How do you get out of being upset/reconnecting after a fight
July 17, 2014 9:59 AM Subscribe
I find myself spiraling down in negative emotions occasionally and want to learn about actual skills to pull myself out before the fight gets meta and out of hand.
posted by monologish to Human Relations (13 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
There was some miscommunication last night between my boyfriend and I that resulted in dinner plans falling through and me waiting for an hour longer than expected. I was at home, so it wasn't anything terrible. The previous night I had wanted to hang out, but he planned to work on some projects on his own so I was already feeling a little bummed. Anyway, in that hour, I managed to dwell and get way more upset than needed, and continued to be upset when he finally did show up, and had no idea anything was wrong. (i didn't text/call him about it because he was in a work happy hour and i thought we'd just talk about it after)
I tend to shut down and withdraw when I'm upset and it becomes really difficult for me to articulate my feelings because my brain is used to avoiding confrontation. I know this is not healthy. It's something I'm actively working on, with the help of therapy, and I feel like I'm slowly improving. What makes the situation worse is that he becomes agitated by my silence and thinks I'm being passive aggressive and gets angry in response, which then makes me more upset, and it spirals. He starts raising his voice and I start crying and it gets way messier than needed before we both calm down.
My issue is that in the midst of this, or even before it, even if he apologizes, I'm already so far in the "upset mode" that I don't know how to get out of it. So when I finally communicate what was wrong, he apologizes for not explaining the change in plans, and... I don't know what to do next because I just spent the past hour feeling shitty, and it feels weird to just go, "ok! great! what should we eat for dinner?"
So how do you untangle out of fights? I don't want every minor thing to dragged out endlessly and it feels exhausting to both of us, but I also have trouble moving past issues feeling unresolved. Last night we finally made up and spent the next few hours trying to get back into the "groove" of things, but it felt like the fight took a toll on both of us and he still felt a bit distant. Then I tried initiating sex wanting to reconnect, but he said he was tired and didn't have the energy. I feel rejected, and once again gets in my head and get stuck in unhappy. He stayed late this morning cuddling and then we had sex. I feel like I should've just let last night go, but I still felt sad for some reason.
We have a really good relationship otherwise. It's just that when there is a conflict, our styles clash. We've talked about this a lot and are aware of our own shortcomings. I feel like we are both making an effort to meet each other halfway, so I want to find a way to get "unstuck" in these moods.
Specific actions or things to say would be really helpful. Thanks!