Every long distance relationship has a unique set of needs and issues to deal with.
How you handle these makes all the difference.
Struggle in relationships is unavoidable. Even seemingly minor misunderstandings might lead to full-blown arguments in our darkest hours.
But the thing about arguing is that, if handled healthily and adequately, the resolution may bring you closer. Even frustrating as it may feel when it’s occurring. Mastering the post-fight process might prepare you to recover even more powerfully than before.
After a fight, here are five steps that can help you repair yourself and your long distance relationship. You can also seek help from a counselor such as Therapeutic Counsellor Birmingham.
Take a deliberate “timeout”.
When you and your partner are emotionally charged, resolving the conflict can be dangerous and lead to more harm than good. Timeouts should be taken whenever necessary.
Try taking a quick step back to allow one another some breathing room. This can help both members of the long distance relationship to think and act more clearly. You can get your thoughts together and return to an emotionally neutral state more quickly by doing something as easy as taking a break for a glass of water or practicing a relaxing breathing technique. An agreement that it’s acceptable to leave a hot situation if the goal is to prevent escalation is one example of an argument prevention strategy that will prove helpful. Once emotions have subsided a few days later, individuals may plan to have the topic again. Waiting until you are composed and prepared to approach the subject objectively is crucial.
Extend a hand of friendship when the timing is appropriate.
Try not to hold onto your resentment and hurt after you’ve calmed down. You will experience more sorrow as a result. As well you can find yourself ending a long distance relationship that is worth saving. Therefore, think about apologizing if the situation is yours to apologize for.
Be aware that being the first to apologies doesn’t mean the conflict is solely your fault. An apology, on the other hand, is a recognition that the fight harmed both of you but that you still care about and support your spouse and that you want to move past it.
Actively hear what your partner says, and take obligation for any damage you could have triggered.
We tend to focus so intently on arguing our case during arguments that we virtually overlook the other person’s perspective. Now is the time to hear your partner’s words while you’re both more level-headed. Show them you are listening by engaging in reflective listening:
- Try to respond to them by saying what you hear them say. When your partner is upset, even a short comment like “It sounds like you were hurt when I spoke over you” might be an affirming message.
- Recognize their suffering. If you continue to object to the other person’s viewpoint, you can express your understanding of their pain and point of view by saying something like, “I’m sorry to make you feel this way.”
Even though it may be painful to hear your partner criticize your involvement in the disagreement, this is not the time to defend yourself. One item in the healthy communication toolbox is active listening, which is an excellent method to strengthen your relationship with your spouse because it makes everyone feel heard.
Share your perspective without accusing anyone.
Avoid placing blame when it’s your turn to speak in the debate; instead, express your concerns objectively without implicating anyone.
Here are some suggestions for expressing your viewpoint in a blame-free manner, while the specifics of your argument will change depending on the circumstance:
- Never begin a sentence with “you always.” Try stating, “I’ve had an extremely stressful week at work and would love to come home to a clean kitchen,” as opposed to, “you usually leave the kitchen such a mess.” Would you please run the dishwasher with the dishes?
- Begin your sentences with “I,” not “you.” “Your statements” indicate responsibility and may cause a defensive response, as in “You just squander money and don’t think about the financial ramifications.” By rephrasing them as “I statements,” such as “I get anxious when I notice high costs that I don’t recognize on our accounts; I want to ensure we’re both on the same page regarding savings,” you can lessen the blame game.
When the situation has cooled down, go back to the cause of the problem.
It’s time to get back to the main problem once you both feel more at ease. Find out what was genuinely happening that caused one or both of you to become so heated.
Is a dispute over the dishes truly about the words, for instance? Or is it a bitterness you secretly harbor?
It might even go further. Perhaps you are affected by the dynamic in your parents’ marriage.
Finding and resolving the underlying problem is crucial since doing so keeps the conflict from developing further.
Make sure you’ve both had enough time to experience your feelings and are no longer heated. When you’re both feeling logical, you’re much more likely to find a solution or a middle ground.
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18 thoughts on “How To Have A Healthy Long Distance Relationship”
My partner is currently in Africa for work, so we are on long distance at the moment, its going well to be honest. Sometimes it gets hard when we keep assuming things and argue about little things just because we are long distance. This article really helped. Thank you for sharing.
You are quite welcome. I would love to hear your insight, especially since you are experiencing it in the digital age.
Those are some great tips to keep in mind, loving a person is hard already but having a long distance relationship with them is harder.
Loving someone should be a positive experience but keeping a relationship healthy does take work. It is good to recognize this whether long distance or not.
nothing harder than a long distance relationship thanks for some insights will help!
It can be hard but it can be done.
I have never had a true long distance relationship but it definitely can be done!
It is much nicer to have a relationship that is not from a distance.
Nnniiiicccceeeeee…I love this, Dr. Elise! How I wish I had known these tips in my last relationship! Thanks for sharing about them.
You are so welcome. I am sure that you too have some great gems to share.
This is interesting, definitely, when it cools down, we need to find the cause of the problem.
It can be too hard in the heat of the moment.
I love the idea of taking a step back and having prescribed break times if things are getting too heated. That’s a fantastic strategy for any relationship, even if it isn’t long distance.
That is a good point. Taking a step back can really help any relationship, even non-romantic ones.
Long-distance relationships are hard and not always healthy. Each relationship is unique. But for me, to my it healthy, I would always cool down my anger before talking. Have some time alone, and clear your thoughts before calling again.
You find that the quiet time to reflect and cool down is really helpful.
so informative article for any long distance relationship. Thanks for sharing with us
You are welcome