My wife and I recently celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. One aspect I believe that has helped our marriage continue to be strong, and I believe will help yours also is practicing the habit of going to bed together on a regular basis.
There are really two dynamics to this statement. First, if possible, go to bed at the same time, but also do not go to bed angry at each other. I believe the more healthy habits you can cultivate together, the greater chance you have of building a successful and thriving marriage.
So what is going to bed at the same good for?
Allows time for pillow talk – When you go to bed together it allows time for intimate conversation. This allows for the fulfillment of the 3 C’s – connection, clarity, and communication within the relationship.
Schedule – When you go to bed together it allows you to remain on the same schedule. When one spouse comes to bed at a later time, you have an increased risk of waking the sleeping spouse. If this becomes a habit anger and resentment can build up and cause tension in the relationship.
Makes you settle arguments before bed. – (See below for greater detail)
Nothing good happens after midnight – That old saying holds immense truth to it. When we are up late by our self we tend to snack on foods that may not be great for our health, may be tempted to look at inappropriate internet content or movies, or causes damage to your health through lack of sleep for recovery and healthy weight management.
Intimacy – Do I really have to explain this one? God wants married couples to be intimate regularly. If you aren’t in the same place at the same time, it makes it difficult to do so. In addition, don’t have sex and then run out to the living room to do dishes, watch tv, or go read. Use that time after sex to build the emotional and relational side of your relationship.
Prayer – Many couples take the time when they get in to bed to pray together. This is a great habit to develop. When you go to bed together it allows you to take a few moments to discuss your successes in the day, thank God for what He has done, and beseech Him for the day ahead.
Why should we not go to bed angry?
Paul actually tells us in Ephesians 4:26, that if you let your sin control you, you are sinning. He says, do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. This only allows the anger to fester more and to drive emotional distance in the relationship.
A sign of maturity is being able to settle arguments in a timely manner. – Have I mastered this? By no means! I am notorious for sitting quietly for 20-60 minutes to allow my mind to calm down, but I know when I settle an argument faster, there is a greater sense of peace in the relationship. I know if you will settle arguments faster you will have that greater peace also.
Going to bed angry, and especially sleeping in different beds when angry, allows the enemy a foothold. The emotional and psychological distance created when going to bed angry strains the relationship to a greater degree than a typical disagreement. By not being in the same room, neither partner is able to bring up the subject, discuss it, and therefore bring about conflict resolution before going to sleep.
Arguments and disagreements are a natural aspect to human life, especially married life. You have two individuals, raised in two different homes, with different ideas and opinions, you are bound to have a butting of heads, but don’t allow those situations to go to bed with you.
Is going to bed at the same time always feasible? No, but try to make it a regular occurrence as often as possible. I believe it will bring a new level of intimacy to your marriage. Habits don’t just appear. You have to develop them and work at them. If you desire a powerful and thriving marriage you have to develop those habits that empower your marriage to be greater. Going to bed together is one of those habits.