WWhen I hear about couples with separate bedrooms, I get jealous. Regardless of whether the reason for the nocturnal separation is snoring, small children or night shifts. I would put up with pretty much anything to finally go to sleep alone again – and above all, when and how I want. Shortly before midnight or as late as three-thirty, reading, sipping tea or with a thick layer of cold balm on your chest. But unfortunately my nights have been determined by others since I’ve been living with my boyfriend.
Ten years ago, at the beginning of our relationship, I found it flattering that he supposedly fell asleep better when I was lying next to him. I now feel emotionally blackmailed by that claim. Mainly because it seems to be less about me and more about the right conditions for his recovery.
It starts with the noise. I’m supposed to turn off the bedside light with him so that, firstly, I can’t rattle around the apartment while he’s trying to fall asleep, and secondly, I won’t disturb him when I crawl into bed at a later time. (In the meantime I have perfected it, opening the door very, very quietly, closing it again and sneaking to my side of the bed – James Bond couldn’t do it any better. The only sound that can be heard with human hearing is the creaking of the slatted frame as I gently roll onto the mattress and under the covers.)
The bedtimes are wrong
I myself have incredibly good sleep skills, which I have often demonstrated in the cinema, in the theater or at parties. Sounds don’t bother me when I’m really tired. But I can at least understand the need for silence when falling asleep on a rational level.
The situation is different with my boyfriend’s preferred bedtime. It is between 10pm and 10.30pm. But let’s face it, no sensible person willingly goes to bed at this time unless they’re sick, on early shift the next morning, or have been kept busy all day by small children. At 10 p.m. the “topics of the day” have not yet started, and on a night out in a pub with friends – in pre-pandemic times – you have just ordered another drink. My day can’t end at this much too early time. And above all, not just because someone else would like it that way.
I would definitely be willing to compromise. I would always go for a “go to bed but read it” solution. But reading books is evil because the lamp shines too brightly. Reading cell phone messages is evil because the screen is too bright. And even listening to podcasts sucks because the tiny light on the headphones is too bright. He studiously ignores my references to sleeping goggles in the household and a storage pack of earplugs (bought by him).
#Relationship #Column #breathe #quietly