Go to bed angry: Unpopular but realistic marriage advice #Relationship Advice#married life August 20 | Guest post by Jen Cywinski By: smplstc – CC BY 2.0 I didn't get any bad, syrupy marriage advice from people I know, but I saw plenty of it floating around in movies, in books, and online. It's sort of infectious. In the pre-wedding fog it can affect your sense of self and your confidence. I would shrug it off as nothing, but I sometimes felt panicked. What is this marriage thing I've gotten myself into? I must be mad, am I going mad? Am I depressed? I don't feel like I married the bestest, sweetest, most kindest man in the world, but I love him, is that enough? AGHHHHH! We're working on year three and I'm fine now. I realize the cutesy advice, even though I dismissed it, had gotten in my brain because I never saw an article titled, "How To Deal With The Crappy Parts Of Marriage As Well As Unrealistic Expectations Of Society." So, I came up with my own marriage advice that maybe doesn't make you say, "Awwww!", but later on down the line, after the wedding high descends, might make you feel stronger. Sometimes marriage sucks. It really does. You're individuals who have decided to always be together and at times it is really annoying that you are so different in some ways. Make sure you each have space to just be you and remember to hang out with other people. You are not an island. "Never go to bed angry." Bullshit. Two people who are tired and already upset are not going to make good decisions. They are going to be unreasonable, nonsensical, and cranky. Go to bed, wake up recharged, and figure it out like two well-rested grown ups. You will change and your spouse will change. People change, it's sometimes scary, but you'll live and get used to it. Just because he/she decides to take up yoga/go vegan/become a cheese maker/become a power lifter doesn't mean they are some other person. They're evolving. Don't let it divide you — evolve together. "Two becoming one." No. You are not becoming one entity, you're not welded together, you're not one part of a ball and chain. You are two people who even on bad days choose to stay with that person, because even on the bad days you'd rather be there with them than with anyone else. You know that the bad will pass, you'll take it on as a team, and kick the bad's ass. Related Post So, how's married life? I love Sarah's photographic answer. (Oh and PS: How cute was Sarah's dress!? DAMN!) Be aware. In my previous point I say you'll get through the bad, but don't become so totally infatuated that you ignore your own well being. We all have bad days where we yell too much or get a little crazy, yes, but don't become victim to domestic abuse. "Kiss your husband/wife everyday" except if they're sick with the flu or a nasty cold, my friend. There was a time when I thought, "but you HAVE to give me a kiss!" Nuh uh, keep those lips sealed unless it's to swallow zinc and vitamin C supplements. More fluids, chop chop. Lastly, people are going to ask you, "How's being married?" or "How is married life?" for at least a year after the wedding. It's a nice question, but what does it even mean? I used to answer that it was like life before marriage, except now I live with this guy. My point is that my new answer, if I were asked, is that marriage is like making a better way to do something that's been done a million times before. We are Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, and Benny Franklin. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Jen Cywinski Library minion by day, nerdy crafting tomboy by night! PREVIOUS Goofy grooms, a fishtail mohawk, and the hairiest flower girl NEXT Monika & Alex's eclectic community-supported love celebration Toggle comments [ 80 ] This is going to sound a lot like an infomercial, but I'm designing an album for clients and have some spare time on my hands, so here goes. Books aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I swear by The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by Dr. Gottman. Actually, I'm a fan of pretty much anything he's done. Part of that might be due to my background in psychology, part of it might be due to my being a wedding photographer, and part of it might be due to the fact that I really wanted an awesome marriage and approached it in the same way I approached anything I'm interested in–by learning as much about it as possible from folks who studied it. I don't know. But I'd recommend his stuff in a heartbeat. And if I could summarize a lot of his research (and what I've taken from it) in a nutshell, it would probably come down to focusing on maintaining and strengthening the friendship between you and your spouse. Everything else flows out from that. 20 agree Reply "Maintaining" is definitely the word for it. It does take work, but it's very rewarding. 5 agree Reply I love the Gottmans! Their work makes so much sense, and is so helpful. 3 agree Reply I've read a few marriage books, and that was definitely my favorite. I also really liked "Grown Up Marriage" and "Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness," which sounds like a total downer, but is really pretty great. I also read "Starter Marriage", which was really interesting. 2 agree Reply Thanks for the book suggestions! We're two months away from our Hallowedding and I'm feeling very much like Jen describes in this post. ("I know we've been together 8+ years and I love him, but what if it's not enough?!?!?!?") This post makes me feel better and I'm definitely reading the books you guys highlighted. Just bought them on Kindle. <3 5 agree Reply I agree with you wholeheartedly about Gottman's work. He's trained psychologist having research couples for decades. I wish more people knew about him and his work Reply The other pieces of advise seem to make great, good sense (I'm admittedly not married, nor have I ever been in a romantic relationship.), but the "Never go to bed angry" advice, imho also makes great, good sense, because one never knows what kind of affect that it may have on the person that you're presently angry with, healthwise or otherwise. Many years ago, I read a rather scary story, in which a married couple did go to bed angry, after an argument, no good-nights, or anything. The next morning, the wife fixed her husband a good breakfast, but still didn't speak to him. The husband, unfortunately, ended up dying of a massive heart attack, which was his first. The wife, I presume, learned her lesson. Reply YES! This! We are big fans of going to bed angry here. Everything seems so much less fraught in the morning. 28 agree Reply We've gone to bed angry tons of times, and it always feels better in the morning. It gives both sides a chance to 'come down' and see things from the other's perspective/see how unreasonable they've been. 8 agree Reply "Less fraught" is such a good way to describe it. Sometimes, I'm just uber-tired and my emotions revert to being 15 and it goes nowhere good. And sometimes, the things I'm being 15 about are things that are genuinely peeving me off, and being able to articulate that actually makes a difference. The perspective of 12 hours distance/some sleep is really helpful, though. What I've also found helpful (speaking as the daughter of a psychologist…) is honesty. Aka: I don't answer "nothing is bothering me", I'll say "I don't really want to talk about it right now, but I'll come see you when I'm ready" (and he accepts that and doesn't push), and then figure out exactly what it is that's annoying me, and THEN we hash that out. For example, while I can be annoyed about X thing that has happened (he didn't do the dishes! or something), the problem is really that X repeats as a pattern (I'm doing ALL the housework while working more!!), and the pattern reads as Y (I go to work and come home and do housework, and you play video games, and you appear to value your free time over mine and I need to feel respected) and Y really upsets me, so fighting about X is really arguing about a symptom (or, in this example, work/housework/time is an issue, the dishes are the everlasting breaking point). Time to figure that out is good, and it works for us, and we fight less when we deal with the big issues. 30 agree Reply "I don't answer "nothing is bothering me", I'll say "I don't really want to talk about it right now, but I'll come see you when I'm ready"" It took me years and two failed engagements to learn to do this, and I thought it was me because I was the pattern. I'm sure part of it WAS me, but I discovered that part of it was just the coincidence of the choices in communication made by my partners. Getting into a relationship with a partner whose communication patterns are compatible with my own has really made it possible for me to live up to this ideal that I'd kept trying to implement. I never said "nothing's bothering me," but I kept getting it from people; and I would pick at it if either of us said we didn't want to talk about it right now, because none of my other partners would ever get around to talking about these issues. But now! Now I have a partner that I know if Now is not the right time to talk about This, This WILL be discussed at a More Appropriate Time. Sometimes it's just because someone needs to put words to what they want to say, sometimes they need to sort out how they feel, sometimes it's just not appropriate for discussing in front of others. But I am secure in knowing that whatever It is, It will be discussed as soon as we can, and that makes all the difference in being able to let it go until that time comes. 10 agree Reply This is so true. Thich Nhat Hahn call this 'cooking our potatoes'. When we we feel tat raw emotion it's hard not to articulate it and feel overwhelmed by it and speak in the heat of the moment. But we need to 'cook' that raw emotion and figure out what's really going on. Sometimes it's deep – like you say, and sometimes it situational like tired and cranky. Reply It took us a while to learn this. (Hey we're both stubborn and romantic idealists so we needed a little extra time.) I'll now go to bed thinking "I am NOT angry, just pissed off." For some reason resetting my emotions to 'pissed off' seems to trivialize things and calm me down a lot. 3 agree Reply I don't think that giving relationship advice is a good idea unless you really know the couple and are keeping them in mind. I'm sure these rules work for your relationship, and that's great, but they're not right for mine. I don't think that any particular advice is right for everyone; you just have to figure out what works for you and your partner. 12 agree Reply Yes. This is true of all advice given publicly. If it feels like a fit for you, awesome. If not, move on. 53 agree Reply You worded it perfectly! Every couple is different, so not all advice fits one size. I wrote these down after another newlywed said they'd gone through the same confusion and stress, but never spoke about it because they didn't feel their fears were valid. To each their own, cheers! 5 agree Reply The "two become one" thing actually scares me from getting married. 5 agree Reply @Clare: I can totally understand why it is scary–I'm a Christian, so I'm pretty comfortable with this notion, but I can see how it can be terrifying! If I may try to explain? (First off, I think the concept has been abused and taken out of context, and consequently, *is* often scary-as-fuck.) Two becoming one is actually based on the notion that a marriage creates an entity–you are *still* individuals, but your lives are bound together–think of it as protection and safety (for men AND women!), not restriction and stifling. You are committing to hold, honor, and keep each other–and much of any loving relationship is bound up in selflessness–a marriage even more so. The Biblical passage that phrase comes from was discussing divorce (specifically divorce in the early Roman era, in Jewish society), where Christ was admonishing certain Jewish leaders for allowing divorce to happen too easily and readily (Guess who suffered most from that? Yup. Women and children.), and was reminding them that a marriage is supposed to be a place of safety and commitment, hence "the two become one flesh". It's a reminder that one's wife is supposed to be as important as one's self–a pretty sharp rebuke, culturally speaking, in those days! Personally, I'm grateful for the encouragement to hold my partner dearly, to treasure him, and love him–and I am grateful that he is called to do the same by me. … I hope that helps–if that wording isn't your bag, it's okay! I'm just hoping to explain why it's meaningful to many folks. 19 agree Reply I think it's a lot less scary if you think of marriage as becoming a "team" rather than your identities disappearing into some two-headed fleshy blob monster. 45 agree Reply The "two-headed fleshy blob monster" is always the image my mind conjures up when I hear the phrase. I know it's not how it's meant, but that's just where my weird little mind takes me. I like the "team" language, and I use that a lot for us. 4 agree Reply Yes, I guess my point is that "two become one" is often being interpreted in a way that can be scary, but if we remember we're a team, that we are together as "one" it is more encouraging. Same phrase, different translation 4 agree Reply I wholeheartedly agree with Rebecca and Jen. As a Christian bride-to-be (and a moderate-to-liberal one at that), I am very comfortable with the concept of "the two becoming one flesh." To me, it's another way of saying that two people are required to make a marriage work. However, I would never vow to "submit to my husband's leadership" or "obey" him. In fact, the word for head in that context ("kephale" in the original Greek letter to the Ephesians) was seldom used to refer to a chief/leader/boss and is actually a reference to when Eve was made from Adam's rib. All in all, this means that the husband and wife are to be equal partners in a marriage. 7 agree Reply Me too! *fistbump* 2 agree Oh, God. This? "What is this marriage thing I've gotten myself into? I must be mad, am I going mad? Am I depressed? I don't feel like I married the bestest, sweetest, most kindest man in the world, but I love him, is that enough? AGHHHHH!" I needed to hear that today. Thank you. 21 agree Reply I'm glad! Don't let the madness take over! Lots of power to you! Reply Thanks, lady! 1 agrees Reply Thank you so much for this! My husband and I had been together for 8+ years when we got married and I got pretty freaked out when I let myself think about some of the "advice." "Don't go to bed angry?" But that's what we DO! Eventually, you do have to figure out what's right for you and yes, we can usually work it out much more effectively after a night's sleep. And I've never been on board with the "becoming one" business. We both have lives outside of each other and that's how we like it! I also really hated the "how's married life?" question. 4 agree Reply Yea, that question made no sense to me. One month post wedding people were all, "how's married life? *wink*" and I always responded with a shrug and "same great relationship it's been really". It's just a weird question. 5 agree Reply I'm glad someone else finds this question so strange. My husband and I met a whole crowd of new people last week, and I had no idea what to say when they asked! Nothing has magically changed. I feel closer in some ways, but our lives as a couple are just what they were. It's hard not to feel like I'm disappointing people with my answer or lack of enthusiasm. Reply People would ask me and I would always respond with a super enthusiastic "Great!" People would get kind of taken aback and then sort of prod for a follow up. Since we'd already been cohabiting before hand I didn't really have an explanation for why being married was so awesome, and being forced to analyze it could kinda take the shine off. Reply I'm glad someone else can say "Marriage sucks sometimes." I spent so much time becoming an independent adult, and now I have to take someone else's preferences, goals and dreams into account? Bah! But it's totally worth it…even on days when I want to throw him out the window and run away to Europe. 26 agree Reply I have been telling friends who are getting engaged and are newlyweds that "marriage sucks sometimes" and I really think they saw another head pop out of my neck, but I think it's best to be honest about life. Thanks 6 agree Reply I love this. Your points resonated so much with my experience in our relationship (cohabiting for over two years now) and what I expect our marriage will be like (i.e., no different from cohabiting, just with an extra piece of paper). The "two become one" thing for me, like an earlier commenter, is a little scary. I want to still be recognized as a separate person, and my fiance feels the same way. I think it's healthy to remember that we are still two different people. Also, I had not even thought about the "How's married life?" question – but I am totally stealing your answer. Genius. 3 agree Reply "How's married life?"… Right?!?!? What the hell kind of question is that? Maybe, once upon a time, when people were betrothed by their families and never met before… maybe then it would have been relevant to ask how it's going. But when my husband and I had already cohabited for 4 years and (gasp!) engaged in sexual intercourse prior to signing any sort of government paperwork, not so much. 7 agree Reply Yes! That would be the perfect situation to ask that question in! Or maybe "How is combining your lifestyles going?", some more specific question. Reply Agreed! I figure, if they're strongly Catholic (like a lot of my family and friends) and they're asking this, then the only thing it can mean is "how is it finally having sex?". I am never sure whether I want to scandalize them by saying our sex life hasn't changed (implying OMG we've done it before!) or by giving them what they want and saying we're having tons of sex now, and it's awesome. I mean, really, think about what you're asking here. 3 agree Reply I agree with what you're saying, but, I think sometimes people are just looking for conversation topics or not sure what to say. It's the logical next thing to ask after "So how's wedding planning going?" Or after your birthday, "So…how does it feel to be X years?" Same as "so how's your grandkids?" "How's the ole golf game going?" "Some weather we're having isn't it!" Etc. It could be not that they're trying to pry, but just making conversation. 12 agree Reply The first time I heard that it may be a good idea to go to bed angry, my world was truly rocked forever. How could it be that the sage, experienced advice my mother gave me from childhood on may not be the best thing for my relationship? And I thought back to the late night arguments that turned into horrific embarrassing melts which included, but was not limited to, illogical statements and endless rambling. Why did I endure these long miserable nights? Simply because my mother's advice echoed in my head, making me believe I was a bad partner if I failed to resolve the situation at the proper moment. The last time we got into a late night fight, I stunned the pants off of him by strongly stating my opinion, saying goodnight, and going to bed. I felt a million times better about myself being that person than the crying, irrational one I had previously been. Although there are some key elements to a successful, happy relationship that we can all agree on, I believe you have to take all advice with a grain of salt and sensibility as to how it applies to your relationship. I'm so glad I realized that going to bed angry may sometimes be the best option for us– but perhaps it's not for everyone. 7 agree Reply Glad the switch worked for you! I also go jogging/clean when I'm faced with a problem because I want to cool down and be in a good place mentally before I tackle it. Reply The kitchen is often cleanest after we have a big argument. 6 agree Reply Yes! We now call it Rage Cleaning. It gives me something to focus on, a reason to wander around the house and potentially NOT be in the company of the other side of the argument, and makes me feel like I'm at least getting something done instead of wasting time letting anger get in the way of coherent arguing. 8 agree Reply I'm real big on going to bed angry. It's amazing how many problems actually disappear when you're not tired and irrationally cranky. (Some problems don't disappear, obviously, but taking a step back and sleeping on it makes problems way easier to tackle, for me.) 3 agree Reply Yes, fighting is like shaking *every* emotion to the surface along with mild annoyances, little irritations, that thing he/she does that is so cute but right now it's driving you nuts, and the big meaty issues that started everything rolling. Going to bed angry lets the little things that aren't a big deal settle down, and gives you a clear head to deal with the big meaty things the next day. 6 agree Reply This is a FANTASTIC post, and it comes at a perfect time for me. I'm getting married in May, and have been thinking a lot about the (mostly media-derived) impressions I have of marriage, and how those impressions fit with my partner's and my relationship. This is a refreshing and reassuring perspective, and helps me feel like I'm not doin' it wrong. Thanks! 2 agree Reply Glad it resonated with you! Reply I've been married for 6 years now, and I totally agree with what you've said here. Marriage will be constant work. Sometimes you're going to be angry, but I have one little bit to change. When we were trying to conceive, and had had some previous difficulties, and one day I was really really sick, but also ovulating. So my wonderful husband had sex anyway. BUT I don't think we kissed. So. There's that. Oh yeah, it resulted in our son. 2 agree Reply Exceptions definitely apply Reply I like this post too http://lydianetzer.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/10-best-marriage-vows-you-never-hear-at.html Mostly because "I promise to make sure I'm not just hungry, before I yell at you. " is going to be a vow at my wedding. 15 agree Reply I totally included that line in my vows! I am definitely one of those "hangry" types of people. (And yep – I do carry snacks in my purse when we leave the house.) Reply When people ask me about married life I say "the same, only he's harder to get rid of now." Some people are horrified, I can only laugh. 20 agree Reply Great post! Thank you. Reply Yes, go to bed angry, especially if it's a work night! I wish I'd heard this early in my marriage 30 years ago. Reply This is a great little article. Especially about the "two becoming one" and the question of "how's married life". On the "two becoming one" bit…I had so many people almost freaking out FOR me. I didn't see what the big deal was? You're not becoming one because in order to become "ONE" you'd need some very skilled surgeons or mad scientists at the ceremony site. You cannot become one with the other person because you still have your own thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, and underwear drawer. You become a TEAM and I wish more people would call it that. As for the question. What a stupid question. I hear it almost every day from co-workers, and every single time I'm with extended family memebers I don't see constantly. My answer? "The same as non-married life. But now I have an extra ring on my finger and some legal documents to go along with it" And they never know how to respond to that. Usually I get, "Oh well…I have to ask" No you don't!!! 2 agree Reply I think some sensible Wedding/Engagement cards are in order, yes? "Married life? It's like regular life, but with rings and more paper!" 3 agree Reply that certainly depends on your single life. for me, we didn't live together or anything till we were married. didn't even kiss till engaged. so, yeah LOTS changed. 1 agrees Reply Perfectly timed post! I'm getting married this Saturday. We didn't write our own vows, but if we had, I'd totally be adding these in there! Great advice! Reply Thanks! And congratulations! 1 agrees Reply Thanks! Reply for me, at least, there is something in "never go to sleep angry". Not in the sense of solving all the problems before going to sleep. Unless it is something very, very, very bad, even if we disagree, we decide together to "sleep on it". We say together "ok, this sucks, but we love each other and prefer to postpone this decision". I do not understand why people take "how is married life?" seriously. It is just small talk from somebody who doesn't know you very well but tries to show him/herself interested. "Two become one" is just crap… 2 agree Reply People are shocked when I tell them on ocassions we will sleep in separate rooms due to a fight! I find it extremely uncomfortable to sleep beside 'the boy' when we have had a argument…..I mostly want to kick him in the shins, so I go sleep/send him in the spare room. Avoidance technique….well yes, I am a grand one for being extremely snarky and not applying my 'filter', so in a tried long standing battle this gives us time to cool down, have a decent sleep and we talk about the next day. Reply People are shocked when I tell them on ocassions we will sleep in separate rooms due to a fight! I find it extremely uncomfortable to sleep beside 'the boy' when we have had a argument…..I mostly want to kick him in the shins, so I go sleep/send him in the spare room. Avoidance technique….well yes, I am a grand one for being extremely snarky and not applying my 'filter', so in a tried long standing battle this gives us time to cool down, have a decent sleep. we then talk about the next day like adults with cool heads, and most of the time laugh at how silly we are 1 agrees Reply Oh, I think people who ask "how's married life?" are just trying to make conversation. The same thing will happen if a baby comes along: "Hey, how's that parenting thing working out for you?" which is also an inane question, but you know – that person is just trying to show an interest. I cut them slack and am happy they care enough to ask. 5 agree Reply I don't really mind near-strangers asking this, because then I can just give them a vague answer like "great!", but it's when close friends or family, who have seen our relationship for years, ask, that I'm not sure WHAT they are asking. Maybe ask me "Has anything changed?" would be better, imo. 1 agrees Reply You just inspired the bulk of my vows. I've been struggling with what to say, with NOTHING coming to mind. Thank you so much for this article. It puts words to what my FH and I have experienced in living together for over a year. Reply Terrific! Vows were a tough one for me, I needed major inspiration. The Musician on the other hand had his scrawled on an envelope when inspiration suddenly struck! Reply Going to bed angry doesn't work very well for me, at least not the way that it's implied in some of these comments and the post. I am a worrier, and when we can't agree to calm down enough to push the argument off until tomorrow, or to get past it and say, "hey, I love you still, but this is really getting me upset and I need some time alone/to sleep", then I get all panicky that this argument has become a Big Deal and we might never resolve it, and how can I fall asleep like that? Recently, I have tried this, especially when I'm exhausted and I know that neither of us is being smart about things, and I wake up and don't know how to bring it up again. And often the morning is so busy that there isn't time, and then I have this THING looming over my head all day at work, and then what if I get into a car accident and it never gets resolved…. etc etc etc. Basically, I need to talk with my dude before we have another argument, and work something out where he doesn't necessarily need to tell me he needs time to cool down (but he needs to recognize it), and I need to be able to respect that and realize that it means that we still love each other and things WILL get better, and I can go to bed with that knowledge. 5 agree Reply I also agree with you. I never used to like to go sleep angry just because it seemed like a bad idea. Then one night I just gave it a try and it turned out I was fine with it but my SO slept like hell because he was stressed/worried about it and it just really messed with his ability to sleep. I am a pretty solid sleeper, even if I am super upset as soon as my head hits that pillow I am out for the night so yey for me I guess? But now that I know he isn't the same way I don't want to go to bed angry again because I know it doesn't work for both us and I'm thinking it's important to be sensitive to those sorts of things – if it's going to wreck your sleep, or your partner's sleep, don't do it! Reply I agreed with all of this except going to bed angry. That just doesn't work for us. We just lie awake, feeling more like shit than before. The anxiety of messing up/hurting the other person is too nagging to ever get a peaceful night's rest. So…even if we're blubbering, yelling or even slurring our speech, we've just got to suck it up and talk it out. But oh man, I wish the guilt monster would let me sleep, that would be so much less embarrassing than sloppy make-up kisses. *dies* 3 agree Reply Yeah, I was going to say that too. My adrenaline usually has me too amped up for any kind of sleeping at that point. Reply i'm sorry i don't believe in going to sleep angry at anyone, much less my husband. does that mean i have to solve all issues before going to bed? no. but it's good to admit there is an issue & let go of the anger. if you can't let go of anger until something is solved, that's a whole other problem in itself. i don't think it's healthy. & also, i don't agree that marriage sucks sometimes. it's one area where i'm a bit of an idealistic, but in my life, it's also realist. as for the 2 become one, obviously this is not literal. lol it is like being of one purpose, a team. you don't lose your self, but you always take them into consideration. maybe all of that seems like a fairy dreamland for some people, but it IS my experience & i'm extremely happy with it. there's not a moment i have thought ugh this guy! or ugh what did i get myself into? not a second. i'm sure that makes some people want to puke, but it's my reality. 2 agree Reply ….AND NICOLA TESLA, DAMMIT. 4 agree Reply Ahhh, finally. I've always heard people say "Marriage is the hardest thing you'll ever do!" But never had a clear vision of why. Yes, theoretically I know that sharing your life with another person is hard, but I want specifics! Day-to-day, practical examples that go beyond the whole "he didn't take out the garbage" cliche. It just doesn't work when society says that marriage is oh-so-hard and then paints a rosy sparkling picture of it. 1 agrees Reply Yep, it's not fair to do that, we need facts! I mean, I paint very rough picture with this, but even despite the problems I really do love my husband Reply I say this as someone who has been married, divorced, and now cohabitating with my future second husband: YES, marriage is hard work sometimes and so is any committed relationship. My first marriage sucked because, well, it sucked. It wasn't fixable, and I clung to it for longer than I should have because of all the times I'd heard other people say marriage takes work, marriage is hard, yadda yadda. But the relationship I'm in now, even though it is happy and fulfilling and wonderful, is sometimes sucky and sometimes hard work. The difference is, the 99% of the time that this relationship is happy and fulfilling and wonderful makes it WORTH the 1% of the time that it takes work. I think the difference is, what are you having to fight about? Is it because you're working 60 hour weeks and coming home to a filthy house while he sits unemployed on the couch smoking weed and watching porn? Is it because on some fundamental level you are not getting your needs met in the relationship and you're having the same fight over and over again with no resolution because there IS no resolution? (Like, we're fighting about the fact that you didn't take out the garbage, but REALLY we're fighting about an overall lack of respect for me, or I'm nitpicking you about your dirty socks on the floor because I can't bring myself to open my mouth and have the fight we really need to be having.) Or, are you just tired and burnt out and hangry and sniping at each other over little shit because you both had a shit day at work and really need to eat something? Usually in our house it's the latter, we go to bed angry, and it works. Because even when we go to bed angry, there's a goodnight kiss and an "I love you." and usually the next morning whatever lingering hard feelings are there are gone. We might still disagree about whatever we disagreed about, but it's not something so major that it changes the way we feel about one another and we can usually sit down and talk it out like sane people. There is also a serious need to pick your battles. I'm not saying be a doormat or hold your feelings in, but sometimes you have to look at your partner and realize that they are who they are. That wonderful guy that you love is also the guy who is completely unable to stop clipping his nails and leaving little nail bits on the bathroom counter. He does not do it because he's evil and he hates you and he's not the ONE, after all…he does it because he's tired and not as neat as you are, and just does not think about it when he's doing it. Once the ooey gooey love chemicals and the desire to fuck like rabbits every two hours starts to fade (and it does) you're left with a real person with faults and annoying habits instead of the idealized lovah you had that first few months when everything was hot and new. My dad always told me, only marry someone that you could be happy living in a cardboard box under a bridge with. I didn't listen to him the first time, but this time I know for sure that I've found that person, even if he gets on my nerves sometimes. (And as a neurotic mess, I'm sure that I get on his too.) 12 agree Reply Love your dad's advice! 4 agree Reply Thanks so much for posting this! I think you make some GREAT points that people need to remember. Especially agree with the just go to bed – figure it out in the morning part! Reply This is awesome. I've been with my fiance for twelve years now and we are in such a different place than so many other people I know who are getting married.. and sometimes listening to them talk about their future husbands/wives I get a little insecure. They are so starry eyed with love. A friend who just got married a few weeks ago described her new husband as her "everything" and her "whole entire world" and I found myself wondering very briefly if there was something wrong with my relationship, why wasn't Chris MY whole entire world? I just had to remind myself that we were in so much of a different place and yes some of that starry eyed magic had faded with time but had been replaced with a real knowledge of each other and the realities of being in a relationship and that is what keeps us strong. He may not be my "everything" but he is my whole helluva lot and when the zombie apocalypse comes there is no one else I'd rather stand back to back with against the undead hoard… but if he's sick or has bad breath he can just stay the hell away please. So again: awesome, and I am totally going to incorporate that paragraph about not becoming one entity into our vows. Hope you don't mind! 2 agree Reply >> "We all have bad days where we yell too much or get a little crazy, yes, but don't become victim to domestic abuse." I really hate the wording of this sentence. It reeks of victim-blaming, and while I don't think that was the author's intent, it sucks. Abuse is NEVER the victim's fault. You don't invite abuse upon yourself by not being vigilant enough. And receiving abuse does not mean you are weak or terrible or bad. 3 agree Reply When we have disagreements he has the tendency to want to resolve the matter at that moment and I am the type that needs to give it some thought so I choose words that are not offensive. I tell him that I don't want to talk about right now and he get upset and says I want to get back to being happy could we discuss it now. UGH 1 agrees Reply Man I liked this post before I even read it. I actually have a pretty solid 'go to bed angry' rule in my house because 1) my fiance will talk until his face turns blue because he is the only human alive more stubborn than me, and 2) we both wake up the next day just wanting to snuggle and be happy, and are the king and queen of 'letting it go.' Of course, we regularly discuss issues that need work, but I'm not staying up til 3am just to finish an argument! You don't want to know how grouchy I get when I'm tired. 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.