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Sleeping in Separate Bedrooms

separate bedrooms Confession: I watch Oprah from time to time. (Maybe once every two weeks?)

Yesterday's show was all about the question Am I Normal? To be honest, it was a fun show. Oprah polled her studio audience on a number of topics from faking it in bed to lying about one's weight on a driver's license to hiding food wrappers in the trash. As a lover of details, particularly about humanity, I was fascinated. With many of the questions though, I wasn't shocked to see the audience's answers. (More people than not have faked it between the sheets, lied about their weight, and hidden a junk food wrapper in the trash.)

But one topic surprised me. Apparently, one in four married couples sleep in separate bedrooms. A very brave husband/wife duo in the audience admitted that they have spent eight of their nine married years in separate rooms. When asked why, the wife said that this pattern began when she was pregnant and very uncomfortable and that it just continued. She explained that she gets a much better night of sleep alone and is thus a better person/wife/mother the next day. Her husband chimed in that he likes to sleep in cold temperatures and without covers whereas his wife prefers a steamy room and lots of covers.

Fine.

But is it? Oprah polled the audience on this one too, asking them whether they thought it was "normal" for husband and wife to sleep in separate rooms. 80+% said no, that this sleep separation is not normal. Oprah offered another startling stat. Apparently, by the year 2015, 60% of new homes will be built with two master bedrooms to accommodate this growing marital sleep trend.

Wow.

Oprah asked Dr. Phil to weigh in on this one and Dr. Phil said a few things that I found compelling. He said that he worries about what what a couple is missing by sleeping separately (the cuddling, the intimacy, the closeness). He also made another important point, namely that sleeping next to your spouse every night is something you don't do with anyone else. That there is a meaningful behavioral exclusivity here the importance of which should not be neglected.

I don't know. I am biased. Husband and I refused to get a king-sized bed in our new home because I feel like I am too far away from him in a king. So separate rooms? I don't get it.

But apparently 25% of us do. And maybe more in the future. Interesting, huh?

I think so.

_______________________________________

  • Do you believe in "normal"?
  • Do you know any married couples who sleep in separate bedrooms?
  • Do you think it is possible to be "happily married" and sleep in separate bedrooms?
  • Do you see the appeal of having your own bedroom? (You can admit this here! Your spouse is not reading.)
  • Do you agree that something important in a relationship is missing when this separate sleep arrangement is in place?
  • Do you sleep in a king or queen?
  • Did you know that the average person picks or touches her nose more than five times per hour?!
  • Do you ever watch Oprah?

Three Relationship Theories

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