never go to bed angry

"Never go to bed angry."  If anyone ever tells you to follow this rule, just know that you don't need to. I mean, do what you need to do. If you can stop being angry about something on command, never go to bed angry.

Over the messy confusion that was my first year of my marriage, I went to bed angry a lot. Sometimes a good night's sleep was all I needed. Sometimes I went to bed angry and woke up with a totally different perspective. Going to bed angry has saved more arguments than staying up until 5 am and trying to talk it out until we each had to go to work, only to come home exhausted and even more frustrated.

If I had never gone to bed angry, I wouldn't have slept for six months. Fuck, I already barely slept for six months. And I promise that those sleepless hours were not spent trying to not go to bed angry.

I think the principle to take away from this idea is that it's best not to push things under the rug. Go to bed angry, and talk about it the next day. Even if you're feeling better, talking through the situation from a non-angry place is really helpful. Honestly, I think that's like a key component and I really don't want to gloss over it. 

Talk about the argument. It's super important. I've found though that talking about tough stuff is best introduced with some kind of phrase resembling, "hey dude, can we talk about the shit we said last night?" And sometimes the answer will be, "not right now, we're having a nice day and I don't want to bring that up right now. Can we talk about it tonight?" 

And then, when you talk about it, know that you might get riled up again. We've prevented that by following some suggestions we got from our marriage counselor about how to talk when we're disagreeing. We face each other, we sit down. Standing up can be more threatening. We maintain eye contact. It's insane how much these guidelines have helped us.

We don't trigger each other so much and we are better able to stay in a vulnerable and compassionate place. Try it!

So, go to bed angry if you need to. It's okay. It's going to be okay.