Emotional Charge and Discharge Cycle (cont.)
Section 2 part 3
<h2>What to do After you’ve had a Fight in your Marriage</h2>
The last section where you can take the steps to decrease the likelihood of fights and arguments occurring in your marriage is after you had one. When we’ve gone through the full emotional charge and discharge cycle – and thinking and choice has returned – there’s an opportunity there for restoring our relationship or marriage “back to normal” (or upgraded normal which we’re wanting to do).
However, I do want to interject a quick caution here. When we’ve had a fight and we’re feeling separated and estranged from our spouse, it’s a very uncomfortable feeling. And there’s a natural urge in us to want to get out of that feeling to feel okay again. And so there can be a temptation to engage in this process too early.
When we look at the anger charge and discharge cycle there’s a phase when thinking and choice is beginning to come back online, but it’s not fully online yet; and to recognize that our emotional charge – or our partner’s emotional charge – is still present. In that situation we may be experiencing regret and a yearning to reconnect, but because the emotion is still charged the likelihood of getting triggered back into the danger zone also remains high. So you want to make sure you’ve gone through – and your partner has gone – through the full emotional charge and discharge cycle before engaging in this process.
One of the ways to do that is to check within yourself and inquire “is my wanting to reconnect with him or her to restore the relationship… to address our baseline being reestablished or am I still engaged in wanting to convince them to see things my way? If you’re still invested in the latter, it’s not yet time to do this.
Now, one of the ways that you can facilitate that and be more ready is the first step in this process of reestablishing or reconnecting in the marriage. And that has to do with “review”. Now we’re not talking about reviewing with your partner the fight (itself). We’re talking about you doing an internal review looking at what you might have done differently in the circumstances. What you might have done that contributed to the fight exploring. How you got sideways with things, where the miscommunications happened, and if there’s anything you’ve done that you want to make reparation for (or) that you want to repair with your partner in the marriage or relationship.
The second and third and fourth components wouldn’t necessarily happen in a sequential order, but in the resetting of the marriage relationship you want to repair any damage done. You want to reconnect with each other. Re-experience that sense of “us-ness” and despite having gotten sideways and being angry with each other, experiencing we are still here together, we are still a team.
And lastly reaffirming this (fighting) is something we are committed to changing. We got sideways on it. It didn’t go well. We’re reaffirming our commitment to taking the steps to improve and upgrade our overall relationship and to do things differently on our on-ramp; so that we avoid those fights and arguments and find ways that we collaborate and constructively deal with our differences together.
Alright, so there’s the “swoop diagram” as it applies to fights and arguments in marriage. I hope that you found it helpful and you can understand how our brain is really a set up to sometimes go into a very harsh and nasty kind of fighting as a means of protecting us, when we get triggered into our survival mode. The key is to avoid that to stay out of this danger zone.
One the way that we do that is by first coming to recognize our on-ramp – to know our pattern that has led us into those kinds of fights, so we can be prepared with a plan to do something differently. To do some things to enhance and improve our overall connection in our marriages. Not only does that help us avoid getting into fights, because we’re having a positive experience of each other; but you get the added benefit of all the additional connection and pleasure and security of feeling a real nice solid bond with your marriage partner
And then of course, if you do triggered into the danger zone, be sure to take that extra step after folks have calmed down to come back and repair the relationship. But, also to reaffirm with each other again we don’t like this, we don’t want to go here anymore, were going to continue to work on improving these things in our marriage, so that we can stay out of this.
I certainly hope that this video has been of use to you and been valuable. If you’re one of my marriage counseling clients, I hope it’s been a good solid reminder of how useful this diagram can be and has encouraged you to pick up one of the on-ramp corrections or one of the upgrading normal items to focus on in practice this week.
And if you’re not one of my marriage counseling clients and this makes sense to you… it’s something you’d like to know more about or you feel that it is a good starting point for you overcoming fights and arguments… I’d be happy to meet with you for a free consultation at Asheville Marriage Counseling. Please feel free to give me a call.