Not Going to Bed Angry (Trail Blaze #4)

From the very beginning of our marriage, we've made it a priority to not go to bed angry.

"Do not let the sun go down on your anger" ~Ephesians 4:26

The Bible lays this out as a clear principle, and someone, at some point counseled us about how important it was.  So we didn't.  And the first few times it felt so pointless.  Several times we stayed up until 2 or 3am just working through an argument to get to the point of forgiveness, or at least mutual understanding where anger was not present, and we could move forward in unity as a "team".

Sometimes it's been him and sometimes it's been me, but each of us has been angry enough to want to pitch this rule if not for the other hounding us to not let the issue carry on into the next day.  The result has been that we don't seethe, stacking up our bitterness and anger and frustrations one on top of the other.

It has taught us to work through conflict at the time that it comes up, and not let it build up to a fever pitch of fury and loathing.

Just a few months ago, after a disagreement of some kind (of course now I don't even remember what it was), I quietly grabbed my things and sneaked out to the couch... I was hell-bent, stubborn in my refusal to grab my pillows and head back to bed.  (I will not share with you the thoughts going through my head but suffice it to say I was NOT thinking nice things.  I was ready to sit on that couch until the end of time.)  But he came out and pursued me... reminded me how much more important our relationship is than a little sleep... we worked through it and went to bed at peace-- unified.

Even after all these years, it did not come naturally to work through problems.  It still takes effort from us both in order to make it happen.  Him pursuing me, and me yielding... or me pursuing conversation with him, and him entering into that communication.

It is so easy to let momentary frustrations carry the day (or the night) and keep you in a state of unforgiveness and anger, but it is so much better to force communication (even when we don't want to!) in order to pursue peace in our marriages.

Don't let the anger of one stupid argument (that you won't even remember later) stack up bitterness in your relationship.  Maintain peace and unity as the "status quo" of your relationship.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is excellent advice, and I totally agree. But what is your advice to a woman whose husband is NOT interested in talking through disagreements, but rather, he totally shuts down saying, "I'm not going to talk about this, " regardless of who is at fault? Therefore, disagreements are not talked through, just "shoved under the rug" and never resolved. Meanwhile, once he has cooled off, he forgets and acts like all is well.

Thanks,
Sincerely Seeking

Erin said...

This is wonderful and timeless advice. Usually my husband and I have no trouble with this as we can't stand to be at odds with each other for even five minutes. But occasionally, especially if the disagreement begins in the evening, we get tired before we come to an agreement. In those rare cases, we agree to disagree until morning. It really does help our thoughts to be clear. This decision is always a mutual decision and one made in peace, not in anger. And it is never the preferred choice.

Jess said...

"Sincerely Seeking",
I have two thoughts for you--

(1) I would make sure that I was doing the right thing-- forgiving him and not holding onto bitterness/anger even if we didn't work things through as I might like...

(2) I would also keep asking for communication, and respectfully but persistently press the issue as I had opportunities. I would also pray for a godly man who could speak about this issue in his life so he could "hear" it in a different way from just my perspective as wife, about the importance of communication in marriage.

Certainly it takes two to tango, and it takes two to openly, regularly communicate. But you can do all you can do to facilitate and encourage communication.

Don't lose heart!
Thanks for your vulnerability,
Jess