or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › "The family bed destroys married life"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"The family bed destroys married life"

post #1 of 159
Thread Starter 
You've probably heard something that goes like this: "Sure, co-sleeping might be great for the baby, but it takes a toll on your marriage (or partnership)." Sometimes it's not stated but you get the same vibes -- as though you MUST CHOOSE between a fulfilling marriage (and sex life) and a happy baby.

(I do not mean to be judgemental. I know wonderful people with medical and other good reasons for not co-sleeping, so I am more directing this query at our culture in general than at any one family's sleeping arrangements.)

I suspect the assumed choice between baby and marriage is one of the biggest factors in families choosing not to co-sleep. I have friends who weren't even allowed into their parent's room during the day because of the perceived need to protect the sacredness of their parent's marriages. While that is more extreme than not allowing your child into your room at night, it's still an extension of the same idea.

I am fearful of the consequences for a child who grows up believing that his needs are in direct competition with his parent's marriage. Often, the continuation of the parents' relationship is part of the child's own sense of security, so wouldn't a child who believes her very existence threatens her parents' union feel some pressure not to express all her needs, or to learn how express them in manipulative ways?

We have been presented with a terrible (and I believe false) choice. Our marriage or the baby. One must be sacrificed every night.

It's a false choice because it's based on the idea that our lives can be neatly (with medical precision) divided into different personas which must be addressed in turn. While we all have many different roles, and obviously switch between them, I feel the idea of 'protecting the marriage bed' goes farther than asking us to switch between roles. It asks us to switch between personas. It requires us to stop being a mother in order to be a wife -- but I feel being a wife and mother are two different and important roles acted out by the SAME person.

In every relationship, there is a balance between separateness and oneness, between individuality and community. But I do not believe that I have to pretend not to be married in order to achieve that balance in my relationship with my spouse. When we hide the baby in another room, are we are pretending not to have a child?

I believe we can balance these roles without viewing them as competing personas. I go out alone with girlfriends when I need a break, we get a sitter for our little one when my husband and I need a date, we set aside adult time in the evening to be together elsewhere in the house while the baby sleeps in our bed. I'm one person with many roles and I don't have to sacrifice anything.

In addition, how much healthier is it for our children to see us model a balanced lifestyle, meeting our own needs and theirs, without creating a scenario in which people must compete with each other for a limited amount of affection and attention?

In conclusion, if your marriage can't survive a baby in your bed at night, it probably can't survive a baby in your life during the day. One hundred percent of what goes on between us and our spouses that builds or detracts from the happiness of our marriages happens during our waking hours, not when we're sleeping soundly at night. But that is not true of our young children, many of whom need us close at night and need us to learn, for their sakes, how to balance our different roles without sacrificing a part of ouselves.
post #2 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by annmartina View Post
One hundred percent of what goes on between us and our spouses that builds or detracts from the happiness of our marriages happens during our waking hours, not when we're sleeping soundly at night. But that is not true of our young children, many of whom need us close at night and need us to learn, for their sakes, how to balance our different roles without sacrificing a part of ouselves.
I agree with most of your post but that last bit was not quite on target for me. My husband is away most of the day. Much of our evening hours are consumed with kid oriented activities & I need to be asleep early enough to allow for dawn wake up calls. So, no, 100 of our marriage nurturing does not happen during the day.

I think you do have to sacrifice a bit in order to co-sleep. Is it a marriage destroying amount, no, not in a healty marriage. When my kids were in bed with me our sex life required a bit more creativity. There were times when, yeah sex sounded good but not good enough to go thru the process of extricating myself from bed at 2 am and moving to another room, etc...

Now that DH & I have our bed to ourselves again, sex is more spontaneous. It often happens in the middle of the night, after Ive slept enough to have the energy for it. I wake to delicious sensations and it progresses from there - fluidly. That just isnt possible with a baby, much less a preschooler, in bed. I do in fact look forward to when my children have vacated our room at night, not just our bed.

I do think it's interesting that you mention the stability of the marriage affecting the child since Ive often seen comments here stating that a partner refusing to cosleep or share a room is something of a deal breaker....
post #3 of 159
well, i can't figure out how to quote...but the part about the child competing with the marriage is well said. and, as a child of divorce (because of mental illness) i can say from experience, it makes a lot of sense.
i guess i'm just lucky. of the other couples that we know that co-sleep, the dads hate it but the mamas are adament. the dads are good friends of dh and gave him an earful. so, he was open to it from the start (because he knows how much i research) but i was braced for the time when he got tired of it. the opposite has happened, dd went from sleeping between me and the wall to between the two of us, and we're both very happy.
that being said, yes, it's a bit of a compromise. we find other places to have sex. but we also don't fall asleep talking anymore and i thought that was really special.
i guess i just feel like the years the kids are in our bed are still such a small percentage of our parenting and our marriage yet can do SO much good. it's totatlly worth it to us.
post #4 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by norajune'smama View Post
i guess i just feel like the years the kids are in our bed are still such a small percentage of our parenting and our marriage yet can do SO much good. it's totatlly worth it to us.
i totally agree... contrary to popular belief they are not going to co sleep for ever lol and those few years they do are nothing compared to a whole lifetime really.
post #5 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
Is it a marriage destroying amount, no, not in a healty marriage.
: So true!
post #6 of 159
I always find the cosleeping and sex argument so bizarre. I don't know who these people are who only have sex in a bed.
post #7 of 159
:

right, because mom getting up 6 times in the middle of the night to feed the baby doesn't affect her ability (or desire) to stay awake for sex you know.
post #8 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by annmartina View Post
In conclusion, if your marriage can't survive a baby in your bed at night, it probably can't survive a baby in your life during the day. One hundred percent of what goes on between us and our spouses that builds or detracts from the happiness of our marriages happens during our waking hours, not when we're sleeping soundly at night. But that is not true of our young children, many of whom need us close at night and need us to learn, for their sakes, how to balance our different roles without sacrificing a part of ouselves.
Well said!

And on a lighter note...why does most of America believe that sex has to take place in the bed? Really, folks, let's get a little more creative - there are other rooms in the house!
post #9 of 159
I think it makes our marriage more exciting because we *have* to find somewhere else to have sex Before it was always just bed, bed, boring bed
post #10 of 159
Exactly! Um, there are other places to have sex! In fact, we have added so much spice to our married life by finding creative spots all over the place! I find it way more fun than just the ol' roll over and go at it, LOL! I'm sorry, but once I'm in bed I'm sleeping, lol!!!
post #11 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I always find the cosleeping and sex argument so bizarre. I don't know who these people are who only have sex in a bed.

I hear this sentiment a lot around here. I am one of those people

I am a person who gets more "into" it when I am in a safe, comfortable place. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all, and mine works best in my personal bedroom.

We've been cosleeping for 7+ years. And, yes, it has taken a toll on our intimacy. Our marriage has survived, but we are very much looking forward to the days when both of our dc are sleeping in their own beds!
post #12 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I always find the cosleeping and sex argument so bizarre. I don't know who these people are who only have sex in a bed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I think it makes our marriage more exciting because we *have* to find somewhere else to have sex Before it was always just bed, bed, boring bed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Makes_5 View Post
Exactly! Um, there are other places to have sex! In fact, we have added so much spice to our married life by finding creative spots all over the place! I find it way more fun than just the ol' roll over and go at it, LOL! I'm sorry, but once I'm in bed I'm sleeping, lol!!!
Not just location, but what about *time*? Who are these people who take all night to make love? Maybe we're just lame, but for me and DH, our night is like 1/2-hour of sex, with eight of just cuddling/sleeping/etc. (Sorry, babe, I mean, "an hour". ) Although we don't have a baby yet, I don't see why-- assuming we both even *want* to DTD, which I understand could not even be the case-- how hard could it be to put Baby somewhere else for that short time, and bring her back for the rest of the night?

I guess what I'm wondering is, how many couple's pre-baby "marriage bed" is just all sex, all night long? 'Cause ours is like Sexy Bed for a little bit, but Cuddly Bed Where a Baby Could Fit Right In like 95% of the time... (And I think we're not so different than the norm as far as that goes!)
post #13 of 159
Quote:
And on a lighter note...why does most of America believe that sex has to take place in the bed? Really, folks, let's get a little more creative - there are other rooms in the house
I think the reality is that for most couples, one or more person works all day away from the home, often late into the evening. When that person comes home, the "bedtime machine" usually starts for one or more kids and by the time all that is done it's bedtime and really the only time most couples get together is when they go to bed at night so bed makes the most logical sense because that's where you are.
post #14 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasleyMum View Post
how hard could it be to put Baby somewhere else for that short time, and bring her back for the rest of the night?
This wasn't possible for either of my babies. They didn't transfer easily. Rule #1 in our house--don't mess with a sleeping baby!
post #15 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I always find the cosleeping and sex argument so bizarre. I don't know who these people are who only have sex in a bed.
That's what I was thinking. Plus, Hello? That's what a guest bed, or some blankets next to the fireplace are for.LOL Cosleeping actually helped our intimate relationship by getting us OUT of the bed, or at least out of sleep mode and into fun mode when we had to go make a place just for intimacy.
post #16 of 159
Of course you can have sex in other places. We did for nearly 4 years. But there is something special about being woken or waking your partner in the middle of the night, getting all heated up, and the letting it happen where you are. Without having to stop and think about it.

When DS was still in our bed I would feel DH initiate and I couldnt just go with it - I had to put my sensuality on hold long enough to manouver myself away from DS without him waking, sometimes requiring several attempts, and then get out of our warm bed and into another room. Sometimes it could take 5-10 minutes. By that time my arousal had faded a bit. And sometimes I wasnt horny enough to make it worth the effort. And then as we DTD I couldnt stop myself from keeping an ear out to hear if DS had noticed I was gone.

Now, if DH initiates, it happens very smoothly and I enjoy it more. No thinking, just feeling. So yeah, we still had a good sex life while Co-Sleeping. But sex without any planning involved is amazing - for me anyway.
post #17 of 159
We have A LOT of sex without planning involved too, just not during sleep time hours. In fact, it is rare for us to be in bed, want to have sex and then move. Once I go to bed, I want to sleep. It is mostly in the evenings after the kids go to bed. Now that the kids are older, we can manage day time stuff too. Even before kids, we didn't always have sex in bed, and we almost never had sex during sleep time hours too.
post #18 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
Of course you can have sex in other places. We did for nearly 4 years. But there is something special about being woken or waking your partner in the middle of the night, getting all heated up, and the letting it happen where you are. Without having to stop and think about it.
Not to get to far OT, but REALLY? If DF ever tried that with me, he'd be sleeping on the sofa for a month. I can't even imagine. Sex before sleep is okay, but why on earth would you WAKE SOMEONE UP????? Am I missing something? I don't like being woke up for anything... waking me up for sex is .. :


That said, we love our new futon.
post #19 of 159

co-sleeping and sex

I always love those people that find out we co-sleep and actually have all three children in our bed by morning and are still shock that we have 3 kids under 5.
It doesn't take a bed to have sex- it takes a happily married committed couple to have sex. NO bed needed- And actually sometime we like the idea that we leave them all safe and sound in the bed- and go someplace else (in the house) and have sex.
Just my 2 cents
post #20 of 159
wow, maybe it is just us. I love middle of the night sex, its my favorite. In the evenings Im just so wipes all i want to do is sleep! But once Ive had 4-5 hrs of sleep I have rested enough to be up for it, and Im all drowsy, relaxed, not thinking about household stuff. I love it. leisurely lovemaking sessions were rare when DS was still in our bed.
That said, we still use some of our old fave spots from our cosleeping days, places we probably wouldnt have thought of otherwise, so that was a fringe benefit of having DS in bed with us.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Co-sleeping and the Family Bed
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › "The family bed destroys married life"