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You crushed him. Whether or not you were intentionally out for blood, you can clearly see that you really hurt your guy's feelings. In crinkles in his forehead, the shock in his eye, the hurt in his heart, it's undeniable that you did some damage. It happens, to every couple. The question is: how best to handle it?
Your instincts may be to get some space away from each other. Go to separate rooms. Take a walk to cool off. Take time to think things through, solo. Then reconvene hours later, cool, calm, collected and ready to discuss. An extended break might be the worst thing you can do for your fiancé in this instance. Because if you let the hurt fester, this brief but painful moment will move out of his short-term memory and get lodged in his long-term memory. Not what you want. Instead, make a quick repair. Say something like this: "Oh, baby, I'm so sorry. Did that just hurt you?" Or this: "Hey, I blew it. That did not come out the way I intended, and I see that it hurt you." Even better: "I know what I said hurt you, and I'm sorry. But it's the truth for me, and I want you to know that we are in this together to work this out."
Let him know that you see his distress. Demonstrate how important his feelings are to you, how important it is to work it out, to find a way through that you both can live with. Empathy, compassion, and taking responsibility for your words can go a long way in preventing the unpleasant encounter from permanently lodging in your fiancé's long-term memory.
When is it okay to retreat to your separate corners? Only when you both agree you need a brief breather. Neither of you should unilaterally stomp off in a fit. Instead, decide upon it together, and agree to reconvene in 20 to 30 minutes to continue the discussion. When cooler, less hurt, move loving, compassionate, and understanding heads can prevail.
Allison Moir-Smith, MA, is a bridal counselor, creator of How Brides-To-Be REALLY Feel videos, and author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life.