The storm has passed. The fight is over. You survived.
You may want to forget about the fight that just happened and “move on”, however, as they say, those who do not learn from history are DOOMED TO REPEAT THEMSELVES.
So HOW do you lean into the lessons?
After an argument, don’t just get PAST it, get the MOST out of it!
Experience is Expensive
A breakdown takes time, energy and causes separation. There’s a price you, your beloved and especially your relationship pays for this experience and it can get quite EXPENSIVE. Just make sure you get what you paid for!
You DON’T have to settle for a breakdown just being a breakdown. You CAN turn it into a breakthrough. You don’t have to let the upset tear you apart.
You CAN use it to ACCESS intimacy.
Sooooooooo how in the hell do you turn a BREAKDOWN into a BREAKTHROUGH and UPSET into INTIMACY?
Simple! Sure, not always easy, but absolutely simple and totally possible.
Just Make Sure You Get What You Paid For
Drama Dissection or Forward Focus – Choose!
First you’ll want to look at your OVERALL perspective on how you HANDLE conflict. A common theme for Relationship Fun & Games is about being FORWARD FOCUSED.
Most all relationship work out there is just that, WORK. Mostly because it focuses on dissecting and analyzing PROBLEMS. Often it’s at best a drag and at worst a NIGHTMARE.
Relationship Fun & Games designs our content around the idea of PLAY (Playing Peace, Playing Passion, etc) and creating a VISION for how you WANT your relationship to be.
Part of being forward focused is LOOKING BACK to LEARN the LESSONS… but just don’t get stuck in the muck of focusing on past based problems.
You don’t want to be driving forward in a car and looking in the rearview mirror. You’ll CRASH!
Look at the problem juuuuuust long enough to get the GIST of what the issue is, then SHIFT into TRANSLATING it into a goal for the future relationship you are living into.
What DO You Want?
Get the MOST out of your post upset time and ASK yourself and your beloved:
“What DO you want?” – rather than expending all your energy on complaints and fights about all you DON’T want.
Right now, do you have a CLEAR GOAL for your relationship, not only in mind, but COMMUNICATED to your partner?
If you’re like most couples you don’t have ANY goals declared for your relationship.
People tend to set goals for work, health, and all sorts of things, but RARELY do people set goals for their RELATIONSHIP.
They just wait for the TENSION to build until it boils over or even blows up and THEN struggle to pick up the pieces and deal with the aftermath.
That’s like putting a pan full of delicious gourmet food (your relationship) on the hot stove (the stressors and defaults of life) and IGNORING it until AFTER the meal explodes all over the place (your predictable fight) and then cleaning it up and TRYING to SALVAGE what’s left.
You likely know every infuriating detail of your upsets or complaints, yet it’s also likely you don’t already have a SPECIFIC DECLARED vision for how you’d ACTUALLY WANT it to be and HOW to get there.
What a WASTE of energy! What a WASTE of a PERFECTLY GOOD relationship. Far too many potentially Playful, Peaceful, Passionate, P3 Relationships are THROWN AWAY far too soon.
Somehow you seem to FIND TIME to fight (or fighting TAKES times from you), yet that eats up so much more of your time, energy AND relatedness than it would to just create a relationship goal that you’re BOTH INSPIRED by.
Trying To Salvage What’s Left
A Simple 3-Question-System
Most people go blank when Raj and I ask them “What DO you want?” Many times, they get stuck on finding the one “right” or “best” goal.
So how DO you know what goal will make the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE for you and your relationship?
Raj and I developed a SIMPLE SYSTEM to QUICKLY ASSESS your arguments so you can translate the “Friction Factors” into “Peace Practices.”
This system points couples towards PRO-ACTIVE, POSITIVE, MEANINGFUL goals that once achieved, bring DELIGHT and DESIRE to the forefront again.
PLUS once you set and REACH one relationship goal, it gets ADDICTIVE. You start to see PROGRESS, it’s gooooood and you want MORE.
Soon momentum builds and you become BREAKTHROUGH CREATING BEASTS (and it’s worth noting here that not only is learning to be a FABULOUS FIGHTER for creating PEACE in your relationship, resolving and retiring conflicts is VERY SEXY and great for creating PASSION too!)
Proactive, Positive, & Meaningful Goals
Often, Extreme & Long
Use these three SIMPLE questions to consider what one GOAL, that if met, would bring you and your partner the most EASE, ENERGY and even ECSTASY.
Remember, you’ll end up with many goals over time so just start with either a BABY STEP goal to BUILD CONFIDENCE and momentum or if you are in CRISIS MODE in your relationship right now, then you might want to pick the “BIGGIE” and create some headway and HEALING there.
Pick an argument you have (your most recent, most common or most painful) and ask yourself…
- How OFTEN does this fight happen?
- How EXTREME does it get?
- How LONG does it last?
If your primary challenge is how OFTEN your fights happen, then try to set a goal for it to not happen for x number of days, or x number of minutes if it gets really severe!
If your primary challenge is about how EXTREME your fights get, then set CLEAR LIMITS for how far you will let it to get before you STOP.
Decide together what your “lines in the sand” will be and then do whatever you have to do, but don’t cross them! NO MATTER WHAT.
And if your primary challenge is about how LONG your fights last, then time yourself when the next one starts and set a limit/goal for how long you will let the upset continue. “OK I’m going to be pissed for another 15 min but after that, it’s time to move forward.”
BONUS POINTS for setting an alarm with a fun or funny song or sound. Remember Pavlov’s dogs with the bell? If you make this a HABIT, pretty soon, all you have to do is play the song or sound and your entire system will naturally want to relax and let go of the conflict.
Remember, we are PLAYing peace!
No Trust, No Safety, No Intimacy
Now doing what you said you would is a KEY element in building TRUST. No trust, no safety. No safety, no intimacy.
So if you want to have an intimate relationship, DO what you SAID you would. Keep your promises ALIVE and in ACTION through “external structures” like your calendar, your smartphone, post-its on the wall, etc.
YES, when you’re in the heat of the moment it can be incredibly challenging to stick to what you agreed to. You won’t do it perfectly, not by a long shot.
We’re all human and programmed to judge and react. It’s takes practice and repetition to take something as INNATE as IRRITATION and be able to transform it into INTIMACY and AROUSAL.
Now if you’re reading this, I KNOW you’ve accomplished so much more before that you weren’t sure how to do it and you DID IT ANYWAY. You don’t have to know how.
Commitment creates method. Make a promise and let it motivate you.
It will take time, but aim for building muscle here. You WILL get better at it. It WILL get easier. And it WILL rub off on others too.
And wonderful is so WORTH it! And really, waaaaaay easier than fighting anyway so cut it out taking short cuts! Pay attention and perk up. It doesn’t have to be a drudgery. You can make this PRO-ACTIVE and even PLAYFUL.
Pausing together (or on your own if necessary), to ASK those three questions AFTER a fight and then SETTING a GOAL based on those answers isn’t easy at first, yet it is SIMPLE. And you CAN do it!
Failure Is NOT An Option
Consider the Alternatives
You could give up, go cynical and numb and just accept a LOVELESS marriage, bickering constantly or worse, becoming STRANGERS living parallel lives.
Or you could call it QUITS and end up in an expensive, PAINFUL, ugly divorce or breakup that DERAILS your entire world. Both of these ABSOLUTELY suck. These are NOT “solutions.”
So let’s just agree that FAILURE is NOT an OPTION. And fabulous is so very FUN!
Remember, even though it’s not easy, it IS simple. A little INTENTION, ATTENTION and ACTION go a very LONG way.
Become a Fabulous Fighter TODAY.
Whether your biggest HURDLES revolve around the time BEFORE a fight, as one STARTS, DURING a fight or AFTER one, Relationship Fun & Games has the tips, blogs and episodes for YOU.
Let’s play passion!
Your Partners in a P3 Relationship,