7 Secrets Healthy Couples Know About Making Up After A Fight

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All couples fight — even happy couples. There is no getting around this fact.

Many people have a dream that one day they will meet the perfect person who just gets them and the two of them will never have a conflict. This dream is a fantasy that undermines your ability to maintain harmony in an intimate relationship.

The true secret to happiness and success in a relationship is learning about making up after a fight, so you can heal the wounds and grow closer together.

When you're ready to accept that even happy couples argue, you can become curious about what happy couples know about arguing and making up that you haven’t figured out yet.

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All couples sometimes yell, argue, say things they regret, freeze each other out, or even disappoint one another.

So, what is the difference between happy couples and unhappy couples when they're experiencing these issues?

Here’s the deal: It is not one thing. The difference is in how happy couples perceive each other, and particular actions they take when conflicts arise.

Here are 7 secrets happy couples know about arguing and making up after a fight.

1. They take responsibility instead of assigning blame.

A relationship is like a funhouse mirror. At the carnival, you look in a funhouse mirror and see a distorted image of yourself.

You might have a long head and a tiny torso with big giant feet, or some other odd image that is staring back at you. And sometimes, what you see is so weird that you don’t even recognize yourself.

This is what happens when you're in an intimate relationship. You aren’t looking at your partner. You’re looking at a distorted image of yourself. And all of your flaws and frustrations with yourself get projected onto your partner.

Happy couples realize this and take responsibility for their projections.

It’s much easier to blame your partner when things go south and to judge their strategies for dealing with stress. Their behavior makes you uncomfortable, and you would handle things differently.

You might think, "If only they would just do things your way, the two of you would get along so much better."

Ultimately, blaming and judging your partner leads to a power struggle between the two of you. Just let go of the rope.

Happy couples take ownership of their discomfort, whatever it may be, and allow their partner the freedom to make their own choices. It's this acceptance that creates harmony between two people and a bond that lasts over time.

2. They don't require agreement.

One of the biggest causes of a power struggle in a relationship is the need for your partner to agree with you. The need for them to agree with your desires, opinions, and strategies will cause a lot of conflict between the two of you.

Instead, happy couples understand that intimacy doesn’t require agreement.

Agreement won’t bring you closer together, but authenticity will. When you share your truth and take responsibility for your emotions, you open the door for your partner to share their truth.

Authenticity is a high vibration and its expression creates intimacy between the two of you.

You both feel seen, heard, and understood. You may both still disagree, but it suddenly isn’t that important because you feel connected. That is the magic of intimacy.

Happy couples know the importance of being authentic. They do not have the unrealistic expectation that they will always agree with one another.

Being authentic and speaking up to share and express feelings allows a deeper bond to grow over time.

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3. They fight for the relationship, not each other.

The only way out of a power struggle in a relationship is to fight for the relationship, instead of each other. This requires a commitment to finding a win-win, rather than a win-lose from a disagreement.

A win-win requires more creativity and effort from the two of you, but it is worth it. There is nothing more deadly to love and intimacy than a compromise.

If both of you have to give up something in order for the fight to end, you will both feel dissatisfied and resentful. It won’t feel like love if you have to give up something you value just to get along.

Happy couples do not sacrifice their needs thinking it will make things better. Instead, they fight for the relationship and understand the importance of reconnecting and repairing after a fight.

4. They don't accept an apology until they're ready to let go.

Rushing to forgiveness can cause a lot of problems if you aren’t ready to let the argument go. It’s great that your partner is willing to take responsibility and apologize for their behavior, but this does not mean that you are ready to let it go.

If you find yourself still arguing in your mind about what was said or done, you are not ready to accept the apology that has been offered.

When you accept an apology, it means that you are ready to let the argument go. You're committing to not bringing it up again.

Don’t accept an apology because you want the fight to end. Accept an apology because you're ready to let it go and reconnect with your partner.

Happy couples make the effort to clean things up entirely, rather than rushing to forgiveness temporarily.

5. They don't forget to repair hurt.

Mistakes happen. Words get said that you wish you could take back. Sometimes, you take actions you're not proud of. This is all part of the human experience.

What makes happy couples different is that they never forget to repair when arguments occur. They take responsibility for their behavior, apologize, and offer amends when necessary.

When an argument hasn’t been repaired, it will fester and flare up without warning. You may find yourself in a fight cycle that feels like it will never end. This is what people mean when they breakup because of "irreconcilable differences."

They never took the time to repair the fight, so the space between them feels insurmountable. How could you let go of those hurts if you never did the work of healing them?

Happy couples know the most important step in any argument is to repair and reconnect with each other.

6. They establish clear rules about how to fight.

Creating ground rules about arguments gives you a feeling of safety, even though there is conflict. You know that an argument won’t end the relationship.

Happy couples create clear rules and boundaries so that they fight fair. These rules may bend sometimes, and ultimately they do the work of taking responsibility, repairing, and making best efforts moving forward.

Happy couples have clear communication and a system to take a break if things get too heated. They also let their partner know when they're ready to reconnect and repair.

Creating ground rules for disagreements may appear to be an uncomfortable conversation, however, these set the tone for whether or not you and your partner can make it through the challenging times that will inevitably come your way.

No one would bring a baby from the hospital without a plan of what to do with all the dirty diapers. Make sure you plan the same way for the crap that will show up between you and your partner.

Happy couples know the importance of having clear ground rules that allow for mutual respect, even when there is conflict. The secret sauce is having clear communication and a plan, rather than the fantasy that fights will never occur.

7. They get rid of frustrations as they go.

Holding onto little frustrations can lead to those building up and eventually exploding into a much bigger argument. It's like a volcano that's built up so much pressure it spews lava and ash all over the place.

When this happens, you feel terrible and you decide that you don’t like conflict. So, you keep things to yourself until they blow up again.

Happy couples know how to release the pressure by cleaning up the little frustrations as they go. This doesn’t mean that you nitpick everything with your partner. It does mean that you regularly share how you feel and make requests for adjustments.

This open line of communication allows you to reconnect again and again with your partner, so that you don’t find that one day you’ve grown apart. It also means that you’re not going outside the relationship to complain or seek comfort elsewhere.

Clean as you go, and you’ll have a happy and healthy relationship.

Happy couples may fight and behave like any other couple, but it’s what they do after the fight makes all the difference in creating long-lasting, soul-satisfying love.

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Orna and Matthew Walters have been soulmate coaches for over a decade and helped thousands of readers create long-lasting love. Download a complimentary copy of their ebook, Recognizing Mr. Right, along with a guided program on self-acceptance from their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love on Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.