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Thread: To Have and Hold, Until Bedtime?

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    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    To Have and Hold, Until Bedtime?

    I'm not sure where this belongs but I thought it was an interesting concept.

    TO HAVE, HOLD AND CHERISH, UNTIL BEDTIME.
    ______________________________ ____________
    I've seen a few things on this and was wondering what people think. Sleep is extremely important. And it's now becoming very acceptable for couples to sleep in different rooms. To the point of where builders are now offerring "owners suites". Some with personal bathrooms as well. It allows for each person to get a good night's sleep without someone ending up on a couch. This appears to be popular with couples who experience snoring, restless leg syndrome, shift work, or who enjoy late night reading/watching tv, etc.

    What do you think? Would this help marriages last?
    ------------------------------

    Not since the Victorian age of starched sheets and starchy manners, builders and architects say, have there been so many orders for separate bedrooms. Or separate sleeping nooks. Or his-and-her wings.

    In interviews, couples and sociologists say that often it has nothing to do with sex. More likely, it has to do with snoring. Or with children crying. Or with getting up and heading for the gym at 5:30 in the morning. Or with sending e-mail messages until well after midnight.

    In a survey in February by the National Association of Home Builders, builders and architects predicted that more than 60 percent of custom houses would have dual master bedrooms by 2015, according to Gopal Ahluwalia, staff vice president of research at the builders association. Some builders say more than a quarter of their new projects already do.

    What could be called the home-sleeping-alone syndrome is not limited to the wealthy. For middle-income homeowners, it may be a matter of moving into a spare bedroom, the recreation room or the den. In St. Louis, Lana Pepper, a light sleeper who battled for years with her husband’s nocturnal restlessness, reconfigured the condominium they bought recently, adding walls to create separate bedrooms. Mrs. Pepper said the advantage to separate rooms was obvious: “My husband is still alive. I would have killed him.”

    “It was more than snoring,” she said, recounting the bad old days of a shared bed. “He cannot have his feet tucked into any of the covers; I have to have them tucked in. So I took all the linens and split them with scissors. Then I finished the edge so that half of the sheet would tuck under and the other half he could kick out.”

    That did not help his snoring, so she bought a white noise machine; she even went to a shooting range to buy “a pair of those big ear guards they wear.” They did not suit her.

    According to the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, 75 percent of adults frequently either wake in the night or snore — and many have taken to separate beds just for those reasons. In a report issued Tuesday, the foundation found that more than half the women surveyed, ages 18 to 64, said they slept well only a few nights a week; 43 percent believed their lack of sleep interfered with the next day’s activities.

    Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council of Contemporary Families in Chicago, said many couples she interviewed were “confident enough that they have a nice marriage, but they don’t particularly like sleeping in the same room.”

    “I don’t think it says anything about their sex lives,” Ms. Coontz said.

    Mrs. Pepper, 60, who co-founded St. Louis’s annual Shakespeare festival, takes her sleeping seriously. On her nightstand is an arsenal of remote controls: for the adjustable bed, the television, the lights, the humidifier and the DVD player. Her mattress is made from a foam developed by NASA that rests in a four-poster frame under a skylight.

    At Escala, a condominium project in Seattle, a quarter of the 270 units have double master bedrooms, said John Midby, a partner in the development. In St. Louis County, Dennis Hayden, president of Hayden Homes, said that each of the 30 detached homes in his latest planned community would have two separate-but-equal bedroom suites.

    Kristen Scott, an architect in Seattle, said about one-third of her empty nester clients asked for separate bedrooms, which can cost a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000. In Honolulu, Nancy Peacock, an architect, said her clients increasingly requested “punees,” as daybeds are known in Hawaii — sometimes on the lanai, the covered porch of the house.

    In St. Louis, Carol Wall, president of Mitchell Wall Architects, said that three or four years ago her company began “doing a lot of these little rooms off the master bedroom where the snorer would go.” More recently, couples, including some in their 30s, have started asking for two master suites, “and we don’t ask any questions,” Ms. Wall said.

    Not everyone wants to talk about it. Many architects and designers say their clients believe there is still a stigma to sleeping separately. Some developers say it is a delicate issue and call the other bedroom a “flex suite” for when the in-laws visit or the children come home from college. Charles Brandt, an interior designer in St. Louis, said, “The builder knows, the architect knows, the cabinet maker knows, but it’s not something they like to advertise because right away people will think something is wrong” with the marriage.

    An interior designer in Chicago moved into her son’s bedroom when he went off to college. “Separate bedrooms are de rigueur for us,” she said, adding that she and her husband sleep together on the weekends. The couple asked that their names not be published.

    Fred Tobin, a builder in North Canton, Ohio, is friends of a prominent couple in Columbus whose house was remodeled with two master bedrooms. The wife sleeps on one side of the house, the husband on the other. “It’s a hush-hush thing,” Mr. Tobin said. “The husband travels a lot, all the time, and he comes home late, and he wants to be able to check his e-mail and go to bed without waking her up.”

    The move to separate sleeping spaces is yet another manifestation of changing marital patterns.

    “Couples today are writing their own script, rewriting how to have a marriage,” said Pamela J. Smock, a University of Michigan sociologist. “The growing need for separate bedrooms also represents the speed-up of family life — women’s roles have changed — and the need for extra space eases the strain on the relationship. If one of them snores, the other one won’t be able to perform the next day. It’s nothing to do with social class, and it’s not necessarily indicative of marital discord.”

    Nevertheless, Professor Smock said husbands were less willing to change familiar patterns.

    “Men are supposed to be one, dominant, and two, sexual,” she said. “Their wives might be thrilled to have their own bedroom, and see it as a romantic thing — going back to their romance, going back to dating, to intimacy, but the husband might not see it that way.

    “As a social pattern, this could increase,” she continued. “A lot of people I know fantasize about living in the same apartment building as their husband — but in a separate apartment. That could be next.”

    Paul C. Rosenblatt, a professor in the department of family and social science at the University of Minnesota, has studied couples who sleep separately, and wrote a book last year on the challenges and benefits, “Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing.” To him, a large part of the phenomenon has to do with aging. Many of those Professor Rosenblatt surveyed, like the Chicago couple, split into separate bedrooms when their children grew up.

    “It’s suddenly available,” he said, “and if you have trouble sleeping you go into the kid’s room and find you slept better than with your partner.”

    But some of the people he studies still want a place to cuddle. “In my research, couples had separate places for their sleeping arrangements but also had a together place,” he said. “Some do their cuddling before going their separate ways.”

    Occasionally, the need to separate does have to do with sex. Professor Rosenblatt said one older woman he interviewed said she had her own bedroom because, “I’ve paid my dues. I’m old enough that I don’t want to have sex at 1 a.m.”

    No matter what the reasons, architects and builders say they know enough not to call them “master” bedrooms anymore.

    “Women are buying more homes, and women are sensitive to that terminology of the ‘master suite,’ and they’re opting for the term ‘owners’ suite,’ ” said Barbara Slavkin, an interior designer in St. Louis.

    Dale Mulfinger, an architect in Minneapolis, said, “How about ‘couples’ realms’?”

    Whatever you call them, they certainly seem to suit the Peppers, the St. Louis couple who reconfigured their new condominium to give them each a sleeping sanctuary.

    Ted Pepper’s room, lined with a bank of windows that open onto a rooftop terrace, has none of the sleeping paraphernalia — the sound machine, the sleeping mask — found in his wife’s room. The only evidence of his sleep habits is the twisted knot of sheets and blankets on his bed.

    “Now, there’s a demonstration,” said Mr. Pepper, 67, gesturing toward the swirl of bedding and chuckling. “She’d wake up if I moved even a little.”

    The Peppers agree: separate bedrooms have added spice to their relationship. “It’s more exciting,” Mrs. Pepper said, “when you can say: ‘Your room or mine?’ ”

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  2. #2
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    While I completely understand why anyone would want this, I have trouble with reconciling the idea with my own marriage. When we go on vacation, if there is availability we will get a room with two beds and I always have the best sleep of the year. But it is just a vacation and much as I sleep better physically solo, emotionally I prefer to sleep with Mr. Rattus, even though he kicks, twitches and flops, and he prefers to sleep in the same room with me, even though I snore (we know this because we've discussed it). I think, though, that sometime down the line we may end up in separate rooms, but only because we can't fit either a king-size or a pair of twins along with the bedside tables in our tiny, but comfortable, bedroom.
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    Premium Member burntbrat's Avatar
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    I think if couples want to sleep in separate bedrooms and it works for them, then good. I know that sometimes I'm a bit frustrated when multiple kicks and rollovers don't stop the snores. But for my marriage, there is no way that separate bedrooms would work. Just a week or so ago my husband and I spent the first night apart in over eight years (due to anger) and it was the worst. My back was actually, physically tingling because he wasn't in the bed next to me. It was one of the worst night's of my life. I can't imagine going to bed alone ever, ever, ever again. And I'm the strong one in our relationship, so it's not like I'm a weakling who needs her man. You just get used to your little rut and the warmth and its comfort.
    One of these days I'll stop being sensitive. Until then, I'll continue to be devastated on a daily basis. Life breaks my heart.

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    Winter get away catmom3's Avatar
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    My husband and I actually discussed this very subject when we were talking about a new house. He is a bed and blanket hog and his body temperature seems to go up at night. I like to sleep cold but I still need blankets.

    I also sleep alone most of the time because he is a truck driver and is gone for most of a month at a time. We have been married for 21 years and have just gotten used to sleeping alone.

    Of course he also has a large dog,I've posted pictures in the animal lovers thread before, that likes to sleep in bed with daddy. Needless to say I am constantly kicking the dog off the bed but it never really works.

    When we share a bed he sleeps pretty good, I don't sleep at all and then have to take naps the next day just to function.

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    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    I don't think that this is actually really 'new'. I remember one set of grandparents having separate rooms for as long as I could remember. Mind you that was after the kids grew up and moved away.

    And one set of an aunt and uncle as well. Apparently, my uncle could throw a punch or two in his sleep and my aunt would wake up with a nasty bruise or black eye. Not exactly blissful. But separate rooms seems to work for them. I always thought it was odd though growing up.

    I can see one person sleeping in a spare room or couch if they have a terrible cough or cold and don't want to give it to his/her spouse. For a night or two.

    But permanently, I don't think I would like it either. I have to admit I have moved to the couch myself, while visiting my sweetie. He was snoring in surround sound and I didn't want to wake him as he was very tired. So I moved to the couch with a blanket and caught a few hours myself. He was sad that I actually had moved but I desperately need several hours of sleep. We tried snore strips but they didn't help.

    I've had a kitty sleeping with me on my bed for 17 years so when I'm not at home, I miss that terribly.

    “As a social pattern, this could increase,” she continued. “A lot of people I know fantasize about living in the same apartment building as their husband — but in a separate apartment. That could be next.”
    I've already read of married couples keeping two apartments in the same building so they can have their alone time. And it works for them. That I just don't get.

    I guess it's whatever works for your relationship. And I think if one's sleeping habits and preferences change over time, and everyone's in agreement, that's ok too.
    Last edited by misskitty; 03-19-2007 at 03:05 AM.
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    Aint I a lil devil? SuperBrat's Avatar
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    well, my parents only sleep in the same bed 3 nights a week. And that's because my dad works nights (he's a truck driver and drives from Seattle to Portland each night.) And if he doesnt fall asleep on the couch on his days off, then those are the only days my parents share a bed (well... and the dog). My mom has often said that those are the hardest nights to fall alseep, because she is use to having the bed for herself (and the dog).
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    MRD
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    I couldn't do it. I don't sleep well when my husband isn't here and he says the same thing. To me its reassuring to have him next to me in bed, even though we are separated by a dog now, who thinks his rightful spot is to be in the middle.
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    Kanai Nemeses's Avatar
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    I, personally, don't like the idea of it because I never sleep well unless my husband is there next to me, nor would I even want to. We do have to sleep apart occasionally, as we each have to travel independently for work at times. As for sleeping habits, we're very different -- he snores (loudly at times), and likes the room warmer than I like it, and he also tends to hog the blankets sometimes, and I swear I don't know how his pillows end up like they do and where they do each night! When we get up the next morning, his side of the bed looks like a war zone, while mine looks as neat as if it hadn't been slept in. But in spite of those differences in sleep styles, we want to have each other next to us all night in the same bed. We didn't get married to sleep in separate beds, and no amount of snoring, illness, movement, or anything else is too much to make us consider doing that. My heart wants his within touching distance.

    That's how my husband and I feel about it, but if there are other couples who feel differently, or feel it's something they might need to do occasionally, I certainly wouldn't fault them for it. Every marriage and every couple is different. I do think it's sad that it's becoming a common enough trend that home designers have a term for it and it's requested so often, though. I don't know, I guess it's the romantic in me, but I just feel that separate beds and/or separate rooms should be a last resort for something, instead of coming already built into your house like a necessary and common convenience.
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    Soon summer soon BlondieGirl's Avatar
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    I love sharing the bed with my hubby. I would miss his cuddles. There was a short time when he couldnt sleep with me because his back hurt him and it was horrible. We since have a new bed.
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    MRD
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    my parents slept in twin beds pushed together for 40 years. Almost from the beginning of their marriage. My mom was little and my dad was big and she said he would roll over and just about toss her out of bed. This way, they were still close, but had their own covers and own bed, but could still touch if they wanted. Since our king bed has 2 twin box springs under it, I suppose it was the same thing as sleeping in a king size bed, just separate covers.
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