The Thing That Has Surprised Me Most About My Marriage

Alex and I have now been married for almost eight years, and one thing has been different from what I had expected…

We have never gone to bed at the same time. Literally, not a single time!

It sounds funny to write it out, but it’s so normal to me now. It all started because we have really different sleep patterns. I pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow, but Alex is a night owl and has always taken forever to wind down. “In 10 years, I’ve never seen you not nod off within five minutes — usually a minute,” Alex told me. “The last thing you want is my tossing and turning for an hour. Better for me to tiptoe out, and come back when you’re conked. ”

So, we generally go to bed an hour apart every night. Is it weird? I used to wonder. Are we just supposed to wave goodnight in the living room?

But then we figured out our own nightly ritual. As I’ve mentioned, when I get sleepy around 10:30 p.m., I’ll brush my teeth and wash my face, and Alex will come tuck me in. We’ll replay funny things the boys said and talk about our days, and he’ll rub my back or play with my hair. It’s such a romantic time and has become one of my favorite parts of the day.

Then Alex will get up, and for the next hour, he’ll listen to music, read books or watch WWII documentaries. Plus, he cherishes that quiet time by himself. “As an introvert, I need alone time as much as you need social time,” he told me. “Sometimes I just need to sit by the window and watch the late-night dog walkers go by, or watch the traffic light turn from green to red, green to red. I don’t do yoga or meditation; I do this instead.”

It’s funny, marriage seems to have all these norms and expectations, but at the end of the day, you just figure out what works best for the two of you. Done and done.

And for any tough sleepers, this made me laugh:

The Thing That Has Surprised Me Most About My Marriage

Do you go to bed at the same time as your partner, or not at all? What has surprised you about your relationship (or past relationships)?

P.S. Scheduling sex, and what marriage means.