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Weird Marriage-Saving Trick: Separate Bedrooms

Could sleeping apart save your marriage?

My kids are approaching that magic age where they each want their own room. It makes sense. Having your own room means you get more space, free range to decorate as you will, no one else’s mess all up in your stuff. Best of all, you get privacy. This sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Such a sweet deal, in fact, that I’m kind of wondering why I don’t have my own room. I’m a grown-up, right? I deserve my own space at least as much as my 7-year-old does. Don’t get me wrong. My husband is a great roommate: he’s reasonably tidy, not fussy about me leaving my clothes in piles around the room, and a good sleeper. He neither snores nor sweats excessively. We have a constant tug-of-war going over the blankets, but other than that he’s a great guy to share a bedroom with.

Still, maybe we should consider joining the quarter of married couples who sleep apart. Over at The Stir they’re singing the praises of the separate bedroom arrangement:

Not only are they more common than you think, separate bedrooms are being suggested for couples whose marriages aren’t doing so well, as a way to improve their relationship! In couples therapy? Have some bumps in the ol’ marriage … maybe you should call your contractor instead of your shrink!

My colleague Monica says having separate rooms may have saved her marriage. She threw her husband out of their shared bedroom in a fit one night, but they kept the new arrangement because it turned out they both liked it better that way.

Now, I’m not the “throwing him out in a fit” type. My husband and I have one of those low-conflict, mostly OK marriages the CNN article talks about. We rarely fight. But we rarely do much of anything together. I can’t help but wonder if, perversely, moving  apart a little might bring us closer.

I’ve wondered about this a lot ever since we finished the addition and suddenly had an extra bedroom. Should I move into it? As much as I’d love to have my own space, I’ve resisted the temptation because symbolically I didn’t like the idea of separating from my husband, even a little bit. Now I’m wondering what I’m missing out on. Maybe moving my sleeping space down the hall will spark some new intimacy for both of us. Or at least I’d get to keep the sheets at night.

Do you and your spouse sleep apart? Do you wish you could?

Photo: TorreBarolo

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