Rowing couples should never sleep on an argument
Going to bed after arguing isn't great for relationships - and ruins bedtime. Here's how to ensure pillow talk stays sweet, writes Sam Wylie-Harris
There's never a great time to row with your partner - but right before bedtime can be particularly troublesome, as most couples will know.
Arguments are part and parcel of relationships, but falling out before hitting the sack means that the tension can fester and dash any chances of a good night's sleep too, leading to even greater resentment and anger the next day. Bad news all round.
According to a new survey, however, more than half of UK couples quarrel at least twice a month before turning out the lights at bedtime.
The research, carried out by skin specialists Flint + Flint and The Fine Bedding Company as part of their 'Beauty Sleep' campaign, found that 52% of couples admit to going to bed angry after arguing, and subsequently waking up in a bad mood.
So what's to blame for those tears on the pillowcase? The survey also delved into the top 10 argument triggers for couples, and while there are some similarities between the sexes, it seems men and women don't always agree about what causes their fights either.
From the female perspective, most of these rows are sparked by the in-laws, bad habits, arguments about children, ringing to ask what time they will be home, men not doing enough housework, money, sex, making plans without checking, not doing any DIY jobs around the house and lack of home cooking.
Meanwhile for the blokes, lack of free time, arguments about the children, money, erratic dieting, in-laws, sex, unfair distribution of housework, nagging, lack of home cooking and shopping sprees, are the topics that lead to most pre-slumber squabbles.
LETTING IT LINGER
Interestingly, and putting aside the mother-in-law jokes, both sexes admitted to fuming over the subject of how best to deal with the children (58%), with 78% of men saying their female partner thinks she knows best when it comes to childcare - and when quizzed, women backed this up, with 66% confessing this to be true.
What's more, couples admitted that pre-bedtime rows could sometimes end up lasting for up to three days.
SWEET DREAMS RESTORED
So how can we turn the tide of dispute and enhance our slumber-time together? After all, apart from the stress, nobody wants to wake up looking tired and puffy-eyed the next day, and feeling frazzled and frustrated before the day's even begun.
Relationship and dating expert Genevieve Zawada, CEO of Elect Club (www.electclub.co.uk), offers these simple solutions to help keep the peace at bedtime.
Take a time-out
"If your partner has said something that you know could cause a row, then be the grown up in the situation and suggest a time-out and breather, so you can both take stock and sit down to talk about it, whether now or the next day."
Don't sleep on it - ever
"Agree with your partner that you will never go to bed on an argument. Make it one of your golden rules. Even if it means you're up half the night working things through."
Don't get lost in translation
"Calmly sit down and say: 'Can I talk to you about this, as I am not sure I have got it right?' or words to that effect. By saying calmly that you want to check something out takes the 'sting' out of the row."
"Perform a 'sense check' on your comment before opening your mouth. Ask yourself if it's worth bringing 'it' up before bedtime. If it isn't, then let it go. After all, there are things that can aggravate us all, but we don't have to shout about it. If it is something you can't let go of, don't let yourself down by having a 'knee-jerk reaction' and an emotional outburst."