Exhausted after a busy workday and a full evening of kid-related activities, Drake and Emily were trying to resolve a disagreement that had cropped up during the day. After several attempts at articulating her point of view, Emily said, “I can’t even think straight anymore. Let’s figure it out tomorrow.” Drake was reluctant, knowing that the conventional wisdom said going to bed at odds with each other would hurt their marriage.
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” “Don’t go to bed mad.” Like Drake and Emily, most of us have heard this advice all our lives and have tried hard to apply it to our relationships. So we press on with our “discussion” until one person caves in or says something they don’t really mean just to stop the argument and get some sleep. And instead of feeling relieved, the other person falls into bed with hurt feelings, an anxious heart, or the sneaking suspicion that things aren’t really as resolved as they seem.
Does any of this sound familiar? Welcome to the club! Jeff and I have certainly experienced this dynamic ourselves and from my research it is clear that most other couples have too. Except for the most happily married couples.
Here’s why… and how.