Sunday, June 8, 2014

The one advice I wish we would stop giving to Newlyweds!

There are many advice we give to newlyweds that just make me cringe...know your place/role in your marriage, always be joyful, always be beautiful for him, don't create drama for him/her and on and on it goes. But the one advice that gets me every time is: Never Go To Bed Angry! 


Of all the "Rules" that we try to impose on newlyweds this is probably the hardest to live by. This advice is setting couples up to fail and feel like failures every single time they become angry and cannot resolve the fight in the same day. If you're anything like me, your conflicts with your partner will not be resolved in the same night. Sometimes conflicts begin at night because that's often the only time of the day we get to check in with each other.

The biggest problem I have with this advice is, we make anger out to be an evil force that will destroy anyone and anything in its path. Anger is a natural emotion that's felt when our boundaries are crossed, when our feelings are hurt, when are lives are in danger. Anger is as natural as all of the other emotions; joy, happiness, contentment etc. These emotions make us human, reminding us that we're not robots going through life without ever experiencing feelings. We're humans with the ability to feel, to laugh, to cry and be angry.  

Anger is not a bad emotion for newlyweds to feel, true emotions give us an opportunity to connect authentically with each other and newlyweds need to learn how to be real and authentic with their new mates especially when anger boils.

It's what newlyweds do with the anger that will make a difference in their marriage.

Instead of saying Never go to bed angry, maybe we should say: in your anger don't make any permanent decisions. In your anger do not hit under the belt. In your anger, Do not say things that can't be easily forgotten. In your anger somethings should be off limits.

It is perfectly okay to get a time-out to sort out the thoughts and feelings underneath the anger.  And forcing newlyweds to resolve conflict before going to bed might make matters worse because they have not not had enough time to think through and process the feelings.  Sometimes the feelings one experience during an episode of anger are so raw that deep and meaningful conversations cannot be achieved at that very moment.
Newlyweds need to be loving enough to give each other space to process without demanding a resolution right away.

And lastly, just as we love experiencing all of the other emotions and lavish in them, we need to give each other the grace to feel angry without being admonished or shamed. In grace we are able to handle each other's anger with honor, respect, by listening and paying attention to each other's needs; now that's love.

So let's do better than passing on unrealistic advice to newlyweds.  Let's give them advice that will help them mature as a couple in their unique partnership.  

So your turn, what newlywed advice do you wish we would stop giving?

1 comment:

  1. This one has always gotten on my nerves. I cringe at bridal showers when people dish out this advice :/