Tonight, a story to share from a friend of mine. I love this friend dearly and asked her recently to capture for me, part of a recent chapter of her life, as it’s a chapter that has an aspect that’s dear to my heart.
This friend’s husband brought their 25 year marriage to an end through his thoughtless and rather selfish behaviour. (One word here – karma)
My friend was devastated in the months after the marriage ended and often wondered what life was going to look like without the person she had planned to spend her life with, sharing it with her.
I can happily report she is doing just fine, as most intelligent, capable and sensible people do. (Not that I am blindly biased or anything like that)
A surprising aspect of her post-marriage life has been how much she treasures having her own bed.
She writes in her story….
At fifty, I look back at my younger twenty-one-year-old self, and wonder why I gave up my own bed and room without question in the first place. I recall the excitement of the early days of marriage where sharing a room and a bed were symbols of my newly acquired marital status. In fact, not sharing a room and bed was never considered.
I think that she captures one of the ‘constructs’ I bleat on about when it comes to why our society places so much importance on bed sharing as a couple. It’s a symbol that you are together – in every facet of your life. I was very grateful for her insight on that one. (I still don’t agree with it, but I think I understand it more)
Her husband and her went on to experience the normal issues that arise in bed sharing – snoring, bed and room temperature, how to use sheets and blankets appropriately, excessive movement, etc., etc. But as a ‘good wife and good couple’ they persisted in sharing a bed, and she often found herself spending days in a “sleep-deprived stupor”.
So here we are, 26 years down the track and now that she is free to explore what it’s like to sleep solo – she is a convert. This is how she describes her sleeping arrangements circa 2012…
Now that I’ve had the luxury of my own room and my own bed again, I won’t be giving it up. I love shutting the bedroom door behind me and entering my own space to relax and ponder and rest. It sustains and nurtures me. There is nothing I like better than slipping into my bed each night, knowing I will sleep undisturbed until morning. Being able to spread out in a walk-in wardrobe is a definite plus as well. In time, if life does happen to bring a second partner for me, he will definitely need to be happy with a two bed/two room policy.
She called her story “The Gift of Bed” and I think it’s a great gift for anyone to give themselves, if they can afford it.
(In reading and re-reading this post, I am concerned that I may sound a little biased towards separate sleeping. I’m certainly not pro-separate sleeping, just pro-having the choice to do so if that’s what makes you happy. I think I’m just so happy for my friend that she has found something in her life that she really loves.
If she had found a new lease on life by climbing Mt Everest, or taking up crocheting, I would have been equally as enthusiastic. It’s just that when someone else shares a pleasure you have – it’s kind of neat.)