Relationships take a lot of work. Sometimes they are just downright difficult. There are some essential things couples who are in long-term relationships do whenever they have a conflict. They compromise during the conflict. They make sacrifices during the conflict. And finally, they view themselves as a team, even after the conflict. It’s been found that the couples who are more compromising to each other, talk to each other, and feel empathetic to each other’s feelings are more likely to succeed in their relationships, especially during a conflict.
The giveaway here is that disagreements are inevitable, even in the best relationships. You won’t find any marriages or relationships without arguments. One of the primary reasons for the demise of relationships is because the couple wasn’t willing or determined enough to work through resolving the conflicts in the relationship.
Here are four steps to help you smooth things over if you realize you have hurt your significant other:
1. Find out what actually happened.
Before resolving any conflicts in your relationship, you need to know as much as you can about what’s actually going on in your relationship. If you have hurt your girlfriend, give her a chance to talk about it. Ask her about her feelings and allow her to open up about it. If there’s something she said which you don’t agree with, don’t argue it. Just listen. People don’t get upset without reason. Your spouse is disappointed over something and it’s your responsibility to find out the reason.
2. Give her some space, if she asks for it.
If you find your partner hurt, give her some time and space to think. She needs this time to think before she’s willing to share her thoughts about it with you.
3. Discuss the issue and clarify if you don’t grasp something.
Once your partner has talked about the issue, ask her questions to make it clear if there is something you don’t understand. Make sure your partner has fully expressed how she feels and has told the whole story. It's a major step before you take things any further. Clarify if there is more to the story. If there is more information about the story that she doesn’t know, ask her before you tell her what you know. And yes, make sure while doing this, she doesn’t assume that you are trying to protect yourself, being defensive, blaming her for being sad and making her feel less upset.
4. Start repairing the damage.
If you realize that what you did has hurt her, sincerely apologize for what you have said or done as soon as you can. Let your partner know that what you did is wrong and you are sorry for it. Admit to her that you understand why she's upset, why she feels this way, and that you are willing to do anything to fix the issue and mend the damage done. Ask her if there is something she needs from you to make things right again. Once you realize that your spouse has come to terms with you and accepted your apologies, it’s time for the both of you to talk about the future of your relationship. Couples who are in healthy relationships learn how to solve problems in their relationships, accept responsibility for their actions, and forgive each other.