If your partner recovers well after a spat, you reap the benefits, suggests a study.
The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development's Institute of Child Development research looked at how people recover or come down after a conflict with their romantic partner.
Jessica Salvatore, lead researcher in the study and her colleagues' looked at what happens after a conflict ends and how people recover.
"What we show is that recovering from conflict well predicts higher satisfaction and more favorable relationship perceptions. You perceive the relationship more positively," said Salvatore.
The interesting finding is that you don't have to be the one who recovers well to benefit.
"If I'm good at recovering from conflict, my husband will benefit and be more satisfied with our relationship," she said.
A partner who recovers well doesn't let remnants of the conflict spill over or leak into other parts of the relationship, Salvatore said. He or she is able to separate conflict from other types of interactions, such as deciding how to parent their children or providing support to one another.
The results have also shown that infant attachment security plays a role in how someone recovers from conflict.
"Having a caregiver who was more in-tune and responsive to your emotional needs as an infant predicts better conflict recovery 20 years later," said Salvatore.
This means that if your caregiver is better at regulating your negative emotions as an infant, you tend to do a better job of regulating your own negative emotions in the moments following a conflict as an adult.
The findings have appeared online in the journal Psychological Science.