• Pam Del Franco aka ASK NANNA

Here’s a relationship tip.

Here’s a tip. Don’t go to bed angry.

Now here’s the BIGGER tip.

Read it again and notice how you feel.

Were there any words or images that come to mind, or maybe you had a visceral reaction. Make a note of it.

It’s those fleeting moments that can reveal where you need to look in your relationship.

If nothing came to mind and you’re satisfied that you had no reaction, that’s good.

For women who said anything along the lines of “that’s nothing new” or “yeah but what if he …” or “that’s bs,” or your body recoiled slightly; had goosebumps, or you laughed out loud; congratulations. You just got a peek into what you need to heal when it comes to your relationship.

That tip “don’t go to bed angry” is just a tip (often given by couples that have been together for many years). Personally, I think it’s a good one, but that’s neither here nor there.

What’s important is that you had a reaction, and that’s worth exploring.

It doesn’t mean that you need to go into analysis paralysis. It means you had a reaction that’s connecting to your relationship in some way.

When I heard that phrase back in the day, I felt envious, sad and a little angry. I didn’t have sleepovers with my partner. (I had small children, and I didn’t want him around them until there was a more significant commitment from him. That never came, but that’s a story for another day).

When I heard “don’t go to bed angry,” I re-enacted the same feelings of feeling alone and unloved that went further back than my relationship.

The sadness and anger from my past got called out by that simple phrase.

We all have different connections to the same thing. Even if you felt sad like I did when you heard the phrase, “never go to bed angry,” it would relate to a different experience you had.

These connections to ourselves affect what we bring to the table. Yes, both people in the relationship bring their past into it. But, yours is the one that you have control of now.

It is possible to shift from finding fault in him to noticing what you need to heal within yourself. Then you can stop blaming (because even when he needs to take responsibility for “it,” you’ll notice the role you played).

You can start by identifying which main past event has been a catalyst for you. When you can process the emotions around that, and you’ll be able to recognize what you bring to the table and shift the way you behave in your relationship in the future.