Welcome back to Relationship Week on BnB. Today, we'll be getting the inside skinny from some happily married folks. There are any number of relationship do's and don'ts that are passed out as conveniently as fortune cookies at the end of a meal. Let's take a look at three of them and see what the "experts" have to say in response. Guest posting today:
Glen Antoine Palmer and His Lady from The Gentlemen's Standard
Average Bro (AB) from AverageBro.com
JaymeC (a regular blog commenter and a licensed Life Coach here in the Dallas area who specializes in relationship counseling), married 18 years.
- Never go to bed angry: Any truth to this? Does it matter as long as the issue gets resolved?
- AB says: This sounds great in theory, but like many other idioms about marriage, simply isn't practical. Sometimes you have to agree to end an argument/discussion because you have kids to put to bed, and have to get up for work in the morning. Sometimes, you are just going to agree to disagree, and need time and space for things to boil over. Not every discussion ends with a sorrowful "you're right Honey", and makeup nookie. I'm not saying couples shouldn't try to resolve things in a timely manner, but this is truly easier said than done.
- Jayme says: You can't regulate anger. When you're upset, you're upset. Life goes on with or without a resolved argument. The key is that you have to resolve it. Sometimes that's respectful acceptance that you won't agree. Don't worry about the sun setting on your anger. If you get another day, take it as a blessing.
- Gent and Lady say: It's best not to go to bed angry because the longer the anger and frustration goes on the worse it is. However, if you are not going to come to a resolution after a sincere effort, it's best to get some sleep and take a stab at it the next day. The last thing you need is an angry AND tired people going at it for days at a time. Resolution is important and in order to get to resolution you have to have a clear head and stay focused on the argument/issue at hand. That's hard to do when you are already upset and the clock reads 3am and you have to be up in 3 hours.
- Just because you are married doesn't mean you can't look: When does looking go too far? Is Facebook flirting risky? How much "twitter-teasing" is allowed before it goes too far?
- AB says: People have eyes, it is human nature to "look". I think you cross the line and can be disrespectful when you are blatantly doing so. My pastor always says, "the first look is natural, the second look is lusting". I sorta agree with that. In terms of flirting, it's a strict "no-no", regardless of which form it takes. Generally speaking, if it's not something I'd be happy about my wife doing, I don't do it. So please, no cyber groupies. I keed, I keed.
- Jayme says: Eyes and ears appreciate beauty then the brain should engage for judgment. When thoughts slide from "He's fine" to "I want that", you've let the attraction go way too far. Exchanging a joke or two on a social media platform is fine but a good indicator that you're getting too involved is when you can't tweet/type/text in front of your significant other. You shouldn't be sharing anything that they can't see.
- Gent and Lady say: Looking is fine as long as it's a casual glance (1 second max.) and not an all out gawk fest. Just because you're married doesn't mean you're blind and your spouse should recognize that. Facebook flirting/twitter-teasing and any other of that cyber sex (casual or otherwise) is not tolerated. Your friends/acquaintances, both real and virtual, need to know you are married and respect that. Just because you aren't face to face doesn't give you the right to disrespect me with some cyber chick. Cheating is cheating whether it's in person or in cyberspace-and NO you don't have to have sex to cheat. Emotional affairs happen every day, be prepared for your woman-bougie or not-to bring the pain when she finds out! Disrespect WILL NOT be tolerated.
- The couple that sleeps together, stays together: In a recent study highlighted on WSJ.com, the New York Times, and various blogs more couples are opting to sleep apart (snoring, thrashing, allergies, kids). Assuming sex is still happening, how important is actually sleeping in the same bed with your spouse?
- AB says: I do agree with this one. Whether you're dealing with babies who keep waking up, an unresolved argument, or someone who snores like the dickens, sleeping in the same bed gives a couple some level of consistent intimacy. Even if you have to have a child co-sleep with you (it happens), it's still best if the couples end the night, and start the day, together.
- Jayme says: I give a four-day/ two week rule. Try not to spend more than four days out of any week sleeping apart and try not to spend more than two weeks out of any month away from each other. Relationships are living beings, it must be nurtured and fed and kept alive. Intimacy (with or without sex) is a huge part of that. As a matter of fact, if two people are more at ease sleeping and being away from each other for long stretches of time, that says something about the relationship.
- Gent and Lady say: Sleeping together is important, however there are times when it's better to be apart (ie. one has to get up earlier than normal and doesn't want to disrupt your slumber or needs to turn in extra early). Just don't make it the norm. It's not okay to sleep apart because you can't stand to be near them, or they are afraid of waking up with you standing over them with a knife saying "Why don't you love me anymore!" That's some foolishness on a whole other level and requires a very capable therapist.
So what do you think, BougieLand. Agree? Disagree? Thoughts of your own? Experiences to share?