I’m a morning person. This is the time of day that puts me in a good mood. And, if everyone will stay asleep for a few hours while I soak in the silence and drink a cup of coffee my joy is complete. I’m sitting on my front porch right now with a warm mug full of deliciousness. I’m watching birds flutter by and trying to ignore the fact my youngest son didn’t sweet up the sidewalk like I asked yesterday.
This is my time. Mornings. A little slice of heaven for me.
Paul on the other hand is a night person. Or as I like to say, I’m a morning glory and he’s a night owl. This can be quite a point of contention if we argue…ahem…debate a topic. We learned this very early on in our marriage. I can still remember the exact moment. While I don’t remember our heated discussion, I”m sure I was right.
Both of us were sitting on our old green couch. The one every parent buys when their kids are young–to hide crayons and ketchup stains. Yeah, you know the one. We were going back and forth and my mind wasn’t keeping up with my mouth. Paul on the other hand seemed to get more articulate …..and then I called him something terrible.
His eyes were like saucers.
Time stood still.
Then we started to laugh.
It was 11:30pm. I knew then and there that the scripture, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Was going to be a tough one for me to fulfill if future heated conversations occurred after 8pm.
Almost eighteen years later, we know our strengths and weaknesses. Mine is a late hour and Mad Hatter conversation. I don’t make much sense after dinner. I throw down like a cowboy at a rap concert. We both know this. So, if we begin a discussion about kids or finances or the fact that someone didn’t put the toilet seat down I need to hold my tongue until the morning.
Anger will never produce a clear thought out result. Take a ten minute break, take a walk, then come back when emotions are in check. For us, that’s between the hours of 6am and 6pm.
Maturity in your marriage means self control. You aren’t in high school anymore. Controlling our emotions is what separates us from the animal kingdom. Pick the right time to talk about something hard. Just because something needs to be said doesn’t mean it needs to be said in front of the kids, or the very second the mood strikes. Stop and pray then choose wisely your time to talk. When your husband is in the shower or half asleep in his recliner, that probably isn’t the best time.
When you plan the best time of day for both of you, you’re more prepared and not taken hostage by emotions or a spur of the moment sparring event. The moment a discussion becomes heated or the volume in your voice is getting louder, there’s nothing wrong with calling a time-out and saying, “How about we talk about this in a few hours?” or, whenever your sweet spot is to discuss something important without a bad attitude induced by being tired or hungry.
After all, we plan and prepare for all sorts of things for the best outcomes, why not an argument? The truth is, every time Paul and I have planned to argue we come back together to debate and to reason and there’s no argument at all.
What about you? When is the best time of day for you to have hard conversations?