10 ways for couples to restore contact after a dispute

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Arguments in a relationship are inevitable. Jealousy, projects, household chores, disagreements about the children… The subjects at the origin of the conflicts are multiple. And restoring contact after a clash is not always easy. A psychoanalyst, gives you some leads to renew the dialogue with your other half after the storm.

1.       Take  a break:

Before attempting an approach with your spouse after an argument, be sure that the emotional charge caused has subsided a little. “It is preferable to take a break after a conflict to let the tensions go down again and thus prevent the attempt at reconciliation from starting again in clash. It is the occasion for the two partners to move away for a few hours or even a few days to reflect on calm”.

2.       Verbalize your feelings:

Once the tension has subsided, communication between the two partners can be done more easily. This is the time to go see the other person and suggest that they calmly talk about the origin of the conflict. “The idea is that everyone can express what they feel and what they felt during the argument. We don’t cut each other off and we let our feelings express themselves. Through dialogue, everyone must be able to tell the other what he blames him for and what he would like to see change, evolve. This speaking time must be constructive. In couples where the conflicts have become chronic, this speaking time helps to space out the conflicts and decrease their intensity”.

3.       Make a tender gesture:

Sometimes a gesture can be enough to defuse the situation. “Taking his hand, giving him a kiss on the neck or even a simple gentle look are all gestures that sign the desire for reconciliation”. Tender gestures relax the atmosphere and open the way to a peaceful discussion. Provided that the other is receptive to it.

4.       Offer a gift:

Giving her,  her favorite flowers or the pastry she/he loves is showing that you are giving up. “Either she/he refuses them, or she/he timidly accepts. In this case, it’s a good start to reconciliation. We must continue our efforts”.

5.       Apologize :

The apologies of the one who instigated the conflict are fundamental for the one who receives them because he feels heard. They facilitate reconciliation because to apologize is to recognize one’s responsibilities, one’s dark side. “These excuses are useful when they start from a real feeling. Otherwise it is useless”. On the other hand, asking for an apology from the other has no interest. You don’t force someone to apologize if they don’t want to. “The best answer to give to someone who asks for an apology is simply to explain to them why you don’t want to apologize. You can tell them I don’t feel ready yet’ or I’m still angry.”

6.       Do an activity for two:

When communication between the two partners is improved, doing an activity for two can help prolong verbal reconciliation. “For example, taking a walk in the forest can help the couple to reconnect, to find each other. The forest is a privileged setting to contain their emotions”.

7.       Make love:

If sex does not work miracles, it can nevertheless strengthen the bonds between the two partners after a peaceful discussion. “It’s a rather masculine reconciliation technique. Often, men who have difficulty communicating want to make love with their partner to find soothing feelings. There is something regressive about sex. The danger is that the same conflict situation comes back like a boomerang later because no discussion between the two spouses has taken place. Making love does not solve everything’. We say yes to sex after an argument, but on condition that both partners have already engaged in a verbal reconciliation.

8.       Express desires without demanding immediate gratification:

After the argument, telling the other person what you blame them for and what you would like them to change is useful and constructive, provided you do it calmly and intelligently. This means not expecting the other to comply within a minute and not getting exasperated as soon as he does not do things as he was asked, with the risk of a new argument occurring. “In a couple, everyone is free to express their desires and needs. But they should in no case not demand immediate satisfaction and perhaps risking a refusal or an expectation”, warns the psychoanalyst. So be patient! And above all, do not hesitate to value and compliment your other half when the opportunity arises. we can also congratulate each other when everything is going well.

9.       Do not ruminate in your corner:

This is a dialogue that everyone makes in their head after the argument. Each member of the couple repeats the argument or projects themselves into a conversation with their own beliefs and certainties. “This dialogue is made up of questions and answers that we ask ourselves about the other. It is a pollution for the relationship because it maintains a lot of projections and fantasies”. It’s a kind of mental rumination that only stirs up anger. “This avoidance of resumption of contact in favor of internal dialogue in fact reflects a fear of change in the couple when it could be necessary to bring adjustments and reorganizations in the relationship for it so it can last”.

10.   Write a letter:

Writing is a good way to re-establish contact for shy people or when the emotional intensity generated by the conflict is so strong that it prevents dialogue. Prefer the handwritten letter to the typographic letter. “We put more of ourselves in a handwritten letter than in a computer-typed letter,”. In a letter, we have time to reflect, to think about what we are going to say to the other. “Writing makes it possible to wonder about how I am going to say things without accusing”. This letter of reconciliation must address several points: “return to the triggering subject of the dispute, say what we felt at the time of the dispute, admit our share of responsibility, express our fears, doubts, disagreements on the subject of discord and finally propose one or more solutions to the problem”.

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