Essential Sleep and My Spare Room Haven.

For almost two years now my husband and I have battled with each other and within ourselves over the state of our marriage all because things changed for us sleeping together. Gone were the days when a night apart seemed for ever and lust was in abundance and well, lustful! Sharing a bed and getting a good night’s sleep was becoming an absolute nightmare for so many reasons. They’re coming don’t worry! I want to see if anyone else relates to any at this time of life.

Separate beds, let alone separate rooms, was a slippery slope to doom and gloom to us for our marriage and the thought of it was giving us so much angst. It was something you did in your eighties when teeth needed removing or oxygen tanks maneuvering surely? Until two weeks ago that is, when we came to a unanimous decision to stop fighting each other and ourselves and accept the inevitable, make the spare room fancy schmanzty and one of us move in Sunday night until Thursday night for everyone’s sanity. And that one was me. I will get to that bit too and why it wasn`t “The Snorer”. Nearly ten nights in, we are already more refreshed and excited for another weekend rendezvous!! Keeping the fire alive is no joke when you are both knackered and resentful.

Going back briefly to when we met in our twenty’s, I could sleep through anything pretty much, which always amazed my future husband. He just could not get it that I hardly moved for eight hours straight and was quite envious at this strange phenomenon. Move on a few decades and all that changed as I headed into my forties and the perimenopause and all it brings to cause insomnia. (I won`t re hash that as it is all in my previous post “Hello 2am!”) and I was becoming the most agitated, foul tempered person, just at the thought of sharing a bed because we were both so sleep deprived and really because of each other and that was proving hard to accept.

So what were the reasons it was becoming so difficult? In no specific order and sometimes multiple times! :-

Snoring

What happens to men in their forties? Why do they become so snorey? My husband sounds like a drill that starts off slow and then goes full throttle. This can either wake me up out of nowhere and then insomnia starts and I can`t get back to sleep for a few hours or it starts to rumble as I am drifting off and I get what I call “Snore Anxiety” because I am on edge that he is going to snore and then can`t sleep. I can honestly feel my heart rate increase at every sound he makes. I have tried a few options. Exclaiming “Oh for God’s Sake” (or worse), nudging (ok shoving), earplugs (they don’t work so save your money), holding his nose (I know really mean that one but strangely satisfying!) and eventually throwing myself out of bed and storming off to the spare room. He was oblivious to it all so all dramatics were wasted.

Toilet Trips

So apparently from middle age onward, the wall of our bladder begins to thin so we need to wee more, especially at night it seems in our case. It`s bad enough and so annoying if someone needs to go, but in mid slumber and darkness, it is easy to stub your toe (and yell), turn on a light or god forbid flush the loo (we have an ensuite) and then the other poor soul is awake. I can`t blame my husband for this one as I do it too and probably more (cougar syndrome!). No point trying to deny you need to go either I have found. It just prolongs the inevitable.

Tossing and Turning

My husband will put his hand up and say this one is all him. I don`t really move even when lying there awake for hours, but he does what we had in the early days fondly named “humphing”. He tosses and turns and makes “humphing” noises (in between snoring) and suddenly I wake up with his face right in mine doing a great impression of a heavy breather. I am not so fond anymore That sends me off into the spare room too. As there is no hope at that point. He is not one I can budge, even an inch.

Passing Ships

Unlike our early years we have completely different patterns of when we need to get up and go to sleep. Gone are the days of a midweek romantic meal and wine, some rumpy pumpy , blissful cuddles and dreams until the 7am alarm. Now he needs to be up at 4.45am for a 7am start an hour from home and so he needs to be in bed at 9pm. At which point I am usually walking through the door from picking up our youngest from gymnastics. I then want to unwind. I do come up, be very careful not to wake him and then 6 hours after I hopefully nod off (with a 2am insominia interlude) his alarm is yelling, “It is 4,45am” (speaking clocks should be banned). Do I get up or nod off for a few hours of restless weird morning dream sleep (I always get weird dreams in those pre-waking hours, I wonder if it is a thing?) leaving me groggier still.

So all this, as much as I have tried to make light of it ,has been leaving us absolutely knackered in the day and rather resentful of each other, yet determined to stick at it until “death do us part” because surely it is wrong not to share a bed as a married couple? But then we said, “Well is it wrong?’ Only society tells us it isn`t normal and there is a stigma attached to it and there is always the old couples who preach they haven`t slept a night apart. And I think that is wonderful. It warms my heart. But times have changed. Life has changed. Sometimes it is so fast you just want to get off let alone sleep a night uninterrupted to re charge for the next day. Sleep, to both of us, is absolutely crucial to functioning properly on a daily basis. We were spending the weekend catching up on sleep rather than enjoying family time and having a laugh together. We needed this compromise.

So in the end that was the decision we reached, that we would sleep separately for five nights a week and enjoy those two nights together on the weekend when I am not in at 9pm and he is not up at 4.45am. OK, it might not be all plain sailing, I might have to hold his nose once in a while, but we are looking forward to it and right now, we have a kiss, wish each other goodnight with a smile because we are gong to sleep without waking each other up all night. There`s no morning grumbles because we don`t see each other and I have a nice blissful fancy schmanzty room to watch The Crown in peace 😊

Until the next pondering

PP xx

PS. I took the spare room, so he can use the ensuite in the morning in peace and quiet without disturbing the rest of us! And I get to share a bathroom with my very clean, anti boys and their smells, daughter ( she`s eleven, say no more!) I read somewhere once that the way to a successful marriage was to have separate sinks, well we are taking that to another level and I think we might be onto something! 😉

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33 thoughts on “Essential Sleep and My Spare Room Haven.

  1. Kathleen says:

    I think you´ve made a very wise decision. I know many couples who sleep in separate bedrooms and they are still together after so many years, and better rested then they were before. My husband and I also sleep in separate rooms during the summer because it simply gets too hot to sleep in the same bed then, and I can´t say it has affected our marital life much. On the contrary, I think it´s a lot easier to be a good partner when you´re well-rested.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cozynookbks says:

    Hi Helen! What a great, candid post. Gone are the days when things happened so easily, like sleeping and eating (eating is a subject for another time. 🤦🏽‍♀️). Things we need to do to help our well being might be unconventional to some, but I say if it works, then go for it! I think I can still rest in the same bed with my husband because our bed is so huge. And because I’m the snorer, unfortunately. Thankfully a nudge usually gets me to stop. There are times when I’ll go to one of our guest rooms if I’m having difficulty sleeping because I don’t want to wake my husband up since he has to go to work in the morning and I don’t. I’m sure that as we age and more and more things become a nuisance, it will be more difficult to co-exist in bed. I’m not looking forward to it, but might become inevitable. I’m not looking forward to the hot flashes and night sweats that have tapered off for now. 😤

    Here’s to peaceful weekdays watching The Crown, and fun weekends together with your hubby. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Hi Laurie
    Lovely to hear from you. I am so glad you enjoyed the post and found it candid, which is what I was hoping to be. The situation is so real for us but getting easier. I get a little “Love Text” when he gets to work and I am still in bed :). It sounds to me like you and your husband are very content as you are which is so lovely. I don`t think you can be snoring too loudly, my husbands travel through walls !! I am still waiting on Book Depository and hope to see my book soon. I have three more episodes of The Crown to go so trying to slow down xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cozynookbks says:

    Me and my husband do the best we can to sleep, but there are certainly discomforts. I was telling him about your post and he told me that I slam the door when I get up at night to use the bathroom. 😂 I’m going to have to try to be more aware from now on, but at 2:00 a.m. I’m not too present mentally. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    I hope your book arrives soon, Helen, and that you’ll enjoy it when it does. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Claudette says:

    I like it…if we had the room…

    Midlife is something else, isn’t it. I wrote something similar too and was astonished how many people go through similar things. Like the endless peeing at night…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    I am extremely grateful we now have a spare room. I actually think if we had the window open at night the neighbours would hear the snoring😉. The peeing drives me nuts! It sometimes starts off hours of lying there awake. Be quite funny to video a midlife couple attempting a full nights sleep together 😀. I shall try and find your post !

    Liked by 2 people

  7. traceyatwaterintowine says:

    Well they say distance makes the heart grow fonder Helen. I think we just gotta do what we gotta do cause a good nights sleep is worth gold. There’s enough stuff we’ve got to deal with so if a good simple solution can be found all the better. And absolutely no one wants to be interrupted when they’re watching The Crown!!! Thanks for your honesty in these posts – it’s refreshing and it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nicolekristineeee says:

    I think not only did you guys not just do what a lot of couples do now adays and cut all strings and head straight for divorce but you guys have worked on your relationship and nothing is ever easy at first it’s a change so that is normal. I think this is a great idea whatever works with you both and keeps things going and the fire alive between you both is a beautiful thing. If you don’t mind me asking how many years have you been married? I am still in a fresh 6 1/2 years but we are still in the same bed thank gosh bc he is in his early 30s while I’m in my late 20s so we should still have the fire life. But there are times where I sleep on the couch due to issues we all have them even us younger staged couples girlie! Trust me, when I say my relationship has had its ups and downs and we have a five year old. So things get harder after having children he also works night shift, which is hard but it is what it is. While I am a stay at home mom for now and I have just recently started blogging and I also have a beauty and lifestyle channel on YouTube which is great because I love it I’m so passionate for what I do and it makes me feel good and idk the exact words I’m looking for here. But to say I think it’s a great idea you aren’t the only couple in the world that has this problem I know a lot of couples! I am very happy to hear that you’ve decided to work things out rather then just going straight for a divorce idk if it’s just me but doesn’t it seem like now days everytime anything happens more people are getting divorced now? Idk maybe it’s me but that’s how it feels. Thanks for sharing your story it’s great to hear that other people have real problem and are open to speak so freely about them I love that! Great post and I wish you the best of luck with your marriage and hope to stay connected love! XOXO 💋 NicoleKristine

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Thank you for this wonderful engaging comment NicoleKristine. I am flying around for the next hour or so, and want to answer at length so will pop back on in a bit. It`s great to hear from and be connected a fellow new blogger too, BRB xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Hello again. Firstly I think doing a blog on what you are passionate about is fantastic !! I did a beauty therapy course in Leeds back when I was 32. Loved it and focused on Bridal Make up 😊.
    We have been together 18 years.
    Married for 14. Can’t believe it ! But life was simple for the first 6/7 as my girls were school age , went to their Dads for weekends (❤😉)and we both worked the same hours. Then we moved to Australia. Hubbies work hrs have altered a lot and we had a baby who is now 11. The problems really set in with our early forties “nocturnal habits” 😂😂 and Hubbie getting up at 4.30am.
    Thank you so much for supporting what we have done.
    Don’t be too hard on yourself …a child and a night shift is very hard to juggle. We had that too at a similar time with my daughter aged 5. Led to a very grumpy household and a normal sleep pattern that was hard to return to on his days off. So I completely understand.
    I also think we have worked at it because we have only each other being over the other side of the world. It breaks some couples. You cant just say “I’m of to my Mums” etc. So far despite ups and downs we have remained strong. It is great to talk and share with others like you. Lets keep it up 💋

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fiery K. says:

    And also – when you aren’t glued together all the time, it gives attraction and desire some space to BE too. Instead of suffocating it.

    But mostly – I’ve just had my own room for so long I can’t even wrap my head around going back to sharing. As it is, I have a 7 year old that’s still in my bed half the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nicolekristineeee says:

    I truly love how you and your hubby have worked through things and are still going strong! As I had said divorce rate is so high anymore and it is very sad. Happy 18 years that is amazing! My hubby (soon to be) and I are going on 6 1/2 years, we have our ups and downs as well and with a young child as you know is hard. I love my family and will do anything for them! I really admire you for how you’ve done all this and made other things a way to make things that weren’t great work better!! Ya night shift is hard and I’m a SAHM I just do YouTube videos and now I am starting to blog.. so it can be very stressful at times. Thank you again for all your tips and all you talked to me about, it means a lot. I have followed you and definitely let’s keep up together and chat love! XOXO 💋 thanks for sharing love

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Travel Architect says:

    You nailed my exact experience in your paragraph on snoring. I love that you defined that horrible feeling when I just KNOW the snores are coming: Snore Anxiety. Oh those heart palpitations. And it’s not just the noise. I can actually feel the vibrations through the mattress and pillow. I went so far as to get one of those fancy-schmancy noise machines, but it’s only partially successful (depends on how loudly he’s snoring and/or how awake I am). I would go to the guest bedroom sometimes, but even then I could hear him across the hall. Ended up getting another fancy-schmancy noise machine for the guest bedroom. Between the two noise machines, two closed doors, the rotating fan, and being in a different bedroom, I can usually relax enough to sleep. And then boy do I sleep. Going to the guest bedroom is not on a permanent basis, only “as needed,” and one remedy to the worrying lack of intimacy is to sneak back in in the morning (why does he not snore in the morning??) and snuggle. Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Perimenopausal Ponderings says:

    Thanks for a great reply!! Snore Anxiety is definitely a thing isn’t it ?? I am about to book a holiday and it just occurred to me we will all be in one big hotel room and snoring could be an issue and I am not playing doubles for adjoining rooms.Maybe the no limits on alcohol will knock me out 😆😆

    Liked by 1 person

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