Sleeping apart damaging new marriage

lunasol75January 2, 2007

Hi all.

I could really use some advice. On and off for the past six months or so, my new husband (we married in August) has (in a round about way) refused to come to bed. I go to bed, sleep and wake up alone probably five days a week. He tells me this is because he can't sleep and needs to fall asleep watching a movie, but I have my doubts.

As I mentioned previously, this has only been happening for about six months. It also doesn't happen when we are on vacation or away from home. This is causing a lot of damage to our relationship. I feel like I am losing control, and am sad and angry all the time. We have hardly spoken this week (this being one of the reasons, but also because we have gotten in petty arguments every couple of days and we play the silent treatment game).

I don't know what to do here. Otherwise, we have a loving and wonderful relationship (except for the grudge holding part).

I really want to get back to happy times.

Thanks in advance.


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Holding a grudge is a very counter-productive thing.
Presumably, you both want this marriage to work, and in order for that to happen, getting along and forgiving each other are much more important than being acknowledged as having been 'right'. If you're committed to your marriage, have a sincere talk with your husband about this 'grudge thing' and BOTH of you need to agree not to do it anymore. (YOU do it first, since you're willing to admit that you hold a grudge.)

Next -- On the sleeping together part, you need to have an honest discussion about that too. Make it so that your husband can talk honestly to you without fear of making you cry, of making you angry, of hurting your feelings. He has to be able to tell you the real reason... Do you snore? Hog the bed? Fart in your sleep? Does he? (And maybe he thinks you won't find out?) Is he scared of intimacy? Angry with you? Feeling pressure for sex?

If you can't talk it through between just the two of you, involve a professional counselor.
This is too important to let fester.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 7:38PM
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Well to rule out his excuse, put a TV in the bedroom and see if anything changes. You never know maybe hes telling you the truth!!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Well,I have been married ten years,and my husband and I often dont sleep together for several reasons.
One,is he snores so loud it sounds like he's trying to inhale his pillow.
Two,I'am often much like your husband...I'am a night owl and have trouble just drifting to sleep.Most nights I sleep on the couch.
Please dont get mad at me for suggesting this though...but maybe your husband watches porn late at night when are asleep? The only way to find out is to go out there and see what he is doing.And if he is (watching porn) Try not to freak out,as lots of guys do this.You just need to make it clear you'd like some cuddle time.
If you know for a fact he is not,then forget what I just said.
Maybe your husband has a sleep disorder.I have terrible insomnia and am awake some nights to 4-5am! Or maybe he just doesnt want to go to bed early.What time do you go to bed?
I agree with sweeby that it is so important not to let yur feelings fester.Sounds like they already have some since you said it's causing a wedge between you.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:39PM
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What they said.

Whatever it takes, figure out what the real problem is and deal with it together.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Coolmama, if you are having problems sleeping, get some help. Its not worth putting up with it, go to a sleep disorder clinic, I am sure it will help you.

Sweeby gives good advice.

Holding a grudge is not good for anyone. For the sake of your happiness, you must learn some communication skills, and conflict resolution skills.

There is lots of info about those topics, in books etc. It has taken me years to figure all that out, and believe me it is much better when you know that you can TALK about what is worrying you, and that your DH is okay about listening.

Keeping it all in, and letting it fester, is no good for either of you.

If you work on the more effective communication, I am sure you will then find out the real reason that he stays up. He is afraid to tell you, as he doesnt think you will react in a good way.

Marriage is all about learning how to communicate, if you learn now, when the kiddies come along, you will breeze through those torments !

Good luck, let us know what happens, its good you posted here, hope it helps.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:40AM
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We've been married for 43 years and often one of us will sleep on the couch just because we are having a restless night. Sometimes we just never come to bed after falling asleep watching TV or we move to the couch because we're having a restless night. We do have a TV in the bedroom and we both agree we need to fall asleep while watching TV; neither of us can just get into bed and doze off. This all started about a year ago.

Maybe he's telling you the truth and there really is nothing wrong.

Other than the grudge holding, is everything else okay with your marriage?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:30AM
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Hi all:

Thanks for all of the advice. We did have a nice long talk about things. It seems we are in the midst of a vicious cycle of unhappiness.

Oh, and I know he is not watching porn late at night. He doesn't even like it. His preference is erotic stories, which I'm ok with. He doesn't have to sneak them in though. He reads them sometimes when I am not around in the mornings.

In the evenings, we usually watch a movie. Movies put him to sleep. So for me, that means my husband is on the couch asleep at 7:00 and if has had a long day (which is usually the case), he won't wake up. Essentially that is the end of our evening. After this happened a few times, I just kind of gave up, got mad and started going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 and leaving him there. At this point, he gets mad at me and thinks I don't love him, don't think he's sexy anymore and generally don't want to be around him.

There are also issues with his health. He has an ulcer or a really bad stomach acid problem and he refused to go to the doctor. He feels that because I worry about him and want him to get this taken care of so that HE FEELS BETTER that I am no longer attracted to him, think he is weak...
What am I supposed to do with this? He is miserable and in pain every day and refuses to get help.

Other than these things, our marriage is good. We both love each other tremendously, and now that we have spoken, I have a better idea of what is going on. I think it may just take some time and lot of love and kindness to get us back on track and feeling good about things again.

We are both pretty young (I'm 31, he 36) and we are both moody and have a tendency to throw fits like children. Hopefully this will all work itself out.



    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:21AM
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I'm hearing some 'Macho' coming through...

OK, now that he's spoken, I'd tell him that it's your 'wifely duty' to take care of him, and that therefore, you've scheduled a Dr's appointment for him. Let him complain to the Dr. that you 'made' him go. You can follow it up with how devastated you would be if anything were to happen to him, and that taking care of himself is important so he will be around to take care of you and *stay* strong and healthy and sexy. Style it however you need to to feed his self-image, but get him to the Dr.

What about watching TV or movies in bed? I know it's not for everyone, but if you watch in bed, he can fall alseep next to you, and you can snuggle up next to him.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 2:51PM
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I'm fairly new to this site, but I hope you don't mind me butting in.

I agree with Sweeby. If the tired/movie thing seems to be the problem, watch TV in bed. My husband and I often do that and IMHO, it's very romantic! I love movie night in bed. And I'm not talking sex, just cuddling.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 4:50PM
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I agree it's your wifely duty to look after him (nag him)
Statisticly speaking,married men live longer then single men.Why? Cuz they have us lovely wives nagging them all the time about their health and eating right.

At least it's not the porn thing.That seems to be a hard thing for alot of couples to overcome.

Almost the same age difference between me and my husband!

Maybe you guys should start watching tv in bed.Then you can cuddle and he will fall asleep when the movie is over.???

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:15PM
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My wife wont stay on her side of the bed and I cant sleep. Any suggestions? I think I am going to tape a rope to the mattress so she can feel which side she is on.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 10:33AM
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John, it's horrible. I am that wife. My husband has perhaps an inch every night, and no blankets. Sometimes he gets up and goes around and sleeps on "my" side of the bed because there's a good three feet over there.

But, if your wife is anything like me... I do it because i want to be close to him, because I love him so much :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 2:01PM
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aww that is soooo sweet,how lovely silversword.John think yourself lucky that is the worst problem in your marriage.go to the other side like silversword said.or if worst comes to the worst try the rope lol

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:01PM
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What about a row of pillows down the middle of the bed, to keep her "in line".

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 11:55PM
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Just scoot over to her side!
Push back -- in a loving way, not an angry way.
But like Silversword said, she's probably chasing after contact and warmth.
Give it to her and you'll get your space on one side.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 11:18AM
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Out of curiosity, how important do you think sleeping together in the same bed is to having a healthy relationship?

My husband and I have had to stop sleeping together over the past couple of months -- he's on medication that makes him jerk around quite a bit, and I'm a very light sleeper -- he was constantly waking me up. I also have to get up to go to the bathroom once or twice a night, and that was waking him up. So we're sleeping in separate bedrooms now, which means we both sleep a lot better, but it's awfully lonely sometimes :( I've insisted to him that we sleep together at least once or twice every weekend, even if it means we don't get as much sleep, because's the weekend. Doesn't matter as much if we sleep crummy then. And we always talk and hug a bit before we go to bed, and hug some more in the morning, but I still feel weird about the separate beds thing.

Anyone else in similar circumstances?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 2:37PM
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Basically people need sex and sleep. The sex part is easy enough, but if one partner snores or thrashes (the usual culprits) the sleep part goes out the door -- but doesn't matter as much if "business" is taken care of first.

Your situation of his not being able to fall asleep except in front of the TV is a little weird IMHO but still falls into the category. IMHO, sex/snuggling comes first. (to hell with movies!) Sleeping separately afterward is something else entirely. Sleeping first never works. Good luck with that.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 8:51PM
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"IMHO, sex/snuggling comes first. (to hell with movies!)"

Spoken like a true man, Asolo! ;-)
Ya know, you can have sex before TV/Movies too. That way, it'll be sure to happen before you're too tired, and you can still watch that show or movie and fall asleep your preferred way.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 10:31PM
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Sweeby...depends what KIND of movie....

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:37AM
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"Out of curiosity, how important do you think sleeping together in the same bed is to having a healthy relationship?"

I personally love sleeping with my husband. When I was a child I loved sleeping with my parents. I love sleeping with my daughter. I like co-sleeping. But I am a heavy sleeper and not much bothers me. If I was not getting much sleep, I would consider sleeping alone because my sleep is very important to me. So I think it depends on the situation. I think the snuggling, intimate aspect is the most important. As long as you are being friendly about your individual space you could actually make it pretty sexy to have separate rooms. "hey baby, wanna come over to my place tonight or should we go to yours??"

I like sleeping together. It's important to me. But if your relationship is strong, and the reasons for not sleeping together are clear, and both people are getting the intimacy they need/want during the waking hours... do what you need to do in order to get good sleep because it will affect the rest of your life and ALL of your relationships.

BTW, my husband has started to begin the night on "my side" of the bed, with me on the far far far side of the bed. Then once I crowd him out he still has a side (his) to roll over onto. As long as he is making contact (a leg, an arm) I stay pretty much where I am.

One night I woke up to him, totally asleep, arms out straight, hands in the "stop" position and he was "bulldozing" me across the bed back to my side. I swear, he even made a bulldozer noise. Then he rolled over and went back to sleep.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:04PM
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You're not alone (pun not intended) - since I dabble in real estate (sort of), I noted the #1 trend this past year in a major survey of homebuilders was increasing requests for two master bedrooms. Polls show that given their druthers about 1 in 3 happily married couples prefer to sleep in their own bed, and something like 18% preferred separate bedrooms. Many such couples nonetheless bshare a bed, either because there isn't an extra room available, or because of a pervasive (but inaccurate) fear that sleeping apart somehow signals some problem in their marriage. It doesn't, and if it's what both of you prefer, do it. If it's what only one of you prefer, you have to work it out, or compromise (weekends together, weekdays apart is common). Separate rooms don't mean you can frequently visit, or stay the whole night.

Link below is one of many similar recent reports...

Here is a link that might be useful: Couples Find Wedded Bliss More Blissful in Separate Bedrooms

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 1:26AM
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Luna, if he's reading erotic stories online, it is possible he is 'servicing himself' while doing so - which could explain why he seldom feels the need for sex with you. Like another poster, I don't want to hurt your feelings (and if this is the case, it is actually HIS problem, not yours). Although it certainly affects you.

By all means, get him to a doctor. Put a TV in your bedroom. IOW, take care of all his reasons/excuses. Then see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 6:33PM
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