Earlier this week my guy and I were winding down for the night when he remembered something that had to be done for work, that he hadn’t completed earlier. This is a very focused guy, so instead of suggesting he get up early the next morning, I could tell he needed to finish the job then and there. He said it would take about an hour, would I like to go up to bed without him?
The answer was no, we talked for a minute about what he needed to do, and I dozed on the couch while he worked. An hour later we went upstairs for the night. It was worth it to stay on the main floor and wait, even though I wasn’t very coherent, because I want to give him the impression that we are together in this.
We try to go to bed together most every night that my guy is in town. There are nights when I’m not tired or he is stressed, but we go together anyway. We also try to wake up together. Today he was up at 3:15, and I didn’t join him, but I normally do, especially during the school year.
The thought process is simple: we are on the same team so we should be together whenever we can. If I were to stay up an hour or two later than him each night, we wouldn’t connect in the same way, and I could be tempted to get into trouble. If I continually choose to sleep in each morning, my guy starts his day without any support from his teammate and could easily get off course as a result. Sleeping together is an intimate act that is not shared with anyone else; the person you say your last words of the day to and get to start the next day with.
I talk to a lot of couples who have very different sleep patterns, saying they just can’t go to bed early or are not willing to stay up late and I get it, but there may be some room to compromise. We all need 7-8 hours a night – meet in the middle? Go to bed early through the week and stay up late on the weekends? Look ahead at the needs of the week and decide what time works best for both?
I shouldn’t have to give up my right to a good night’s sleep for someone else, but I can choose to give up my need to honor my individual sleep cycle for the greater good: a strong marriage.