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Going to bed angry

May 27, 2012

I was super lucky enough to have had a beautiful bridal shower thrown in my honor last week (pictures [and video!] forthcoming), and one of the activities was to write down advice for a happy marriage. There were some interesting and unique tidbits (apparently, my friends are very pro-leg shaving) but by and large, the most-given advice was to never go to bed angry.

In fact, it was even Dear Abby’s single piece of marital advice to a bride today.

So, platitudes aside – is that really good advice? Because I totally disagree.

Sure, I’m not actually married yet, but we’ve been together nine years and I’d say we’re doing pretty good. And yes, we fight. Fairly, and without name calling, but we definitely fight. And I’ve absolutely gone to bed angry. And you know what? I think going to bed angry is a good idea.

Why? Two reasons.

1. The alternative is exhausting. I refuse to see how staying up and fighting or arguing is going to produce anything productive. How long can a fight stay fair if we’re sleep-deprived and worried about getting up in the morning? Are we really going to find a good solution or compromise if we’re tired? Or won’t we just want to end it, and say anything to make it stop?

Or is that the point? That when you are tired, you’ll give in and then it’s done and over? Or is the advice more – just stop fighting, remember you love one another, go to bed and deal with it in the morning? Because that’s all fine and dandy, and I can certainly remember I love this man, but still want to kick him in the shins.

2. Things aren’t as bad in the morning. Of course yeah, sometimes they are. But generally, going to bed angry or annoyed about something stupid? Seems even stupider the next morning. It’s a lot easier to wake up, kiss him good morning, apologize and then start the day. Not every thing needs to be hashed out, and sometimes its easier and smarter to be contrite rather than “right.”

What do you think? Still think not going to bed angry is the right move? Do you practice what you preach?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. JessB permalink
    May 28, 2012 2:36 am

    Hmm, I have to admit, I’m a big fan of not going to bed angry. Although I have also never lived with anyone and I’m not in a relationship at the moment, so take that with a pretty big lump of rock salt.

    I do have the philosophy that if I want to heal a breech with someone, then I’ll apologise and do whatever it takes to heal that. But, I also have a very strong philosophy of honesty. I don’t apologise if I’m not sorry. If we just had a difference of opinion, and I don’t think I did anything to be sorry for, then I might be sorry that we fought, or that they got upset, but I’m not sorry that I had an opinion.

    Also, I’m a Catholic, and I can never forget a line from a prayer, ‘if I should die before I wake’. If I’m arguing with someone I love, and I die in my sleep, and never get the chance to tell them I’m sorry, that would make Heaven suck. There would probably have to be a whole Touched By An Angel episode about how I would come back and finally tell them. Is Touched By An Angel still around? Maybe Ghost Whisperer instead.

  2. May 28, 2012 7:10 pm

    I think it’s true that a night’s sleep can often give you some much-needed perspective. Sometimes, fighting when you’re still angry can lead you (read: me) to do or say irrational things that I don’t even really mean except in the heat of the moment. Taking the time to calm down and really think about things can probably save some relationships.

  3. May 29, 2012 12:37 pm

    Totally and absolutely DISAGREE. I wish I would allow myself to go to bed angry more often. I’m usually pressed to find resolution before sleep which often makes the problem so much worse. I need rest. I need perspective. If I’m still mad in the morning, fine…then I know it’s something to be mad about. If I’m not, then I just saved myself an unnecessary battle.

    I hate that advice with a passion. I wish I could get it out of my head and learn to go to bed angry more often.

  4. Ann permalink
    May 31, 2012 4:58 pm

    You’re so right! I’ve always felt this way and don’t understand why so many people tell that to people who are getting ready to get married. Aren’t you more likely to say something you don’t mean when you’re exhausted and angry?

    • May 31, 2012 5:00 pm

      I am so glad so many people agree with me! I was starting to feel like the wicked witch of the evening.


  1. Marriage Advice, Going to bed angry — You Should Only Know : : Relationship Advice – Free

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