January 11, 2010

My boyfriend is an insane lunatic who belongs in an asylum.

At least this is my contention; he for his part thinks rather that I am avoidant and passive-aggressive, which as we all know is a ridiculous idea.

In order to help me prove to him that I am right and he is wrong, I would appreciate your answer to the following question.

If you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/partner/husband/wife/whatever are having a fight—say one of average proportions—and it gets to be bedtime and you’re sleepy but, even though you’re past the first flushes of anger, you haven’t resolved the issue(s) you’re fighting about yet, do you

a) say goodnight and you’ll talk about it more tomorrow and go to sleep, even though the fight isn’t over, or

b) stay up and talk about what’s going on until you’ve made up, even if it takes a few hours?

My boyfriend says that every relationship takes one option, or at least every healthy relationship; I contend that any couple choosing that option would very soon be imprisoned for attempted or actual murder.

Note, please, that to avoid protests on my boyfriend’s part I have worded the question as evenly as I could, without indicating which answer I want you to give.

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27 Responses to My boyfriend is an insane lunatic who belongs in an asylum

  1. Willym says:

    Afraid I’m not going to be much help – over the past 31 years we’ve done both at our households. My own feeling is that depending on the that nature of the argument and the subject b. is the best answer.

    Reply
  2. Alastair says:

    We don’t really fight; petty bickering would always follow option a), since we recognise its triviality and the greater psychological importance of both good sleep and low level, sustained warfare.

    A serious argument, about which nothing is average, almost certainly option b).

    Reply
  3. NK says:

    So you chose Option A and your lunatic boyfriend chose Option B?

    Reply
  4. Leo says:

    I’d say B. =D

    But don’t forget that if your boyfriend goes to an asylum, so will you. Or could you live without him? =)

    Reply
  5. adam807 says:

    You and your boyfriend fight? But then the relationship isn’t perfect and you might as well just break up right now.

    “Never go to bed mad” (ie, b) is a very old cliche. But sometimes a is just more practical. I definitely think this should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and not with some stupid blanket household policy. No good can come of that.

    Reply
  6. Countervail says:

    Definitely A.

    By the morning you’ll probably realize just how stupid and petty the actual fight is in the bigger picture. In my experience, time resolves conflict much better than anything when two people are committed to each other. If whatever the fight is about is that important, you would have gone your separate ways a long time ago, no?

    Reply
  7. lee says:

    Definitely A. B is coercive; you cave just to get some sleep. And that’s healthy for a relationship?

    Reply
  8. JudithinNYC says:

    I don’t really care about either resolving the issue or making up. All I care is proving that I am right. Maybe that’s why I am a lonely old woman. No help here.

    Reply
  9. TED says:

    I agree with your boyfriend.

    Reply
  10. todd says:

    Without intentionally including an option (c), I would not be comfortable going to bed (nor place a very high probability of my BF making it through the night alive) until I was convinced that 1) he still cared about me and 2) he valued my opinion. If he were able to do these two things, I would be able to sleep, and deign to allow him the same.

    Reply
  11. Bkwyrm says:

    Sometimes A, sometimes B. I’m more likely to choose B, though, as I CANNOT go to sleep when I’m angry with someone, let alone NEXT to the person I’m angry with.
    After 18 years, we actively try to avoid fights at night. We have them in the morning.

    Reply
  12. Esther says:

    I turn on the TV and pretend that I am very interested in the news (before he can turn it on and actually get interested in anything that appears on the screen) and he is relieved that I have finally shut up (he’s actually been wanting to turn on the TV for a while by then but knows I will go ballistic if he tries to shut me out), and I sulkily wait for him to get really bored and go to bed and then I sleep on the couch. But we don’t seem to fight anymore, so this hasn’t happened in quite a while. Guess the meds are working. No need to ask “whose?”…

    Reply
  13. Aidan says:

    Cupcake, he’s cute, stable,employed, and thinks you are sexy. In exchange for all that, can’t you just let him be right once in a while?

    Reply
  14. Jeff says:

    I lean toward “A” while my wife always goes with “B.” Needless to say, we end up doing “B.”

    Reply
  15. Mark says:

    You mean to say that your relationship doesn’t have a “pause” function?

    Quite possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever implemented with my boyfriend.

    Reply
  16. Brian in NYC says:

    So would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?

    Reply
  17. Sarah says:

    Generally A. There is a lot to be said for sleeping on a problem and snuggling into each and remembering why you’re together in the first place. Option B for serious things you are likely to try and kill them for in their sleep.

    Reply
  18. Matt says:

    Hmmm, there’s one thing we haven’t taken into account. Our friend Faustus here said this question concerned a fight of average proportion but didn’t mention what he was fighting about… If the fight were about who’s going to win America’s Next Idole, even if it’s an average fight, I’d probably go to bed… and have sex… otherwise B =) and then sex…

    Reply
  19. Birdie says:

    39 years together here. If it can’t be solved by bedtime, sleep seems to improve our temperaments and patience. But sometimes that sleep was apart. There is no formula, hon.

    I think TED’s answer was perfect.

    Reply
  20. richie says:

    i used to be “b” but the older i get “a”

    Reply
  21. copp3rred says:

    Obviously dear heart, it’s A, unless you’re really, really right and he’s monstrously wrong, like wearing white capris to your sister’s Amish wedding after Labor Day. Then you stick it out!

    Or some combination of both, though by morning my points have either become clearer or I’ve completely forgotten.

    Reply
  22. Would be Crazy to Give My Name says:

    I’m a firm believer in (a) and my significant other is a firm believer in (b). This is how one grows spiritually from a relationship: Once upon a time, my partner’s insisting on B drove me nearly insane. Now, I simply understand that I’m clearly the much more mature of the two of us. Thus it’s only right that I graciously stay up all night talking until everything’s resolved to my partner’s satisfaction.

    (If you read that carefully, you’ll notice I’m essentially saying that behaviorally I’m bowing to my partner’s need for (b) while adopting a rationalization that allows me to continue to believe that (a) is the more sane, rational, intelligent, mature response.)

    Reply
  23. AnnaM says:

    Sleep. I choose sleep above sex– which I really do like quite a lot, so I would DEFINITELY choose it over fighting, which I do not enjoy at all.

    Reply
  24. initials says:

    A and B both have their points. Usually, B is reserved for truly eggregious stuff, though. If one is an idealist, one can go for immediate discusson every time, but for me, sleep is preferable to late-night airing of dirty laundry. Furthermore, sleeping on it can lead to sleeping with it, which usually defuses the need for either of the aforementioned options. After all, map theory reconciliation just doesn’t have the same impact as, well… Impacting stellar bodies?

    Reply
  25. Jenn says:

    I prefer B myself, even if it means staying up later. I’d rather resolve it and go to bed a happy couple at peace couple rather than get a horrible sleep then drag it on to the next day.

    Reply
  26. cangell says:

    There’s no way to fight/ argue/ communicate/ discuss, etc. if you’re sleepy…not for me, anyway.

    Reply
  27. Paul says:

    He’ll certainly want to talk but I need my sleep – and we both have early working hours – so it’s to bed for sure by midnight. Almost no exceptions! 🙂

    Reply

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