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do you resolve a fight before you go to bed?

By December 29, 2008 - 12:17am
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When you have an argument with your spouse/significant other, do you try to resolve it before you go to bed that night? I remember my mom telling me that her mother gave her one piece of advice before she got married to my dad -- that they should never go to bed angry. But is this realistic? And even necessary for a good relationship? I'd love to know what others think about this.

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,

I think your argument is well put. Sometimes, we do need to sleep on it in order to make rationale judgments, right? You really don't get anything accomplished while two people are upset and arguments will just ensue. I also agree that if staying up all night for something that may not be an issue in the morning interrupts your employment, is not such a good idea.

So instead of a headache in the morning and a sleepless night, say, “I love you” since you know you do, but he does not have to be your favorite person right now! :-)

I like the style of your argument, well put! I hope the argument worked itself out!

June 12, 2010 - 10:40am
EmpowHER Guest

I got the don't go to bed angry advice from so many people when I got married. It has only happened a few times so far in my marriage but I am thinking that it is not very good advice at all. I do not feel as if staying up almost all night no matter how tired you are, even if you have to work in the morning, is a good idea. For one thing if my husband acts like he might actually fall asleep and we have not completely resolved the issue, I begin to cry thinking that we are going to end up in an unhappy bad marriage because we went to sleep upset due to my belief in this widespread advice. But I am willing to try a different method because this way is not working. After last night I am going to try saying , I love you, give and kiss and go to bed even if everything is not resolved. Today we are both sad because we did not get hardly any sleep, sitting up for hours talking everything through took so much when what you should be doing in resting.We cried and my eyes are all puffy, he overslept and was late for work and he is NEVER late.So we barely got to say we love each other as he raced out the door half dressed, and half asleep, all confused. Now I just feel terrible. I am pretty sure he does too. It does not feel like a regular happy day even though we finally made up at 4 in the morning. Instead it feels like one of the worst times in our whole marriage all because I was holding on to some idealized idea of not going to bed angry. I know we will recover but it has been a draining experience and the next time we have an issue before bed I am not going to force a reconciliation. I am going to try to see how just sleeping on it works.

June 12, 2010 - 10:26am

My Darling Groom and I have a rule to never go to bed angry. It's not always an easy rule to follow, because, sometimes, one or the other of us doesn't know what has made the other mad enough to clam up or is willing to say. I've also learned the "man" trick of his forgetting completely what happened the night before and acting like nothing did happen (very annoying).

We're all human and prone to terribly human behaviors. I think that couples have to learn how to "fight," to be able to disagree without being "ugly" or unreasonable. Basically, learn to communicate. Men handle (or don't) things differently from women (who also don't). If you're mature enough to understand this, and can deal with it, your relationship should be able to survive the typical, normal, occasional spats - and even the not so typical, big issues.

One thing we do, even if one or the other of us is mad at each other, is always kiss each other goodnight. That little gesture often relieves whatever tension there may be. 9 times out of 10, that tension was caused by something external to us that just sent someone off onto the wrong flight path, but we're not willing - or able - to admit it.

Granted, there are people in this world who simply don't belong together. However, my personal opinion is that more people really do, they just have to learn HOW to belong together.

There was a period of time during our marriage when we had terrible fights. At the time, the world was coming to an end. Looking back, we were both just going through some really hard emotional times (family illnesses, divorce, those sorts of things) and taking things out on each other. My Darling Groom is at once my Rock of Gibraltar and my Great Wall. I can only imagine what he thinks I am, LOL!

December 29, 2008 - 5:19pm
HERWriter Guide

With all due respect to people who have never gone to bed angry with their spouse, I am not one to believe this is possible at all. I hear that line about never going to bed angry, in case the person dies in their sleep. Actually, they are far less likely to die in their sleep (if younger) than to die in an accident or through illness!

I don't think it's necessary to resolve all conflicts before bedtime. Rome wasn't built in a day and marriages won't fall apart in one either. Sometimes it takes time to work out a problem. As long as you are working on it, the time line shouldn't matter.

There have definitely been times when I have gone to bed peeved with my husband. To never do so is a bit Brady Bunch and Waltons for me.

Kind of reminds me of sitcoms where there is a huge problem and through tears and laughter, it's all resolved in 22 minutes.

Like Diane, my husband and I don't really 'fight'. We don't name call or yell, but we have snarky conversations at times that get resolved fairly quickly because I can't keep my annoyance inside. I'm not one to seethe!

In general, we get along really well but of course there have been a few times I say 'goodnight' and roll over when I'm really thinking "I hope you have insomnia tonight and I ain't liking your attitude!" :)

In fact, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that someone who says they've never gone to bed angry with their loved one, has. They have just forgotten.

December 29, 2008 - 12:18pm

Kristin, this is such a great question! I would love to read what others think about it too.

I have to say no. We don't resolve everything before we go to bed. In a way, I think it's very unrealistic to think that all issues CAN be decided in a day, especially if both partners feel strongly about it.

I wonder how many of the wives who got the message of never going to bed angry ended up being the peacemaker, giving in, no matter what? I think I saw that pattern in my own parents. My father was the dominant personality, my mother was the peacemaker, which meant that often, her own wants or needs went by the wayside. (I used to see her role as weakness; now I realize that sometimes, being the one who compromises is actually a position of strength).

And I wonder how many husbands got a message from their own fathers that they should never go to bed angry? Was this something that only women passed down to one another, do you think?

I think my husband and I have a middle ground. We can go to bed during a disagreement, but we sort of suspend the disagreement for the night. We can say "sweet dreams" to one another and mean it even if we're on opposite sides about something going on in our daily life. It's an acknowledgement that, while we disagree now, we know we will get through it.

Some issues take days and weeks to work through. It seems like to say "we will solve every issue the day it arises" is unrealistic at best and laughable at its worst. But perhaps the difference is how the discussion goes. My husband and I really don't "fight." We can disagree mightily, we can cry or get angry, but we still keep perspective. That's just a matter of respect. I think couples who truly fight, meaning with raised voices or insults, have even deeper issues going on.

What about you? What's your thought?

December 29, 2008 - 9:29am
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