Am I The Only One?

Over the last two years, I think my husband and I have probably slept in the same bed 50% of that time. Maybe. Before I got pregnant, I was beginning to have a hard time sleeping next to him. He is a snorer, always has been, and yes, he has had his tonsils out and a surgery on his deviated septum. I used to be able to mostly sleep through it, but after almost ten years of marriage, two years ago it really started to disrupt my sleeping. When I was pregnant I became an extremely light sleeper and ended up taking over our entire queen size bed with my six pillows (one of them being a huge pregnancy body pillow), so my hubby spent half of my pregnancy sleeping downstairs on our pullout couch. Luckily he can sleep anywhere, and a good night's sleep was much, much more important for us than 'cuddling' (which lets be honest, really doesn't happen much anyway). What happened though is that I got used to having the entire bed to myself. I got used to my own, private, quiet bedtime routine. It reminded me of the glorious days of pre-marriage when bedtime was a nice, peaceful, personal moment.

After I had my baby, my hubby started sleeping upstairs with me again. I was so completely exhausted with a newborn, that for the most part, his snoring didn't phase me, and it was nice to have him right there to get up and help put the baby back to sleep after I finished nursing him. But about five months after my son was born, I went through a six month bout of serious insomnia. I was on Ambien and some other weirdo sleeping pill that did not wear off for 24 hours. It was extreme hell trying to take care of my baby with that medicine, so that was short lived. I ended up reverting to half a pill of Unisom (I'm pretty sensitive to medications) and finally half a 2.5 MG pill of Melatonin on most nights, until I was finally able to go most nights without even that. I still have to take one of those on an average about once a week, but, it's gotten better. I attribute my insomnia to having to wake up to pump because I had so much milk and kept getting clogged ducts. Even when I didn't have to do this anymore, I would wake up at the same time every night, like clockwork, and couldn't go back to sleep. It was so frustrating because I had a baby that slept completely through the night starting at 3 weeks old, but I wasn't! Looking back, I also realize that I had a lot of anxiety about everything going on in my life at that time. I could NOT shut down my brain at night, no matter how hard I tried. It was extremely frustrating.

With all of this going on, my hubby and I started to sleep in different rooms again. In June we started attempting to sleep by each other again, and it went well for about two months, but now we're back to him sleeping downstairs most nights. I've written before that in my ultimate dream house, I would have a master bedroom suite with two sleeping quarters, one for me, one for him, but with an adjoining common room with a TV, fireplace, and lounge area where we could spend time together. I am dead serious about this. I personally don't think it's too weird. The more people I talk to, the more I hear about people having similar sleep problems because one partner snores and keeps the other awake. When I mentioned this to my husband, he had his feelings hurt. He's a cuddler. I am not. I like my space, and I don't feel like I should have to apologize for this. It doesn't mean that I don't love him, love to be physically close to him or spend time with him in more ways than one. I just honestly believe that not every couple is meant to sleep right next to each other until they die.

I was starting to wonder if I'm a freak, so I typed in "I cannot sleep next to my husband. Help!" on Yahoo (yes, I still use Yahoo and I'm not ashamed to admit it) and got some interesting results. I found these two articles/sites to be helpful. The first has tips for what to do for the snorer and possibly reasons why they are snoring, the second talks about how it's better for your marriage for both of you to get sleep so you're not snapping at each other and your children all the time because you're so tired.

I just asked my hubby if he felt bad about sleeping apart and it seems he has changed his views, luckily, and said he agrees it's not bad for our marriage at all, but actually better. We still attempt to sleep next to each other most nights, but on nights where he has a huge day the next day, one of us is sick, or I have something big going on the next day and need the energy, we sleep apart.

I figure, to each their own. Each marriage is different, each couple and person is different and requires different needs and has different personalities. Hey, lack of sleep can cut years off of your life. It's worth it to me!


Shell said…
I think you have to do what works for your marriage. As long as you are finding other ways to stay close and are both okay with it!

Hubs snores really loud. But I can usually sleep through it.
Kat Biggie said…
This came at a funny time... I have slept the last 3 nights in the guest room, because I have a cold and I didn't want to keep my hubby awake while I cough all night long. I was just reflecting this morning about how much better I sleep in a bed alone! I am also a very light sleeper, and my husband doesn't snore all the time, but it wakes me when he does. He also grinds his teeth! Aargh. So I totally get you and as long as you too still find time to be intimate, who cares where you sleep?
ROBIN said…
No, you're not the only one! It's only when you can't find the closeness anymore that you need to worry.
Mary said…
Ha Ha, I love that we are so similar! My husband and I sleep in different bedrooms and I have always been wary to tell others about it. I also worry that my kids will wonder why we don't sleep in the same room when they start to realize that it's not 'normal'. But you nailed it, I NEED SLEEP to be myself. In fact, I broke down crying yesterday because I had been up with sick kids for a couple of nights. It works for us, it's way more important for both of us to be well-rested while running this household than for us to sleep next to eachother. Now I want that dream home!

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