There is the age-old wisdom that you should never go to bed angry with your partner. The belief is that issues should be resolved and letting your emotions stew just leads to drawn out arguments that never get resolved. So, the short answer is, no, you shouldn’t go to bed angry with your partner. But the why and how of it are a bit more complex.
All couples fight and argue. We are human beings and we have emotions, and if we can’t properly communicate our needs, or feel that our partner isn’t understanding them, then what usually results is a fight. It’s important to think of a relationship fight as a process and not a result. Fighting and arguing can take a while to resolve itself. Normally there are tears and a few misunderstandings. But as you work your way through your feelings and try to both understand what the problem is and communicate the problem with your partner, eventually a resolution can be achieved. The point is that fighting in a relationship is sometimes a necessary action to achieve a harmonious state.
As anyone in a committed relationship will understand, communication is key. Communication can take a lot of patience and can be quite the process. But it is only through communication that any issues can be resolved. If you agree to not go to bed mad, then you are forcing you and your partner to keep communicating. You are saying that, although this is hard, you will stick with it so that there can be a resolution. That said, you don’t want to be arguing for hours on end and thus pressing pause is important.
Big arguments need time to work through. If you know that you’ve done all that you can that day, it is ok to ask for a bit of a respite, to resume the conversation the next day. This is just a continuation of the all-important communication that is needed for a healthy relationship. By agreeing that you need a bit of time, you are honouring you and your partner’s wishes. It is respectful and dignified.
As you head to bed, any kind of physical interaction may be difficult after a tumultuous argument. Especially if there are still major issues to resolve. Be aware of your partner’s limits. If touching is a no-go, be sure to honour this. What is necessary, though, is for you and your partner to look at each other. This is actually a very intimate exercise and can be hard if emotions are still running high. But by looking your partner in the eye, you are showing respect and a dedication to keep going. You are telling them that you know this is hard right now, but you are willing to work to keep the relationship alive. Another option, assuming you are both comfortable with touch, is to give each other a hug, look each other in the eyes and say I love you, and agree to continue the discussion on a specified date.
It isn’t easy, but you can do it!
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