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How Sleeping in Separate Beds Saved Our Marriage
Now I know that there are a ton of questions.
After reading that title, you must be thinking- “Really?” “How does that work?” “Are you in the same room?” “What size beds are you sleeping on?” “Is that really healthy?” and I’m sure there are others too. And I assure you that I will answer all these questions, so let’s get started.
Sleeping in separate beds wasn’t a decision that we came to lightly.
And it certainly wasn’t something that we ever expected to happen. There have been times that we were able to sleep in the same bed together and it was great, but as time went on, it got harder and harder. Getting into the mechanics of it- I’m a deep sleeper that will toss and turn all night, and Jon is a super light sleeper and will wake up to anything. You can see the problem already! ;) While we were trying to sleep in the same bed, my tossing around would wake Jon up and he was struggling to get back to sleep. Over time he became very anxious, anticipating the next time I was going to roll over and wake him up again. This led each of us, at different times, to go sleep on the couch during the night. Either Jon would wake up and go to the couch. Or I would hear him turn over angrily, and I would go to the couch to give him the bed for the remainder of the night. Very quickly we could tell that there was a lot of tension and hostility in the bedroom.
It was not a sanctuary or a happy place.
It became that place where we were uneasy with each other and our love was a little bit less. This hostility was also affecting our sex life. It’s difficult to want to have sex when the place we would share passion for each other, was a place where our love was dying. Something had to change quickly…"for better or for worse". So Jon and I got into the habit of asking how each other slept the night before, and we were noticing that when we slept apart, it was more restful. Yikes! This is not a fact that we wanted to admit, but it WAS our reality. We sleep better alone. Is that wrong? Does that make us incompatible? Not at all!! Sleeping in the same bed is just a tradition that we are all accustomed to but has no bearing on a successful marriage. It works great for many, but definitely not for all. Let’s think about this practically- when we are sleeping, we are not talking to each other- we are recharging our bodies. It’s super important for our own health and well-being to be rested. For us, it really just came down to science.
After this realization, we decided to test it out and intentionally slept in separate beds.
This way we would be avoiding our middle of the night fight session of who would sleep in bed and who would sleep on the couch. The results were amazing and scary. We were getting restful sleep and we weren’t waking up angry. Again, it was a little unsettling at first at the idea of sleeping separately. But once we talked about the practicality of the situation and what it looked like for us, and our marriage, we found peace. It was a little odd at first, since we had the idea that we needed to be in the same bed. But little by little, everything started to improve.
How does this look in reality?
We are both still sleeping in the master bedroom but on 2 twin beds. Imagine a bedroom from the 60’s- like The Dick Van Dyke Show. To them, this was just the way it was. And their love was strong and they were well-rested. And if you’re wondering about sex, we just push the beds together to make a king size bed- and it becomes the marriage bed. It’s kind of a beautiful picture. We can sleep separate, then share our love and passion when we join our beds together. What was once a place of hostility and frustration, has become the place where our love was renewed. What could have easily destroyed our marriage is the thing that has made us stronger.
Let’s look at the benefits that we have discovered.
- More restful sleep
- No more fighting over the covers (haha!)
- Customizing the bed to your comfort level- any type of sheets you like, hard or soft mattress, etc...
- As many pillows and blankets as you like
- Never getting woken up in the middle of the night by your partner/spouse
- Wear whatever you want or nothing at all
- Not accidentally getting kicked or punched during the night
- You can still wake up next to sometime, just a little space between you
- No longer having to lug a giant mattress up and down stairs when moving
It’s not for everyone!
And this is a very important fact to keep in mind. What works for one couple isn’t going to work for another. If your marriage is rocky and you can’t figure out why, ask yourself how your sleep is. Are you getting restful sleep? Could you be harboring resentment toward your spouse because they snore or roll around and keep you up? Are you intimate on a regular basis? Don’t allow your relationship to be in jeopardy because you fear sleeping in separate beds. It saved our marriage and it could save yours too! Cheers!