Do you know how to heal a relationship after a fight? Last week, my wife and I had what some would call a “heated discussion,” but that’s just a nice way of saying we got into a fight. We are both former athletes, and we like to compete in everything from sports to board games. Shoot, we almost had a blowout on our honeymoon while playing tennis at the resort. Yes, she is the love of my life, but love in tennis and love in marriage mean two different things, and I’m not going to go easy on her.
At some point, we all need to learn how to heal a relationship after a fight. This starts with bridging the gap the fight creates. As men, we need to be peacemakers in the home. This means that even if you think your wife is wrong, you put her feelings first. You need to learn how to listen to her so she can express herself in a way that makes her feel safe. You want to bridge the gap a fight creates between you, not maintain the distance. Here are 3 ways to resolve a fight with your wife.
1. Take the first step.
If you’ve ever run a marathon, you know it all begins with taking that first step. After fighting with your wife, you need to be the one who goes to her first and makes things right. If the fight happened over the phone, this might start in the form of a text saying how much you appreciate her. No matter what, it needs to lead into apologizing to her face-to-face. When you are in the middle of a fight with your wife, you need to remember that you made a commitment to her for the rest of your life. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Taking the first step toward healing the relationship after a fight shows you care about your wife more than about being right.
2. Work to understand her.
Sometimes a fight with your wife occurs because she just wants to talk, but instead of listening and trying to understand what she is going through, you just try to solve her problem. You care more about getting the discussion over with than understanding what her feelings are behind it. Let her talk, and after she shares what’s on her mind, ask her some questions about how it makes her feel. This shows that you respect what she is going through and that she has value. This can also lead to your underlying goal, which is to solve the problem! You can’t learn how to heal a relationship after a fight unless you commit to doing your best to understand what your wife is going through and how it makes her feel.
3. Apologize to her instead of saying you’re sorry.
People tend to say they’re sorry, that they didn’t mean what they said or did, but as men, we can do better than that. A true apology comes from the heart and tells your wife that you realize you were wrong. After you apologize to your wife, ask her to forgive you. By asking her for mercy, you’re bridging the gap after the fight—you’re making an effort to make amends. I am not saying this is easy for us to do, but we need to put our pride aside and do what’s best for our marriages.
Sound off: What are some other ways to bridge the gap when you are in a fight with your wife?
Huddle Up Question: Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What are some things about you that you wish I understood better?”