- My husband and I started sleeping in different beds in the same room.
- While we wondered about the stigma, we realized that sleeping alone would work best for us.
- Now, when I tuck myself in at night, I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself.
“Is everything all right?” my friend asks, leaning in close to me with a concerned expression on her face.
“Never been better,” I reply. “Seriously.”
We’re standing in the master bedroom at my house so I can get my friend’s opinion on redecorating. I knew that her concern had nothing to do with the decor. Instead of one marital bed, two separate beds were pushed against the wall. With a bedside table in the middle, our setup resembled a hotel room.
I meet her concerned gaze. “This is one of the best decisions we’ve made in a decade together,” I say.
My husband and I sleep in separate beds
When it comes to sleep, my husband and I are opposites. I like flailing around, while he sleeps like a log. I pile on blankets and pillows, while he’s a bedtime minimalist. He likes the dog in the bed, while I’m obsessive about clean sheets.
For years we irritated each other throughout the night.
As the parents of two young kids who still don’t consistently sleep through the night, we’re always exhausted. Our conflicting sleeping habits seemed to be eating into the precious little sleep we were able to get. When we moved into a new house with a bedroom large enough for two beds, we started to joke about sleeping in different beds.
The stigma of separate beds
In many people’s minds, sharing a bed is inextricably linked with sex and intimacy.
Whenever my husband and I got close to taking the plunge with two beds, we wondered what people would think. We even questioned whether it would erode some of our connection.
There’s a long history of married couples sleeping in different beds, or even in separate rooms. We’re confident in our marriage, and we knew that sleeping apart wouldn’t be our undoing — it might even make us happier.
Taking the plunge into time for myself
Last year, my family and I spent seven months living in a tiny RV. The queen bed often filled up with our two girls and our large dog. My husband began regularly sleeping in a different bed, over the cab of the RV. Even with interruptions from kids and dogs, we slept great apart. This was the nudge we needed.
Before selling the RV, we replaced the mattress. That meant we were left with a spare queen mattress.
“We’re doing this,” I informed my husband. I ordered a platform
, set it up in the corner, and tucked myself in, blissfully alone.
When I flop into bed at the end of a long day, I can sprawl like a starfish, or curl the entire comforter around myself. It’s the only time I can do exactly what I want, without thinking about anyone except myself.
Finding what works for us
Sleeping in different beds has been a boon for our already strong marriage. We’re not quibbling over who kept whom up in the night, or who disturbed the other’s sleep more. We’re waking better rested.
When I’ve shared our sleeping situation with people, others have confessed that they, too, prefer to sleep away from their partner. My husband and I knew what would work for us. I just wish we hadn’t let social pressure sway our decision for so long.
As for our sex life, it’s the same as ever. Now, when we want to be intimate, we just look at each other and ask, “Your place or mine?”