I was in my early 20’s, visiting an out-of-state boyfriend when I first learned that *gasp* some married couples don’t actually sleep in the same bed. Until that moment, I never once thought the old 1950’s sitcoms where the parents slept in separate beds in the same room were anything but fiction or “cleaned up for TV”. I’ve met several other couples who either sleep in separate beds or separate rooms since then, and honestly, I can’t wrap my mind around it.
This will undoubtedly be unpopular with some, but the way I see it, sleeping with your spouse is the ultimate gesture of trust and in some cases, self-sacrifice. When we’re sleeping, we’re at our most vulnerable, and learning to sleep with our spouse’s nighttime habits shows a determination to compromise in order to be together. Sleeping apart seems to me to be picking our own desires over our spouse…and I don’t understand why anyone would do that.
I understand that there are some extenuating circumstances that would warrant sleeping apart – extreme illness being an excellent example, but it seems like those I’ve known choose it only as a personal preference for their own comfort, rather than compromising on issues (I’ll add that from my admittedly limited perspective, these couples have other issues as well, whether cause or effect). I don’t get that. I want to be next to my husband at night, even when he’s snoring or hogging the covers. And yes, even when he has a cold.
I’m considering using this in one of my romance novels, as a catalyst for conflict. I think there’s a lot to be explored in this one simple decision about the nature of relationships.
Weigh in, dear readers. What would make you give up sleeping in the same bed as your spouse, or the same room, for that matter?