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


LMj Sunshine

Thank you for info.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for info.

Dorlinda Chong
Dorlinda Chong4 years ago

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.

Darshana Lee
Darshana Lee4 years ago

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 :)

Elena T.
Elena P4 years ago

Thank you :)

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

They always fight!

Patricia H.
Patricia H.5 years ago

thanks for the information

Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

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.

Empress Ginger
Ginger Strivelli6 years ago

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.

Anne B.
Anne B6 years ago

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!?