November 3, 2010

When Separating Isn’t a Bad Thing

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:11 pm by Kathleen

Something like six months ago, my husband and I separated. He packed his things and moved out – of my bedroom. You see, we found out that part of the reason I sleep poorly is because my body and mind just aren’t ready for sleep at 10pm, which is when he goes to bed. And I can’t handle getting up at 6 when his alarm goes off. My natural sleep cycle is more like 12-8 or 9. So when I went to bed at 10, I’d toss and turn for hours, and usually be so frustrated that I was up until 2! I have also become an insanely light sleeper since the baby was born (yes, three years ago), so his every snore, snort, and shift would wake me.

So a few months ago, we talked about a change. We packed up the game room, shifted things around in the house, and moved the futon into the former game room. We each have our own space with our own things and our own schedules, and we BOTH sleep better (the futon turns out to be the perfect firmness for his back.)

People always assume the worst about the state of our relationship when they hear that we don’t sleep in the same bed, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. We love each other very much, we still have plenty of sex, and now, we both actually get the rest we need and work with our own personal schedules. We even join each other for snuggles many nights (although sleepovers have stopped – it ends up being an awake-all-night event for me, now).



  1. Cecilia Tan said,

    My partner of 19 years and I have always maintained separate bedrooms, even though we usually sleep in the same bed (when either of us is not having one of our other partners sleep over). We went through a period when our relationship was at its worst when his restless sleeping and snorting and such was ruining my sleep to the degree that it exacerbated every problem. Regularly wanting to murder him every night was not conducive to working on our problems. Fortunately, he was diagnosed with sleep apnea after that, and once he got onto a CPAP machine we BOTH slept so much better, all our problems became much more tractable.

    Lately I’ve become a lighter sleeper and I’m weighing whether to talk about moving to sleeping separately more often or tough it out since I’m afraid he’ll be hurt if I suggest it. Which points out that it’s something we really do have to talk about.

    • Kathleen said,

      I was actually terrified to tell Michael when I first started wondering if sleeping alone would help me sleep better. I mentioned it offhandedly, and he immediately volunteered to sleep on the couch, then went and got himself a blanket to prove it. I am so lucky in him. And it turns out that not only do I sleep better alone, HE sleeps better on the futon than on our expensive mattress. So I guess it works out for both of us!

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