I have heard this many times in my life. The time that it really penetrated my brain was when my dear aunt was tragically killed, and I called my uncle to fulfill the mitzvah of nichum aveilim – comforting the mourner. My uncle told me that we should always strive to solve any disagreement before we go to sleep. One never knows what the next day is going to bring.
However I keep hearing from friends that they make their spouse sleep on the sofa because of what s/he did or didn’t do. Excuses like “He had been so annoying all day I just didn’t want to be around him so I made him sleep in the spare room” etc. “I was so mad at her I didn’t even want to be in the same world as her”. I don’t get that at all. This is one’s life partner!! If you are angry – talk it out once you have calmed down. I would not be able to sleep at all if I had something I needed to resolve with the KoD.
I also use this with the kids. So many times they will stomp off to their rooms upset and angry. They have been known to shout an “I hate you” over their shoulder on the way. I won’t let them fall asleep without going in there and giving them a hug and a kiss and reminding them that I love them. We may not talk about the issue at hand until the next day, but I would hate for them to go to sleep so angry.
I hate being angry. It’s like this heat that consumes me inside and makes me into a person I do not like. To allow that anger to fester all night long – well nothing good can come out of that. Recently I was upset with the KoD for something that now I can say was minor (didn’t feel it at the time though) and I did the unthinkable. I slammed down the phone on him. First time ever I had done that to him. I was horrified at myself. I called him back almost straightaway to apologize and we sorted out the reason for me being angry, we talked it through in a civil manner, we both apologized and moved on, with no lingering anger. Some of the people I know would have given each other the silent treatment for hours if not days. I don’t understand how that works. The anger and resentment just piles up – and that isn’t good for anyone. I know no one has a perfect marriage – but why not do one’s best to make each day with our beshert more meaningful?
(In case anyone thinks me naïve, let me just remind you that I have been through divorce and I certainly do not see marriage through rose tinted glasses. It takes hard work and commitment from both partners, 24/7. But it is so worth it in the long run.)