Fighting is exhausting and emotionally draining. Make your most recent fight a learning experience. This action plan guides you through the steps to recover from your fight and learn from it.
You’ve had a bad fight. You’re exhausted and upset and know that you don’t want to keep doing this. I understand. I’m very sorry that you had such a rough conversation; fighting is very stressful. You can quickly recover from this bad fight, but there are two things you need to do: (1) think about what happened and why, and (2) have a talk about your feelings and work towards not repeating the same “cycle” of combat.
To do this, I'd like for you and your spouse to each spend some time thinking about the questions below on your own. When you’re both ready, sit down together and calmly discuss your responses. By doing so, you’ll heal the wounds incurred during the fight and learn a lot about how to prevent the next fight.
Step 1. Summarize your thoughts and feelings about the fight. How are you feeling about what your spouse said? What didn’t your spouse understand? What important stuff got lost in the shuffle?
Step 2. What is your interpretation of the raw data or the facts about the fight? What was the reality or "the truth" for you? (Remember that everyone sees things differently; your truth and your spouse’s truth are not likely to be the same.)
Step 3. What did you hear your spouse say during the fight that made sense to you? Can you find something in your partner’s argument that is reasonable or that you can understand? When you sit down and discuss this, please tell your spouse about what you heard from him/her that was understandable.
Step 4. Think about your contribution to the fight. When you sit down and go over this, it is essential that each of you takes some responsibility for what happened. See if anything from the list below applies to your situation. Make a note next to anything that applies.
Now, thinking about your answers to the questions above, what do you think YOUR contribution to the fight was? What can you take responsibility for?
To read the full action plan, including how to talk to your spouse about the answers above and how to smooth things over, please click here. http://drkathynickerson.com/collections/digital-products/products/how-to-recover-from-a-bad-fight