As a married couple, Jeff and I try to be honest about the ups and downs of our relationship. We’ve been married for 10 years, and together for almost 15. Although kind friends have said that we’re #couplegoals, no relationship is perfect or easy. But there’s one thing I don’t talk about, because I’ve felt embarrassed and worried that it’s not normal. And that’s the fact that we’ve been sleeping in separate beds for several years now.
It happened by accident. We bought a family home on the outskirts of Sydney, and we had an extra bedroom. We put a mattress in there, because I’d just had my second child, and relatives had offered to stay over and help me as I adjusted to life with a toddler and newborn.
Eventually, our visitors left. At the same time, my daughter (who was three at the time) started waking up at night and sleeping in my bed. My baby son was also sleeping in a cot in our room, and he would wake up in the middle of the night and scream. Jeff couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t function at work. So, Jeff moved to the spare room. We told each other that this sleeping arrangement was temporary.
To be honest, I was a little hurt at first. I felt rejected, and I missed him. Jeff felt differently. He loved sleeping in the spare bed. He said that the mattress was more comfortable, and he relished having his own space. He also said that I had a “snoring problem”, which is probably a gigantic lie, and cannot be proven seeing as I can’t see or hear myself do it.
(Okay, Jeff has offered to video me doing it, but I screamed “no!” Can you imagine the footage? How undignified.)
A year passed, and I had finally taught my daughter to sleep in her own bed. My secret is that I bribed her with many toys. It worked, and Jeff and I were back in the same bed again. We moved to Canberra, and continued to share the same bed at a hotel, rental house and the new house we eventually bought in the ACT.
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Something strange happened when we began sharing in our marital bed again. We annoyed each other. I think we’d always annoyed each other during sleep-time, but now, it was even more obvious. He’d sometimes breathe in my face as we slept. He also snored, although he claims that his snoring is not as bad as mine. (But how would he know?!) If he went out with his mates one night, he’d wake me up when he came into the room. You’ve already heard about my alleged “snoring” “problem”. And… I missed my daughter.