The idea that you should never go to bed mad always seems to come up when people talk about marital advice. Instead, you should work out your problems before the next day comes.
The intentions of this old saying are good enough, and it makes sense. After all, holding a grudge against your partner isn’t helpful to anyone. But that isn’t what the saying is about.
You shouldn’t have to force yourself to “feel better” so you won’t go to bed mad. Some problems can’t be resolved in a day. Plus, some issues might lead to even more arguing if you try to fix them all at once.
So, before you put too much weight on not going to bed while you’re angry, let’s look at three reasons why it’s okay if you do.
You’re More Irritable When You’re Tired
Let’s face it; not all fights are going to be resolved by 9:00 p.m. If you stay up late trying to work things out, chances are you’re going to become more and more exhausted. You could end up making things worse as a result.
The more exhausted you feel, the easier it is to feel irritable and get snippy with your partner. You’re more likely to say things you wouldn’t typically say. Also, you’re more likely to become stubborn in your position and not see your partner’s point of view.
In reality, if you go to bed mad and get a good night’s sleep, you might feel better when you wake up—and won’t be as angry. That’s a better time to talk with your partner about what happened the day before.
You Might Need More Time to Process Your Thoughts and Feelings
It’s easy to get angry and argue when you focused on your feelings—especially in a heated moment. Once you’ve had some time to process those feelings, you can calm down. You can enter into an argument with a clearer head and perspective.
Instead of forcing yourself to “finish” an argument, it’s okay to ask your partner for some time. Suggest that you need to think, and you want to step away from the discussion for the night. It will keep you from saying things you honestly don’t want to if your feelings have been hurt.
You Can’t Always Solve Problems on Your Own
If you get into the mindset that you have to solve your issues before going to bed, you could be putting your relationship in danger when it doesn’t have to be.
Simply put, some conflicts require a third party or a mediator to help you out. It’s not always easy to see another person’s perspective, especially if you have different communication styles. If an argument seems like it’s going nowhere, don’t force a resolution that pleases no one just so that you don’t have to “go to bed mad.”
Instead, recognize that you might not be able to resolve things on your own. That doesn’t mean your relationship will fail. It means you need some help to get to the bottom of the real issues. It also means you might need to learn new skills to resolve those issues in a healthy and productive way. In the end, working with someone, like a therapist, can help to make your relationship stronger than ever.
If you’re struggling with arguments and conflict in your relationship, you don’t have to follow this old saying. Instead, if you live in the East Bay area, feel free to contact me to talk more about what we can do to resolve your relationship issues. Or, visit my page on [insert specialty link] to learn more about how I can help.