Reconnecting After a Disagreement

All relationships, even the best, can experience moments of disconnection, disagreement, and yes, even fighting.  When this happens, when you feel disconnected from someone you love, the most important thing you can do is to take some time to take care of yourself, help yourself get back to center, and then reach out and initiate reconnection as soon as possible.  If your partner reaches out to you first, even if you are still upset, let them know you love them and allow yourself to lean into the healing they are offering.  As I was writing this I heard this wonderful classic song from Neil Young that seems to say it so well:  “Bad fog of loneliness put a cloud on my single mindedness,” 

Bad Fog of Loneliness by Neil Young

Once you have connected it is a good idea to take the time to process what happened.  To that end I offer the following dialogue from my upcoming book,Dialogues for Daily Life,”

   Reconnecting after a disagreement

 After we fight or disagree I usually feel: 

 What I usually do to calm down or take care of myself is:

       What I might do in addition to help myself feel better is:

       What you can do to help me to feel calm and be my best self again is:

       Thinking about it, what works best for me in terms of reconnecting with you is:

       What I imagine you need from me at those moments is:

       My challenge to myself in future disagreements is to _________and I will try to grow into    this.

Mirror each sentence stem, and then let your partner know what makes sense to you about what they are sharing, and how you imagine they might be feeling.  Then switch speaker(sender)/listener(receiver) roles.

Posted by Laura

Laura Marshall, LCSW, is the founder and director of the Sagebrush Center for Relationship Therapy. Her experience spans thirty years of supporting couples and individuals to create healthy and meaningful lives and relationships. She is also adjunct faculty for the New Mexico Highlands School of Social Work. She lives with her husband Steve and five sons in Farmington, New Mexico.

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