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.