Did you fight with your spouse this week? Hopefully not. If you did, maybe it is out of the ordinary for you to fight. You may be wondering why? What’s different? Of course there are many reasons couples fight, and there may not always be a singular cause. One possible cause is your emotional state. The physical environment and choices we make including what we eat and how much exercise we get contribute to both physical health as well as emotional health. Another key factor is sleep. An article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday argued a link between the Daylight Savings time change and marital discord. Specifically that when you lose sleep you are more likely to fight with your spouse. “They found that people were more likely to have conflict on days when they slept poorly the night before.”
“If you sleep poorly, you’re prone to being self-centered,” and “You focus on me, me, me, and is it any wonder that you are getting into fights with your partner?”
You many not always be able to avoid having a fight with your spouse. You can however keep in mind the many outside factors that are contributing.
The key here is to pay attention to your physical state. When you feel yourself falling into those communication traps; snarky comments, negativity and self-centered behaviors or thoughts, STOP, ask yourself…
Am I tired?
Am I hungry?
Am I stressed?
The sooner you understand how those factors are contributing to your actions the sooner you can pivot. Take care of whatever need you identify (food, sleep, a walk or workout, etc.) then take any steps you can to repair. Often simply saying…
“hey honey, I am sorry I was snippy this morning about the plumbing issue, I think the lack of sleep last night and the stress I’m feeling around getting the kids out the door in the morning is getting to me,” “can we talk about it tomorrow?”
How long it takes an individual to recover from the time change will depend on the person. Tune in to yourself. The best way to avoid a fight with your spouse is to choose the right moment for a tough conversation. Make sure you have taken your physical state into account and tackle the tough stuff when you are rested and feeling up for it and hey, now you have all that extra sunlight in the evening to sit on the patio, have a conversation and enjoy each other’s company!