You always hear about how going to bed angry is a huge mistake. Well, I made that mistake – and ended up learning a lot about my marriage because of it.
Last week was kind of a blur. With my son being sick, I spent my entire day (and many nights) caring for him. And because he was sick, he wasn’t the most pleasant to be around. Basically, he made me crazy all day long because he wanted to be active, but his body wanted to sleep – and I was caught in the middle of the battle.
Unsurprisingly, my husband then got sick. So I not only had a second person to take care of (arguably a fourth, because we also have two super needy cats…) but also was down a helper.
And honestly? The combination of everything made me spiral a little. I started going down a bad mood rabbit hole.
You know the kind:
“He never helps me like I need it.”
“This is so unfair.”
“I just need time to myself.”
“Does he even see how hard I work? Does he even care?”
I’d love to be the quintessential “wife who never complains”, but that’s far from the case. I’m the wife who tries not to complain, tries to be unselfish, and tries to be everything – but falls short, a lot. Way more often than I’d care to admit.
This week? It tried every ounce of my patience.
For the first time in a long time (possibly ever?), my loss of patience meant I went to bed too mad to even look at my husband.
On Saturday night, it took me over an hour to get my son down for bed. It was 9:30 by the time I could safely escape, which meant my evening was pretty much spent (since I’m usually asleep by 10:30).
Meanwhile? My husband was watching Netflix and lounging in bed. Because he’s sick, I tried to remind myself. But my bad attitude took over.
When I walked in our bedroom, I complained about how hard bedtime is, got into bed, rolled over, and turned off the light.
And even though I was pissed and not exactly “lovable” at that moment, I was also mad he didn’t just “get it” and admit to everything he’d done wrong without my prompting.
I’m not super proud of it. But in all this, I learned a lot of lessons.
3 Important Lessons I Learned From Going To Bed Angry
Little things can easily become big things in your marriage.
This week was hard, but it’s not like it was cancer. Honestly. There are much bigger issues people face without an attitude like mine.
But those little things added up and really put our whole household in a funk. It made me realize how easily these feelings could spell trouble in our marriage. I could easily give into them and think “This is it – this is how our marriage always is.” And think how unfair life is, between the sickness, and the solo parenting, and the crazy hours, and all of it.
I could even slide into quicksand and start wondering what it would be like with someone else – and in my despair, it’d be easy to think it would truly be an improvement. Actually, there’s a fantastic article on that kind of unfaithfulness by Becky Thompson that I highly recommend – very eye-opening.
The issues I have with my husband are often my own issues.
My husband is very much the same person as when we got married. Actually, no, that’s not true. He’s stronger, less selfish, more caring than the man I married. He’s wonderful.
But what’s funny is, if I’m in a bad mood, I can’t see any of those wonderful things. My vision is obscured and all I can see is what I do for him and how unfair my life is, and so on and so forth. Whether he’s actually doing something offensive or not.
So maybe – just maybe – I need to check my own attitude occasionally to make sure I’m not making something out of nothing.
I’m always in need of a Savior.
The biggest lesson I learned in all this was how much I need God. All my lesser issues led me back to Him, because He’s the only one who could change my heart. And He totally did.
When I went to church on Sunday (alone! Yay!), I had so many questions on my heart. I was expecting multiple answers, because they all seemed distinct.
“How can I be a better wife and mom?”
“How can I ease my feelings of dissatisfaction/depression?”
“How can I refocus on my marriage?”
“How can I feel more joy?”
The answer to all of them was – read His word and pray more. And as I’ve done so this week, I’ve seen a tremendous difference. I mean, granted, part of it is the fact that everyone’s gotten healthy again (yay!) but connecting to God has also made it so I focus on what really matters.
So, look. I know life gets hard. I know there are times the world is on your shoulders. I know sometimes your husband doesn’t express appreciation like you wish he would. I know your marriage and your life aren’t perfect.
But please – don’t let a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, or even a bad year make you lose sight of it all.
And really, try not to go to bed angry. It makes for a sucky night of sleep on top of everything else 😉