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to think my needs are greater than his in this circumstance?

(26 Posts)
thehotmilkdoesntwork Mon 03-Oct-11 11:33:13

I am terrible at getting to sleep. Many nights I am still awake at 4am.

The conditions need to be perfect for me to drift off. Temperature, position, light, noise, pillow height and so on. I get so angry that this is the case, but any deviation results in just tenseness and lack of sleep.

DH on the other hand can fall, and has fallen, asleep anywhere. envy

DH frequently has to sleep in hotels for his work - upto 4 times a week, When he's not away, he still works long hours so all the childcare falls to me, as you can imagine 3 hours sleep makes my quite tetchy.

Anyway the issue is that DH feels that I am snubbing him if he's not "allowed" to fall asleep cuddling me. I am happy to have a small cuddle, but absolutely cannot fall asleep while we are touching - he jerks, and twitches and strokes etc, his temperature is way higher than mine, causing me to overheat unpleasantly. No matter how many times I explain to him about it's not a reflection on my feelings towards him, it's just a necessity to enable me to drift off.

So, now when, he's actually in bed, I have to endure a cuddle for long enough for him to fall asleep deeply enough so I can nudge him gently to his side of the bed, so I can only then begin the long process of me drifting off. Sometimes by then, he's in snoring mode and I have to work to counteract that, too, thus lengthening the process.


So, AIBU to think my need for sleep trumps his need for affection?

Ghoulwithadragontattoo Mon 03-Oct-11 11:36:55

YANBU - What is his objection to having a cuddle first and then letting you get into a position where you can sleep. Sounds selfish of him to insist on a cuddle you are not enjoying. You can share affect at other times too when you both want to.

itisnearlysummer Mon 03-Oct-11 11:37:05

No. YANBU smile

I too have sleep ishoos. The nightime can be a long and lonely place.

Ghoulwithadragontattoo Mon 03-Oct-11 11:38:06

Sorry affection not affect.

QueenStromba Mon 03-Oct-11 11:38:27

As a bad sleeper myself YANBU. People who sleep easily just don't understand insomniacs though because their idea of bad sleeping means taking half an hour to get to sleep and feeling a tiny bit tired in the morning. He probably thinks (either consciously or subconciously) that you are exaggerating how hard it is for you to sleep and how long it takes you.

thehotmilkdoesntwork Mon 03-Oct-11 11:39:23

Ghoul, he feels rejected if I don't want to cuddle. He likes cuddling and because we generally spend at least half the week apart, he feels it's his catch up time, iygwhm?

ViviPru Mon 03-Oct-11 11:40:06

OP in my relationship the roles are reversed but very similar. If DP said that the going-to-sleep-cuddling (in our case spooning) was contributing to his sleep problems, I'd happily relinquish, so you really ANBU

Ghoulwithadragontattoo Mon 03-Oct-11 11:42:26

I do get that but you are happy to have a cuddle when you get in bed and then to get comfy for sleeping. Seems totally fair to me. Could you put some other time aside to spend together cuddling or generally being affectionate? Or go to bed bit earlier so you can cuddle a bit longer before you get comfy?

kat2504 Mon 03-Oct-11 11:43:01

YANBU we can't sleep and cuddle, we both have very different ideas of what a comfy position is. So we get into bed, have a nice cuddle for a little while and then both roll over into our own preferred positions.
Everyone likes cuddling but it is unreasonable to expect you to stay in that position. Cuddle before bedtime.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Oct-11 11:44:09

Have sought help for your sleep issues?

slavetofilofax Mon 03-Oct-11 11:45:37

YANBU, but surely it can't be hard to reach a compromise. If he wants a cuddle, have a cuddle. If he goes to sleep easily then it won't take long until you can roll him over. I find the best time to do that is when he's asleep, but not deeply, so no snoring has started but he will be sleeping again withing a second of being turned over.

CailinDana Mon 03-Oct-11 11:45:40

YANBU at all. I'm a pretty good sleeper but I simply cannot sleep if my movement is restricted, so cuddling is an absolute no-no for me. We cuddle for a while then both go to our own sides of the bed to sleep. If he doesn't actually need to cuddle in order to fall asleep what's his issue? Ask him if it's ok with him that he keeps you awake in order to be cuddled to sleep. If it is ok with him then you know you're dealing with a knob who couldn't care less about you.

lesley33 Mon 03-Oct-11 12:06:13

Both of your needs are important. IMO working out how to accomodate both your needs is part of building a good marriage. There are lots of things you could do. For example, agree to cuddle for a bit and then get into your sleep positions, set aside some time for cuddling on the sofa before going to bed, etc.

At the moment his needs are trumping yours.

TakeThisOneHereForAStart Mon 03-Oct-11 12:13:21


DH is a fall-to-sleep-while-cuddling type. I'm a sod-off-to-your-own-side-of-the-bed type.

I don't mind a cuddle before we go to sleep, but there's nothing worse than just nodding off and then having him start snoring in my ear or breathing on my face or moving his arm out from under me and waking me up again. And you get too hot.

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 03-Oct-11 12:17:55

I have mild sleep issues too and H has the opposite to me. I need to sleep earlier than him and although don't have a problem getting off straight away, if I'm woken I can take hours to get back. He goes to sleep late and sleeps like a log. He knows that if he stays up late he has to make minimal disruption when he comes to bed (if the disturbance is short and quiet I can usually stay half asleep) but that turning lights on, talking to me and cuddling and Not Allowed. He doesn't 'get it' in that he has never experienced it but he gets that that's what I need and respects that. Your H is being a bit of a twat and completely unsympathetic. But then people without sleep issues have no comprehension of what it's like.

Damn it makes me miss the baby stage - at least my hormones made me go straight back to sleep after waking up! That was great....

diddl Mon 03-Oct-11 12:29:42

OP-sleep issues aside, if you don´t want him to fall asleep cuddling you, then you don´t!

Which to me as menopausal & having hot flushes sounds awful!

There´s a compromise as you say in that you can cuddle but don´t have to sleep like that.

Have you not been married long?

TBH it´s a habit we got out of fairly quickly as it just seemed silly that one of us who had fallen asleep was then getting woken by the other trying to extricate themselves & get comfortable.

Is he insecure?

Seems odd to me that a grown man feels rejected because he can´t cuddle his wife until he falls asleep.

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDawn Mon 03-Oct-11 13:30:41

Do you have space to get separate beds? (I know there was that huge thread not long ago all about it) It works for us. We both snore, we're both big, and we get up/go to bed at different times. I sleep upstairs in "our bed" and DH sleeps downstairs on a sofa bed. It's probably not the answer for everyone, but it's what lets us both get some sleep, and we have 5 DCs so it obviously doesn't affect our sex life wink grin
Even if you ended up getting in with your DH until he was asleep and then moving to your own bed, at least you would then be able to arrange it all exactly how you like it, and hopefully nod off quickly and get to sleep.

dreamingbohemian Mon 03-Oct-11 13:35:53

There are plenty of places to cuddle and show affection other than bed, but it is only in bed that you sleep. YANBU definitely.

You could also point out that you will feel more cuddly and affectionate if you are well rested!

thehotmilkdoesntwork Mon 03-Oct-11 14:00:43

Thanks again.

The only thing I have done for sleep issues is the normal milk, bath, pillow sprays, etc. I am prone to migraines and am wary of anything that may mess with me iyswim, so am scared of sleeping tablets, but maybe I should man up and see my GP.

We've been married 20 years, and I just really feel that he misses me when he's not around (sorry that sounds like I'm sone desirable goddess) and that snuggle tume us hus way if getting his fix.

I do think he's acting like a spoilt brat though, because we have, in theory, come to a a compromise that we snuggle for a while, and then he moves away, but it's the defining of "a while" that we're struggling with, always too long for me and not enough for him. I'll ask him to move over and he always says "in a minute", so I just lie there getting tenser and tenser.

thehotmilkdoesntwork Mon 03-Oct-11 14:01:44

That's a good point bohemian, I'll try that.

hopenglory Mon 03-Oct-11 14:08:37

Oh bugger that for a game of soldiers. He's not a child who can't get to sleep without a comforter but a grown adult who should have some understanding of personal space. It's not like you are refusing to ever cuddle him.

Buy him a teddy bear if he continues to behave like a spoilt brat.

dreamingbohemian Mon 03-Oct-11 14:14:39

It does seem odd that he persists in cuddling you when it's plain you want to move away. How can he enjoy it if he knows you aren't?

I have also had many problems with insomnia over the years, none of the remedies you have tried have helped me either, but I have recently found two things that helped a lot:

1. the book and CD everyone raves about -- Paul McKenna, I Can Make You Sleep. I am not into self-help or hypnosis stuff at all usually but this has helped me relax so much.

2. Magnesium tablets just before bed -- they're not sleeping tablets but they are supposed to help with anxiety, and I've found I drop off to sleep so much faster when I take them.

tigermoll Mon 03-Oct-11 14:14:53


He expects you to cuddle him to sleep? He gets all grumpy and refuses to go over to his side when you say you've had enough? He spins out how long he can stay snuggled up to you?

That is behaviour that you would expect from a toddler. And, just like a toddler, you have to be loving yet firm, and not pander to it smile

diddl Mon 03-Oct-11 14:21:12

"So, now when, he's actually in bed, I have to endure a cuddle for long enough for him to fall asleep deeply enough so I can nudge him gently..."

Actuall, you don´t.

You can say "that´s enough" & tell him to piss off move back to his side.

It´s really selfish & childish of him imo.

livinonaprayer Mon 03-Oct-11 14:30:03

I feel your pain OP but when I read your post I couldn't help but remember the 'hug n roll' episode of friends....sorry!

That aside YANBU, sleep is precious and you should be able to maximise it wherever possible!

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