For many years I kept it a secret that my husband and I sleep in separate bedrooms. Every time I did mention it to someone they would immediately ask if we were ok, or if there was trouble in our marriage. They would talk to me about it in whispers like it was deviant behavior. But I’m no longer scared to admit it out loud. My husband and I have separate bedrooms and our marriage is totally fine. When we were trying to share a bed is when our marriage wasn’t fine. And too many couples keep trying to force themselves into fitting into the mold of a traditional marriage instead of making their marriage work for them.
Did you know that one of the reasons why married couples slept together in one bed was that because they didn’t have the money or space for more bedrooms? Aristocratic couples rarely slept in the same bed and maintained entire apartments in their large homes just for themselves. Having private space was a sign of wealth and nobility. Only lower-class couples shared a bed. But why shouldn’t modern couples have their own bedrooms and their own spaces? Why is it more acceptable to have a man cave or a she-shed for private space instead of having a separate bedroom?
We started sleeping separately because my husband snores. Badly. And I am an extremely sensitive sleeper. He kept waking me up night after night and after months of chronic sleep deprivation, we were headed for divorce. I would frequently tell him that I loved him but just couldn’t live with him and needed some sleep. In desperation, he started sleeping in the guest bedroom at night. And after about a month of him sleeping in there, we realized we both loved sleeping separately. He loved being able to spread out and pile the blankets on top of himself and snore away. I loved being able to sleep peacefully with just a thin sheet because I get warm at night.
We never really made the decision to have separate bedrooms formally. We just stopped talking about moving back into the same bedroom. He started moving his stuff into the other bedroom. I started changing the décor in mine. He bought a TV for what was now his bedroom while I bought an oversized reading chair for mine. Slowly we just kept changing each space to reflect our own tastes.
And while all this was happening our marriage, which had been worn down to a string, got stronger and stronger. We had sex more often than ever before. He’d slip into my room at night or I’d slip into his room in the morning. We cuddled on the couch and watched movies at night before going to our separate bedrooms to sleep. Romance came back into our marriage when we stopped sleeping together and moved into separate bedrooms. Obviously, this isn’t the right solution for everyone, but if you have secretly always wanted your own bedroom or you have wanted to kick your snoring spouse out into their own bedroom try it. It might just save your marriage.