Why is going to bed with an argument still hanging over you so damaging to a relationship?
Perhaps because the wounds fester for longer, and are less likely to receive any kind of treatment at all; instead left to their own devices to heal in twisted and chronically painful ways. That seems to explain quite a lot.
But I also had another thought about this that I don’t suppose I’ve had before: Night time is the time we get closest to death. The time we’re most vulnerable. The time we are weakest physiologically. The time we face our biggest shadows, be they in our dreams or on the wall.
We don’t want to enter that space in combat. The pain of abandonment, perceived or real, is so much starker in that darkness. The loneliness so much more piercing. In the dark night we feel so small, so helpless, so scared – how could they forsake us there?
It is so much easier to be miserable in the middle of the night. So much easier to be overwhelmed. So much easier to suffer.
So we don’t just ignore the wound while we lie in bed (or maybe even on the sofa). We pick at it, consciously or otherwise, and make it larger than it needs to be. We contaminate it with all our other dark thoughts. We make a mess.
And then we still assign blame for that wound to the other, when most of it at this point was by our own dirty hands.