productive arguments, rather than destructive ones.
Don’t act like nothing happened
You may think that if you ignore that something happened it will pass by itself. The truth is, you can’t resolve a relationship disagreement without communication. If you don’t let your partner know what bothers you, that thing will eventually repeat and you’ll end up fighting over and over again upon the same situation.
“Sweeping it under the rug assumes your partner is satisfied with the outcome. But making a clear effort to reconnect is the key to a successful outcome. Sharing what you have learned after a fight can help repair the damage,” says Lesli M. W. Doares, a marriage consultant and coach with a private practice in Cary, North Carolina, and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work.
“Something triggered the fight that must be addressed,” says Laurel House, a dating and empowerment coach on E!’s Famously Single.
If it made you two fight, then it must have been important for at least one of you. Do not let these kinds of things pass without discussing them with your partner.
“The important things you ignore are the things that manifest into larger issues,” says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash and author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing).
Don’t let too much time pass before you resolve it
The longer you wait, the angrier you’ll be and it will get harder to overcome the problem. Don’t be afraid to communicate freely with your partner. Also, be mature enough to make the first step if you want to get it off your chest.
“Unresolved anger and hurt feelings can grow if they’re not worked out in a timely manner,” says Antonia Hall, MA, a psychologist, relationship expert and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life.
“By letting time slip by, you’re going to lengthen the disagreement and continue to suffer from the stress associated with it,“ says Stacey Laura Lloyd, health and relationships writer and coauthor of Is Your Job Making You Fat? How to Lose the Office 15…and More!
“In addition, with the passage of time, it’s more difficult to recall and agree upon the exact factors that caused the conflict in the first place, making it even tougher to resolve.”
However, take some time to cool off, rethink the issue and find a solution to your problem. Timeouts like these are beneficial especially to men. They need some time to turn their brains off.
“He can then come back to the situation in a more open and loving state of mind to more rationally access what is happening and how to find a solution with his partner,” says Mike Goldstein, founder and lead dating coach of EZ Dating Coach.
Don’t share details of your fight on Facebook, all over cyberspace
A relationship should be private. Although it is normal to seek validation for close friends, family members or anyone who will listen, try to keep some things to yourself. A fight is between you and your partner, and it should stay that way.
“This can be really damaging to the trust your partner has for you,” says Marni Feuerman, a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida.
“Unlike you, all they have are the ‘facts’ that you presented, making it harder for them to forgive and forget,” says House.
By talking about your relationship with others, you’ll give people the opportunity to judge and you’ll end up influenced by their opinions. Keep the reason you fought about to yourself, and if you really feel like you need to talk to someone, choose a person that you trust and who can provide a piece of honest advice.
Don’t be stubborn
Do not let anger control you. If your partner’s offering you a sincere, genuine apology, accept it. Realize that people make mistakes, and by not accepting his/her apology out of stubbornness can lead to a bigger fight than before.
“Otherwise, you’ll keep the negative sentiments around much longer than necessary,” says Feuerman.
A long-term relationship can’t exist without forgiveness. Learn to forgive the ones that you love and accept that they are not perfect. If you feel like your partner loves you and respects you, forgive and move on.
“By not accepting his apology, you’re continuing to punish him and communicating that no matter what he does or says, it’s not good enough,” says House.
“Relationships aren’t about having a winner and a loser. You’re on the same side,” says Syrtash. “If you can’t accept his apology, figure out if you need to seek counseling or do something else that will help you restore trust and connection.”
It’s also important to realize that you make mistakes too. You’re not perfect either, learn to take accountability for yourself. In a couple’s fight, both partners are to blame.
Don’t bring up the argument in the future
If you forgive your partner for something, do not bring up the argument again in the future. If you do, it means you never forgave him. Resolve the issue and move on. Do not let things from the past affect your future.
“If couples consistently rehash every fight they ever had, there will be never-ending feuding and zero time for love and fun,” says Goldstein.
You’ll end up living your past all over again by fighting over the same things. If you’ve discussed a certain issue with your partner and you’ve put an end to it, there’s no need to bring that up again. It isn’t healthy for your relationship.
“Holding something over your partner’s head is not loving behavior and will not result in a healthy, successful relationship,” she says.
“By bringing up old conflicts, all you’re really doing is restarting the battle while also showing your partner that prior resolutions and agreements mean nothing,” says Lloyd.
Also, by bringing up old problems, what you’ll get is only creating newer ones.
Don’t make up excuses for the fight
It’s easier to make excuses for the fight, rather than admitting you were wrong. We hear some excuses all the time, like stress, feeling under the weather, drinking one too many beers, traffic, and the list can go on…
“An apology is not an apology when you say, ‘I’m sorry but…’” says Goldstein.
If you’re really upset about something, you should tell your partner what bothers you, instead of blaming it on a bad day at the office.
“Excuses give you a chance to seem like you’re weaseling out of any responsibility,” says Jim Walkup, Doctorate of Ministry, a licensed marriage counselor who practices in New York City and White Plains, New York.
Be honest and discuss what’s bothering you. You have more chances to resolve your problems if you speak the truth instead of making excuses.
“Directly discussing the problem is more likely to resolve it than making up flimsy excuses for why it happened,” says Feuerman.
Don’t say you didn’t mean it
“Whether you meant it or not, you said it, you did it and you can’t take it back,” says House.
Take responsibility and own what you said. Explain to your partner why you feel that way.
“You can’t make it go away, so saying that you didn’t mean it is not only pointless but can be infuriating and shows that you fight dirty and mean, which aren’t healthy or productive ways to ‘fight.’”
By saying you didn’t mean it, you won’t find a solution for the future, which is every relationship’s goal.
“Acknowledge that you hurled the grenades in anger and defensiveness. Start by understanding that your words may have hurt your significant other,” says Walkup. “
Don’t focus on the cause of the fight
Instead of focusing on a problem, try thinking of a solution. We spend so much time replaying the fight in our heads, that we forget to find a solution to the problem.
“Identifying the issues that are underlying can bring relief but only if done with a sense of ‘let’s understand and grow here,’” says Walkup.
If he seems to forget things lately, take a moment to discuss it with your partner. Also, it’s important to be supportive, not judgmental.
In this case, you might say, “I notice that when I ask you to pick things up after work, you forget to do it,” says Hochberger. “What can I do to remind you of errands we need done for the house so you don’t forget?” she adds.
Don’t give the silent treatment to your partner
It’s ok taking some space after a fight, what’s no ok is ignoring your partner and giving him a cold shoulder without telling him where he went wrong.
“Ignoring your partner will only amplify the hurt and anger,” says Hall.
Explain to your partner that you need some time to cool of, and make sure to assure them that you want to find a solution for the problem.
“Giving someone the silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse. It’s disrespectful, demeaning and manipulative,” says Doares.
Feuerman says, “It’s ok to say, ‘I need some time to calm down so we can discuss this rationally.’”
Don’t blame yourself for the fight
Don’t beat yourself up over an argument you just had with your partner, or you’ll lose your self-respect. It is normal for a couple to fight, don’t let every single disagreement affect your mood.
“Of course two people aren’t always going to be on the same page,” says Syrtash.
“Beating yourself up is rarely an effective use of your time,” says Doares.
Fighting can be also seen as a good thing. It means that both of you invest a lot of work and feelings into a relationship, and want to make it work. It also shows that both partners care enough to resolve the problem.
“Some arguments, if they’re able to be resolved, should actually bring you both closer together. In fact, not fighting at all is a sign, too,” says Feuerman.