1. Go to bed mad.
"The old maxim that you shouldn’t go to bed mad is stupid. Sometimes you need to just go to freakin’ bed. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” is prefaced in the Bible by the phrase “Be angry and sin not.” So, who’s to say it doesn’t mean “Stay angry, (*#@**#@!) (Terri's attempt to omit a naughty word!) Don’t let the sun go down on that awesome fierce wrath of yours.” Seriously. Whoever interpreted this to mean that you should stay up after midnight, tear-stained and petulant, trying to iron out some kind of overtired and breathy accord -- was stupid. Shut up, go to bed, let your husband get some sleep. In the morning, eat some pancakes. Everything will seem better, I swear."
(end of quote by Netzer)
Here are my... Terri comments:
Ty and I have been up past midnight resolving conflicts in an attempt to not let the sun go down on our anger. It is the bible for a reason and that we take very seriously. There have been times however that we knew we needed to hit the pause button and continue the discussion after a nights rest. But.... before going to sleep we make sure we have sought each others forgiveness where that applies. I would own any rude comments or bad attitudes and he would as well. We would make the decision to forgive each other even though we knew we had some more work to do for complete resolution.
I do agree that often times, after a good nights sleep and time to allow our emotions to settle down, we can have a more productive discussion. But..... just going to sleep and moving on without good closure can be the recipe for ongoing unresolved issues that may lay dormant for a time. Then when the next conflict or disagreement occurs, it can come with the fierce momentum of those past issues and offenses that were not completely resolved. That is what we refer to as "gunny sacking". No one gunny sacks intentionally, but junk does tend to accumulate, multiply and fester like an untended wound.
That is the reason the bible tells us to not let the sun go down on our anger. The potential for accumulation and amplification is powerful and subtly destructive to marriages each and every day. It puts your marriage on the path of deterioration and dissatisfaction and one day you wake up and decide that it is not worth keeping. It is a slow and painful process.
Most couples tend to deal with the same conflict over and over again. We all as couples have our strengths and weaknesses. One couple may have great unity in the financial area but lots of differences and conflict when it comes to their social preferences or child rearing. There are times that Ty and I have gotten stuck in our "high conflict areas" and we needed to seek outside help for good resolution. We have had our "911" couple on speed dial for times such as these.
So, although I do agree with Netzer in that a good nights sleep can make all the difference, I do think it will take more than pancakes to move ahead in a healthy, productive way.