4. Try To Remember That We Are All Only Human.
We all make mistakes. More often than not our troublesome actions are not a reflection of our feelings about someone, but are the result of a variety of things (time, motivation, energy level, distractions) that all work together and create a situation that isn’t ideal.
A client of my husband came home on Saturday, without picking out the windows that he promised her he would pick out. She was furious and said something like ‘if you loved me you would have picked out the windows.’
The reality was that his mother had called when he was on his way and he had to run over to help her with something. Yes, it’s not ideal but it is the reason why he couldn’t do what she had asked, not because he didn’t love her.
Next time you are quick to react to something your husband does, take a moment a try to figure out why it happened. Perhaps you won’t need the two hours to decompress after all.
5. Be Ready To Say Sorry And To Forgive.
This can be the hardest thing of all for people… to say they are sorry and to forgive perceived wrongs… but it is one of the most important parts of any relationship.
Why don’t we want to say we are sorry? Because it will convey weakness? Because we can’t let go of our anger? Because we are embarrassed by our actions?
Whatever the reason, we need to learn how to do it. Next time you are having relationship troubles with your partner, try apologizing. See how quickly the anger deflates, on both sides.
With the husband who came home late, he should start with ‘I am sorry that my lateness made you sad.’ That is apologizing not for the lateness, but because of the pain, his wife suffered from it.
What shouldn’t be said is “I am sorry that my lateness made you sad BUT I couldn’t help it.” In an apology, a BUT makes the apology completely ineffective. The BUT means you are making an excuse. The reality is is that you caused pain, no matter the reason, and that needs to be acknowledged.
In the same vein, we need to forgive and not hold onto anger. Holding on to anger is one of the most destructive forces in any relationship. If your partner apologizes for his or her actions you need to find it in your heart to remember that they are only human and that they have taken responsibility for their actions and that life must move forward.
Learning how to stop fighting with your partner is a key part of keeping your relationship healthy.
Conflict, and the resulting anger, with anyone, can be devastating and especially so with a partner. Unchecked anger can not only maximize your relationship troubles but also take on a life of its own and destroy everything in its path.
Don’t let that happen to you. Try to carefully choose your time to talk. Don’t attack. Let them know you are listening and don’t hold on to your anger.
And then, perhaps, you can settle down to a nice peaceful, conflict-free evening.
Sounds worth it, no?