Making Up and Making Peace

Hubs and I had our first “real” fight on Monday night. It started so simply. He made a joke that struck a very personal chord with me. I knew he didn’t mean anything by it, but I got upset anyway and pouted for about an hour.

(insert regret here.)

And then when we went to bed, I tried to apologize for my reaction. He was already too tired and had moved on, so he didn’t reply to my attempt at making up like I wanted him to. In fact, he didn’t say anything. So I laid awake for over an hour stewing, switching back and forth between being mad at him, being hurt, and being torn as to what to do about it. So I did nothing.

Except listen to him sleep. Actually listen to him snore. He snored a LOT, and loud. But I didn’t wake him up because I wasn’t sleeping anyway. And even though I was angry, there was no reason to wake him up. He was already way too out to have an intelligent conversation (judging from the seemingly foreign language he sputtered out at some point…) and I knew he’d be tired in the morning anyway, so I just let him snore, and by the time I was ready and able to fall asleep, he’d rolled over and quieted down.

But the next morning, I was still angry. As he got ready to walk out the door, we said our goodbyes and had a quick kiss, but then I told him he hadn’t said anything to me when I’d tried to apologize. His response? “I know.”

And then I was really hurt and angry all over again.

And he had to leave for work, so I was left sitting there on the couch with all day to think about what had happened and what it meant and what to do to fix it. I was tired of being upset. I wanted to make up and move on.

I sent an email, and he replied, and to him, that was probably all that was needed. I still wasn’t satisfied. I needed some sort of closure.

So I planned my peace offering.

I went to the store and had dinner ready and waiting when Wyatt got home.

Blue cheese and bacon burgers, with fried potatoes. I knew it was a meal he’d really love. He’d been talking about burgers like that for awhile.

How could he stay mad at me with a burger like this? Yum.

And I think it worked, because he complimented me, the meal, and helped do the dishes. For all practical purposes, everything was back to normal.

For him.

Because I still needed that verbal closure.

So I brought it up again. And we talked about it a little bit. And honestly? I’m still not sure anything was said that really made me feel better, but I sensed it was over, and happy or not, I moved on, and we had a nice night. We didn’t do anything super sweet. Actually, he played video games and I worked around the house or read all night. But we were content and it was fine.

So my question now is this. How do you get that verbal closure when the argument seems to just fizzle out like this? Sometimes it comes naturally, but in an argument like this, where there was no yelling, no crying, no major issue, I’m not sure how it really comes by itself. Wyatt and I barely ever fight, and when we do, it’s usually short and to the point. We always try to fight fair, and while we’re good at arguing and maintaining the peace in tough situations, I’m just not sure we know how to really resolve something like this.

What about you? Is there a way to make up easily and “once and for all?” I hate dragging things on for no reason, but I’m not sure how to get that closure when there’s no big culmination to the argument. Have you ever felt this way? What works for you? 

Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Making Up and Making Peace

  1. You did a lot of normal things and some really good (like the dinner) but he honestly had totally moved on and didn’t think it was an issue any more .. right about morning when he kissed you goodbye. Men are SO different in how they think and how they “deal” (or don’t, it seems to us!) with things it is really frustrating I agree!!

    If I was you, I might have said (in the email, perhaps you did this?) “Hey what you said about X hit a nerve and that’s why I reacted the way I did .. just so you know: it made me feel Y” .. then he at least can learn maybe a little about why you seemed upset?

    I dunno, hell I’d have done exactly what you did lol ..

  2. I understand how you feel. When Matt and I get into arguments, this sometimes happens. A lot of the time, I feel like I get worked up over nothing, or I cause more stress in the situation than there needs to be — most of the time, we eventually work things out and we both apologize. Sometimes, I can’t stand feeling bad and I go ahead and apologize first and want to just make things okay. The problem is, if he is still feeling a little stressed but isn’t really mad at me, he’ll just say something like “that’s all right,” or he’ll just be quiet or we’ll “move on” and talk about something else …. but, like you, I need some firm verbal closure. I want Matt to say “It’s all right, I accept your apology and I am not mad at you.” Sometimes I think I even prolong his annoyance because I can’t stand it and I ask him if he is mad and me and he kind of sighs “no, I’m not mad at you.” But I really like to be reassured of that fact, so sometimes after I think he’s already starting to move on, I’m still feeling worried that he’s mad at me, so I prolong my own bad feelings. But, we’ve been getting a lot better at more quickly resolving things and I have tried to not let those feelings last forever by being more clear to him about what I need to hear to feel better … I think you will eventually learn what he needs to hear to successfully “make up,” and hopefully he’ll learn what you need to hear, too. Maybe you two can have a conversation about what is the best way for you both to feel calm and back to normal after a “fight” … or maybe you already have.

    Thanks for the very honest topic — I’m sorry you had a fight, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who sometimes doesn’t feel completely satisfied with apologies — it was a reminder that that is something I’d like to talk more with Matt about so we are on the same page.

    • Great reply! Thanks! And I know we’ll need to talk about this more at some point. But it’s probably best to wait until we’re sure we’re not upset about anything, eh? 🙂
      Also, thanks for your wording “I accept your apology and I am not mad at you…” I think that’s what we need to make sure we convey. Great way to sum that up!

  3. I’m with you. It must be a female thing. I like to hear the “I love you, and I forgive you.” (Or even better, “I’m sorry.”) I feel like things haven’t truly been resolved until there’s an open acknowledgment of it. Men are different about things like that. Even my husband, who tends to be more sensitive and open than I am, just likes to stew for awhile and doesn’t feel the need to talk about things. Enjoying your blog.

    • Thanks! And thanks for understanding. I’m getting that this is one of those “girl/guy things” I’ll learn to get used to before I figure out a good solution…either way though, I’m sure we’ll get through it. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Hi Melissa –
    I’m so glad you posted this and were so honest about how you felt. I think it’s normal to feel the way you did. We were taught before we were married about how to do a good job forgiving one another and asking for forgiveness. I think that helps us with closure after a fight. Christiann said it well above. But I’ll do my best to summarize briefly how it looks for us:

    1) Figure out what you did wrong. What’s your part? It could be resentment, over-sensitivity, selfishness, etc. or raising your voice, disrespecting him, not communicating honestly or directly, or manipulating him. But it takes two to fight so there’s always something you can own.

    2) Once you figure out what that is, go to him and say as directly as possible: “Will you forgive me for ________.” and name it, whatever it is. It takes guts to do this. Truly admitting your faults before the person you love. But it’s a very healing process.

    3) Next you have to deal with hurt you’re feeling. Ideally you both learn steps 1 and 2 and can each own something in the fight. But even if he doesn’t ever come to you to ask for your forgiveness, you can choose to forgive him. It helps to know in your heart and mind what you’re forgiving him for.

    lifeinthefarcelane shared a great example above that you can use to share how you felt: “When you did X, I felt Y.” You are responsible for your own feelings but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let him in on the impact his behavior or words had on you. It may lead to a bigger conversation about why or how or what’s behind it, but communicating about that stuff is good, too.

    Either way, when you choose to forgive your husband (and it is often a choice, not a feeling) you just say, “I forgive you.” and leave it at that.

    Love that you are working through your feelings like this. It will go a long way in strengthening your marriage! Keep it up!

  5. I hate these fights! I can be really sensitive, and hubby might say something insignificant but it will still upset me. Then I’m upset for a while, and he thinks I’m overreacting. Eventually, it might fizzle out but I need closure too. I love your blog because you and Wyatt kind of remind me of me and my hubby and you’re so honest! The advice in these comments is pretty good!

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