Go to Bed Mad...Please!

I have a lot of marital advice to give.  I think when you are an expert at something, you should share your expertise…plain and simple.  Give what you can give and what I can give, is remarkable wisdom about a topic that has eluded so many. 

Some advice I’d like to give out about marriage to all my Decent Enough Women includes:

1.) Very early in your marriage, dye his favorite shirt pink…it will save you years of having to do his laundry.  No one is going to divorce you over your lack of laundry skills so set the expectation now that you are incapable of laundering things properly.  In a few years, when he starts to think you’re capable of doing laundry again, wash his favorite belt while still looped into his pants.  It will work like Windex to ants and stop him in his tracks. 

2.) Shave your legs so infrequently, that when you do, he thinks something is up.  You have to keep your man guessing.  He’ll spend hours trying to figure out what you have up your sleeve.

3.) Finally, overall, I recommend just keeping his expectations really low.  He thinks you’re going to cook every night.  Don’t.  Cook every third night.  Sure, it will be rocky at first.  Just like the army, you have to break them down before you can build them back up to your liking. 

It’s so worth it when one night, you turn off The Real Housewives long enough to throw a Stouffer’s lasagna in the oven and cook some Texas toast.  He’ll take you into his arms and declare what a lucky husband he is.  

That’s how you’ll know it’s working.

I think the most valuable advice I can give to all married people out there has to do with amending advice we were given when we got married.  Every married person we spoke with while we were engaged, would pat us on the arm and declare (as if it were easy) that we should not, under any circumstances, go to bed mad. 

“Don’t go to bed mad.” They would say.
“Apologize before bed.” We would hear. 
“Don’t let the sun set on your anger.” A movie I saw, but can’t remember the name of, spoke to me.*

We were totally on board.  We never asked what dreaded thing would happen to us if we dared slip into a slumber while still stewing over a first-year fight, that let’s face it, was going to be over something like a Christmas card picture or the temperature in the apartment.  Perhaps it might have been over someone’s favorite shirt being dyed pink.  Whatever.  The details are not important (to me).  The point is, I was not going to be a statistic…we would go to bed happy, or we would not go to bed at all. 

I had consumed the proverbial Kool-Aid on that topic and since I was a rules follower, we were going to do what we were told. 

So with that information, here is an example of what one of our fights looked like then:

At 2AM EST, we were sitting on opposite ends of the living room, my eyes were red as I wondered who this man was that I married.  His were spinning in a permanent roll, that I wasn’t sure he could stop without some sort of medical intervention as he dreamed of a world without women with emotional outbursts.  Oh, and there was silence…a lot of it. 

The fight had begun five hours earlier over something as important as the thermostat and had now escalated into something much more personal.  We were fooling ourselves into thinking a sentence existed in the universe that could be said that would magically make our anger disappear, our resentment vanish and our dreams about driving our cars in opposite directions until the gas ran out seem silly and ridiculous.  

If only one of us could think of that one blasted sentence. 

One thing was certain, we were not going to bed until someone thought of that sentence.  The great sentence of compromisation (again, no it’s not a word) that would make us forgive each other, and we could go to bed “knowing” we “did it right” and oh how the well-meaning people before me would be so proud of us. 

We mumbled apologies of some type, eventually and went to bed.  

The next morning, we were still mad and now sleep deprived and somehow the apologies we forced ourselves to make meant nothing because we made them so we could get some sleep. 

A year into our marriage, we decided that this bit of wisdom wasn’t working for us. 

Let me give you an in-depth mathematical and scientific analysis of why this didn’t work, see below:

1. Mad People + Sleep Deprivation (divided by) Dumb Argument = Saying More Stupid Stuff

2. Saying More Stupid Stuff + 2AM EST = This Fight Will Last A Month

So we gave our fights a “Go To Bed Mad Makeover”.  Here is the mathematical explanation for this:

1. Dumb Argument + Going to Bed Mad = Avoidance of Saying Stupid Stuff at 2AM EST

2. Avoidance of Saying Stupid Stuff at 2AM EST + Sleep = Don’t Care About Dumb Argument Anymore


3. Don’t Care About Dumb Argument Anymore = Someone Buys Chicken Biscuits for Breakfast.

Sometimes people say, "you never know…one of you might not wake up in the morning and you don't want to have gone to bed mad." First of all, yes you will wake up the next morning.  Second of all, yes you will wake up the next morning. Thirdly, why are these people not waking up?  Who did this first happen to that has made it a 'thing' to say to young engaged people?  And, why do they tell this to newlyweds who are statistically not likely to die in their sleep?  Maybe they are being abducted by aliens...and if one of us was abducted by aliens after going to bed mad, I guarantee neither one of us is still thinking about the thermostat.  

And finally, when you take the following into consideration as it relates to importance, it just brings it home:

4. Potential for Chicken Biscuits > (is greater than) Risk of One of You Not Being There in the Morning Because You Were Abducted by Aliens

I don’t really think you can argue with science and math…or chicken biscuits. 


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