Sleep On It

They tell you to never go to bed angry, but sometimes there’s nothing else for it.

You can’t talk it out. You can’t work it out. You can try to fight it out, but the longer you do that, the less certain you are that out even exists, that you aren’t just fighting your way further and further in with every word either one of you says.

In these cases, maybe there is nothing to do except to sleep it out. When you wake up, maybe you’ll both feel better. Maybe the problems won’t seem so big. Maybe the solutions won’t seem so impossible. Maybe the good won’t seem so small or far away, maybe the bad won’t seem so big and overwhelming. Maybe all the things you fought about the night before will still be real, but it will matter less.

Going to bed angry isn’t a great thing. It’s not fun. It’s isn’t a plan of action or a solution or something you should aim to do. It can be the worst experience of your life, or at least it can feel like that at the time.

But the thing about going to bed is that it almost always offers you something you can get no other way: a chance to wake up.

If you go to bed angry and you wake up still angry, then you know that you’ve got a real problem. If you go to bed feeling hopeless and miserable about your situation and you wake up feeling that way, then things are seriously wrong. If you go to bed seething with frustration and wondering how you can ever possibly get past this huge intractable impasse and you wake up with stars in your eyes, love in your heart, and a smile on your face (or however close you can get to that before caffeine), though, then you can be pretty sure that things are going to be okay.