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Going round the bend at prospect of sharing a bed(room)

(61 Posts)
brambly Mon 14-Mar-16 23:54:00

This is proving a hard one to solve. Some cyberspace exploration has confirmed my suspicion that I'm not alone and that many men and women the world over face similar issues, but have an inkling I might be at more of an impasse than many. This may end up being a bit of a ramble and am not expecting any directive advice that will magically solve the issue if deployed, but I'd be very grateful for any input or prior experiences!

Partner and I do not live together as yet, but plans are in motion to find a place within the next few months. No children - had to have a termination that went disastrously wrong in January and may be contributing in some indirect sense to some of my more negative feelings, but probably only slightly.

Long and short of it is: I hate sharing a bedroom. More so, I hate sharing a bed. Not just with the incumbent bloke, with anyone - friends, lovers, siblings, parents. Doesn't matter how much I love them, I don't want to sleep beside them.

Was house sharing until we were unceremoniously turfed out in January when the place was sold (on top of which, termination reffed above and death in the family, wasn't a chart-topping Christmas!), have been back home with family since, some way out of town (work two jobs and attend university so has been less than ideal in some ways). Only having sex twice a week or so is also probably contributing to my current levels of grouchiness. And am holed up in my elderly childhood single in a room the size of the Dursleys' understairs cupboard. But I have my own space again. It has been BLISS.

Until coming back to the homestead, did nominally have my own (much larger) room, but partner stayed over 60% of the time and was going out of my tree, doing a sterling, all-day impression of Victor Meldrew ever bloody day that followed a night that he'd stayed. I stay over in his double once or twice a week now, and presumably because the bed is smaller than my old King, it's worse.

Various tactics have been unsuccessfully deployed. It doesn't help that despite him being three times my size, he's constantly frozen and I'm always roasting. And the hip does make things extra uncomfortable. But this has been an issue long before I screwed up the hip (which hopefully will no longer be an issue soon as have major surgery planned imminently).

I just need my own cave. I don't want someone else's outfits and face potions and general regalia in my cupboards. I am indiscriminate in my dislike of cuddling after sex, before/during sleep etc. Have forked out the last vital dregs of more than one pay packet on enforced taxi fares for men who wanted to stay overnight post-shag in the past blush

The obvious answer of course is separate rooms. I love this idea. Trouble being firstly that his budget will definitely not stretch anywhere near that and mine would only at a push (cost of living is near London levels of extortionate here) and secondly that he was devastated, literally to the point of near tears, at the mere mention of the idea. As he puts it, "cuddle time" is even more important to him than sex, whereas for me, not only is sex more important, but cuddle time is of very little significance at all. The less the better, up to a point! I worry that he is struggling to come to terms with this reality - am pretty extroverted and fine with tactility in a less intimate scenario and mercifully none of this has presented an issue with our sex life, but I don't think he quite realised and though I do care for him very much, I'm foreseeing trouble. He has paid lip service to the fact that he will ultimately go along with what I want funds permitting, but I don't want to be captain of a ship that sails him into permanent misery.

Anybody else been in a similar boat? Clinging to the vain possibility that there may be some off the wall compromise we've failed to consider!

brambly Mon 14-Mar-16 23:56:15

Well that was Proustian. Apologies!

LaPharisienne Mon 14-Mar-16 23:56:32

Separate beds?

Finola1step Tue 15-Mar-16 00:00:44

Super king bed with separate divers.

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 00:02:01

Ran this past him - less than ideal from my point of view as the prospect of sharing of a room still makes me shudder, but not almost as much as sharing a bed, and have accepted that some considerable compromise is definitely a must.

He seemed almost as wounded by that suggestion as the separate rooms to be honest. And he's a big bloke, and post-op I'm looking at needing a double minimum too. You'd have a job finding even a one bed round here with a room large enough to fit two doubles and two people's stuff for anything less than a princely sum!

Thank you, though. I think it's definitely worth keeping on the list to discuss further.

HoneyDragon Tue 15-Mar-16 00:06:09

No idea really, dh and I have had separate rooms for 10 years. Like you I hate sharing a bed. I can cuddle but need to sleep in my own space.

HoneyDragon Tue 15-Mar-16 00:07:15

Hence I'm awake now as a smal child got in with me half an hour ago.

Finola1step Tue 15-Mar-16 00:07:21

Or a bunk bed with a double at the bottom and a single at the top.

One of the happiest couples I have ever known were in their 50s, no kids. Had been together 20+ years. Had never lived together. He had bought a flat in a Victorian house conversion. When the flat above him came on the market, she bought it. So in many ways, they had the best of both worlds. A strong, committed relationship. But their own space within a larger house.

I know that this may not be feasible any time soon. But the possibility of a 2 bed flat may be possible at some stage?

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 00:08:39

We house sat last week for friends of ours who share a super king and have tried the two duvets. Doesn't make a jot of difference, unfortunately sad

There is no denying that with this issue in isolation, I am in most respects the problem here, so have figured so far the onus is on me to find a solution. Have tried a pillow and sheet barricade mid bed, super king, pulled the temperature down to the meat refrigerator level I favour, I've even resorted to several (large) scotches to knock myself as far into oblivion as possible. I always end up either on the sofa or lying awake literally all night.

He did once, to my shame, end up sandwiched between duvets on the floor. It ws certainly better (for me at any rate), but he was still... there.

Gods, this is hopeless. If only I could shrink him and put him in a shoebox.

RudeElf Tue 15-Mar-16 00:16:39

There is no doubt about it, you need two rooms. Do you have to live together? Do you want to? Or is it finances forcing a joint purchase? Even so, it will have to be a two bed or a one bed with a separate dining room that can be used as a bedroom.

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 00:17:15

Thanks for replying everyone!

Finola1step, that sounds FANTASTIC. Were it feasible I'd do it tomorrow!

Always thought that 'them in the olden days' had a much better take on this issue. My angle is that surely it's better to spend time in close proximity on mutually decided terms because you want to, rather than because there is no option. I honestly cannot grasp how anyone could enjoy sharing their private space, although I accept many/most do.

I remember reading ages ago (think I was still at school!) that Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Burton were happily occupying separate wings of a house... mentioned it to boyfriend, conveniently glossing over the fact that they're now divorced, I admit, but it did appear to be working at the time.

I think he can just about grasp the rational arguments as to how and why this sort of arrangement can work, he just doesn't agree. Which of course he has every right not to. God dammit.

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 00:29:36

RudeElf, I think that is a very prudent question, that I've mulled over but maybe not enough.

I think the most honest answer would be that I do want to, but he is definitely more enamoured with the idea. To clarify: I'm not in two minds, and but for this impasse it would be by far the most favourable of all my options, but I'm not upset for NOT living with him, whereas he is, if you see what I mean. I'm not sure there's really a financial element to my wanting this to go ahead, but certainly a practical one: staying with my family for more than another couple of months isn't really an option geographically (and am going round the bend, as much as I love them), and have had a bit of a basinful of house shares and do just want a home. Living alone doesn't hugely appeal although would consider trying it were it not for the fact that I'd have to be earning a hell of a lot more than I am to manage much more than a mouldy basement studio room.

TattyCat Tue 15-Mar-16 00:32:30

Op I don't think you're alone in this FWIW! I'm fortunate that at the moment, DP works away in the week so I have my space and only share at the weekend. I very easily get used to a situation though so if/when he's back at home full time, I will slowly get used to him being around again and it won't drive me mad. I will still need my own space though and I've been known to have a night in a hotel alone just to get it (I use clothes shopping in another town as an excuse!).

lorelei9 Tue 15-Mar-16 00:34:50

This might sound a bit nuts but ...

I too hate sharing a room. To the point that I didn't even want to share with just boyfriends a couple of nights a week.

My lounge sofa is a fully sprung sofa bed. Could you get one of those and take it in turns using that? You wouldn't then need a separate bedroom.

Must admit, my gut says if you're not actually enthused at the idea of ,I in with him, it may not be a great idea...sorry. I am biased because I love living alone.

TattyCat Tue 15-Mar-16 00:35:15

But then again, I don't feel quite as strongly about it as you clearly do. I think you definitely need to plan for separate bedrooms - plenty of people do so perhaps your DP will become more accustomed to the idea if you reassure him that it's nothing to do with him per se.

TattyCat Tue 15-Mar-16 00:37:18

And anyway, if you look at the history of why people started sharing in the first place, it was because they were too poor for separate rooms (or maybe to keep warm, either way...)! Remind him that royalty have their own bedrooms!!

lorelei9 Tue 15-Mar-16 00:38:25

PS in terms of him not being upset, I dunno, all boyfriends were upset till they realised I was cheery after a night on the sofa bed and hopelessly sleep deprived and grumpy after a night sharing. Plus me being awake all the time woke them up.

SoThatHappened Tue 15-Mar-16 00:40:24

Dont have a boyfriend? Maybe you're best off alone.

If for the rest of your life you;re never going to want to share a bed together, cuddle after sex....I can imagine that is going to cause all sorts of problems in any relationship.

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 00:50:46

lorelei9, definitely not averse to that idea. Inevitably he is less than in love with it himself but does seem a bit less horrified. My only concern is that, despite my (very restrained) attempts at suggesting otherwise, his interpretation of this scenario is that the sofa bed would be utilised only by him, and only occasionally. This wasn't quite what I had in mind ;)

Certainly imminently the comfort of anything I sleep on is going to be a major factor as have been walking around on a broken (and twice-dislocated, long story) hip for several years and am finally getting around to fixing it, but the surgery is going to be major and have quite a delicate recovery attached to it. In buing my King managed to find about the most comfortable and ideal bed I'm ever going to... nearly shat myself when I saw the price, but I digress. In honesty, I think occasions upon which it was me on the sofa bed and him in the 'bed bed' would be pretty thin on the ground.

TattyCat, thank you too! The weeks off/weekends on arrangement does sound more manageable. I'm hoping in some ways that he comes round a little further, in a manner of speaking. I'm just conscious that I'm a bit more of a dominator by nature and don't want him to feel railroaded.

It is a hard one, because I know it's going to require a lot more thought as time moves on, but the more I think about it, the more I'm forced to confront the idea that we have very, very different ideas about what constitutes a comfortable level of intimacy. He has also admitted he is a little preoccupied by what people "will think", which hadn't even occurred to me. And now that it has doesn't bother me one single f***. confused

SoThatHappened Tue 15-Mar-16 00:58:05

It shouldnt bother you what people think. It is none of their business.

The part where you have different ideas about intimacy is what should bother you.

I have to say if I had a bf who never wanted to share a room, or even a night with me and didnt want to cuddle me after sex....I would feel unwanted and rejected.

You would need bullet proof self esteem to cope with that permanently and even then....

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 00:59:45

SoThatHappened, believe it or not I have in dark moments considered this!

It's a fair point. I'm perfectly happy in a relationship for the most part and to be honest, this is a "quirk" that some men have been mildly bothered by and others have either not minded at all, or actively shared. Not that this eliminates it as an issue altogether but it is admittedly easier, in isolation, when the other party is of a similar mindset.

This is probably the most serious relationship of mine to date, but it is the first time that I've been in a relationship with a man who has found it to be such a problem. I do understand why, and I am open to the possibility there is some reason for it. I hated even sharing beds in B&Bs with younger siblings and we're all very close. I just cannot sleep if I feel my space is being invaded.

Must admit that a worrying proportion of friends and colleagues that have mentioned feeling this way off their own bat (haven't raised it much with people yet myself) are bad-tempered, divorced men 20 or 30 years my senior!

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 01:04:53

SoThatHappened, again, this is a very reasonable point and one I accept may need more consideration.

I suppose for me it is easy to see how a lack of this form of intimacy, as it would be widely perceived, might not or would not be a reflection on the individual. But I do accept that, and indeed why, other may find it hurtful.

On principle, if I felt that I wouldn't collapse from sleep deprivation and/or end up resenting him hugely (or indeed anyone else occupying that "position"), I would be willing to take 100% of the compromise, and haven't altogether struck this off the last resort list. I just think it would end very badly for all concerned.

brambly Tue 15-Mar-16 01:09:50

And just as a brief addendum while I'm on the hopefully very minor defensive, I'm not at all against the cuddling that naturally follows sex. I'd just rather that once it comes to its organic end, I can fall asleep alone!

lorelei9 Tue 15-Mar-16 01:11:09

I think there's a lot of sleep studies showing many are best sleeping in their own room and as a pp said, it has been considered desirable and those who had the wealth for separate rooms woukd have them.

I wouldn't care what others thought but if he does, he doesn't have to tell them!?

TattyCat Tue 15-Mar-16 01:15:35

Honestly, I think that if you keep talking to him about it and particularly around the 'what will other people think' then he may come around to it being a good idea. I'd hazard a guess that more people than not would actually prefer this arrangement but won't admit it for fear of hurting the other's feelings.

If you spend some time together before sleep and then retire to your separate room, and ensure that you have time together before starting the day (coffee/tea/toast/whatever!) then it's perfectly acceptable and doesn't detract from any intimacy whatsoever. He can't miss you if he's asleep!!

Good luck, keep working on it and just be assured that a) you're not alone and b) you're perfectly normal!

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