Relationships are hard, they can even become emotional and traumatic when inevitably those huge fights come around. Maybe you were right, and yeah, they probably messed up, but as the Spanish saying goes: dos no pelean is uno no quiere, (two don’t fight if one doesn’t want to) in other words, it takes two to tango.

You have all these emotions building up inside of you, fear, anger, sadness, frustration, maybe even disappointment, this isn’t the life you pictured for yourself. Fear not! All hope is not lost. It is possible to recover from that big blow out of a fight.

First you’re going to have to take a good long look at yourself. See what went wrong, where you. might have messed up and try to figure out the root of your problem. Then you both are going to want to make peace and work it out.

So, let’s get into that self-reflection bit:

Figuring out what happened

To be able to repair the damage we first have to look at what happened in the fight. We tend to get into that tunnel vision where all we see is how we can hurt the other person. That doesn’t help anyone involved, least of all your relationship. When we fall into that fight or flight mode, sometimes we emotionally abuse our partner or find ourselves emotionally abused. We might not even mean it but we are so frustrated that the issue way back six months ago that you promised you wouldn’t bring up makes a surprise appearance. Identifying that and working to eliminate those types of abuse, and above all, apologising for those moments, is one step to figuring out exactly what happened.

The next step is identifying the issue itself. Sometimes when we let the fight drag on we forget why we were fighting. Be sure to sit down in that first cool down period and retrace your steps to locate that initial issue that lead to this explosive fight. This is vitally important to being able to repair the issues at hand.

Space is good

Remember that giving each other space is healthy. You’ve been arguing for a while now and it’s time to just separate. Space doesn’t mean abandoning, it just means breathing room. If you live together, try not to sleep apart and definitely don’t leave the house that could just add more trauma.

If your partner is the one walking away, let them walk. Most likely it’s an effort to not inflict more harm and clinging could lead to digging a deeper hole for the both of you. You both probably need space to think over what happened and decide what you want the next steps to be, so give yourselves that time.

Talk things over and be ready to listen

Now that you have both had time to think and had space to breath, it’s time to talk and of course listen. Take it slow, you don’t have to rush into anything. You are both still in pain. Be sure you’re ready to listen to what your partner has to say. Communicate your feelings and use lots of “I feel” phrases. Talk about what the different problems you see make you feel. And above all, listen to what your partner has to say. Try your best to understand where they are coming from and accept where you might have made mistakes. Apologise, express that you understand what you’ve done, and really commit to never doing it again.

Reaffirm your commitment to each other

Remind your partner that you are committed to them. The fight might have included inflammatory remarks or just plain bad blood. Now is the time to tell your partner how you really feel. Something special and personal might just do the trick, hand-written card, flowers, binge watching a favourite TV show…

Forgiving and forgetting

Now it’s time to move on, forgive and forget. Be sure you’re really forgiving when you express that forgiveness. Be ready to really and truly put the past behind you. If you’re still holding onto something, you might need to keep talking things over. Move on and let sleeping dogs lie.

Fights can be hard, and traumatic, but they can be overcome.