I got married back in November, after knowing my husband for 7 years. He is my best friend, my soul partner, my rock, my clown, all of those good things. And we often don’t sleep together.
The above article was originally published in Mothering in February of 2014. Since then, more mothers find that co-sleeping is a perfect fit for their family. We can understand why!
The Case for Sleeping Separately
Even if you decide to co-sleep it doesn’t mean that everyone has to share the same bed. You and your partner can sleep in separate rooms while still maintaining intimacy and a sex life. This boggles many people’s minds, we know.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that people began sleeping in the same bed together again, really. That’s right- until about 1850 couples slept like most of the population does now, in one double bed. But right around 1850, society began a different way of thinking, saying that double beds were “old-fashioned” and “unhealthy.”
Many couples moved to twin beds, and it stayed that way for about 100 years. During this time period, many believed that people would get sick from sleeping so closely together all night long. A popular book of the time by Dr. William Whitty Hall stated that people “Should have a single bed in a large, clean, light room, so as to pass all the hours of sleep in a pure fresh air, and that those who fail in this, will, in the end, fail in health and strength of limb and brain, and will die while yet their days are not all told.”
But then in the 1950s, the way of thinking changed and has continued along the same lines for decades. Today, many people believe that sleeping in separate beds signifies an issue in one’s marriage. They see it as couples being distant with each other, lacking intimacy, and that trouble is looming behind closed doors. But proponents of sleeping in separate beds, or even separate bedrooms altogether, say that this arrangement works well for them, and is even healthier for their relationship. Here are a few reasons they share:
- They sleep more soundly without interruptions from their partner getting up, rolling over, or snoring.
- It helps to appreciate the relationship more. A little distance and space never hurts, and you may feel genuinely excited to see your partner after sleeping separately overnight. It not only gives you a little “me time” to rest and reflect, but it also can help simmer any arguments that happened before bed.
- It decreases resentment- Do you ever wake up with the baby and see your partner sleeping soundly, secretly resenting them for all that sleep they are getting and “not hearing the baby cry?” Sleeping separately, especially when you are co-sleeping with a new baby, can decrease that resentment.And if you are starting to feel like it’s not an equal partnership for you to always have to get up with the baby every night, you can ask your partner to trade off co-sleeping nights with you. Not only does that equalize your relationship but it also allows your partner to have some significant bonding time with your little one.
Whatever your sleeping arrangements, it’s absolutely feasible to co-sleep with kids and have an active sex life. Just as it is to sleep separately and have an active sex life. The moral of the story is that kids don’t have to put ends to active sex lives!
Photo: The Faces/Shutterstock