When to argue

So the latest idea is that we SHOULD go to sleep angry (not on purpose, of course). <a href=”One person“>One person says that’s because things seem worse to us at night when we’re tired. Another person writes that it’s best to wait until you aren’t so angry and so it’s better to go to sleep upset than to force yourselves to talk about the issue at night.

And then there is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who still seems to believe in the till recently accepted idea to make sure to argue, even late at night, rather than letting anger and resentment to build up.

So what’s the answer? I think that both are simplified. Life is dynamic and so are we. We are also all different from each other. Sometimes it’s important to talk right away and other times it’s preferable to wait.

The most important thing is to work on being extremely aware of how you’re feeling. Don’t ignore or try to force feelings away. If you work on being self aware, then you will learn what is best for yourself and your partner.

There are so many possible scenerios. Here are some, except please realize that each scenerio will have many sub-categories too (I’ll talk in first person since it makes the writing easier):

1. I feel the need to talk right away but my partner is very much NOT ready to talk.

Can I wait? If so, then I will. If not, I will tell my partner that there is something that is sitting so heavy on me that it’s hard for me to put it off. Then we try to figure out when/how we should talk. Maybe we’ll just start the conversation immediately or maybe just letting my partner know there is something wrong, is enough “venting” to allow myself to wait till later.

2. I feel I need to talk right away and my partner is cool with that.

It’s OK, once in a while, to have a discussion or argument at night. It’s just important (as always, but especially when you’re more tired) to pay attention to what’s going on. Is the argument productive? Are you arguing in a healthy way? At some point is it better to put the issue aside, go to sleep, and continue another time?

it’s important in this case that the partner also feel comfortable to say when they’ve had enough for the night. Of course they must be sensitive about what the other person is going through, but if they are starting to feel overwhelmed and worried about the early morning awaiting them, they must say so. It all is about communication and this is part of it.

3. I honestly feel OK to push off talking and/or possibly never ending up talking about this subject.

Often the fear when not talking about something immediately is that it will never be dealt with. And truthfully, it’s possible that it won’t be. But it’s important to get used to looking at the bigger picture in a relationship. Sometimes I can move past an issue without talking about it because in the end it isn’t such a big deal and/or if it comes up again I can discuss it then. And that’s OK.

In this scenario it might help just to put out there that something is up. But sometimes that isn’t a good idea if it’ll make your partner worry.

Probably the most important thing is to not make a bigger deal out of something than is needed. If you’re able to do that, you might be able to argue about something late at night because the argument will only last a few minutes. Issues that in the past needed hours to work through, now can be discussed calmly, in a by-the-way fashion and be done with.


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