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Never Go To Bed Mad At Each Other

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

On the Today Show this morning a remarkable segment aired. It was remarkable not because it was good or enlightening, but because it wasn't. In fact, it was downright misleading and irresponsible based upon the research evidence, and we want to comment on it.

A psychologist and the managing editor of Good Housekeeping were on the Today Show to proclaim that the notion of "never go to bed mad at each other" was a myth. Imagine, calling such a time-honored notion a myth. Listening to them made our skin crawl and here's why – credible research does not support what they said.

As many of our readers know, we have been researching successful marriages for over 25 years. We have interviewed hundreds of successfully married couples representing some 15,000 years of marital wisdom. We have learned a lot about what makes good marriages work.

Towards the end of our interview protocol we ask these wonderful couples if they could offer three pieces of advice that we could share with newlyweds. And guess what, the number one piece of advice they have given, and it is has been consistent over the years, is "Never go to bed mad at each other!"

Remember, this advice comes from happily married couples. The advice they give isn't designed to shock the media with something unusual or out of the ordinary. These are the words of couples with a proven track record. Frankly, we got the impression when we watched the Today Show that the purpose of referring to "Never go to bed mad at each other" as a myth was to get a spot on a highly watched morning television show! But the sad truth is, their message was a terrible message to send to newly married couples. Our fear – they just might listen to the advice they heard on TV and that would be a big mistake in our judgment.

Never Go To Bed Mad At Each Other

From time to time you hear so-called experts throw out information as if it were scientific fact. People believe it as if it were gospel. The problem is, much of what you hear has no scientific or research base.

The good news about the notion of "Never go to bed made at each other" – it is based on research from those who would know best – those who have been happily, blissfully, and successfully married for 30-60 years! The lessons learned from 15,000 years of successful marriage speaks for itself.

Married couples do, from time to time, have disagreements. They argue over big things and little things. They argue over stuff that doesn't matter and stuff that does. But here is what we have learned from 25 years of research – successfully married couples rarely ever go to bed without resolving their differences on an issue, be it big or small. Many report to us that they have stayed up all night trying to bring closure to an issue that has divided them. They know that gaining resolution is far more important than getting a good night's sleep. And remember this, issues that are not attended to more often than not fester through the night and only appear worse in the morning.  

Do not be fooled by those who tell you that it is not important to resolve divisive issues before you go to bed. They are simply misguided and the advice they give can be hurtful to your relationship. Accept the advice of those who know – those whose marriages are happy and have stood the test of time.

Love well!

Author’s Bio

Now you can order the Doctors’ new book entitled , Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage at or from their website with FREE Images of Love DVD. With 25 years of research experience on successful marriage and their own 41-year marriage, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know what makes marriage work. From their hundreds of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage, they’ve discovered the seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.  

Get started with "the marriage doctors" by taking their Marriage Quiz or asking them a question at Ask The Marriage Doctors or downloading their FREE eBook at Salad Recipes For Love and Health.

During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 60 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 200 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Donna08 wrote May 14, 2008
    • I agree with both of you!  I definitely think those “experts” have it wrong!  Just recently my hubby and I had a disagreement. We both didn’t want to give in, went to bed, had a really rotten night of sleep!  I woke up feeling miserable and unhappy!  We apologised to each other and made up and we both felt so much better!  I think those “experts” need to go back to the drawing board!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lois Stern wrote May 15, 2008
    • Which only goes to prove, anyone can call themselves an expert, but “expert says, does not an expert make“. I certainly have great respect for education. I hold two advanced degrees myself, and humbly acknowledge how deeply these studies helped me pave my way in life. But earning advance degrees does not guarantee common sense and understanding, and both of those ingredients are sorely lacking in pprofessionals who would make such an outlandish statement. No debate needed on this issue. Do NOT go to bed mad!

      Very best,
      Lois W. Stern
      [Link Removed]

      Loiswstern, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Titwillow64 wrote Aug 18, 2009
    • Try asking those who’ve been married 25 - 50 years.  THEY are the experts, not these hacks who happen to show up on national TV because they have a PhD or other degree that supposedly confers expertise.  An unwed PhD is not an expert!

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