When you first get married, wise souls give you all kinds of advice to ensure the longevity of your union. One rule that I heard a lot was “Never go to bed angry.” And I get it: It’s meant to make you hash out the little problems before they become big problems. To communicate as soon as there is an issue so that it doesn’t fester. But I regularly ignore this particular relationship rule. In fact, it’s almost a rule that when I’m mad, that I do go to bed angry. And I think it should pretty much be a rule that any parenting couple with kids under say, 5 years old, should also follow.
As parents of young kids, my husband and I are exhausted. Exhausted people? They get snippy sometimes. They get mad at really dumb stuff. They forget to give the benefit of the doubt. And while I’m exhausted, I’m still coherent enough to know when I’m being pretty ridiculous or getting mad at things that wouldn’t make my well-rested self flinch. So even if I’m pissed with a capital P, I go to bed. Because even if I get a terrible night’s sleep—as has been the case for the last couple of years—a night of sleep always helps. Most of the time, whatever seemed like a big deal the night before is way less of a big deal the next morning. And more often than not, I’ve completely forgotten whatever it was I was snippy about.
When things are a big deal, yes, we talk and hash it out. But sometimes it’s better to just sleep on it and revisit it in the morning. Turns out, I’m not the only one who has this brilliant solution, as this marriage counselor says that if you try to resolve everything before bed, you’ll just end up sleep deprived and cranky. And what parent needs more sleep deprivation?
Is there a relationship rule you regularly break? —Erin