In the days of black and white television, it was scandalous to show a man and woman in the same bed. I remember seeing episodes of I Love Lucy and wondered why Lucy and Ricky had twin beds—the world just wasn’t ready for anything more suggestive.
Today when we hear of a man and woman sleeping in two separate beds, our thoughts immediately leap to the conclusion that they are having anger and/or sexual problems. But is that the only reason for sleeping separately?
Some people are driven to the couch or to the guest bedroom by their spouse’s snoring or kicking. In some cases, the husband and wife each need to sleep on a different type of bed for medical reasons—bad backs, primarily. Sometimes their work and sleep schedules overlap in such a way that he’s getting up as she’s going to bed. Bad sex isn’t the only thing that can keep a married couple apart.
Our computer is set up in the bedroom, and I get the largest bulk of my work done between nine p.m. and 2 a.m. My husband goes to sleep on the couch, and then when I’m ready to turn out the light, I wake him up and he moves into the bedroom. It’s not ideal, but it’s what has worked for us so I can work and he can sleep.
Whatever is keeping you apart, I’d strongly suggest doing what you can to fix it. When a husband and wife sleep together, even if there’s no sex involved, it bonds them more closely together. There’s a sense of unity and togetherness. Feelings of loneliness are diminished. It really is a very healing part of a marriage.
If snoring is the issue, I encourage you to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce it—ear plugs are awesome too. If you have bad backs, invest in a bed that allows you to adjust the firmness of the mattress on each side. If you work widely divergent schedules, take just a few minutes as you’re passing to talk and hug.
Sharing a bed is about more than just saving money on bedding. It really does make all the difference in a marriage, and you can—and should—find ways to solve the issues that are keeping you apart if you want your marriage to become stronger.