I can sing praises of my husband daily; it’s not a hard thing to do. This wasn’t always the case. And, a lot of learning to praise my husband came from learning when my husband was doing something so heartfelt it deserved praise.
Hubby and I started dating in college and we moved in together my final semester in college. There had been plenty of sleep overs in the dorms but this was the first time we were just kind of stuck with each other every night. You learn something very quickly when you are forced to share the same bed night after night – sleep is important, and you may not sleep the same way. The first time he slept on the couch wasn’t because of a fight – it was because he couldn’t sleep. There are just nights he can’t take his mind of work, or life, or school (he was taking masters classes at the time). I was so hurt that half way through the night I came out to the couch and curled up with him. Both of us were exhausted the next day.
Sometime later it happened again I argued with him, begged him to come back to bed. He did this time, and tossed and turned most of the night. Again, we spent the following day exhausted.
When he would get sick, he’d take the couch, when he was restless, he’d take the couch – again and again. This had to change I was losing precious time with my favorite guy! I was taking this so personally.
I was talking with a friend who had been living with her husband for a number of years and she looks at me, puts down her coffee and said “Iris, there are so many nights I wish he’d just leave me alone to sleep – accept that he loves you enough to let you sleep! Oh my gosh, do you know how wonderful it can be to sleep, alone, in a big bed! How do you not revel in it??” How had that thought never crossed my mind! In my mind he was abandoning me, he wouldn’t let me help him sleep, didn’t he know I was use to him being by my side I needed him there! This was not about me.
My husband knows there are nights he’s going to get crappy restless sleep. But, he’s smart enough to know that there is no reason we should both get crappy sleep. There will be nights one of us will be sick, no reason for us both to be sick. My selfishness got in the way and caused fights when I should have been grateful for the thoughtful ness of a man who is concerned about my wellbeing.
My husband continues to sometimes sleep in the guest room. The nice thing is he’s upgraded from a couch in a tiny apartment to pretty much his own second room of the house with a mattress I had no say in. It’s a blessing, really, because sleep is so important for a person to function. If one of us is ill, or he just simply can’t turn off his fantastical engineering brain we split up for the night.
I have to say though, sneaking into the guest room at 5am and waking him up has allowed for some new role plays in an already fun newlywed sex life.