Love is not all it’s cracked up to be sometimes.
Isn’t it supposed to be just be romance and butterflies all the time? Aren’t you supposed to love each other through thick and thin, no matter what? Isn’t love easy?
Well, in a short answer, no. Love isn’t always easy, there aren’t always butterflies, and there certainly is not always romance. However, it’s always worth it to stick it out and love well, even through the bad times (Read: 10 Steps to Saving a Broken Marriage).
One of the most difficult things to do in a relationship is to turn hostility around. Someone gets mad and starts yelling and all of a sudden, you are spitting lists of ways you have been wronged by each other and you go to sleep angry.
Although fighting is difficult and can be drawn out for a while, there are ways to restore harmony to your relationship. Fair warning, they won’t be easy.
In fact, they will actually be really difficult. However, if you truly love each other, it will be worth it. And then you can go back to the rainbows and butterflies.
- Communication. Communication (or the lack thereof) is probably one of the biggest hinges of a relationship. If you communicate well, you will probably be well off. If you communicate poorly, good luck. Communication is especially crucial when you are trying to resolve hostility. You need to know who got hurt and why. You also need to know how each other feel because of this fight. Usually talking is the last thing you want to do with someone that you just had a screaming match with, but it is definitely the best way to resolve things (Read: 10 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Isn’t Talking to You).
Just be sure you remember that communicating well does not mean talking at—it means talking with (and even listening sometimes!). When the smoke clears enough to have a civil conversation with each other, be ready to talk and listen. Hopefully this can help restore some harmony.
- Admit Fault. This can be one of the worst things ever—no one likes to admit they are wrong! However, if you want to restore your relationship, you will have to admit fault it you have done something wrong. This is a huge shot to the pride, but it is a necessary one. By admitting fault, you are letting your loved one know that they are more important to you than your ego is, and that can go a long way in resolution. Also, admitting fault will usually cause a fire to simmer a bit because there is nothing left to fight about—you already admitted what was wrong! Although this is a very difficult thing to do, it is a good way to relieve some hostility in a fight.
- Be Quick to Apologize. Many apologies are not sincere—you are simply saying sorry to get the fight over with. However, if you become quick to apologize for things, you will probably be more sincere because you are more quickly noticing when you are in the wrong. Also, if you are quick to get to an apology, you might avoid a fight altogether which would definitely be worth it in the long run. This will take some humility and some practice, but you will be sure to see good results in your relationship.
- Gifts – Sometimes. This is a tricky one. Guys, if your girl gets mad at you and you bring her a gift but no apology, you should probably stay away for a while because it is no longer a gift—it is a bribe. However, sometimes gifts can help enhance an apology. They can also relieve some hostility. Be very careful about gifts, though, because they can easily be taken the wrong way and they can easily be a cheap substitute for a much needed, heartfelt apology. Gifts are best once you have already made up—like icing on a cake.
- Fake it Till You Make it. This may seem like terrible advice at first, but it actually has some validity to it. For some reason, if we fake something long enough we will actually start believing it. So lets say you are having a difficult time understanding why you need to discuss something you did, much less apologize for it. Instead of being standoffish and stubborn, pretend like you are really sorry and you will eventually actually feel remorse. This is more of a last resort than anything. There are some fights that are just ridiculous that won’t be glazed over for whatever reason—these are the instances where you just need to try to understand and hope that eventually you will.
- Deal with Your Entitlement. Most of us feel like we deserve to be right or deserve to be forgiven. However, you need to remember that you don’t actually deserve anything. Recognize that you probably suffer from some kind of entitlement complex and deal with that. Recognizing this will help you to understand true humility. Approach your significant other with a humble attitude and you will surely eliminate hostility and be on your way to harmony.
- Forgiveness Comes at a Cost. This is true for both parties involved. In order to give forgiveness, you have to let go of being hurt. In order to receive forgiveness, you have to own that you did something wrong. Both are costly. Once you realize how costly forgiveness is, you will probably receive and give it better. Also, true forgiveness really will, in a lot of ways, “forget.” When you truly forgive someone, you will be done with that incident forever. You won’t bring it up in future fights, you won’t hold it over their head; you will understand that at some point you will need that same forgiveness for something you will do and therefore you will be sincere.
- Extend Grace. When you are the one that was wronged, it can be easy to play the victim longer than you should. It is easy to stay hurt and not let your significant other be forgiven. However, you must learn to extend grace because eventually you will be on the other side and will be in need of grace from your loved one. This is a great way to bring harmony because it leaves no room for hostility. After grace is extended there is much gratitude.
- Accept Apologies When They are made. One of the best ways to create more hostility is by rejecting an apology. This hurts the other person’s pride even more because they were vulnerable in their apology only to get shot down. This will definitely escalate hostility in a relationship and will also probably foster some bitterness and resentment. When someone is humble enough to actually make a sincere apology, do the right thing and accept it. Also, affirm that you appreciate their apology and love them. This will be sure to restore harmony to your relationship.