Sometimes, you need to step away to see things with clarity.
The advice was: don’t go to sleep angry.
Maybe you tried it. And hurting from a painful conversation and taxed emotionally, tired physically, and riled up hormonally, you still made up and smoothed things out. But there is a better way to resolve conflict.
The real way to improve your marriage effectively is to NEVER resolve a fight before going to sleep.
The best thing you can do if you are angry, hurt, or fighting is to go. to. sleep.
Or rest. Get out of the house. Into another room. Talk to your friend. Go get your nails done. Get some exercise. Whatever moves energy in you. Whatever gives you perspective and strength so that you can come at this issue with a little more understanding.
If you leave the uncomfortable exchange exactly where it needs to be, which is in the past, and you move forward into a place of caring for yourself, at least one party that engaged in that interaction is getting better. You are getting the care you need, and now you can come back to the initial issue with clarity.
What do you need?
How were those needs not heard?
How did you feel?
Which feelings are you most sensitive to?
How can you communicate your needs better?
How can you soothe yourself enough so that you can also hear what your spouse needs?
These are all sophisticated skills and are not accessible to you when you are in a primal state of fight, flight, freeze, or make-up-at-all-costs.
But they are accessible to you, just as soon as you let that whole conflict rest, and you give yourself time and comfort.
If you go to sleep after a fight, you’ll start seeing big changes. Despite what you’re going through, you can pause, take good care of yourself, and approach the problem from a whole new perspective.
You’ll find that anger that was lovingly nurtured is anger no more. A fight that is given space is free to run out of steam instead of crashing into all your painful spots. And the trust that your marriage can survive one night of fighting is what will allow it to rest in the knowledge that it is okay.