Every couple fights. The key to a successful marriage is learning how to navigate the inevitable conflict in a healthy manner.
Very few couples feel like they are skilled at fighting. Like anything else in life, learning how to fight well takes time, effort and practice. One of the skills to learn is how to take breaks during a fight.
When we fight with our partner, there's a lot that's happening in our body. Most couples describe a thorny argument as overwhelming.
We feel overwhelmed when we fight because our body is in a higher state of arousal. When our bodies are in a higher state of arousal adrenaline starts to pump, our heart speeds up and blow flow to the organs slows down.
During conflict, couples enter the "fight or flight" mode. In this state of mind, it can be very difficult to regulate emotions and think rationally about a situation.
When you're in "fight or flight" mode, taking a break can be one of the things that's necessary for you to calm down and think more clearly.
3 Things to Remember When Taking a Break
In what follows, I want to highlight three important things to consider when you are taking a break from a conflict.
It's important to remember to be aware of timing. It's crucial that both partners agree on the amount of time they are taking to step away from the fight.
If this is not communicated, the other person may worry about whether their partner will return to resolve the issue.
When thinking about timing it's important to agree on a time that's long enough to self-sooth but not so long that there's not enough continuity for closure.
A healthy break should be no less than 15 minutes and no more than 24 hours.
2. No Stewing
The point of stepping away is to take a break from the argument. Taking 15 minutes to ruminate over the problem and figure out how to improve your argument is not effective.
The real point of the break is to self-soothe so you can feel calm in your body and capable of thinking rationally about the situation. Stewing over the conflict will have the opposite effect!
3. The Right Strategy for You
It's important that you find out the best self-soothing strategy for you.
Breathing. Many people focus on their breath. Conscious, deep breathing can help calm your nervous system and get out out of the "fight or flight" mode.
Positive Self-Talk. Remind yourself that this situation will pass. Name all the positive traits you admire about your partner.
Go for a Walk. Take a stroll around the block. Don't focus on the conflict. Bring your attention to the tress, the sky and any other calming object.
Light a Candle. Scents can be soothing for a lot of people. Light your favorite candle and ground yourself in the present moment.
Interact with a Pet. Use your break time to pet your dog or love on your cat. Pets can be a calming presence that help us feel love and emotional warmth.
Find the self-soothing strategy that works for you and helps you come back to your partner in a better frame of mind.
Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling Can Help
Couples therapy is designed to help partners learn strategies to improve their communication and conflict. Marriage therapy can also teach you various self-soothing strategies to help you navigate a difficult conflict.
Marriage counseling is a worthwhile investment to help you strengthen your relationship, a relationship worth fighting for!
Begin Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Katy, Tx & Houston
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage therapists and couples counselors are here to help you strengthen your relationship. Marriage counseling or couples therapy can help couples learn to improve their communication skills and yes, even healthy ways to recover from a fight.
If you are ready to start your journey with one of our couples therapist or marriage counselors, Katy Teen & Family Counseling can help.
It's as simple as following these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Let us help you strengthen your communication foundation in your relationship!
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Katy, Tx & Houston
Below are a few of the other counseling services we provide for teens, families, and young adults in Katy, Tx and Houston:
Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.