Tuesday, May 18, 2010


An article on MSN's homepage recently caught my eye:  "Rules you can Break".  I recognized the old standbys that have become mythologized in marital lore and given as advice at countless bridal showers--(who knows how they come into be?)
How many times have we heard:  "Don't go to bed angry?"  Fearing the worst, do we half heartedly make up and pretend that everything is OK, because we're tired and have a full  day tomorrow and don't have the energy to resolve a conflict at bedtime or do we go on and on arguing into the night trying to make up so that we never go to bed angry?  The  more tired we are the angrier we're likely to become.

 I recently had a couple--believers in this myth-who stayed up the entire night trying to resolve a conflict--which resulted in their teenage son missing school because he was kept up by their arguing and both of them feeling even more resentful as, exhausted, they went to their jobs in the morning!  Needless to say they didn't talk about it that night either--they were both too tired and went to bed early!  They still have not resolved the original conflict and are leary to bring it up again--who wants a repeat of sleeplessness,  exhaustion and resentment?

It's OK to take a time out and go to bed with an agreed upon time and place to continue the discussion the next day. 

It is surprising how a good night's sleep and  a good breakfast can lighten the mood.  Often, what was bothering us when we were tired. isn't bothering us at all or at least not to the extent it was when we are rested and have had time to calm ourselves and perhaps put the conflict into perspective.

Readers, what do you think? What are some of the "rules" you've been taught that you've been questioning?


  1. I agree. Continuing to talk through a problem can be exhausting and sometimes you just need a break. When you can have time to cool off, even if you just go to sleep, it's easier to communicate and resolve the issue at a later time.

  2. I would become even more angry if I had to talk out a problem all night long.