I have been thinking and writing about whether sleeping separately is selfish. A few people have posed the question to me lately and it has me thinking.
One of the books I referenced when writing my book suggested that couples should try hard to share a bed. The book is called Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing by Paul C. Rosenblatt
It’s a heart-warming cover (unless you CANNOT STAND your feet sticking out from underneath the sheets) that gently captures the closeness of a couple in a bed together.
But I feel that Rosenblatt has a one-eyed viewed of bed sharing. He is a big proponent for it and doesn’t give any room for the couples who just can’t share a bed. After reading it I felt a little incompetent – but only for a short while. A quick slap to the face and a walk past my husband’s room to hear the rhythmic snoring brought me back to reality.
But…. back to the question of selfishness. No I’m not selfish. I’m sensible. As are all the other separate sleepers.
Why do we sleep separately? Because we want to be healthy and function every day – it’s that simple.Here’s a comparison that should help put it all in perspective.
If I was overweight and unhealthy, and decided to prioritise going to the gym for 10 hours a week, I would probably be congratulated and encouraged for attending to my health. If the prioritising of my time meant that my partner had to miss out on spending time with me, or that our ‘Friday night pizza’ date fell by the wayside, again, I would probably be ‘high-fived’ for taking steps to not only look after me, but look after the relationship by being healthy.
Why is sleeping in a separate room so that I am healthy any different?
It’s just not.
Research published in the Psychological Science Journal last year found that being selfish makes us happier – as long as we can avoid feeling guilty. The key to contentment apparently is to feel that we have no choice but to be selfish.
I have no choice – and neither do lots of other people who love their partners, but not their partner’s bedroom shenanigans.
I’ve found an article titled How to Stop Feeling Guilty in Four Steps, so that’s the guilt dealt with.
Moral dilemma over. Phew…….