Sunday, March 1, 2009

Separate but Together

Internet Fodder post #1
You ever see something on the internet while you're just browsing and have something to say about it, but realize that you don't have the vast forum that whoever you read has, so that you can put your word to the people's ear in such a like fashion? Well, I do. But I do have a forum, maybe not as vast or as neatly kept, and I'm going to spout off like the last person. Well, maybe not spout off, but at least say something....

Should Married Couples have separate bedrooms?

I was gazing over one of the many chat rooms found on the internet, browsing for interesting reading, and found this question. Should a married couple have his and her bedrooms? Initially it seemed like such a strange concept, but then I started reading the responses.

Some of them were interesting - such as the person who gets hot very quickly and doesn't like covers, or is very sensitive to the touch of another. The espoused on the need for a private space, and how it would foster a calm in the relationship, as well as better health and better rest. And I was like wow, I never thought of it that way. These people have articulated some very rational and well thought out reasons for how they feel. I need to think about this.

So I slept it on it.

You ever have a conversation with someone and halfway through you realize they're missing a chapter or two in the story? That they don't quite get something that should have been obvious? You know, those people. Well I thought about it, and to me it sounds like more of the rife selfishness that currently infects our society.

Since when is marriage all about the individual?

Marriage by it's very construction is a compromise. Two people coming together and functioning as a team. And you grow and adjust, taking into account the other person's likes and dislikes, anxieties and comforts, pleasures and pains . And you share a bed. Sharing a bed is one of the more important aspects of marriage, as it encourages a non-sexual intimacy; those moments of closeness that allow you really know someone. Some marriage counselors I read even suggested queen sized beds as opposed to king sized to encourage contact and interaction.

A relationship with separate bedrooms is really nothing more than roommates who sleep together.

A friend of mine once confessed to me that she was scared of losing herself, her identity, in a relationship. Part of being in a relationship IS losing that identity. Not submitting to the other person totally, but the two of you forming a hybrid composed of a compromise of each others likes and dislikes. And I think that separate bedrooms is another way to keep this person you supposedly love and want to be around for the rest of your life at an arm's length. If separate bedrooms are okay, why not separate living arrangements? And on that logic we swiftly get back to why get married at all.

I think too many of us have confused a relationship with a something else. A relationship is a commitment to some degree, particularly a marriage. That you want to be able to go to YOUR room to be away from your partner is kinda of up there with a marital pre-nup: Planning for failure. And this way is more pernicious, as the former is at best a uncomfortable precaution, the latter is active resistance to committing to a coming together.

And if you're most interested in the one than in the two, maybe you should just stay one.

Barkeep. Double shot of ...oh, hang, I'm not drinking. Kool-aid and sprite then.

1 comment:

blaine_fridley said...

well said.

and in addition to the obvious physical benefits to the relationship, sleeping together is a good way to guarantee at least SOME time in the day to talk. No interruptions. No distractions. Just you 2 and the dark. Some of the best conversations are had in that 15-30 minute time frame before going to sleep. That is, granted you don't have a TV in the room.