I’m Done Sleeping With My Husband

During our discussions about attachment parenting and breastfeeding, I’ve said many times that we don’t co-sleep. However, my reason for not co-sleeping has nothing to do with co-sleeping in and of itself, but is related to the fact that I fight like a WWF wrestler in my sleep. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. Not only do I throw some fabulous right hooks in my sleep, I also scream out obscenities like I have Tourette’s syndrome.  Anyone who has shared a bed or a room with me during the night usually comes away with a story to tell.

But nobody’s stories will top Yancy’s. He’s been sleeping with me for years so he’s got the best. He’s woken up with my hands around his neck, been punched in the back, smacked across the chest, kicked, and slapped. He’s also watched me jump out of bed and do an army roll into the window and fall out of bed from my thrashing around on more than one occasion. Of course we’ve had a rule since our first night together that I can’t be held responsible for anything that comes out of my mouth in the night.

This story gets even better.

Yancy is one of those individuals whose sexual beast comes out while he sleeps. Which means that throughout the night I am continually being groped or grabbed in some form or fashion. I’ll spare  you the details since my mom reads this blog sometimes, but suffice it say his actions are just as counterproductive to a good nights sleep as mine. Not to mention that his grabs usually end in a retaliatory smack.

The other night we were both awake yet again after he yelled, “Man- you just punched me in the face.”

Which I had.

The next morning when I woke up feeling unrested and as if I hadn’t slept at all for what was probably the millionth time,  I was thinking it was time to ditch our queen sized bed and get a king. Then I did the math and a king size bed only adds another 12 inches.  Was another foot actually gonna keep us from attacking each other? Then I had a realization.

Why do we think we have to sleep together when we are so clearly incompatible? Who made the rule that in marriage you have to share beds?

When Yancy came home that night he came home to this:

It’s my experiment. I’m tired of not sleeping. We have busy lives and we NEED sleep. The arrangement that we have clearly is not working. And I’m all about doing what works. In parenting, in marriage, in life, and in whatever I do.

Does sleeping together = staying together? Is there an unwritten rule somewhere about this?

We’ll see. I’ll let you know how this goes. Stay tuned.

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50 Responses to I’m Done Sleeping With My Husband

  1. diane says:

    Two twins equal one king. You can push them together and throw a king spread on top when/if you need a change for “appearance’s sake.”

  2. Tianana says:

    After 18 years of marriage I can tell you in my experience – there are no rules. You have to do what works for you and your mate. Period. Good for you for looking for alternatives to a situation that has clearly been a problem. It’s not like you are both going to miss the activity that happens in your sleep (read violence). Makes perfect sense.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Tianana. Right? I mean it wasn’t exactly intimacy going on there at night:)

  3. Valerie says:

    I love that your solution includes being in the same room, just not the same bed :-) I think its brilliant and brave. I wish you both sweet dreams.

  4. super_jill says:

    Love the experiment! In the last ten years we’ve shared a bed, slept in seperate rooms, been in seperate apt./houses, & are currently co-sleeping using a cal-king + queen pushed together…whatever works!

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Jill. I think that we have all these rules about how it’s “supposed to be if you’re married” and I’m not really even sure who made them up. I love the idea of a cal-king pushed together with a queen. I was actually thinking and considering getting a king and putting it together with our queen.

  5. Dionne Haring says:

    I “heard” that sleeping in separate beds can lead to… whats the word i am looking for… hmmm UGH!!! it can lead to yall splitting apart more and more… i think that is what i was looking for, BUT my husbands parents don’t sleep in the same room because his dad has to be reclined from a neck injury. Been like that over 10 years I believe, I personal can not sleep without my husband, had to once cause we both were so sick my snoring kept him up (lol) so he slept on the couch it sucked hardcore! It was so lonely, tell me how it works out! Best of luck, God bless

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Dionne. I understand how sleeping together is designed with the idea to make you feel close to one another. However, as you can tell, that’s really not our experience:) And it results in both of us being overtired and overtired means cranky which means more fighting…I actually think it will end up bringing us closer together.

      • Dionne Haring says:

        Glad to hear, I totally understand overtired = cranky that’s when I was keep him up he was so cranky. I really really hope this solves yall’s problem! Keep us updated :)

  6. Cathy says:

    Many years ago, I was watching an old film with my granma. The couples slept in two separate beds in the same room. She told me that people have to work and need their sleep.

    Marriage is a lot more than sharing a bed anyway.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Cathy. My grandparents actually slept in twin beds in the same bedroom for the last thirty years of their marriage.

  7. Amber says:

    Ha! That sounds like my husband. I have woken up several times to him punching, kicking, and pinning me against the bed. He, also, talks in his sleep and snores LOUDLY. But, perhaps because I’ve shared rooms with siblings who have had crazy sleep patterns (and tend to talk/walk in my sleep), it doesn’t bother me.

    However, I could totally see why you would do this! If I’m not asleep before my husband starts snoring, it makes it really hard for me to doze off. Thus, I often find myself in my little guy’s bed with the fan on and door closed so I can hide the sound.

    I believe there have been several Huffington Post articles on this, including this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iris-krasnow/separate-bedrooms-can-steam_b_1480448.html

    Anyway, I do hope you can get some good sleep!!

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Amber. I’m on my way to check out the article. Last night was the first night and it was a SUCCESS! I slept wonderfully!!!

  8. Yokoo says:

    I find this soooo interesting! I can’t wait to see how this works out for you socially.

  9. Heather says:

    Ok, so I’ve just wasted the better part of a day because I’m tired and haven’t been able to rally and I’m pretty sure my son will have at least 3 opportunities to say, “Mom, stop being grumpy” tonight. Sleep is everything, not to mention that our brains actually congeal our learning (super scientific phrase) during sleep. Good for you for doing what it takes. SWEET DREAMS! (and can’t wait for the post behind those crazy sleep patterns.)

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      I’m SO much easier to get along with when I’m rested. I think I’m really onto something. And yes, there will be more posts on my crazy sleep.

  10. leah says:

    I have periodic limb movement disorder, and I twitch every 3-5 minutes when I’m asleep. My husband is a very light sleeper. Soon after getting married we decided that sleeping in separate beds was the only way for us to get the rest we both needed. We’ve had 2 beds in the same room, or even slept in different rooms. We’re both happier people when we can sleep, which makes our relationship better.

  11. Rach says:

    I think that is an utterly brilliant solution. Good for you for thinking outside the box. I hope it works!

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Rach. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll post an update once it’s been a few days.

  12. It sounds like you have found a way that will work. We have king size bed that allows us both to roll and move at night.

  13. Deanna says:

    My life partner baby daddy (haven’t yet come up with an easy label) and have never slept well togethet. By sleeping well I mean waking up only once in the morning feeling well rested. I don’t move and you can barely hear me breathe. My LPBD snores and moves pulling the covers off. That wouldn’t be a problem if I were still a sound sleeper, but since becoming a mother, every little sound or movement wakes me. As a result I need a hepa fan going for white noise, which he says is a 747 engine blowing air and noise in the bedroom. I could go on and on..then add high need children, cats, dog…ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get a little shut eye!

  14. You’ll have to let me know how this goes. Sleep is really key. Good luck!

  15. Ashi says:

    Have you ever thought of undergoing hypnosis?
    Anyways, this reminds me of the family tv series of the 60′s like the Brady Bunch where they showed the husband and wife in the same bedroom but on separated twin beds.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      I haven’t, but I’m certainly open to it. Have you used it in regard to any sleep issues?

  16. David says:

    I would LOVE to find a partner with whom I can share a bed on a constant basis, but I’m not going to be broken up about it if it doesn’t happen. The experience of good sleep and security and comfort are just as important as feeling someone’s butt next to you at night.

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  18. Chuck Stern says:

    Observant Jews spend several days a month sleeping in separate beds. Most women and men I have talked to about this says that it helps to keep things fresh and lively, and it’s not a punishment at all.

    The old will be new again :-) It sounds like a great solution.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Chuck. I had no idea! I think in an area that has lots of families who are Orthodox Jews. Maybe I’m surrounding by families sleeping separately and don’t even know it! And I love your last line.

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  20. Oh wow, sounds like separate beds really is the best thing for you both. Sleep is very important and if you both are keeping each other up, well, common sense dictates that you sleep separate. Good luck!

  21. Christian says:

    I have sleep apnea, and in my research I learned that sleeping together almost always results in poorer sleep for everybody involved.

    My partner and I share a king bed, but since we both radiate heat like nuclear furnaces, we sleep as far apart as we can get. We snuggle together for a few minutes before sleep, then once again when we wake up. Works for us. :D

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      I was diagnosed with sleep apnea when I was a kid. I was even in a sleep study. They removed my adnoids and tonsils when I was 8, however, sometimes I think I may still have it. It could even be contributing to my sleep problems. Thanks for bringing this up.

  22. Carolyn says:

    My husband read your post last night and thought it was great! He and I have periodically, throughout our 12 year relationship, slept in separate rooms. Sometime he’s in the guest room or on the couch for a variety of reasons. Mainly I am a super light sleeper and over sensitive to stimulus (lights, noise, heat, you name it), and he SNORES!!!! I sleep with earplugs, and go to bed earlier than him so I can fall asleep before he comes to bed… but sometimes it’s not enough, so we do what we have to do for us both to get some sleep. After so many years of this when he is congested he pre-emptively sleeps elsewhere, because he knows if he’s congested he will definitely wake me up, and I’l just keep elbowing him and telling him to roll over….. I think our arrangement, while not “normal” works well for us :-)
    Good luck with your experiment!

  23. Danielle says:

    This is a great idea, and I read in numerous places that it actually enhances romance and married life :) go for it!

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  25. Hana says:

    My husband of 15 years and I have been sleeping separately for a few years now. I am a very light sleeper, he snores, wakes up to go to the bathroom every few hours, I stay up to read and he goes to sleep early. I can’t see any downside to our arrangement. We are both rested in the morning and when we “visit” each other in our respective bedrooms it feels very romantic :)

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Hana. I appreciate hearing from others who are engaging in more non-traditional sleeping practices. I have a feeling that it is much more common than we know, but that people don’t talk about it because there is such a prevalent attitude that sleeping apart means something is wrong in your relationship.

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  28. Tabitha says:

    Did you ever get retested for sleep apnea? It’s nothing to play with; it can and does cause permanent heart damage. It happened to my husband.

    We also sleep in separate beds. Even with a CPAP, he snores and it’s absolutely unbearable, plus the CPAP makes weird, non-rhythmic sounds that keep me awake.

    I would never sleep if we didn’t sleep in separate beds!

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Tabitha. I had sleep apnea when I was a kid. They removed my tonsils and my adnoids. That was supposed to take care of it. Maybe it didn’t… thanks for the suggestion!

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