Who was it who said that you should never go to bed angry? I’d like to prove this person wrong.
For many years, MrC and I took this advice to heart. Why wouldn’t we, when many people say that it’s one of the greatest secrets to a harmonious, and long-lasting marriage.
For people like us who are both highly opinionated and not afraid to get into arguments, this meant countless sleepless nights. It meant conversations that went around in circles. It meant finding ourselves right back at the beginning of an unresolved issue hours after it started, especially when fatigue and brain fog started settling in. Worst of all, it meant digging up issues from the past, often as last ditch efforts at winning the fight. Or, at the very least, to finally, unceremoniously, end the discussion.
In our marriage, not going to sleep angry often involved dragging each other through the mud until we finally emerged. We were not always victorious with a compromise. Instead, the whole ordeal often would leave us feeling completely exhausted. Usually, the situation diffused when we no longer had any fight left in either of us. Trust me when I tell you, this is not a good thing. At least not for us.
At first, falling asleep with unresolved issues between us felt scary, even uncertain. Did it mean that we would wake up angry? Would those concerns we set aside ever be settled?What if one of us woke up still annoyed, and the other wanted to make up? What then?
So many questions can go through a person’s head in the dead of the night. Especially so, when you are the one left awake, and the person next to you, the current bane of your existence, is blissfully snoring away.
If and when this ever happens to you, my advice is this: Turn your brain off and go to sleep. It won’t be easy, especially at first. You can be sure of that. But do it anyway. At least give it a try. It’s okay to go to bed angry. Things will be okay.
Your marriage will not fall apart over one argument. Or at least, it shouldn’t, especially if the issue at hand is something petty. In our case, we have slept on many major problems simply because we didn’t have the energy to keep on fighting. MrC, one time, even slept in the car after walking out in the middle of an argument!
Here’s the thing. Going to bed angry doesn’t have to mean sweeping problems under the rug. For us it means giving ourselves time to cool our heads. It means buying time to think things through in order to find a reasonable compromise. It means being able to approach the situation with clearer, rested heads. We’ve been able to find better solutions to problems both big and small this way.
Many might disagree with me on this, and for a lot of people this might not necessarily work. But I no longer believe that it’s a huge fault to sleep angry. On the contrary, I see it instead as an opportunity to hit reset, and start over fresh.
Lo and behold, age-old marriage wisdom ignored, we are still here. 18 years together this year, 11 years living in one house, and 6 years married. So far so good.
Remember, there are countless ways to say you’re sorry in the morning without having to use words. It’s a whole lot better than having to face an entire night of fighting. What I mean, of course, is hugging, cuddling, and laughing it out. What were you thinking? Lol.
So, make me kwento. Do you follow that “Don’t go to bed angry” advice? Or do you choose to ignore it like we do?