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<p>And I do actually mean sleep! </p>
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<p>DH started a new career in law enforcement last year. It has brought about millions of changes in our lives, including a new city, a lack of support system, a new home, and now a different new home, random alternating schedules, me being a SAHM.. to name a few. As I've rode this crazy rollercoaster of supporting him in this, there's always been this "light at the end of the tunnel" that when the training year was complete we could settle into something like a functional family. Schedule. Normalcy. </p>
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<p>And in a lot of ways, we're starting to get there. Our old (new.. our first new home) was terrifying. Gut wretching anxiety 24/7. Never let the kids step foot out the door. Air was bad, place was bad, neighbors were bad, everything bad. The new place is roomy, airy, clean, newish, first floor with tons of outside space for the kids to play, safe, nice neighbors, all-in-all COMFY. DH has been on the same schedule now for a record 5 weeks. He gets to keep it for at least another 2 months. We've finished unpacking. I'm starting to feel really settled except..</p>
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<p>I feel kinda distant from DH. And honestly, nothing has changed in our relationship... he is kind, warm, sweet, thoughtful, generous, helpful. He does the laundry and helps with the kids and makes meals for me when there's opportunity to do so. We hug, kiss, cuddle, talk all as normal. But he's been working midnights for the last 5 weeks (and presumably, will be working midnights for the next 10 years....) and it's the first time in our 5 years together that we are not sleeping together. I sleep with DD in our bed, DS sleeps in his room, and DH sleeps by himself in the afternoon.</p>
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<p>In some ways, it has made me feel sexually awkward, because now our timing and location for all of that has changed. But mostly, sleeping with DH just gave me this incredible sense of calm and comfort.. everything about his arm across me and his scent and his body taking up part of the bed just seemed peaceful and helped me to rest. Now I avoid going to bed because it's hard to fall asleep without him, and I wake every few hours, which I've never done before. I feel like a little piece of our relationship has been lost. Even DD seems a bit miffed about it, sometimes waking up to nurse.. and then right in the middle, sitting up saying, "Daddy? Daddy?". </p>
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<p>Am I crazy to think sleeping together connects us somehow? I mean, it's not like you do, or say, anything when you're sleeping! DH has offered to try to get an afternoon shift job so that we can sleep together, but it means working in a different part of the city, and adds up to less family time. I really hate to think of making such a big adjustment just because I can't lay down and shut my eyes without my DH! </p>
 

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<p>I don't think it's crazy at all. We don't shut off while we sleep. We are still conscious, just in a sleep state, but our senses are still somewhat aware. I have always loved being able to smell DH or even just feel him if I kicked too far to his side of the bed (we aren't cuddly sleepers).</p>
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<p>With DS co-sleeping, I miss sleeping with DH. Even though he's in bed with us, it doesn't feel like it since I'm wrapped up around DS all night. Sometimes on the weekends we'll let DS roam around the bedroom while we stay cuddled in bed and it's so lovely!</p>
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<p>Is there a way that you can still get some close time together? A nap on the weekend, cuddling on the couch, sleeping together one night a week?<br>
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<p>I do feel like I "need" to sleep with my DH. I sleep so poorly if he's not in bed with me. I feel like I need to know that he's there even while I'm asleep. And we do sleep pretty closely to each other, so I guess I'm used to a certain amount of physical contact throughout the night, too.</p>
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<p>My heart goes out to you. I don't really know what to tell you as far as any kind of advice goes.... It seems as though you could either try to stick it out for the remainder of this schedule, or have him change it now. Definitely pros and cons to both, it sounds like. At least he is being understanding. I'm sure that goes a long way.</p>
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<p>I think that as was previously posted, getting in other snuggly time might be really helpful. Maybe try that out and then see if there's been any improvement? Good luck!</p>
 

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I wouldn't say it's a "need" for me, but definitely a strong desire to do so. For me, its not as much about connection (though that is there) and more about helping me to feel safe. I don't like sleeping alone, never have, I at least want another adult sleeping in the house/room with me. It's one of the things that makes me feel safe, even though logically I know I am probably not that much safer with another person there, but it's like other things that make me feel safe like being tucked under blankets and knowing the doors are locked. So I do get what you are saying. I don't know how well I would deal with a long term situation of having DH not sleeping in bed with me, I know I would lose sleep if nothing else.
 

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<p>For me its a need. Been married for 15 years and when DH is out of town (or me) or for some weird reason we are not in the same bed, I sleep horrible without him there. Its just like the OP described. We have always gone to bed at the same time and wake at the same time. I would feel the same way you feel OP, we have had a difficult/busy journey the past 6 mos. Not in our marriage but just in life with several things. Very different from your experience, but similar in several changes and I have felt like you have. If we didnt have such a strong marriage, I could see how things could fall apart.</p>
 

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<p>Does your sleep time overlap at all?</p>
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<p>DH went to 3rd shift 9 months ago in order to cover for someone who was later fired, and then he adopted the shift indefinitely. At first I thought I was going to hate it, because I love sleeping next to him. He works 10PM til 6AM and I work part time from 9AM til 1PM. Usually DD and I go to bed pretty late--like 11PM or midnight--and it's actually really nice to have more space in the bed as we're falling asleep. Then DH comes home at 6AM and usually joins us in bed between 6:30 and 7AM. He rarely wakes me up, but on some level I feel like I can just sense his presence. Those couple of hours that we get to sleep next to each other seem to do the trick, and I don't feel lonely going to bed without him when I get to wake up with his arm draped over me or his fingers in my hair. Then I slip away quietly and DD rolls over to snuggle up with daddy. By the time I get home from work DD and DH are waking up, so we have breakfast/lunch together and then spend the day doing things as a family. That usually involves going to the park or on a bike ride somewhere for DD to play. Usually we get back in the early evening and DH might take a nap while I prepare dinner. After dinner we unwind a bit, and then DH goes off to work.</p>
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<p>When DD starts pre-school she and I will just start going to bed a little earlier and then she will get up with me in the mornings and go to part-time morning pre-school while I work. I think DH and I will both get more sleep with that set up. Of course, now we're planning to start trying for number two in a few months, so that'll do away with the whole "more sleep" thing. But honestly, I feel much more comfortable with the idea of co-sleeping with a baby and a toddler, knowing that we won't also be trying to cram two adults into our queen-sized bed (we do have DD's crib side-carred to our bed which makes a HUGE difference, but still. We will most likely be upgrading to a King-sized bed in a few years) </p>
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<p>Sometimes it annoys me that we don't all start our day at 7AM or whatever, like "normal" people. But this is what works best for our family for now, and luckily DH and I still manage to carve out enough time for ourselves to re-connect. Also, with our particular set up, DH and I actually share more of the parenting duties than we did when I worked mornings and he worked 2-10 or so. Looking back I just don't know how we managed with him working afternoons. Now when he happens to work that old shift of 2PM til 10PM (which unfortunately has been happening once a week or so) I feel like two ships passing in the night.</p>
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<p>I hope you and your DH figure out something that works for all family members.</p>
 

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<p>When our little she-tyrant had first landed my husband was working from about 7am until just after midnight.  So I was sleeping alone a lot.  I liked being able to fall asleep alone, but wake up with him still in the bed (if I went to sleep early enough).  Some nights we (daughter and I) seemed restless, and so he would not come to bed.  I told him to stop staying away, and just climb in.  I wanted him to be there when I woke up, it felt wrong when he wasn't, even though I knew he was just on the couch, down the hall.</p>
 

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I can't sleep with my hubby much because he is a loud snorer. I tell you, this week we travelled and had to sleep together and I forgot how restorative it was. But I am ok with not being together. My hubby tho reports what you do ... Sort of a sexual awkwardness that he had to get over ... When we first started sleeping apart.<br><br>
I totally feel it is essential to you and get how destructive it could be ... Whether you should opt for another shift ... That sounds like one of life's hard choices. Don't have an answer.
 

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<p>My DP has been working nights since December, so he gets home around 4-6am (varies constantly). It has made our relationship very rocky and really affected his depression (he has SAD) during the winter. It takes a lot of work to get through it, but it helps that we get weekends and he doesn't usually work friday nights. We had to really make a focused effort to find time to spend together to stay connected. But after this long, I have found ways to make it easier to sleep. For a while I slept on the couch, that way I didn't associate it with sleeping with him (really only made things worse after a while). Now I have a bedtime routine I try to do the same every night and I fall asleep to music, which seems to help me feel more secure without him here. On nights he doesn't work I still fall asleep earlier than him so he usually sits in bed beside me with his laptop, so we're still near each other.</p>
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<p>At first I was totally against the night schedule and told him it would ruin our relationship, but now I can see that with some focused effort, it is workable. Just figure out what you both need to work through it.<br>
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<p>I've had my sleeping arrangements change a few times in the last 5 years. After my ex and I separated I had to go from sharing my sleep with my husband, to sleeping alone very suddenly. At first...it was so hard. I couldn't sleep, the bed felt weird, I'd toss and turn all night. I wound up sleeping on the couch for a few months. I didn't associate it with my ex and cuddling. I eventually bought new bedding and changed my bedroom quite a bit - it felt more 'mine' and less 'ours' after that. I did start sleeping really well after a while (4 or 5 months?).</p>
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<p>When DP and I decided to live together...it was hard to go back to sharing a bedroom. It felt a bit awkward, and I was very conscious of having another person in MY space. It was hard to learn to share all over again, but I came to really enjoy it.</p>
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<p>For the last year or so, since we purchased a new home, DP has been sleeping on the couch and coming up to the bedroom early in the morning. He works fairly late, he gets home after I've turned in for the night. I didn't mind sleeping alone, until recently. We are making an effort to cuddle more and sleep together and I forgot how relaxing and peaceful it can be. Things weren't bad when we were sleeping apart, they just were what they were.</p>
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<p>Good Luck! I hope you can get some good rest soon!</p>
 

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<p>OP:  I think partners probably connect in different ways, and that is alright.  I've been married for 22 years and early in our marriage, sleeping together was an important element of our relationship.  It felt wonderful and safe and loving.  Fast forward to the last 10 or so years, and one of us has ended up on the couch every night just to get sleep.  My DH snores loudly and it really bothers me, and he complains about my sleep talking and thrashing.  I think part of that has come with age (I'm 47, he's 62).  Adding to this mix is the fact that DD and I have co-slept for five years...so DH sleeps in DD's "room"  most of the time.  </p>
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<p>The way I look at it is that relationships and connections are always evolving.  DH and I connect on other levels and it seems to work out for us.  I certainly understand, though, if that a shared bed is the only quiet, connected time a couple would have together, then it would be a very big deal.  </p>
 

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<p>i use to work overnights, often 7 days a week.  i dont need to sleep to feel connected, i do need to dtd though lol<br>
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<p>I used to be that way, but my dh is recent years has started snoring just as my own sleeping patterns have changed (extremely light sleeper now) so more nights than not we sleep apart because me not sleeping is not optional. I admit as a couple that always cuddled and spooned to sleep it's been a hard adjustment. I do think there is a certain level of intimacy that happens when sleepong together but as we get older I understand now why its not always possible for couples to sleep together. In that case you make adjustments and look for other ways to create intimacy but no you aren't crazy. Hands down I feel calmer and more settled when we sleep together but I can't do sleep deprivation and in my case I didn't want to strange my hubby one night for his snoring.<br>
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I need to sleep with DH to feel connected. We can go a few nights, especially when DD was little and he had to sleep to get enough rest for work, but we always made a point for him to rejoin the bed and for us to have a night where DD slept in her co sleeper or in her bed and we got to cuddle without anyone between us.
 

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<p>Waking up next to him is the most precious part of my day in many ways. It's not a need necessarily, but I truly miss it if we have a night sleeping apart. </p>
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<p>I think that there are metphysical ways we connect during sleep and dreamtime and there is more to it's significance than may meet the eye. </p>
 
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