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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

going to bed angry...

Going to Bed Angry
3 Key Tips On How To Really Not Go To Bed Angry

Last week, I did a Marriage Mechanic post on the importance of marital ground rules. I made a list of 5 rules that I believe lays a good marriage foundation.  I was ecstatic to see some comments and interaction from the post. I welcome all comments and/or questions since we can all learn from each other about this mysterious thing we call marriage… so keep those comments/questions coming. 

After seeing these comments I thought it would be helpful to do this week’s MMM post on that first rule: Never go to bed angry. Based on the comments that were posted, even the ones that were thought about but not posted, I have titled this week’s post as three tips on how to really not go to bed angry with each other. 

First, as a review of marital ground rule # 1, never go to bed angry, I explained that sometimes, marital fights drag on into the next day; even into the next week. It is my strong opinion that unresolved fights are never a good thing and can slowly eat away at your marriage relationship foundation. Thus, setting a ground rule like never go to be angry with each other is one of the best principles for your marriage longevity.

But let’s be realistic, right? Does this mean that you stay up all night trying to resolve your differences or disagreement(s) when you have to get up for work the next day? What do you do when your spouse just doesn’t let it go and keeps the fight going? Or what happens when your spouse crosses the line and belittles or verbally disrespects you? Isn’t it a good thing to take a “time out” from a lingering disagreement or communication battle rather than trying to work it out before you hit the pillow? Some say, the fight gets worse when a time out is not implemented in moments like this.

These are all good questions when it comes to this important marital rule or never go to bed angry. Well, here are my 3 tips on how to really not go to bed angry with each other.

    •    Make an agreement to resolve it the next day. Let’s be honest, when it comes to our disagreements with our spouse, we must admit that what keeps those fights going is our stubbornness. What are we so headstrong about in these moments? The desire to be right! Fights that linger into day 2 or day 5 is the strong desire to be right. The truth is neither of you are right when the wrong decision is made to keep it going. And when it’s all said and done anyways, we forget how the fight even started in the first place. Sometimes, it is better to “sleep on it” but you both must agree to resolve it the next day.

    •    Make respect win. It is never cool getting hurt by the one who we love the most. Unfortunately, this seems to happen all too easily in a marriage relationship. I mean, we would never let verbal disrespect happen at work or allow it to ruin a potential money making deal. Yet at home, respect and love tends to take a back seat. It is important to understand that marital fights are a part of the relationship but the true test of marital longevity is to know how to work through it. The best way to win any marital dispute is to make respect win over and over again; respect for each other and respect for the sacredness of your marriage.     

    •    Make a love truce. In every marital argument, love must still supersede and reign supreme. Even if you can’t resolve a fight before you go to bed, love for each other must be the core foundation in the relationship. Making a love truce means you still love each other despite the tension. Also, making a love truce means that you agree that resolve is the end result of the love that keeps you together.

Marriage is not easy but then again who ever said it was. The good news is that marriage can get easier as you continue to work through your differences and implement the appropriate know how into your relationship on an on-going basis. There will be those cloudy days you put your head on the pillow at night frustrated to no end with your spouse. But knowing that the sun will rise in the morning will bring an opportunity for learning and growth.                   

Rob Lane
Marriage Mechanic

Rob is proud that his wife Cara plays an instrumental part of what he does. They have a combined 20+ years helping individuals and couples with their relationships and marriages. Rob has a BA in Christian Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is an Online Psychology Professor for Grand Canyon University. Rob is also certified marriage counselors in the PREPARE/ENRICH program. He is a non-denominational ordained minister and officiates wedding ceremonies. Rob combines his experience and education along with his unique approach that is sincerely relational, empowering, hopeful, honest and compassionate. To learn more about Rob, The Marriage Lane and his approach read here.

*Lead photo created using the app A Beautiful Mess, available for sale here in the iTunes app store! Thanks ABM app for the creative tool!


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