Going to bed angry goes against what we have been told, taught, and maybe even promised our spouse before marriage. Is, sometimes, going to bed angry healthier for your relationship than staying up until the matter is resolved? On the side of the debate that says “Go ahead – sleep on it,” here are three reasons to go to bed angry.
1. The argument is escalating. If each spouse gets more entrenched in their own position and no progress is being made, sometimes things get louder and increasingly heated the more each tries to force their perspective on the other. If it were daytime, one or the other might stomp off to another room to cool down before addressing – or deciding to blow off – the original reason that anger resulted from a given topic. Going to bed, backs turned to the other, might be the nighttime version of that.
2. Tiredness adds to irrational response. Being overtired and responding to each other in a cranky manner may have been what got the argument started in the first place. The more tired one gets, the more likely one is to respond in an over-the-top way and/or make regrettable statements.
3. The situation can be processed in your subconscious while you sleep. In other words, things will look better in the morning.
But will things really look better in the morning? Will we wake up refreshed, rational, and eager to see our mate’s side of things? Do we wake up to an epiphany for a fair resolution? Or do we get out of bed, ignore each other, and carry our grudge throughout the day?
Maybe there is a reason that “not going to bed angry” has been advised by many of our predecessors. Maybe the tired marital cliche’ has some merit to it. In reverse order, here are three reasons not to go to bed angry with each other.
3. The chasm between the two of you could widen. Instead of being rested and able to resolve the conflict from the night before, both parties could end up more convinced than ever they were right. And determined not to be the first to concede – or even speak. Sound silly? Most long-standing grudges are. How many times have you heard someone utter I’m not even sure what started it? And yet, the animosity lives on.
2. Being angry can disrupt your sleep. Tossing, turning, stewing, planning for the next go-round, could deprive you of the sleep you so desperately need in order to restore your reasoned thinking. So instead of waking with a new attitude, you’re crankier than ever and ready for round two.
1. Because there may not be a do-over tomorrow. We often go through life as if we have all the time in the world. But, as our elders are so acutely aware, we may not have tomorrow. Anybody who has lost a loved one probably remembers the last words ever exchanged with them. Statistically, the chances of us being just fine in the morning are very high. But statistics are just numbers – which is not always the same as real life. Which is why it is important to live in a way, and treat each other in a way, that leaves us with no regrets.