Did you ever get well meaning relationship advice? One of my favorites is we never go to sleep angry. Are you kidding me? What does that mean? Does that mean stay up all night until you both say you are happy? Does that mean stay up all night until you both actually ARE happy? Does that mean stay awake until your situation is resolved? Or does that simply mean that any time there is a conflict, you resolve to stay up until one or both of you is too exhausted to be angry. Kinda makes me think that these are people who never authentically talk to each other.
IF I NEVER WENT TO BED ANGRY, I WOULD STILL BE AWAKE. I am going to have another blog about expecting the honeymoon, but let’s talk about going to bed angry. First of all, couples come into my office all the time really upset about the fact that they aren’t going to bed with their problems all resolved.
I don’t know who these people are who have all their problems resolved before they go to bed, but I assure you they aren’t communicating well.
Now, the IDIOT HUSBAND is like many husbands, perhaps even most husbands, I don’t know if that is true, but I would be willing to bet on it. When you get right down to it, many husbands believe that they are responsible for their wife’s happiness. What that means in a practical sense is this. When your wife is unhappy, a lot of guys think they are doing something wrong, OR they better do something right. Now, there is SO MUCH WRONG with that idea, and with the feelings that accompany it, that I could write a book. (hey, that’s not a bad idea!), The main problem is that most guys never check in (there’s that check in again) with their wives to see if her unhappiness has anything to do with them. A lot of women are unhappy about other stuff. Maybe their work didn’t go as planned, or a friend didn’t call, or their car broke down. But again, the important thing is this: (idiot husband alert!!!!!)
The Way Men Think About Their Wives Is News To Women. And
Even Men Who Have Sisters Don’t Understand How Women Think About Men
ASK THEM WHAT THEY ARE THINKING. And for God’s sake, if you are a woman in a relationship with a man, when I talk about checking in, do NOT say “whatcha thinkin’ honey?” because that is like….Instant Shutup Juice.
Tell them that sometimes you are afraid when the two of you are sitting on the couch watching the Celtics that he is bored with you and maybe that means the relationship is over. Tell him it makes you feel like you aren’t that interesting or pretty and that maybe he doesn’t want to get married after all. Tell him that when you feel like that it helps to know what he is thinking and feeling so you can be reassured. Then he will say something like “Gee honey, here is what I was thinking. When are the Celtics going to get off their ass and play like they mean it. The playoffs are next week , and they look like idiots. AND, my ass itches, and I was trying not to scratch it because I know that really grosses you out. That’s what I was thinking. “
That leaves you with two choices. Either you can feel really glad that your insecurities about your husband were unfounded, or you can feel true horror that this is the man who is going to be the father of your children. I get to be the Brilliant Therapist either way, so I don’t care which one you choose.