Even the most loving couples have their off-days. Sometimes, these arguments might escalate into a cold war, where you don’t speak to each other (except for matters like who’s ferrying the kids).
But is that how you want to live for the next month? Ruth Leong, principal counsellor with Sembawang Family Service Centre, shares some tips on how to make up after a fight.
Pause and reflect
Before you make your move, have a think about your part in the fight. Regardless of who is more “right or wrong”, owning up to your share of the problem is the first step towards reconciliation.
Send the right message
Technology provides a wonderful conduit for getting your message across. Sending your spouse messages of love and affirmation is just a few taps away.
You might want to start with something along this line to defuse tension or break the “ice”: “I would like to appreciate you for…”
As a general rule, start with positive expressions, and avoid making negative statements. Genuine words of appreciation such as “You look good…”, “Thank you…” or “Please…” will go a long way in fostering a positive connection.
Get a gift
As cliched as it sounds, give a surprise present as a reconciliatory gesture, best accompanied by a note of apology. It almost always works.
Cook a meal
You could express your love by serving (such as cooking your spouse’s favourite dishes), or go for the subtle approach: Listen or look for things your partner would like done, and then try to get them accomplished.
The first thing that happens after the fight is the withdrawal of all forms of physical touch. These have the power to hurt, but they can also wield as much magic in opening hearts for reconciliation.
For example, you could have an “accidental” brush of the shoulders or a lingering touch of the fingers when you pass something. If you’re game for more intimate ones, sit close in the sofa and place your arm around the shoulder or hold your loved one’s hand.
All these gestures may serve to soften the heart and pave the way for discussion.