3 Steps to Reconnect After an Argument

You are wanting to reconnect after an argument because it just doesn’t feel good. You both exchanged some strong words to each other and are not too happy that this happened. What went wrong between you two? In the beginning of your relationship, everything felt so easy and there were no problems at all.

Lately, you both have been feeling on edge, irritable, and frustrated. Maybe your basic needs are not getting met and there’s a lack of genuine conversation. Instead of sitting down and having a serious talk, you blew up on them and said some strong things that you may not agree with now.

The storm has passed, and now the sky is clearing. It is time to take the next step in reconnecting after your argument to accept what has happened and to get things back to normal. You don’t like being in this awkward situation where you’re not talking or have limited conversations. 

You may want to start with forgiving your partner.

couple sitting on couch, woman with palm on face and man with crossed hands

Perhaps the argument with your partner played out like this…

There’s been a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding going on lately between you and your partner. You have tried to communicate about them over time, yet at this point, you feel unheard. Likely you are feeling unappreciated. You’re being ignored. You love your partner, yet things have been feeling different lately.

It’s been overwhelming trying to push down these negative feelings you are having. You don’t want to leave them – breaking up is the last thing you want to do. You know that both you and your partner are mature and capable of working together through things. 

It just feels like lately, your basic needs have not been met.

And today, you are feeling fed up with it. You express yourself strongly, having bottled up all these feelings inside of you. Your partner is still communicating to you poorly and doesn’t acknowledge your feelings as much as you’d like.

Nothing seriously big or drastic has happened to the relationship, but it just feels like it’s lacking in effort and communication. It’s the little things that didn’t mean much before, but are now building up and taking control over your emotional state. You can’t help to feel upset in this moment, even if it was miscommunication over plans to meet up. 

Your partner feels that you may be going a bit over the top and maybe overthinking things, as you find yourself in such a frustrated fury that you are overwhelmed and becoming increasingly agitated when they don’t listen to you. They keep interrupting you to say their point, and don’t seem to take you seriously.

This is the last straw for you, and you’re stuck. You don’t know what to do or where to turn.

You bring up the idea of possibly separating for space, even though that’s not really what you want. It keeps building, building, and building inside of you until you just can’t contain yourself anymore. 

Slowly but surely, the conversation’s gears start to work. You have expressed your strong feelings, and your partner is finally learning that you are valid to feel this way. Eventually, you get through the conversation and are able to speak your main points. Your partner listens to you, acknowledging what you are saying compared to earlier when they didn’t. 

Now that you’re calm, you’re feeling a little guilty for having strong feelings and having this stress build up inside you. You try to remember that you are valid for feeling the way that you do, and that when things build up inside of you, they tend to explode.

You both know what you need to work on now. You’ve both made it clear that the miscommunication and misunderstanding has been putting a lot of pressure and frustration on both of you lately. Other than the small arguments you have, you and your partner work really well together, have a lot of appreciation and trust, but need to work on some minor things to help communication run smoothly.

couple fighting and woman pointing finger on man

Some harsh words were exchanged that you regret saying. You threatened the relationship, even though it’s the one thing in your life that brings you happiness and purpose. You love your spouse, yet this build up of anxiety and stress had you second guessing things.

The truth is, relationships are not perfect and having arguments is a part of it. What you do shift things post or better yet, in the midst of the argument is what really matters. 

After everything has calmed and settled, it’s time for both of you to self reflect on what could have gone better, and what to look out for next time this happens. There’s still that awkward period of waiting for things to cool down where you’re walking on thin ice a bit.

When you don’t reconnect after an argument about what went wrong on both sides, you miss out on the opportunity to make real change.

Our Simi Valley Therapists offer couples therapy and online therapy in Los Angeles to help you and your spouse learn healthy skills to communicate with each other efficiently, and to identify what areas could use some more effort. 

We’ve created a checklist for 3 steps to take to reconnect after an argument. It’s important to clear the air and remind each other, and ourselves, that we are only human. We feel emotions and sometimes it can be overwhelming. It’s possible to put our feelings aside and really investigate the root causes of the argument in order to prevent it from happening again.

3 Steps to Reconnect After an Argument: Put the Pride Aside

Put the pride aside – and apologize. It can be hard to swallow that rock in your throat and let an apology escape your mouth, especially if you don’t feel like apologizing. 

The truth of the matter is that it takes two to tango. When you get into an argument, things get escalated and can be hard to de-escalate, especially when strong words and statements are made. 

You may feel stubborn and prideful, but you need to be able to separate yourself from that perspective and allow yourself to be wrong. You made a mistake, maybe even a small and simple mistake, so now it’s time to right it.

couple smiling and hugging each other in a field

Acknowledge what has happened and include that in your apology. A good example of one could be, “I’m sorry I used some strong statements today. I know it’s wrong to let things bundle up in me until they explode, and I should communicate them more openly next time, instead of letting them explode on us”. 

It’s important to self reflect on what could’ve gone smoother on your end for next time. Even if you feel like you handled things calmly and properly, take some time to think about some areas that could use growth. Maybe you could incorporate more patience, and feel like you tend to be very impatient in hearing their responses.

Have your partner be very open and honest with you about what has offended them or what they don’t like. They shouldn’t speak with a condescending tone, but very plainly and without attacking you. This could look like agreeing with your apology, where they say, “I accept your apology, I agree that you did use strong statements today. It hurts me when you declare that our relationship is not working out for you anymore and you don’t know where to turn. I do agree that next time you should communicate things instead of letting them build up”. 

How to reconnect after an argument: Our team of therapists in Simi Valley, Ca are able to support you and your partner open up and be vulnerable in ways that can make real changes in your relationship. 

Step Two: Use Constructive Criticism 

Now that you have self reflected on areas that you can grow in, work with your partner on areas they can grow in too. By using “I” statements, you and your partner are not inflicting blame or trying to highlight the other person’s actions.

You are simply stating how this emotionally affected you, and how this made you feel. When your partner wants you to communicate things first before you explode, you can respond with this for example, “I don’t want things to build up inside of me, you’re right. They should not reach that boiling point. However, I feel frustrated and upset sometimes because I feel like when I bring it up the first time, I am not being heard. This is why it builds up inside me, and I’d like to think about how you can also help it not build up in me”. 

This way, you are establishing that yes, there was poor communication going on and you were not happy about the results of letting that build up in you.

It’s important to establish clear boundaries to avoid toxic relationships or toxic behaviors. By installing clear boundaries that, for example, you want to confirm plans the morning of instead of hours before. When you go to confirm plans later in the day and something falls through, you feel intense anxiety and frustration, feeling like you would have known sooner.

Let your partner know how they made you feel and why they made you feel this way. Don’t spend the whole conversation going back and forth, pointing fingers and trying to see who did the other one dirtier – it’s unproductive and ineffective. Nothing will get done if you are in a constant state of trying to appear better than the other person.

Both you and your partner need to be open to appropriate constructive criticism. Maybe your partner can take more steps and put effort into planning the day more accordingly so there is no uncertainty if you are going to meet up later. 

couple silhoutte with looking at each other

 3 Steps to Reconnect After an Argument: Make a Deescalation Plan

Make a plan to help each other identify when things are escalating to de escalate. It’s important that you communicate certain triggers or situations where you may feel threatened or your partner will feel threatened. 

Over time, it will be easier to defuse a conflict before it happens. It will also be easier for yourself to communicate in a healthier, more compassionate way. 

Perhaps your partner’s trigger is thinking about when they got cheated on. Although you were not the one to cheat, and never would cheat on them, your partner has insecure tendencies when you bring up people of the opposite sex and tends to feel inferior and maybe even a little tense.

By recognizing the signs of your partner tensing up, starting to feel anxious and insecure, take the opportunity to validate them and reassure them of what your relationship means.

It can look like this: “Hey, I know you’re feeling triggered by this past incident right now, but I just want to remind you of how much I value you, this relationship, and how I would never let anything get in the way of this,” to help them look past their pain and realize you are not going to hurt them. 

Communicate what symptoms your partner should look out for when you are starting to feel anxious. This could be an increase of breathing speed, uncomfortable facial expressions, or fidgeting. When these symptoms arise, describe to your partner what a good, helpful response could be. 

Know that you can reconnect after an argument by staying attuned to one another, communicating what you are needing, and allowing the space for giving first and foremost.

This could be physical touch, verbal reassurance, or simply sitting beside you in silence to be there for you. When you and your partner know what signs to recognize, it will be easier to comfort your partner in times of distress or feeling triggered by their relational past. 

It’s important to remember that we are all human and often don’t know how to handle our own emotions sometimes. The important thing is to learn from them so that we are more in control of our emotions next time and therefore in control of our lives. 

To create better bonds and connections in our relationships, we need to forgive each other for mistakes that can be made up for. Relationships can be tricky to navigate, but it is important to keep in mind that you have the control to make the changes you want in your own life. By working on your own internal responses and reactions you can gain new insight and experience your partner differently. 

If you are still feeling a big lack of communication towards you and your needs, consider reaching out to us for online couples therapy in Los Angeles, Ventura County, and throughout California. 

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