Anna Faris has some advice for you. (Photo: Getty Images)
It’s marriage advice we’ve all heard before: You should never go to bed angry. But Anna Faris is calling B.S. on the cliché.
According to the actress, who has been married to Chris Pratt since 2009, there are actually benefits to going to bed angry. “It’s OK to go to bed angry,” she says in an interview with Us Weekly. “I think men in particular sometimes just need time and they just need it and they won’t be able to be rational. And women too. I don’t mean to gender stereotype but they won’t be able to think rationally until their anger has dissipated.“
It makes sense, but experts say it really depends on the couple.
“The advice ‘don’t go to bed angry’ really means ‘don’t sweep things under the rug,’” Miami-area licensed clinical psychologist Erika Martinez, PsyD, tells Yahoo Health.
Most couples have one core point that they argue over repeatedly, she says. It just manifests itself differently, which is why one partner can easily lose their cool over the other leaving a wet towel on the bed. “The essence of the argument is usually the same,” Martinez says. If a couple goes to bed and the problem isn’t addressed, it will keep surfacing in future arguments.
While licensed marriage and family therapist David Klow, owner of Skylight Counseling Center in Chicago, tells Yahoo Health that going to bed angry gets a bad rap, he also says it’s not necessarily better than resolving the issue before bed. “If at all possible, see if you can resolve an issue before bed,” he says. “Yet it is not the end of the world if you do go to bed angry.”
It’s often important to have some kind of cooling off period after an argument initially starts and its resolution, Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona tells Yahoo Health. “For most people, there is an inverse relationship between strong negative emotions and the ability to listen effectively,” he says. “Feeling intense anger, hurt, or frustration often really undermines the capacity to listen, hear and understand what is being communicated in an argument. As emotions settle, listening skills tend to improve.”
For some couples, it may take a night to settle down. For others, going to bed angry won’t change anything — and may make it worse. “Some people may have the same level of intense negative emotions after sleeping on it, and for some those emotions may tend to be even stronger the next morning,” Cilona says.
It’s important for couples to determine what is best for them and take a “don’t go to bed angry” or “go to bed angry already” philosophy based on that, he says.
In the “go to bed angry” camp with Faris? Just make sure you actually address the problem — and not just the way you acted during the argument — the next day. “That’s the tricky part,” says Martinez. “Many couples don’t have that level of maturity.”