Eight Things The Happiest Couples Do Before Bed

*HuffPost recently ran an article that began by describing the marital bed.  They wrote:

“Your bed should be a place for sleeping, sex and conversation — not for scrolling mindlessly through your Instagram feed.”

At the risk of echoing Julie Andrews, sleeping, sex and conversation are a few of my favorite things, so HuffPost had by attention.

(Although ironically, Andrews sang that song with a bunch of kids in her bed, which is counter to one of the eight tips below…BUT I DIGRESS!)

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings…”

Although I don’t use Instagram, my Twitter feed and I have been an item for years, and I’ve certainly been known to “scroll mindlessly” through the minutia of the Facebook version of everybody else’s life.  Since I’m looking forward to my current marriage being my last, I kept reading.

The article is supported by specific tips from experts who sure sound like they know what they’re talking about.

Here are the highlights:

  1.  They exchange “I love yous.”  Psychologist Ryan Howes says you should make the effort to let your partner know they’re loved, and you should say it like you really feel it.
  2. They go to bed at the same time if possible.  Despite having busy, disconnected lives, therapist Kurt Smith says “happy couples are intentional about coming back together at bedtime and reconnecting, if only for the few minutes of brushing teeth and getting under the covers.  Going to bed together builds connection and provides opportunity for more intimate connecting.”
  3. They unplug from their phones and other devices.  Couples therapist Kari Carroll says “We live in a wired world, and more often than not, this takes away from the time couples could spend connecting through dialogue, affection or intimacy.”
  4.  They prioritize getting a good night’s sleep.  Author of the book Divorce Busting Michele Weiner-Davis says “…getting a good night’s sleep fosters good mental health, which in turn makes people more emotionally available during the day.”
  5. They take a few minutes to practice gratitude.  Howes says “Gratitude has been shown to have a wonderfully positive effect on mood and mindset, so why not share that together? Whether it’s something specific you appreciate about one another or a positive experience from the day, share something you’re thankful for to end the day on a bright note.”
  6. They don’t try to settle arguments that aren’t easily resolvable.  Smith says we’ve all misunderstood the adage ‘do not let the sun go down while you are still angry’.  “Trying to address heavy subjects, especially those you disagree on, at the end of the day when you’re both tired and short on patience is not smart. Too many couples make the mistake of starting fights at this time of day when they should be building connection — not creating division.”
  7. They set aside time to chat about the day and open up about their feelings.  Carroll says the happiest couples allow their partners to vent often, setting aside 15 to 30 minutes to unwind.  “In my practice, I help couples listen to their partners stresses without feeling the need to take them on or problem-solve.  Their partner tends to be appreciative of this opportunity and just feeling understood empowers them to be ready to tackle the next day’s stresses.”
  8. They keep the kids out of the bedroom.  Weiner-Davis says the bedroom should remain a couple’s sanctuary.  “Although nightmares and illnesses might trigger children to climb into bed with you, in general, if intimacy and connection is your goal, encourage children to stay in their own rooms.  Couples need privacy and boundaries to stay connected.”

Well after reading that, our kids are grown and gone but my iPad has spent its last night in our bedroom.  I also like the one about giving each other a time to vent, and I’m going to try the “moment of gratitude” one tonight.

Let us know what you think of these tips in the comments.

This blog was written by freelancer Michael P Coleman.  Connect with him at michaelpcoleman.com or on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP




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