You know that feeling after a disagreement where you feel hurt by what they said or how they said it; you feel guilty for how you showed up; and you feel disconnected emotionally from each other.
We call that The Argument Hangover®. That phrase came to us after thousands of conversations with couples where they started saying, “we had an argument a couple of days ago, and we’re still disconnected.” So when we said, “it sounds like you’re in an Argument Hangover,” they chuckled and said, “that’s exactly what it feels like!”
the goal in a relationship is NOT to avoid conflict. In fact, if you avoid conflict and suppress certain conversations, it builds into resentment.
The other thing is: healthy conflict can lead to more creative solutions, a deeper bond between you, and a new level of understanding each other.
Contrary to the “fantasy” idea of relationships we see in the media, conflict (well, healthy conflict) can be constructive and doesn’t mean that something is wrong with your relationship.
So instead of avoiding conflict, the goal is to shorten The Argument Hangover period and reconnect faster.
Think to yourself...how long do your Argument Hangovers typically last? Hours, days, weeks, even months? How many great moments in life are you willing to give up to this hangover period?
Before we go into how to reconnect faster, let’s briefly address
1. Your ego. No, not pride or boastfulness. We all have this ego part of us that wants to be right, and is willing to kill off love and connection in order to justify that it is right.
2. Waiting for the other person to initiate reconciliation. You could find yourself recalling all of the evidence of why THEY caused the disagreement and therefore should be the one to come to you and apologize. Perhaps even both of you are in a standoff waiting for the other person.
3. Only saying “I’m sorry” and thinking that is enough for it to be over. The thing is…”I’m sorry” is not enough. It doesn’t truly bring emotional closure, especially if there was damage done during the disagreement. It’s easy to try and “escape” responsibility for the emotional impact of our words by only saying “I’m sorry,” but you’ve got to dig deeper and do the work to fully repair things.
Which leads us to…
1. Don’t let your ego win. Tap into your bigger self and do what is right for the relationship. As cheesy as it sounds, true love doesn’t tolerate emotional distance for very long.
2. Ask yourself: how long am I willing to be disconnected from the one I love? How much great life am I willing to sacrifice by staying disconnected?
3. Use the 5 R’s to Repair After an Argument. We go into extreme detail with prompts and examples in our book, The Argument Hangover. You will be completely clear on what to say and how to say it as you read the book. Grab your copy here and also get access to the free bonus training and workbooks that come with pre-ordering it here.
Lastly, realize that love is strengthened through challenging moments together.
Do not let the false idea of relationships that we are shown in the media make you think conflict means something is wrong with your relationship. Instead, learn to fight smarter, do less damage, and communicate your needs in better ways. We’re here for you--don’t hesitate to DM us questions on IG, listen to our podcast, and read The Argument Hangover®.
Much love, The Freemans