All those people who say that you should never go to bed angry? Well, it turns out, they may be wrong. So, sorry Grandma, it turns out you may have been giving out bad advice. A new study reports that I can go to bed angry at my partner and not have to feel bad about doing so.
Why? Because being quick to forgive your partner's transgression may actually reinforce their poor behavior.
In the study, 135 newly married couples kept week-long relationship diaries. Findings showed that the individuals that reported being upset at something their spouse had done, and forgave them, had partners that were almost twice as likely to misbehave again the next day.
I'll admit, studies like this give me pause. So many other factors come in to play in a relationship like the level of trust and intimacy. But one thing I took away from this study? Other than holding a grudge in order to help keep your partner in line, couples should work on solving the problem that led to the transgression in the first place.
- Your husband is repeatedly late to dinner. Together, figure out why this is occurring. Is it that he thinks his time is more important than yours? Or is it hard for him to get of work early enough to make it home on time?
- Your partner frequently throws his clothes on the floor next to the bed instead of in the laundry hamper. Is he under the impression that you’re his maid? Or is the hamper just too far for him to walk to?
- That dirty glass next to the sofa? The one he used last night yet didn't put in the dishwasher much less in the sink? He either thinks that it looks pretty as an empty vase or that if he leaves it for long enough, the germs will carry it over for him. Let him know the truth.
No more “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” Hold a grudge. Go to bed mad. But make sure to take care of your relationship issues. Then live happily ever after.
Do you ever go to bed angry with your partner?
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