The 24 Hour Rule

By: Melanie Anderson

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In my house, we have what we call the 24 hour rule. At the beginning of our relationship, my husband could not seem to wrap his head around my emotional outbursts when I would get upset. All it would take is one mishap or misunderstanding between him, and I would take to my email or text, with my eyes glowing red and smoke pouring from my ears like Mount Vesuvius erupting. Words would fly from my fingertips into the text at an alarming rate. Misspelled and angry, everything that annoyed me from years past was poured into that text like word vomit. It was gross, disgusting, and would always add another three days or more of not speaking! 

I am a passionate person and my feelings are always worn on my sleeve. I was like this in every relationship, including relationships wth friends and family, for as long as I can remember. Someone just had to bump that heart on my sleeve and you were getting an angry correspondence in regards to what you did and everything you have done to me in the past.

So, my husband asked me if we could implement the 24 hour rule and it has changed my life. 

The rule goes as follows…

If we get angry or upset we have to wait for 24 hours before we send a message, letter, text, phone call, or email. In that time, we might write the email or text twenty-five times; but by the time the 24 hours is up, our words have changed significantly. The anger subsides and the emotions are taken out. It then becomes about facts, and who can actually argue with facts? It resolves the problem, and we can walk away peacefully and know the problem is solved, for good.

Sometimes you even realize that the facts aren’t worth sending and that makes you feel really good. IMG_4885

It is something we use in our house as a relationship rule and outside the house with friends and family. It has saved lots of heartache and lots of relationships. 

How to you handle disagreements and arguments with your friends and family?


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