Go to bed angry?

Angry couple in bed © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.comYesterday I discussed the items in the article 10 Marriage Rules You Should Break that I agree with. Now for those I do not agree with, and why.

Never go to bed angry.

In some ways I agree with this, but only for some couples and some situations. Once an argument reaches a certain level of emotion, a mutually good resolution becomes impossible. Continuing to work on the issue at that point is counter-productive.

However, if either spouse can’t sleep without some sense of resolution, going to bed without dealing with the anger is bad for that person. Alternately, if “sleeping on it” means one spouse looses interest in resolving the issue, that’s a problem too. If going to bed angry happens regularly, the marriage suffers on a number of levels. If anger is used to avoid sex, then being willing to go to bed angry can become a means to that end.

On the other side of it, refusing to go to bed until things are resolved can be used as a tool to win arguments, or at least to get one’s spouse to back off. It can also be used to punish the spouse who suffers more from a lack of sleep (usually the wife).

If you often face the choice of going to bed angry or staying up late to resolve things, talk about ways to change that.

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5 Comments on “Go to bed angry?

  1. A hearty “amen” to this, and I’ve been saying it every time someone brings up the “never go to bed angry” rule at church. Sometimes, you need time and perspective. Sometimes, what you fought about in the evening will seem trivial and foolish in the morning, and you’ll apologize shame-facedly and get on with being loving. Sometimes you just need to get the bit out of your mouth.

  2. Eph 4:21 If in fact you gave ear to him, and were given teaching in him, even as what is true is made clear in Jesus:
    Eph 4:22 That you are to put away, in relation to your earlier way of life, the old man, which has become evil by love of deceit;
    Eph 4:23 And be made new in the spirit of your mind,
    Eph 4:24 And put on the new man, to which God has given life, in righteousness and a true and holy way of living.
    Eph 4:25 And so, putting away false words, let everyone say what is true to his neighbour: for we are parts one of another.

    **Eph 4:26 Be angry without doing wrong; let not the sun go down on your wrath;**

    Eph 4:27 And do not give way to the Evil One.
    Eph 4:28 Let him who was a thief be so no longer, but let him do good work with his hands, so that he may have something to give to him who is in need.
    Eph 4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for giving necessary teaching, and for grace to those who give ear.
    Eph 4:30 And do not give grief to the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were marked for the day of salvation.
    Eph 4:31 Let all bitter, sharp and angry feeling, and noise, and evil words, be put away from you, with all unkind acts;
    Eph 4:32 And be kind to one another, full of pity, having forgiveness for one another, even as God in Christ had forgiveness for you.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. Continuing to interact when at least one of you is caught in the web of emotional reactivity will only lead to a fight. My personal policy is not to start a serious, potentially conflictual conversation after 8 pm. If something happens that really upsets you, let your partner know calmly and arrange a time to talk about it. If your relationship is on solid footing, you will be able to go to sleep knowing the issue will be dealt with later. If not, there are tools and techniques you can learn to get it on track.

    While disagreements between two people are inevitable, conflict and fighting are choices. Learning how to handle disagreements productively is key to a successful relationship.

    • RE Eph 4:26 – I see that as a choice, not a requirement to “work things out”. If it requires someone else do something, that you can’t obey, so it must not require that anyone else do anything.

  4. I love how you rarely lay down hard and fast rules about married life. Instead you work towards finding the most loving way in every situation – which requires a heck of a lot more work than following a rule, but shows true wisdom.

    It reminds me of the way Jesus abolished all the rules of the Old Covenant and said that loving your neighbour and loving God is now the number one..and that looks different in different cases.

    Thanks for gradually restoring and rebuilding my trust in men.

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