If you’ve had an argument with a loved one, a friend or family member may nudge you to sort it out sooner rather than later. “Never go to bed angry” is advice you’re likely to hear while they’re persuading you to reach out to the person you’ve argued with. There is a belief that taking your anger to bed allows it to intensify and build from a simple conflict to a significant rupture. You’ve probably wondered whether you should follow the “Never go to bed angry” rule and how this practice affects your mental health.

“Never go to bed angry.” It’s something that almost every young couple has heard. But for this mom not listening to that advice turned out to be disastrous. During and interview, the unfortunate woman, Ashley, said that she reportedly forced her husband to sleep on the couch after an argument – and when she woke up the next day, she found him dead. Now, Ashley has an important message for all the couples out there. Mikey was a carpet cleaner, and he put in a lot of hours, sometimes working 16-hour shifts, seven days a week. When Mikey got home from work, he would be completely exhausted, and Ashley was annoyed that he worked so much and was always tired. She knew the family needed money, but she didn’t like seeing her husband so tired all the time. She felt like he was about to burn out. 

Then one evening, Mikey’s long hours became too much. “When he came home that night, he was a mess. I’ve never seen him so exhausted. I couldn’t stand seeing him like that and I got angry. I was sick of it,” Ashley told the Independent. That night, Ashley made Mikey sleep on the sofa – and it was the last time she saw her husband alive. The next morning when she walked into the living room, Ashley immediately realized something was wrong. Mikey was in exactly the same position as he had been the night before, and his face had gone completely gray. Ashley touched him and noticed he was cold. She panicked and screamed out loud. She ran outside and shouted “Mikey’s dead,” before she collapsed and passed out. The neighbors helped her get up and called an ambulance. “I felt so guilty. I was so angry with myself for making him sleep on the sofa. I still find it so hard to think that my last words to him were out of anger.”

After Mikey’s death, Ashley found out why he had worked so many hours. He was saving for a trip to celebrate he and Ashley’s wedding anniversary. “When I found out he’d been saving to take us on an anniversary holiday it was awful – heartbreaking doesn’t begin to cover it,” Ashley said. Mikey’s death has given Ashley a new perspective on life, and now she wants to spend as much time as she can with her family. The autopsy showed that Mikey died in his sleep, but the exact reason is unclear. Some time ago, Mikey suffered a back injury while weight lifting, and Ashley thinks that that could have contributed to his death. When Mikey was laid to rest, Ashley shared some important words during the funeral: “Go kiss your loved ones and tell them you care. Let them know you love them, as they may not always be there.”