START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

When Couples Fight

When Couples Fight

It’s late, you’re tired, and you’re fighting mad at your mate.† No matter how much you both try to explain your points of view, you find yourselves at an impasse, and that makes you that much more angry at the numbskull who happens to share your bed.† What should you do?

Old school wisdom suggests that you never go to bed angry, interpreted by many as it’s best to resolve conflict before the night is over.† The trouble with this, however, is that it just doesn’t always line up with reality.† Every argument cannot and is not resolved cleanly by evening’s end through discussion, no matter how passionate or cool the players are.† And, as the night wears on and parties become more tired, it’s more likely that irritability, stress, and tension will increase, not magically dissipate.

Often the most useful thing you can do when peeved at night is to agree to revisit the issue after you both have rested, and that reptilian part of our brains, the amygdala, isnít flooding your body with fight-or-flight chemicals, making a reasonable conversation near impossible.† In the cool of the day, with a rested and fed body, itís a bit easier to discuss things with a greater degree of clarity.† The key here is to actually have that follow-up discussion.† Pretending that the conflict never happened or sweeping it under the rug doesnít make it go away, and it will undoubtedly resurface again unwanted.

In addition to agreeing ďnot to go thereĒ late at night or when one or both of you needs to sleep, if you are able to, see if you can access a measure of peace by make a move towards instead of away from your mate by doing something like giving him or her a hug, verbalizing that though youíre mad as hell, you do love him or her, or saying a prayer together.† If thatís a tall order, to lessen the stress within your own body late at night, taking a bath or shower, doing some deep breathing exercises, praying alone, doing a brief burst of exercise, and/or practicing mindfulness meditation for ten minutes or so can be helpful in diffusing your agitation.

All relationships have problems; it doesnít mean the relationship is the problem.† Learning how and when to fight is simply part of the love curriculum.

Ask the Loveologist: A Good Fair Fight
4 Ways to Fix Communication Breakdowns
Everything You Think You Know About Beating Stress is Wrong

Read more: Family, Health, Love, Relationships, Spirit, , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


+ add your own
12:00AM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

Thank you for info.

11:59PM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

Thank you for info.

2:43AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Dr. Phil always points out that you're fighting, but usually not about what the true problem is. You have to figure that out before you can have a meaningful conversation about it.

6:29PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

What Terri wrote is all too familiar; fortunately my partner and I are beginning to get the hang of learning together from our arguments to understand and foster a closer loving relationship. I totally share the sentiments of Camila, that is exactly how my partner and I are working out our relationship. thanks Terri and Camila :)

1:25AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Thank you :)

5:51AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

They always fight!

5:27AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

thanks for the information

9:11PM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

really fighting that good, hard, difficult fight is possibly the entire reason why you need the relationship---he/she is the mirror for you to figure out how to get to open your heart and love him/her anyway, unconditionally, despite your feelings at the moment---you really get to see who you are in those moments of sheer rage. If you can embrace yourself and him/her during this, holding space for both of you, you are growing. If you can't, don't worry, you will face this same issue again until you can, with the same partner or another one. Try to get to unconditional love, or you are doomed to repeat this till you do.

7:13AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

I don't think avoiding arguments or ending them quickly is the key to making a relationship last and not wither away. I think that key is time and attention spent on eachother and the relationship.

4:50PM PST on Dec 9, 2010

Sounds like a plan, those days when you're busy and only get a short time with husband only to spend it fighting anyway... We can all identify! And why so late at night!?

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Eliminating all of any food group is not healthy. We all need a balanced diet of a wide variety of …

Thanks. Yes, we get some good color in California, too.

I try to eat right, yet my memory still isn't the best. Of course, I have been this way since I wa…

Very interesting read.

Fast-food-death laughs each time you hand over your hard earned money. The addiction to easy began w…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!