Return to site

Go to Bed Mad'll save your relationship...

broken image

You know the old saying, "Don't ever go to bed mad"? The idea was that it was bad for your relationship if you didn't kiss and make up before sleeping.

My advice: do the opposite. Be angry, riled up, pissed off - and go to sleep. It'd be nice if you could tell your partner, "I'm still mad at you, and I want to talk about it in the morning. Good night." Even better, if you could remember why you married/committed to this total-absolute jerk in the first place, and say, "And I love you, just not so much right now" and then head off to bed. Alone or not.

Here's the problem: night time is the worst time to hash things out.  You're tired, your brain is shutting down--and you'll probably say things you'll regret when you're calm. If you're needing reassurance, it'll feel suffocating to your partner. If your partner needs space, it'll feel like abandonment to you. You'll dig deeper and deeper holes - and 3 am won't make it any better. Think of night-time arguing as the time when your angry/hurt self (read child) -- not your centered calm self  (read adult) -- comes out to fix things.

If you go to sleep or even stay up and comfort yourself with a book, a bath, reaching out to a friend, your brain will have a chance to calm down. You will wake and the problem will still be there--but your hyper-arousal most likely won't. The sense of despair and hopelessness that comes after hours and hours of talking through-around-over-and-under an issue just gets worse at night. Give it - and you - a rest.