Like many soon to be brides, at my wedding showers, people offered marriage advice. The one piece of advice that was offered over and over was to never go to bed angry. I took this to heart. And while I know it is biblical and I know it works for other couples, it was the single worst piece of marriage advice I ever got!
The Water Man and I have been together for almost 13 years and this May we will celebrate a decade of marriage. Our first year of marriage was hands down our toughest year. We faced a lot of challenges that most newlyweds don’t have to navigate and we struggled. But I just knew if we never went to bed angry that I would be doing something right. Wrong!
When we use to fight, The Water Man would get tired of arguing, or get overwhelmed by my big emotions, or just realized we weren’t getting anywhere and he would try to go to bed. Many times I would follow him into our room, flipping on lights, sitting in the middle of the bed, demanding we finish our conversation so we didn’t go to bed mad. I know, I sound like a real treat. So, as you can imagine, this did not go over well, ever. And then one day I just stopped. I stopped begging him to stay up and hash it out, it just got old so I caved. I let him go to bed and I went to bed too, angrier than sin.
And wouldn’t you know, when The Water Man woke up, he didn’t even remember why he was mad (that’s a man for you) and I was calm. I was no longer crying and I found myself feeling much more rational about whatever it was that I was so angry about the night before. I learned that while the “never go to bed mad” tactic may have worked for all those marriages and it was kind of my tribe to offer up their best advice, it simply didn’t work for us. And that is okay. We had to find our own path for our marriage. We always have.
In our relationship, we are both
stubborn passionate people so we need to take a breath, we need to process and we need to sleep on it. The biblical truth for our marriage is more of the Psalm 30:5 variety.
“..weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
I actually have that Psalm beside the coffee maker as a reminder. Fine, and also because coffee is joy and they both come in the morning!