In any relationship, there comes a time when both people disagree on something and eventually start to argue. Sometimes, it would be a minor argument that you could solve with your partner once you both calm down. Other times, it’s not that easy.
If things start to go south during an argument and you can’t seem to reconcile at the moment, this is the time to apply the 3-day rule after an argument.
To properly solve the disagreement, you need to take a little break to recollect your thoughts and focus on resolving the issue.
What Is the 3-Day Rule After an Argument in a Relationship?
The 3-day rule is where a couple agrees to take a 3-day break from each other after a heated argument to calm down, recollect their thoughts, and reach a solution that satisfies both parties.
Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s easier said than done.
Almost 35% of married couples in the US end up divorced, which isn’t a small percentage. Applying the 3-day rule isn’t always as easy as it seems, especially when you have so much to say during the heat of the moment.
You need to fight that urge and avoid communicating with each other until you calm down. That’s the rule.
Why Is the 3-Day Rule Important?
When an argument starts spiraling out of control and things begin to get heated, it’s best to hit the pause button and take a break away from each other. Otherwise, you might say or do things that can make the situation worse.
During those 3 days, you should calm down, reflect on the argument, recollect your thoughts, and plan your next steps. You need to do it in this sequence to avoid making rash decisions while still angry.
10 Steps to Apply the 3-Day Rule
As we’ve mentioned, applying the 3-day rule is easier said than done, especially when you don’t know how. That’s why we’ve simplified the process down to 10 easy steps.
1. Agree on the Rule Together
First and foremost, you and your partner need to be on the same page about applying this rule. It won’t be effective if only one of you is applying it because your partner would misinterpret the reason behind this break.
So, make sure both of you agree to apply this rule and set a clear action plan for what you’ll be doing during that break and a deadline for when the break ends.
2. Take Time Apart
After agreeing on everything, it’s time to take a break. Both of you need to avoid any form of communication until you’re calm, collected, and re-centered. That includes texts, calls, and even on social media.
3. Focus on Self-Care
During the 3-day break, focus on self-care activities that help you wind down and relax. These activities could be anything from exercising and meditating to meeting up with friends and family.
By taking time to focus on self-care, you’ll feel recharged and ready to handle the argument better after the break.
4. Reflect on Your Feelings
This break is the perfect time to sit down and reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself what triggered your feelings and why you reacted a certain way. Dig deep into your feelings and fully understand where they’re coming from.
Reflecting on your thoughts and feelings would give you a better perspective and help you understand why you’re annoyed by that certain issue. Once you reach the roots of the problem, you’ll be able to solve it.
5. Identify the Underlying Issues
In most cases, heated arguments between couples stem from underlying issues in the relationship that they haven’t addressed.
Use this break to reflect on your relationship and how to address any underlying issues to strengthen the bond between you and your partner.
6. Practice Empathy
As part of reflecting on the argument, put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try to see the situation from their perspective.
This will help you address the issue with your partner after the break with more empathy and understanding.
7. Write Down Your Thoughts
Grab a paper and a pen, and start writing down your thoughts. Journal your thoughts and feelings to help you organize the message you’d like to deliver to your partner after the break.
Another option is to write a letter to your partner. It doesn’t matter whether you’ll give it to them. All that matters is that you voice your thoughts and practice what you’ll say when your break is over.
8. Plan How to Approach the Discussion
After the break, decide with your partner on the best approach to discuss your argument. That way, you’ll both be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
9. Choose a Good Time and Place to Talk
Before you discuss your thoughts, make sure that you choose the right time and place to talk. You both need to be present, well-rested, and open to new perspectives. Sit in a quiet place where you both feel comfortable to avoid distractions.
10. Listen Attentively
The key to effective communication is active listening. You can’t effectively communicate if you’re just waiting for your partner to finish what they have to say only so you can say what you’ve prepared and get it over with.
You must listen to your partner and fully understand the message they’re trying to deliver. Take mental notes of what they have to say and reply accordingly. That way, you’ll both be able to communicate your thoughts and reach a common ground where you resolve your argument.
When should you not use the 3 day rule?
Sure, the “3-day rule” isn’t a solution that applies to all situations. Here are two instances when you should not apply this rule:
If there’s an issue that needs immediate resolution, waiting for three days can be harmful. This could be a serious health concern, a financial emergency, or any issue that requires immediate attention.
In these cases, it’s crucial to prioritize dealing with these critical issues rather than wait for three days.
2. Ongoing harmful behavior
If you notice that your partner is continually acting in a way that hurts you, then you should not wait three days to address the issue.
Such behavior, if left unattended, can cause long-term harm to your relationship. In these cases, it’s important to communicate immediately and openly to prevent further harm.
1. Can we apply the “3-day rule” for minor disputes?
Yes, for minor disputes, the “3-day rule” can be an effective tool. It provides both parties with the time to cool down, reflect on the issue, and then come back to discuss the dispute with a clear mind.
2. Is it necessary to wait for a full three days before discussing the disagreement?
It’s not necessary to wait for a full three days. What’s important is that enough time is given for emotions to stabilize, and for both parties to have a clear understanding of the dispute.
This time could be shorter or longer than three days, depending on the individuals and the situation.
3. What if my partner doesn’t agree to the “3-day rule”?
If your partner doesn’t agree to the “3-day rule,” it’s important to have a conversation about how both of you want to handle disagreements.
The goal is to find a method that is effective for both of you and ensures a healthy, effective communication process. This may involve negotiation and compromise.
4. Can the “3-day rule” be applied to all types of relationships?
While the “3-day rule” might be a useful tool in many relationships, it may not necessarily be applicable or beneficial in all circumstances. It’s important to evaluate each situation individually and consider the nature of the relationship, the personalities of those involved, and the specifics of the disagreement.
Disagreements are inevitable in any relationship, yet it’s how we handle these conflicts that shapes our bond.
Applying the “3-Day Rule” in the midst of heated disputes offers a vital cool-down period, a chance to introspect, and gain deeper emotional insight. This break affords us time to reflect, identify the issue’s roots, and understand our partner’s stance.
But, this rule isn’t universal; urgent matters or persistent harmful behavior demand immediate attention, not a three-day hiatus. Ultimately, whether we employ the “3-Day Rule” or not, handling relationship conflicts with understanding, respect, and kindness is paramount.
This approach ensures true problem resolution, deepens mutual comprehension, and bolsters our bond.