Don’t: act like nothing happened
Ignoring what started a relationship fight or pretending it never happened isn’t a wise idea. “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 marriage consultant and coach, Lesli W. Doares. “And, make no mistake, there is always damage.” If you don’t let your partner know that what you fought about bothers you, your resentment could bubble up in the future and you could just eventually explode. “Something triggered the fight that must be addressed,” says dating and empowerment coach, Laurel House. Remember to pick your battles when assessing if something really warrants further discussion or decide if you can let it slide. “The important things you ignore are the things that manifest into larger issues,” says relationship expert and author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing), Andrea Syrtash.
Don’t: share details of your fight on Facebook, all over cyberspace, and to anyone who will listen.
It’s normal to want validation for how you feel from friends, family, and anyone who will listen. But your fight isn’t for public consumption. “This can be really damaging to the trust your partner has for you,” says psychotherapist, Marni Feuerman. And once you put something out in the public forum, you can’t take it back. And people will likely judge your relationship – not for the better. “Unlike you, all they have are the ‘facts’ that you presented, making it harder for them to forgive and forget,” says House. Instead, keep what you fight about to yourself. Do you really need to talk it out? House suggests speaking with a trusted confidant who can provide balanced and honest advice.
Don’t: let too much time pass before you resolve it
The longer the argument festers, the angrier you’ll feel. “Unresolved anger and hurt feelings can grow if they’re not worked out in a timely manner,” says psychologist and relationship expert, Antonia Hall. And the harder it will be to overcome the dispute. “By letting time slip by, you’re going to lengthen the disagreement and continue to suffer from the stress associated with it,“ says health and relationships writer, Stacey Laura Lloyd. “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.” Once you’ve had some time to cool off, revisit the issue and work it out. For men, this timeout is especially beneficial. “When a man gets a break, he turns his brain off to the situation for a while,” says dating coach, Mike Goldstein. “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.”