I was angry.  I was deeply hurt.  And it was late.  He knew how I felt and yet, he still didn’t apologize.  Instead, he was getting ready for bed. My frustration elevated.  The tears rolled down my cheeks.  I hate this.  And it didn’t look like anything was going to get resolved tonight.  I started to get ready for bed, too.  Guilt washed over me as I brushed my teeth and contemplated that popular marriage ‘rule’.  “Never go to bed angry”.  Right.  Now not only am I upset, but I am breaking this cardinal rule!  My marriage is doomed!  Or is it?  Early on in my marriage, I worried about breaking popular advice such as this one.  But then I realized that just like any cliché advice, it must be taken with a grain of salt.  This is Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes).

The popular cliché advice for newlyweds is usually “never go to bed angry – stay up and work it out”. While those offering the advice probably have good intentions, this advice isn’t always practical or wise – and really, if you’ve been married any length of time, you have probably gone to bed angry a time or two! Here is Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes)

Fighting with my husband is one of the things I dislike most in my life.  It doesn’t occur very often, so it isn’t something either of us is used to.  We are blessed to have a marriage where arguments and pain are not a normal occurrence.  But, we are both human and we get angry sometimes.  And sometimes we do go to bed angry.  Maybe this sounds like your marriage.  Maybe you fight sometimes and go to bed angry knowing it goes against that marriage rule.  But, it works for you and your hubby.  It turns out to be a good thing.  And guess what?  That’s OK.  

In The Quiet

When I go to bed angry, I use that time before falling asleep to talk to God about what is happening.  When I am in the heat of anger, I don’t think to quiet myself before the Lord.  I am too busy fighting and trying to make myself heard.  My focus is on me.  My wants and needs.  

But when I am quiet and conversing with my Heavenly Father, my anger disperses and I feel His peace.  It is during this time that He is able to speak to my heart.  I am more open to receiving His conviction if I have wronged my husband in any way, including thinking bad thoughts about him.  During this quiet time with God, He is able to give me His love for my husband and I can pray for God’s solution to the problem and wisdom in how to deal with it – wisdom for me and for Marcus.

Clear-Headed

When I am tired, my emotions tend to be more sensitive and unreasonable.  Not really ideal conditions for working out a problem, right?  With some rest, I am better able to think about the issue.  I’ve had time to think and process the situation.  

Do you need time to process, too?  I find the extra time helpful for me to see things clearly and to deal with any rooted issues I might have.

Renew

I’ve gotten into the habit of asking God to renew and revive my love for my husband.  You see, my husband and I have been through a lot over the years.  We’ve had ample opportunities to prove the scripture verse that says 2 shall become 1.  We’ve had to.  

Because of events that have occurred in our extended family, Marcus has had to be my defender, my protector.  I’ve had to rest in his strength and protection many, many times.  

He has proven to me time and again that his heart is for me.  That he has my best interest at heart and he would never intentionally hurt me.  I have resolved to not allow disagreements to hinder my love for him.  

And sometimes I need the night to seek the Lord and ask Him to remind me of my love for my husband.  It always works;)

Shut My Mouth

Sometimes God needs me to keep my mouth shut so that He can deal with my husband.  If I am blabbing on and on about how I am right, then I don’t leave room for God to speak to Marcus’ heart.  My husband needs that quiet to seek the Lord as well.  Staying up all night trying to work things out just might interfere with what God wants to teach Marcus (and me).      

Always Right?

Just because a piece of advice is popular doesn’t mean it’s always right – or even just right for that given situation.  If you go to bed angry, don’t seek the Lord and then don’t try to resolve the problem the following day (or ever), then yes, you might want to stick to the cliché advice of staying up until the issue is resolved – but still, seek the Lord! 

Maybe, like me, you need that time to process, pray, and listen.  Just because a piece of advice is popular and touted by almost everyone without much thought or reason, doesn’t mean it is the best advice for your marriage or for that specific issue.

Walking Where?

Walking in the Spirit requires us to seek the Lord for His counsel instead of worldly cliché advice.  Instead of reacting to a situation, I turn to the Lord for wisdom and discernment.  Doing this has helped me to see if there is something else bothering my husband or if I am ‘over-reacting’ because of some unhealed root in my own life.  Being lead by the Spirit has really helped me to know when to keep talking it out and when to remain quiet (as hard as that is sometimes!).   

Do you go to bed angry?  Have you been walking in the Spirit?  Do you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your conversations?  Are you and your husband ‘one’?

If you have enjoyed this post, you will love my Bible study on marriage coming up in the fall!  I will be leading a study through Proverbs 31.  Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on the promotional price of this study.  

The popular cliché advice for newlyweds is usually “never go to bed angry – stay up and work it out”. While those offering the advice probably have good intentions, this advice isn’t always practical or wise – and really, if you’ve been married any length of time, you have probably gone to bed angry a time or two! Here is Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes)

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Aimee Imbeau

Aimee is a wife to an incredible husband, Marcus, and mother to three fabulous children. She works from home as a homeschool support teacher and she homeschools her own children as well. She loves writing abut her faith and decided to give blogging a try in 2013. The rest is history...
  • I love your honesty here. I think many of us have taken the advice not to go to bed angry as “you must resolve this argument before going to bed.” But as I read your post, I realized something so key, wow! One, in realizing that I was thinking not going to bed angry meant resolution, it dawned on me that this is not what the verse in the Bible about this even means! Wow. It means we don’t go to bed angry, simply that… not that we get resolution, because sometimes resolution can’t come that quickly, especially when we are tired as you wrote. Wow! And I have realized that I usually am better in the morning as well, doing similar as you do out of need for peace in my heart. Usually in the morning I will awake and be completely over it, to my husband’s amazement.

    Also, you were not going to bed angry–but only going to bed without resolution with your hubby–because you gave it to the Lord as you sought His heart in what happened, quieting yourself as you used the night’s rest to give it to God, confess as needed to Him, quiet your soul, and process what happened. 🙂 God loves it when we have a heart for Him like this because most people will simply seethe in anger or unforgiveness and not even go at least to Him. Blessings!

    FYI: There’s social media popup that comes up on your site as one is commenting, which forces my screen down to the bottom away from the comments when I’m not finished typing.. just a heads up to look into that! It might be keeping folks from commenting as much.

    • Thank you for reading and leaving your encouraging comment, Amanda! Some things just don’t need to be talked to death about – we simply need quiet hearts, ready to listen to the Lord – and like you said, “get over it”. Honestly, that is really what many of us just need to do – get over it for the sake of having a healthy marriage!

      Thanks for letting me know about that pop-up. I *think* I fixed it by getting rid of it. I totally forgot about it. I am sure it is annoying;) If you comment again at some point, please let me know if it still there or not. It’s good to know these things!

      Be blessed in your marriage today!

  • Hey there Aimee. This is such a wise post! My husband and I have an agreement to not talk about serious things or bring up conflict the last hour before bed. You’re right. Neither of us are ever in our best position to have a beneficial conversation late at night. Pinning this!

    • I love that rule, Betsy! Plus, I need my ‘foot warmer’ in bed – and when I am not happy with him, it gets in the way of physical touch, which is NEVER a good thing;) Thanks for sharing.

  • Ashley Rowland

    Great post, Aimee! My husband and I also don’t go by the old “don’t go to bed angry” rule. Like you, we don’t get angry often, but usually we do better with some quiet time when we do. Although, with our “rule” we don’t usually make it to bedtime without one or the other apologizing.