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Don’t Go to Bed Mad

Just surrender and roll over.

When Holly and I fight, it can get pretty dirty -- inevitably, she’ll bring up some ex who contacted me on Facebook and I’ll mention how her family is eccentric, and no matter how the fight started, we’ll always somehow end on the small things that bother us about each other. I’m not proud of it.

But we always try to make up before bed. Most of the time, I’ll surrender to her high-pitched yelling (because god forbid, if she resorts to tears, I’m done). I make sure to say "I love you" before we close our eyes and turn over. And I’m okay with the fact that sometimes she doesn’t say it back -- mostly because I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t get it out there, I'll toss and turn all night because we didn’t solve anything.

So when I found an article about going to bed angry on, I was excited to get validation that my "I love you" method was the right one. Boy was I wrong. The article explains that when we become angry, our prefrontal lobes (the ones that deal with reasoning) shut down and our reptilian brain takes over. Apparently, we resort to our fight-or-flight response, which makes us less than willing to reason and think logically. So they say that it’s okay to go to bed angry, because you’re not really going to accomplish anything anyway.

I couldn’t disagree more. All I know is that when I get annoyed, my heart rate goes up, I become upset, and both of those factors don’t bode well for a good night’s sleep. Sure, when I turn to Holly and reassure her that despite everything, we’re alright, she might not feel the same way, but it's still a step in the right direction. When she wakes up the next morning, I’ve already apologized, and it’s up to her to make the next move. Tricky, right?

Plus, I do not look at our couch as a place of refuge; it’s a cold, cold place -- why would I ever willingly sleep there?

What do you guys think? Are there any ways you ease your minds after a bad fight? Do you go to bed angry? And what about the couch -- are you with me that it’s no fun winding up there for the night?

-- Jack