Yesterday I was listening to the song Mad by Ne-Yo. It is a really good song. The lyrics are so true and easy to relate to. They make you realize a lot of things about conflict and communication. But the chorus really kind of got to me yesterday. He says:
"Baby, I know sometimes it's gonna rain. But can we make up now, cause I can't sleep through the pain. We can fuss and we can fight, as long as everything's all right between us, before we go to sleep. I don't wanna go to bed, mad at you, and I don't want you to go to bed, mad at me."This was so thought provoking for me because I have always vehemently opposed the advice that newlyweds are often given to never go to bed angry. I have seen so many occasions when couples are so determined to work things out that they will stay up all night arguing. Two or three in the morning and they are unwilling to let it go until the next day when all they need to see things more clearly is to get some sleep!! So this made my thoughts go in two directions. The first one was recognizing the security I feel in my marriage. I have many relationships where conflict prevents me from sleeping. These range from ex-boyfriends, to professional relationships, to friends and relatives. The "pain" is so intense that I cannot let it go for long enough to get some shut eye. But this so rarely happens with Brandon. He and I can glare at each other, say snotty things, and still sleep just fine. Is this because I love him less? Because this relationship is less valuable than the others? I really don't think so. There is a certain level of trust and comfort that I have with him that I have never found with anyone else on Earth. Sometimes I just need to sleep it off. And first thing in the morning I am rested and refreshed and ready to apologize for whatever trivial thing got us both so angry the night before. I know I love him. And I know he loves me. And I know that particular love is going to be there forever.
(Now in my quest to be perfect, I know I need to work on not glaring and not saying the snotty things I do. I know there is that little fragment of a chance that one of us will not wake up in the morning and there would be lots of regret and remorse for things said that can never be taken back. But the fact of the matter is that I am human. And so is Brandon. We are both going to say and do things out of anger that we don't really mean.)
The other direction that my brain went running was about the times with Brandon that I can't sleep through the pain. I cannot remember a night when I lost sleep over a time he hurt me. With others in my life I hold onto that pain and let it eat away at me because I feel some need to. In some way my hurting with show them how horrible they were to me. If I really let it fester and ruin my night then they will really understand what they have done. (Sounds very intelligent, right?) But this never happens with Brandon. If he says or does something that hurts me, I have a tendency to recognize that he probably didn't mean it. I don't internalize it the same way. The nights I have lost sleep over a fight with Brandon are the nights that I am filled with pain and remorse for something I said or did to him. If I know I hurt him, I cannot just let it go. Even if he is snoozing away in the bed next to me. I cannot just sleep through the pain of knowing I caused him any kind of hurt. I don't know if I am making any sense. But it is such a different kind of sleeplessness. And to me it is one of those indicators of true love.