Just like a great movie you watch over and over, we have decided this week to re-run a column we published a number of years ago. Mainly because one couple told us it brought them back together.
Step One: The argument begins. I remember getting into an argument with Edrina over essentially nothing. I don’t even remember what it was about; only what happened and the end result.
Step Two: The argument intensifies. We get angrier and angrier at each other. I get really smart, regress to my childhood and get into name calling.
Step Three: Edrina decides to dig up something from my past, totally unrelated to the argument, to use as fuel for the fire.
Step Four: Tensions rise. I make a gesture not befitting an adult, and take off in a rage to sit and pout outside. No way I’m going back inside the house….ever! And all this within the space of two and a half minutes. There are some disgusted looks from our grown-up children. Not one of my most heroic moments.
Step Five: After some time sitting outside alone, mulling over how I’m going to spend the rest of my life living under the back patio, Edrina comes outside. She apologizes for arguing and for bringing up stuff from my past.
Step Six: It’s tough, but I cave in and apologize for name calling, inappropriate gestures, and for arguing in the first place. We both realize we’re tired from a busy weekend, forgive each other – something we’d put into practice since the beginning of our relationship – and then I said four words to her that we had recently introduced into our relationship…
Step Seven: I said to Edrina, “Can we start over?”
Barring situations of abuse, many arguments can be resolved through good communication.
If you’re looking after your relationship, consider “starting over” after an argument is resolved. It gives you permission to rewind back to when you were both civil to each other. It doesn’t mean you ignore or don’t deal with what happened, but it allows you let go and get back to loving and respecting each other.
Step Eight: Try it. Ask “Can we start over?”