Do you sleep alone? Whether or not you are married, single, divorced, or in a committed relationship, people still choose to sleep alone at times. Some people choose to share a marital (or couples) bed every night no matter how interrupted their sleep may be, while others attempt to share a bed. Oftentimes I hear couples say they can’t sleep with each other due to snoring, or different bedtime habits (e.g.: one likes to fall asleep with the t.v. on or needs more light than their partner). Simply because couples do not share one bed throughout the night does not necessarily mean their relationship is in trouble. Quite frankly, there are times when separate sleeping arrangements can be the key to a great relationship. Let me clarify…
If you and your significant other live together and do not sleep in the same bed, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why don’t you sleep with your partner?
- How long has it been?
- Are you okay with these arrangements?
- Did you make the choice?
If you are happy or content with your current sleeping arrangement, good for you, keep doing what you’re doing! If not, there is room to negotiate with your spouse(or partner). If you and your spouse are sleeping separately because you have different sleep habits but you would prefer to sleep together, look for ways to compromise. Maybe you can both start out in the ‘marital bed’ to snuggle, discuss the day or connect physically, and then say goodnight to each other and one person goes to another bed. In addition, the person who wakes first in the morning could go greet their spouse; so you can still start and end your days together, even though you’re not sharing a bed. It is critically important, however, that you are both in agreement.
When two people fill each other’s ‘love tank’, it is much easier to support such an arrangement. If instead, you or your partner feels coerced into a sleeping arrangement that s/he is not happy with, this will create a conflict. Many couples I see who have conflicts, end up sleeping in different rooms (or on the couch). Conflicts are an opportunity to better understand your partner and yourself. Look for the lessons in the conflict. Ask yourself, ‘What can I learn here?’ Too often, couples get into a rut and live each day (and night) on ‘auto-pilot’. I invite you to live your life as consciously as possible, whether you sleep with your spouse or not.