I have a confession to make: Joe and I don’t sleep in the same bed.
In fact, we don’t even sleep in the same room.
In fact, Joe doesn’t even technically sleep in a bed.
It all started when Joe was working third shift. He was gone all night, and I got used to having our bed all to myself. On his nights off, one or the other of us would usually always end up on the couch. Joe is a cuddler, you see, and also a snorer -- neither of which I am (although he’d probably disagree with me on the latter, but I maintain: I DO NOT SNORE).
I don’t like to be cuddled when I’m trying to sleep, at all. I don’t like to have anyone close to me, or anyone else’s body touching any part of mine, when I’m trying to fall asleep. Joe, on the other hand, likes to hug something when he’s sleeping. If we’re in the same bed, he wants to hug me -- which sounds very sweet, and so of course I HATE IT. His arm feels so heavy when it’s thrown across my body, which makes me feel like I’m trapped, which makes me feel claustrophobic, and then I wiggle and squirm and try to get free and it wakes him up, so neither of us sleeps well and it’s just no good for anyone. Even when I tell him to give me a little space, he always manages to work his way over to me again once he’s fallen back to sleep. Add that to the fact that the man snores like a...well, a very loud snoring thing, and also that his body temperature seems to go up at least 25 degrees when he’s sleeping, it means that I don’t sleep very well (if I sleep at all) when we’re sharing a bed. Because I like to inform him loudly of how terribly I’m sleeping -- “YOU’RE SNORING AGAIN. WHY IS YOUR SKIN SO HOT. GIVE ME SOME SPACE, YOUR ARM IS CRUSHING ME.” -- he doesn’t sleep well, either.
He also has some back and knee issues that make sleeping on a flat surface not very comfortable for him, so it works out well for both of us that he actually prefers to sleep on the couch upstairs rather than in our bed. He has a nest of pillows that contour to his body, and plenty of pillows to go underneath his knees too, so he sleeps very comfortably there. Now that he’s home every night, that couch has become his bed.
Obviously, we do other things in our bed together (HEY-OH!), and I think that’s really the important thing, right? I don’t think the fact that we sleep better separately has any bearing on the type of marriage we have.
I was talking about this with a couple of my co-workers yesterday, and I was somewhat surprised to learn that they and their spouses have separate sleeping arrangements as well, for various reasons. It made me wonder how common this is, so if you feel comfortable weighing in, I’d love to hear from you about this.