If you would have asked me 12 months ago how I felt about couples sleeping separately, I would have said “Hell Ya!” . And wholeheartedly too! Don’t get me wrong, not only do I love
If you would have asked me 12 months ago how I felt about couples sleeping separately, I would have said “Hell Ya!” . And wholeheartedly too!
Don’t get me wrong, not only do I love cuddling with the big guy (my hubs is 6’3 and 200 pounds compared to my slightly more petite 5’2 135 pound frame), but we also have awesome pillow talk. Truth be told, some of our best conversations happen when we are both exhausted and not making any sense at all. (Nonsensical humour strikes us both as hilarious).
Let’s be honest, yes… sex is an important factor in keeping a realtionship strong and healthy, but having a good deep belly, eyes watering laugh together is what will keep you going through the harder times, but I digress.
Let’s get back to ‘bedroom divorce’. Before writing this piece, I thought I should do a bit of research to see where the world stood on this topic, and my findings were quite interesting. It seems that the decision whether to sleep in separate beds, or not, has been a hot topic for couples going all the way back to the 19th century! (Or maybe even longer.. I am sure even cave women poked their male counterparts in the ribs at some point in retaliation of the deep, bear like rumbles keeping them awake).
I guess it’s been a really hot topic cuz Good Housekeeping published an article about it in late Jan of this year! Look at me!! I’m finally on trend with something!! Hehe
In fact, I found articles about this topic on a myriad of sites like NewYorkTimes.com, health.com, and our very own Canadian outlet Globalnews.ca! Who knew it was such a popular topic of conversation for 2019?
And here is the most fascinating part – they all endorse the sleep separation to get the zzz’s you need. Maybe they are in cahoots with the bed companies to sell more mattresses??
All of the articles talked about being better people due to getting uninterrupted sleep, away from your partner- who probably either snores, steals all the covers, tosses and turns or all of the above. ( Funny how not one of them mentioned perpetual flatulence??! Just me??)
In any case, due to a string of unavoidable circumstances, my husband and I have been sleeping in separate quarters (AKA he was sleeping on the basement couch..but saying separate quarters sounds so much more fancy doesn’t it?) for probably 80% of the last 18 months..if not longer.
It didn’t start by choice, but by honest to goodness necessity. I was having a really rough pregnancy and besides the discomfort, insomnia and constant night time bladder squeezes, being woken up by his snoring on top of all that was putting his life in serious jeopardy!! (Has anyone seen the show ‘Snapped’? No? Google it.. You’ll thank me later..)
Here is where I tell you that he was an awesome hubby during my pregnancy. Given my extreme lack of sleep, he was not only gracious enough to let me sleep alone, he also got up with the two older kids every morning so that I could catch up on as much sleep as I possibly could before starting my day of work (I know… swoon!)
After I gave birth we reunited to tackle the middle of the night wake ups, but within a few months we were back to separate sleeping in order to take turns waking up so we could both then take turns functioning for the rest of the household. It was genius…yes we were two ships passing in the night, but shit was getting DONE!!! If one was tired, the other was able to pick up the slack. So for these purposes, yes I would do it all again and say YAY for split sleeping… But.. this is where the BUT comes in. Because no matter which news outlet is reporting on this new found fad – maybe, just maybe it isn’t for everyone.. I think, and again this is based on personal experience, that taking this route should be a temporary solution and not part of your long term plan as a couple. Yet none of the pieces talked about the potential detriment to your relationship this type of split can cause in the long run. (Obviously news stories don’t sell when its bad news)
Let’s be real. We are all creatures of habit, and what happened with us, essentially became a bad habit. Come bedtime, we would share a quick kiss, and then both retire to our own spaces for down time before actually hitting the sacks. At first, it didn’t affect our day to day, in fact we thrived! But throughout the last 18 months, slowly but surely, I can honestly tell you that NOT being in the same bed, same room or even on the same floor, had been leading us down a road I never thought we would be. Our light, easygoing, always on the same page kinda relationship, was turning into a points counting, bickering over ridiculous issues, everyone for themselves type of NON partnership. Who was this couple? We certainly didn’t recognize ourselves anymore.
After a few months of trying to sweep this dark shadow of miserable-ish attitude towards each other under the rug, we finally decide to face the music and talk about it. The invisible wedge that was growing between us had to stop, and we were both acutely aware that something had to change. Luckily, I am married to a very emotionally intelligent man, and getting him to help decipher our deep down issues is not a very difficult task. In fact, most times, he is the one sitting me down and telling me we need to talk through ‘it’. What ever ‘it’ may be. And this was not any different. So, in an effort to make things right, we started going backwards to pinpoint the root of the cause. Needless to say, we both agreed that sleeping separately, although helpful in the worst of times, was taking something away from our relationship. Those few moments where no one else in the world exists but you two, before you both fall fast asleep into oblivion, or early in the morning before the household wakes and chaos begins; those moments are just yours. Confining ourselves to our separate quarters meant a loss of those stolen moments. And let’s be honest, in a crazy hectic life, those moments are super important to keep your relationship healthy.
So here is what I have learned from this experience..ánd my two cents on this new growing fad (you made it this far..don’t you want to know what it is?) Take a minute to reflect with your partner if it would be a great idea to instill this new ‘mode de vie’ long term. Sure hearing your partner snore is a pain in the butt – and yes, maybe it’s fun to be able to fart to your heart’s desire… (just me??). But in the end you may be taking some really important time away from your relationship. Maybe all those news pieces that glamorized the bed divorce should see what it looked like for the couple 2-3 years later. And maybe it IS for you… who am I to know? For us, we made the conscious decision to get back into the same bed because we knew it was better for us. And yes, snoring is still an issue..But really.. All he has to do is poke me and I can turn over.. Hehe