Relationships

The Thing That Has Surprised Me Most About My Marriage

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.

  1. Keely says...

    Yes!!! My husband and I have never gone to bed at the same time. He’s a night owl who works from home and I love getting up before work to read in the quiet and soft light of early morning. It used to distress me that our schedules weren’t in sync. It felt like an obstacle we needed to overcome to have a typical, healthy marriage. So for years we took turns attempting to match the other’s routines but never with any success. I finally gave up and accepted that a healthy marriage for us includes going to bed hours apart. Now that I’ve embraced the idea, I love it, and have come to appreciate it even more since our daughter’s birth. We each have our special time of the day with her and it’s just part of our family’s rhythm.

  2. Saw the funniest meme that I thought you’d appreciate:

    Me: I really have to focus becau-Brain: Ladies and gentlemen
    Me: Please
    Brain: This is Mambo Number 5

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      I am laughing so much, Leena! So funny.

  3. I fall asleep easily, and am pretty good about getting into bed at a reasonable time. My husband admits that he still reacts to bedtime like a kid – he DREADS it. Of course, now that he’s an adult, it’s compounded by his tendency to start stressing about work the moment his head hits the pillow. It’s so hard for me to understand, because sleep is so good!! And I get really frustrated because he’ll be groggy and whiny every.damn.morning after staying up too late.

    We don’t have kids yet but I felt like I was being forced into the role of Nagging Mom, trying to get him out of bed in the morning. So several months ago I started getting up a little early to wake him up with a kiss and a cup of coffee. Now, I get to start my day feeling generous (and a little superior), and his day starts with gratitude.

    …he’s still annoying at bedtime, though.

  4. Alison Briggs says...

    we don’t either! At least very very rarely! Sometimes we will watch a show in bed together but 9 times out of 10 one of us falls asleep! nice to hear that we aren’t the only ones – love the tucking in part too! I sometimes ask my husband to do that at well – it just feels comforting!

  5. Jessica says...

    Yep same! We do not go to bed at the same time. Sometimes I’m later, most of the time I’m earlier to bed than him. We always say goodnight though.

  6. Emily says...

    I’ve always gone to bed before my husband. I just can’t stay up as late as him. And like Alex, this is his alone time. I don’t know, it’s worked for us for over 25 years!

  7. Em says...

    We don’t go to bed at the same time, not even close! My husband is a night owl. Most nights he works until 10 or 11 anyhow, and then needs a few hours to himself. I work at 6 am, and go to bed at 9. I hate that we don’t get that bedtime wind down together, but for now there’s no way around it!

  8. Jen says...

    Married six years and my husband and I almost never go to sleep at the same time…we also rarely sleep in the same room. I’m a very light sleeper and he is a crazy snorer. The most surprising thing for me about marriage is if you don’t try to emulate what other people do (or say they do), marriage is really really easy.

    • Maud says...

      Also married six years and we’ve never shared a room. He snores like a truck driver and refuses to do anything about it – I swear it sounds like he’s dying sometimes. I’m a light sleeper and have to get up a lot to go to the bathroom. Plus, I like the room COLD. We get a room with two beds when we travel so at least his head is further away from me. It works really well for us and we love being married to each other.

    • Sarah says...

      Same here! We’ve been together for 16 years, and rarely share a room. He snores so loud that I’m afraid he’s going to hurt himself! It’s something I rarely talk about, because people assume there must be something wrong with our relationship, but we’re so, so happy together! It’s just what works for us.

  9. breanne says...

    my wife and i always go to bed at the same time, but she will stay up much later than i. i fall asleep within 5 minutes every night and i can’t stay up late or i start to feel sick! so weird! so almost every night i’ll say, “i don’t feel good.” and my wife will say, “you’re just tired. go ahead and go to sleep.” and then i’m out! ha! but she’ll stay up for an hour or two longer. on rare occasions she’ll go to sleep before me and then i can’t fall asleep myself. i find i need her awake next to me putzing around on the computer or reading. another thing that has surprised me through our relationship is that even though we’re both introverts, i could just chat non stop to her, but she’s a very quite person. i often have to adjust my perception of her mood and learn not to base it off of whether she has a lot to say or not and be at peace with the quite moments we have together. :)

  10. One of the pieces of advice I got before we married was that we *should* go to sleep at the same time every night. For years, I worried that something was wrong because we often don’t. (Much for the same reasons you detailed, except I’m the night owl and my husband can fall asleep instantly.) (Tangent: Just goes to show that you should really be careful what advice you give newlyweds because it can create a feeling of failure when their life doesn’t work the same as other couples.’ And chances are it won’t! )

    • Sam says...

      This harkens back to a “should” that was given to us ad nauseum before marriage which was to “never go to bed angry.” Although I definitely understand the sentiment (especially with regard to being mindful of drastic FINAL life exchanges), I found this much harder to implement, in practice. Often times, due to our personality types, both of us having space and just plain sleep after an evening disagreement led to reconciliation (in various forms) later on/in the morning. We are still newlyweds but I am slowly realizing the only ‘right’ way to stay married is whichever way works for the those IN the marriage. I feel a stronger prioritizarion towards us together as people; not merely as part of a socialized institution.

    • Ileana says...

      Absolutely agree with you!

  11. Celeste says...

    This post is so cute, and so are the comments! My husband and I go to bed about the same time, though it’s not unusual for me to spend 20-30 minutes reading after he has passed out.

    The thing that I *was* surprised by and still get a little annoyed by when I’m feeling particularly sensitive, is that he refuses to sleep under the covers with me. He has his own sheet and blanket that he sleeps with while I use the bed’s duvet and sheets. Turns out, I’m a kicker and blanket hog (aka the worst person to share a bed with) and it wakes him up when we’re under the same bedding without a buffer. Our compromise is that he has to come cuddle me under the bedding before he goes back to his side and his linens. It works for us, though, and I see that we both get better sleep.

    • Keeley says...

      My partner and I have used twin comforters ever since we saw this post on Cup of Jo: https://cupofjo.com/2016/06/two-duvets-one-bed-scandinavian/

      It is awesome for temperature control and for having separate spaces, but with the ability to be close together as well.

    • SMB says...

      I love that in the Netherlands they have separate bedding (twin size) for queen size beds! So smart! Hot sleepers can kick it off and not affect the other, bed blanket hogs can have it “all” – of their very own anyway
      ;-D
      If I were buying again (and $ no object) I’d get a split adjustable king and ALL linens divided!

    • Cristina says...

      Your post made me so happy, Celeste! My fiance does the same thing with the covers and refuses to sleep under them with me – it drives me nuts. I thought I was the only one!

    • Martha says...

      Celeste, my husband and I are the same! Except I am the one who needs to sleep with my own duvet- my husband is a total duv hog and I will be left with one tiny shred otherwise. Also, I like to have my feet uncovered when I sleep (it keeps me cool at night), and my husband CANNOT stand having his feet uncovered. So separate duvets it is! We should probably make same duv cuddling a priority though!

    • Rachel says...

      My husband too! He likes to sleep warm with sometimes up to five layers of blankets! I have only a thin quilt o having separate bedding works for us. And accepting this difference as well as different bedtimes has been a blessing. Great sleep for both of us!

  12. Ceridwen says...

    I love what Alex says about being an introvert and needing that alone time. My husband and I are the same. We have completely different sleep routines. My phone sings me a lullaby song at 9:00 to tell me to get ready for bed at 9:30. My hair stand always glances sideways at me with a wry smile. We chill on the couch then I kiss him goodnight and off I go upstairs to bed and he relaxes alone, reading about music, drawing…enjoying not having to do anything or anyone ask him questions. As a stay at home dad, he really needs that time. No snacks for anyone but himself! I am busy at work around people all day also asking things of me, so I love to snuggle in to bed early. It works! I love that we are so at ease with each other, we can be in our own groove as well as fitting each other’s rhythms. It’s beautiful.

    • Aideen says...

      What a fabulous typo/auto-correct!:”My hair stand always glances sideways at me with a wry smile.”
      The image made me guffaw at my desk!

    • Aideen says...

      PS We have the same set-up in our family (sahd, etc), and a similar evening ritual, albeit minus the hair stand!

  13. Alex Yates says...

    Alex is so me! My name is also Alex which makes it even funnier. I too am an introvert and boyfriend crashes completely when he lays down. I definitely crave quiet alone time at night just reading, watching The Office (it will forever be on rerun for me). People watching, listening to music, just letting your mind wind down is one of the most relaxing things.

  14. helen h says...

    Also totally on board the tuck in train! To the point where I kind of get stressed out now if my husband comes to bed at the same time as me or — God forbid — gets in bed before me! Lol. Having him come in and tuck me in and knowing that he is out in the living room watching a show or the end of a ball game fills me with such a feeling of warmth and safety as I drift off to sleep. I love it.

  15. Emily says...

    so funny because i’ve always felt a little dorky that we DO go to bed at the same time. on the rare occasion that someone does go to bed first (early flight or whatever), it just feels off. Granted, we’ve only been married for two years and no kids, so, time will tell, right?

    we are both introverts and definitely need space. my husband goes to work first and gets home first, so i get a nice morning enjoying my coffee and taking the dogs on a walk, and he has a couple evening hours to have a bourbon and start dinner. (apparently we’re really into beverage-focused alone time)

    • Tanya says...

      hehe! ‘beverage-focused alone time!’

  16. Yes yes yes! Marriage is two separate people sharing just about everything. It can feel good to fall into these routines where you have your own time and space. I also reflected in a similar way when we had been married eight years, last year: http://www.swisslark.com/2016/07/what-did-you-think-marriage-would-be.html I was so surprised to discover the bizarre preconceived notions I had had about marriage! :) xoxo

  17. Audrey says...

    We are the same way! Occasionally we go to bed at the same time, but I like to go to sleep by 10 and my husband is also an introvert that cherishes his alone time late at night.

  18. Lori! says...

    My husband and I have basically the same exact routine. It’s our normal and I’ve also come to really enjoy that time of night!

  19. Melissa says...

    That is such a great and romantic idea! I just got engaged a few days ago, and I’m just like Alex. My fiance (still feels so weird to call him that) is just like you, Joanna! I am always super perplexed and slightly jealous of how he’s snoring before his head hits the pillow.

    That is such a lovely idea and is definitely better than me browsing articles on my phone in bed for an hour while he tries to sleep! Definitely going to try something similar. :)

  20. Christina says...

    This post, and all the lovely comments, just made my whole day. I’ve been working too hard lately, and so has my boyfriend, but ultimately he is a night owl and I am an early bird. I’ve been trying to fight it, and my goal was to enjoy our time together and make the most of it. After a few months of fighting it, I’m exhausted. Lately, he’s been tucking me into bed with the dog for company, going back to the living room to work, and then coming to bed. I feel like my body has finally gotten used to it, and I don’t wake up when he comes back to bed. Then in the mornings, especially on the weekends, I don’t feel guilty hopping out of bed for a long dog walk or a peaceful grocery store run (I refuse to buy groceries after 8 am; it’s insane). I feel like we’ve just finally settled into this routine, and your post comes at the perfect time! It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone (or crazy)! “At the end of the day, you just figure out what works best for the two of you.” I love it!

  21. Yulia says...

    At the beginning of our relationship we went to bed at the same time, but years later we are like you and Alex. Different sleep needs see me going to bed between 9-10pm and him joining me a couple of hours later. He tucks me in too! I used to think there was something childlike about it, but now I think tucking in is just this wonderful, private thing where one person sends the other off to sleep with a bit of love. I do the same for him now and then when he hits the hay before me. And whenever we do go to bed at the same time and one of us is not quite ready to fall asleep, the sleeper wears a silk sleep mask while the other watches something on their phone. (It started out as my sleep mask but now it’s ours, and he actually keeps it in his bedside table. We call it the “eye goggles.”) He likse his late night time and I like my early morning time, though, so often he just tucks me in and we are perfectly happy that way. :)

  22. Abby says...

    My boyfriend and I try not to spend too many nights apart (even though we live in different apartments) and almost always go to bed at the same. We usually spend a half of an hour to an hour in bed together chatting, telling jokes, having sex or just snuggling in silence in the dark before he says, “I think and I am going to fall asleep,” and within 15 seconds I hear his breathing grow deep and slow and he’s out. After he doses off, I spend another 30 minutes or so winding down by reading (ahem, looking at Instagram). Sometimes he pops awake 15 minutes after falling asleep and says, “I think I just fell asleep, goodnight!” (which always makes me laugh) and I whisper to him to go back to sleep and kiss him on the forehead. He’s a realtor and due to the nature of his job is always “on the clock,” making calls, checking his email, organizing his schedule. The time we spend together in bed before sleeping is sometimes the only part of the day that I have 100% of his attention. I have found it to be of the most intimate and tender times in our relationship (even the hours he is sleeping and I am awake).

  23. Sophia F. says...

    We’ve been married for over five years, together for almost 12, and I just learned that my husband has ZERO get-up-and-go in the morning. Until recently, he had to leave for work between 5 and 5:30, so I had no idea what his pre-work mornings were like. Now he doesn’t leave til 7:15, and my god if he isn’t the slowest morning person ever. Our alarm goes off at 6 and I am UP, and he can barely drag himself out of bed until 6:20 (which makes everything a scramble when our 1.5 y.o. is up around 6 and our 3.5 y.o. by 6:45). It’s particularly funny because it’s the reverse in the evening – he is dumbfounded by how long it takes me to get ready for bed and wind down for sleep, whereas he can walk upstairs, brush his teeth, go horizontal, and pass out in five minutes total.

  24. Jacqueline says...

    This is such a challenge in our marriage for me! My husband loves to fall asleep on the couch, most evenings he’s crashed out by the time the opening credits to whatever “we’re” watching are done. Once I’m ready to go to bed I try and wake him but it’s futile. Then I get frustrated and go to bed alone and he gets frustrated because he beloved couch sleep is interrupted. He works so much and always says those hours are the best sleep of his night. He suggests to just leave him there but I hate going to bed alone each night (not to mention cleaning up whatever mess has accumulated, turning off all the lights, setting the alarm and all the before bed chores alone). This is a good happy medium so that we can each get what we want, but I would have to go to bed at 9pm while he’s still awake haha!

  25. CF says...

    My husband and I have been Married for 15 years now (together for 17). We are very close in every regard, but when it comes to sleep we have been in separate beds for five years now. I had horrendous, life-altering, bouts of insomnia with both of my pregnancies (the insomnia, unfortunately, has stuck around after my pregnancies) and that’s what got the separate beds started. It is so refreshing, and assuring to hear how everyone does it differently. We made the choice to not sleep in the same bed, because the slightest disturbance will disrupt my sleep and then it can take hours and hours to get back to sleep, and when you have two little ones rising early in the morning (AKA “The crack of Dawn ;)” I came to the conclusion that it was better for everyone if I got some sleep. I hope this arrangement is not forever, I do miss the closeness that comes from sharing a bed. It’s hard on us. But, right now, I am at a loss on what to do differently. It’s often, the elephant in the room, and a source of constant guilt for me, and a burden to carry around….but then again, other days, I feel totally unapologetic and realize, the biggest issue for me is comparing our marriage and sleeping arrangements to what is considered “the norm.”

    My husband is so loving and understanding about it, but I know he is lonely, and sad. It took some courage to post this, but reading all of these posts, reinforced that, it’s okay to have a different arrangement than other couples…you do have to do what works best for your relationship and family, and sometimes, that comes at a bit of a cost (hopefully ours is a temporary one, and not a forever one).

    I’m always in awe, at how easily a lot of people seem to sleep. Even my younger self-I marvel at how I ever slept so soundly. I took sleep totally for granted! Sleep issues are a big deal, and do demand respect and attention. I’m finally learning that. Sometimes the cost of not sleeping together is much cheaper than the cost of a spouse and mother who has not slept in days! Yikes! Thank you for this post, Joanna!

    • Elise says...

      Sleep issues are so hard. Thank you for sharing.

    • Natasha says...

      CF, yes! you are taking care of yourself and that is truly the best gift you can give to yourself and your whole family. this too shall pass, in whatever way it does, but be gentle with yourself, always.

    • We’ve been married 15 years this year, together for 22 years and had also always slept in the same bed until our second child. I’ve been co-sleeping with her in the “guest room” for over a year… (While my husband is in our king sized bed alone) I totally understand what you’re feeling. Being a sleep deprived mum and wife is hard yakka! (Meaning Really Ultra Tough! in Australia) I have no idea how long this will go on for, but you know what? I’ve just got to do what I can best cope with for all of our sakes. Without feeling guilty about it! One of the things that helped me with insomnia in the past (I also had it during pregnancy) was writing in a journal. Just writing and writing and processing and reflecting til all my gratitude, thoughts, stresses, things to do, hopes and prayers for help/wisdom/patience/compassion were out of my head and on paper. Then I could relax and fall off to sleep. (I often turned the light back on to write out the next thing that popped into my head, but eventually I used it less and slept without writing every night).

      I really hope it all works out for you, and that you get to have some quality time with your hubby at other times in the day/evening. You are not alone, even though sometimes you feel that way. Sending love from Oz xxx

  26. Surprisingly…we do now! When we first started dating he would go to bed first then I would follow. Then we switched places. Now we happen to hit the sack at the same time or 10 minutes a part.

  27. AC says...

    This is exactly what my husband and I do, too. I also felt strangely perturbed by our sleeping patterns for a time. Sometimes I took it personally that R would not want to come to bed with me. In my mind, we would cuddle and pillow talk, but he always reminded me that in reality I would be passed out in a matter of minutes. So, the tuck-in routine is a little “best of both worlds” where I can still have that connection with him before bed, but also he doesn’t need to feel pressured to lay in bed with me dead asleep while he tosses and turns.

    You may have also read this NYT article about it… after reading this, I felt a lot more normal! https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/fashion/sleep-marriage-couples.html

  28. amcb says...

    did i write this post?! too funny! been with my partner for over 4 years and we’re exactly the same with bedtime including the epic tuck-in… love it. replace “listen to music” with “make music”, keep everything about WWII documentaries and “add crushing a sleeve of oreos”… and that is his late night routine.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahahaha at the “crushing a sleeve of oreos.” <3

  29. So funny! My husband and I do this too! Since he works in restaurants he’s always more wired at night and I’m usually falling asleep sitting up on the couch trying to rally. I’ve always thought it was kind of funny the whole ritual of being tucked in but I cherish it and think it’s sweet.

  30. Mary says...

    My boyfriend and I have been together 7 years and he tucks me in every night. I definitely require more sleep than him. We do the same thing and talk about the funny things our 3 year old did during the day and he turns on the tv for me. Then our two dogs come in the room for doggy cuddle time. I’m currently pregnant with our second so i chomp on a big cup of crushed ice in private because no one wants to listen to that and also to watch some show my boyfriend would completely hate. It works for us!

    • Kelly says...

      We have a reverse situation: we go to bed together, but never wake up together! A bout of UTIs means I need to wake up to pee, and I’m freelancing besides my regular job, so I don’t sleep much. So I wake up, work for two hours, and drink a big glass of water with lemon. Sometimes I eat an apple or something. Then I come wake him up with a few kisses, and we make breakfast together.

  31. Love this! Every Tuesday night during this past football season my boyfriend would rub my back while he sat in bed making his fantasy draft picks on his phone. I’d go right to sleep! Can’t wait for this fall.

    I would love a spinoff post about other couple’s weekends routines. We’ve gotten into a rut where we just kinda lay around or go eat and drink at the same places. We’ve discussed starting to try something new every weekend so a Cup of Jo post would certainly help spark some ideas!

    • Kelly says...

      We picked another couple in a rut and started double dating! Their routine stuff is new and wildly exciting for us, and vice versa. We take turns planning the dates!

    • I would also love a weekend routine series! :)

  32. Olga says...

    My husband and I express ourselves differently and seem to have contrasting ways of taking in the world around us. He’s left-brained and I’m right-brained. What’s surprised me most about our marriage is how awesome it feels when he uses my words and expressions without really thinking about it. It gives me a strange feeling of satisfaction and closeness to him.

  33. We actually don’t sleep in the same room anymore for the same reason. I go to bed around 11, he tucks me in and then stays up watching movie bonus features, haha. He passes out on the couch and I’m up for work at 5 AM. I can get ready, do yoga, and watch The Daily Show without waking anyone up. It works for us. I’m so used to it that I can’t imagine sharing a bed all night anymore. I need my space!

  34. Kate says...

    My husband and I shower together most days. Do other couples do this? I’ve wondered but never asked. It helps that we have a large shower stall but even in old apartments with just a tub shower we did it too. We both prefer to shower before bed and I guess it seems more efficient to do it together rather than taking turns! And it’s sweet and relaxing, we chat about our day and I wash his back. It’s never really a sexy thing, just sort of a ritual.

    • Mari-Anne says...

      This sounds beautiful!

    • Josephine says...

      Me and my husband (of almost 14 years) shower together often. It’s a prelude to bedtime, and is a perfect opportunity for intimacy (often the first chance all day – we have 2 boys, 7 and 4)! We wash each other while catching up, or, as often as not, in peaceful silence. It helps smooth out any tension that has arisen that day, and sets me up for an easier transition to sleep.
      We are both early risers – my husband leaves the house just after 6 am for work, and I’m up at that time with my lads who wouldn’t recognise a sleep-in if it slapped them in the face. So, we tend to be in bed together by 10. I do love the idea of a tuck-in, though!
      I’m finding it fascinating reading about how other folks operate. Thanks for the article Joanna!

    • Kelly says...

      Our sophomore year of college, I think we took every single shower together! We still do this quite a lot.

    • We shower together almost every night! Probably at least 4-5 times a week. It’s such sweet time together.

    • Anne says...

      Not all the time, but we do shower together sometimes! My fiancé usually ends up getting handsy and trying to make out with me, so I have to remind him that this is a business shower. I also think it’s very sweet and intimate, and I wish we did it more :)

    • We used to shower together all the time but now we have a 4.5 and 1.5 year old, so it’s turned into family baths! (We renovated with a huge spa sized bath that fits us all.) In Summer we have shower swapovers with just mum and kids, then just dad and kids. Not sure what will happen when kids are a a bit older…

    • t says...

      my wife would love to shower together more often but i am a little grossed out when her soap suds get on me. with all their sudsy skin and grime. it’s like sitting in another person’s bath water. but not quite as bad. wish i could get into it more.

    • Kristy says...

      LOL @Annie “business shower”

  35. Stephanie says...

    Interesting! As a single, 30 year-old gal, I’m fascinated by the daily routines of my married friends. It would be great to read a post about the unique routines couples make up after spending so many years together (i.e. post-work wind-down routines and lazy Sundays – a la NYT’s ‘Sunday Routine’ series).

    • brianna says...

      I feel the same way. The lives of married people fascinate me. Like, do you cook dinner together every night? Do you carpool to work? Do you grocery shop together? What do you all do in the evening – watch TV? Read together? Work on a puzzle? Does life just eventually get comfortable? Who takes out the garbage? And on and on….

      It’s unlikely I’ll ever get married and lately that’s been making me a little (okay, a lot) sad.

    • Kelly says...

      We grocery shop exclusively together! We’re such dorks but it’s one of my favorite parts of the weekend

  36. Amanda says...

    I love that Alex tucks you in! My partner and I don’t have a solid bedtime routine, but we often go to bed together. He’s a very light sleeper, and for medical reasons really requires some solid rest, so my cat can’t sleep in bed with us, which felt like such a sacrifice when I moved in! So once or twice a week, usually when I know I’ll have to get up earlier the next day and don’t want to wake my partner up, I have snuggly sleepovers with my cat in the living room.

  37. Paige says...

    I’m not married but I have been in a committed relationship for over three years and we ALWAYS go to bed at the same time. He tucks me in and then gets into bed himself and that’s just the way it has been for a long time! I really like that routine but I can totally understand having a different pattern because of sleep habits.

  38. Same in my marriage! For about two years I hated it. I wanted my husband to go to sleep next to me so badly I’d beg him. I hated being alone in bed. I’d toss and turn. Now he puts me to bed and I spread out. I wriggle all over the cool sheets and I love it. More importantly, I understand how much he looks forward to his solo quiet time and I don’t begrudge him that.

  39. Kate says...

    My fiance and I go to bed at the same time. He’s away for work a few days a month, so we get some alone time then, but I find I sleep better when he is around. Not disturbing his sleep is good motivation for me to put my phone down, relax, not toss and turn, etc! When he is gone I’m not as disciplined and usually stay up too late.

    • Alison says...

      THIS! When my husband is away for a weekend, I inevitably stay up until 3 am watching terrible series on Netflix for no reason! I know I should go to bed, but the night owl in me just can’t. My husband has helped ground my sleep habits and ensure I’m getting to bed at a decent time. The one downer is if we both stay up ever, I’m completely fine the next day where he is a grouchy pants who can’t function. His early bedtime is 100% necessity whereas I’m okay with the occasional nights of 4-5 hours of sleep;

    • Celeste says...

      haha same. My husband has been gone all week and I think I’ve gone to bed every night at 1 a.m. when we normally crash at 10 or 10:30 together.

  40. Holly says...

    My husband have been together for 16 years (married almost 5) and recently I have been noticing more and more that a “normal” marriage does not exist. You gotta do what works instead of what you think you “should” be doing! It has been a huge relief for me to come to this realization. Two fun things that have caused me to focus more on this in a lighthearted way are 1.) watching Carastrophe and 2.) reading Ada Calhoun’s book, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give. There is freedom and fun in accepting/celebrating the “irregularities” of your unique marriage.

    • Holly says...

      *my husband and I

    • Holly says...

      *Catastrophe ?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      such good references, holly!

  41. Angela says...

    Before we got married, I used to worry that we would run out of things to talk about. But after being together for twelve years (married for seven), we are still learning bits and pieces about each other that we’ve never thought to share: a memory from my childhood, or something that his mom used to do when he was growing up. I cherish the new pieces of his past that he shares with me – it reinforces that there’s still a lot to learn about each other, even after all this time together.

  42. Kathryn says...

    My fiance and I have been long distance for most of the past four years, but have recently moved to the same location (YAY!), so we’re still settling into any sort of routine. When we have been in the same location over the past 8+ years, we generally head to bed at the same time.

    Unfortunately, he is like you and falls asleep within seconds of laying down, while I often am awake for what seems like hours before my brain turns off. My recent solution has been to start reading in bed again!

  43. Erin says...

    Yes! I can’t go to bed at the same time he does. I go to bed first, then read for like 15 minutes and am usually out like a light. Then he probably comes in around 30-45 minutes later. I actually get annoyed if he comes to bed and I haven’t fallen asleep yet! Cuz he’s a toss&strum type guy!

  44. Mel says...

    Same! I’m like you–bed around 10:30, out like a light in about a minute. My hubs comes to bed at the same time as me, but watches Netflix on his phone with headphones until he’s ready to sleep. It’s nice to be able to head to bed together, but not have to try to sync our sleep schedules. (I also get up way earlier than him, because my preferred time for alone quiet/writing time is in the morning.)

  45. Karen says...

    We always go to bed together even though my husband is like you and I’m like your husband. In an ideal world I would stay up until 2-3 am every night, but having to get up at 7.15 every morning means we go to bed around midnight. My husband usually passes out immediately while I spend a wonderful hour reading. :-)

  46. Carrie says...

    Bed time is my favorite part of the whole day because we go to bed together, under the same blanket. Curled together in the center of our California king mattress. The intimacy of being snuggled together is totally restoring for me.

  47. Auste says...

    My husband leaves the office on the early side every single day to get home and spend a couple hours with the kiddos before they go to bed. Then he spends an hour with me (currently that time is spent watching house of cards, though sometimes we talk or read or have a glass of something together), and then he tucks me in and works for a couple more hours. He says he’d rather get home early to see us than be stuck in the office and feel like he’s missing out on our home life, and doesn’t mind making up those lost couple hours from home. I appreciate him so much for it, and I know our girls do too (I can tell by the way their little faces light up when he comes home).

    • Elise says...

      I love this!

  48. Jaclyn says...

    I’m an animal when I am tired and not in bed. Every relationship I have had has ended because of sleeping patterns! I need to go to sleep. My partner feels rejected. I’m angry because now I am sleepy and made to feel guilty. It’s a horrible cycle. Now I just have a dog and she licks my face while I am asleep and puts herself to bed. <3 Aw. I am an early riser, so I like dating nightowls. I get some me time in the morning and I can make breakfast and coffee! Wish me luck that I can find someone that understand how to complement a sleepyhead.

    • Jo says...

      I am married and have this same problem. They feel rejected – guilt – anger – they feel rejected – guilt – anger… but it all boils down to the fact I’m just desperate to sleep. Desperate. Maybe we should start a club. At least I now know that someone else out there has felt my struggle!

    • Jaclyn says...

      If I could have done anything differently, I would have communicated better. I see it on my end SO CLEARLY- HUMANS NEED SLEEP. LEAVE ME ALONE. But, they can’t sleep, so they can’t see that. It’s hard to be kind when you’re angry and tired, but if I could go back, I would have tried harder in the moment. All the other moments, when I wasn’t half dead and cranky as a bear, I would have tried to communicate to them so they know where I am coming from!

    • It seems to make sense that if you’re an early riser, you need to sleep early too. It’s not like you make them feel guilty for not being awake at dawn (or whenever it is you get up). You’re not rejecting them, you just need your sleep. I get it. I’m also needy of sleep! (Though opposite time since I’m naturally a night owl and need more morning zzzz. Unfortunately my children are the ones that want me up early! Haha!)

  49. Aw, I think this is really sweet! Thanks for sharing.

  50. Wow this was such a great read! So interesting! And I love when little things like this are brought to light, it broadens the community and makes other people realize, oh hey, I’m not the only one! Loved this.

  51. Allie says...

    Yup! This is our life. Not married, but I live with my long time boyfriend.

    He is a total night owl and only needs 6 hours of sleep. I like to go to bed early. Similar to your routine, we will relax and lay together until I fall asleep, then he goes to do his thing in the other room, and comes to bed later. Works for us!

  52. Lindsay says...

    Together 17 years and married for 12, we met in our early 20s and I feel like we grew together. As opposed to meeting later in life and being more set in our ways.

    Is it weird that I’m not surprised by anything so far? Maybe it’s how when I’m angry at my husband I feel like I’ll never calm down, but then somehow I do. We communicate very well, which is an essential part of our marriage.

    And we almost always go to bed at the same time. If he wants to stay up I make a sad face.

  53. Lindsay says...

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me! My fiancée loves to stay up and putz around on the Internet or watch TV for an hour or two after I’ve gone to bed, but I take it so personally! It makes me sad that he would rather stay up than come to bed with me. He has been much better about it, because I have made it clear that I won’t tolerate it more than a couple times a week. But I sure do feel like a needy bitch after this… HA!!!! You’re such a cool chick!

    • Kc says...

      You speak to me Lindsay!! I am the exact same way. He needs 6 hours and I need 9. I’m a bear when I’m not in bed when I’m sleepy and I fall asleep immediately. He would rather wind down without worry of waking me and spend alone time, but I take it personally and feel less intimate since that closeness when we (I) fall asleep is treasured. Makes me feel too needy too. Agh! Maybe I need to be more flexible :)

  54. Celia says...

    This is so interesting! I’m probably a nightmare to share a bed with – I need a lot of sleep and am pretty insistent on early-ish bedtimes, but I also take about 45 minutes to an hour to drop off, and have done ever since I was a tiny kid – plus I’m a light sleeper. So if my husband was off in the other room for an hour, what would happen is that he’d come back in, wake me up, and the process would start all over again but with me grumpier! I had a long-term ex who was a night owl, and it was literally the biggest source of conflict in our relationship because I was constantly exhausted. Luckily my husband is a sweetheart who will tolerate my need to have him accompany me to bed every night and be tucked in before 11!

  55. Kimberly Chaney says...

    AH! I love, love, love the writing on this blog. This got 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’m off topic, but I just had to say it. :-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so nice of you, kimberly. i’ll tell alex :)

  56. Lauren Lyons says...

    I hope you feel better knowing you’re not alone w/ this. :) My husband + I have been married nearly 10 years. We rarely go to bed at the same time. If we do, like you, I’m zonked within the first minute, which is something I feel badly about. It seems sweet + romantic to snuggle in next to your significant other + read or chat before drifting off.

  57. shannon says...

    We do this as well! I used to worry about it too (is our romance dead?!!), but we are both happier when we get enough sleep and go to bed at the right time for us as individuals. I like the “tucking in” idea a lot! We should try that.

    A big key is waiting long enough for the one who is already in bed to be solidly asleep. The later person can’t just come in 20 minutes later because they will awaken the one who is trying to sleep. An hour delay is perfect!

  58. I experience this often with my partner too. Sometimes he stays up late, but often he’ll go to bed at the same time as me, and lie awake for a long time. I love your idea of “tucking in” and then him staying up for a while. I almost always get up earlier in the morning, and I cherish my alone time before he gets up. Sometimes I wish we had the same sleep pattern, but often I’m glad we don’t.

    Also, the graphic made me laugh.

  59. Nikki says...

    The post and comments are great. It shows how we take weird societal norms into our selves and relationships, which so often don’t work for us. They become strange outward signs of a good life, good relationship- but clearly they say nothing about being connected.

  60. Jules says...

    I hate going to bed at different times, haha. If I am unloading the dishwasher or whatever when he heads upstairs I always say “don’t fall asleep before I get up there!” He gets up at 4:30am and works 12 hour shifts with an hour commute each way, so by the time he gets home he’s pretty tired. I am super chatty before bed, so we have to head to bed at the same time or else he’s asleep when I get up there and I miss my chat time!

    • Carrie says...

      I’m just like you! I hate going to bed at different times also, and I’ll be the first to admit I am kind of baby if I have to go to bed alone. Most of the time it goes this way: I finish cleaning the house, etc. my husband plays his favorite phone-game and falls asleep on the couch. I spend the next 10 minutes trying to gently wake up him without making him grumpy. It’s an art!

  61. Jess says...

    I love this picture of you two. What a treasure.

  62. I run out of gas somewhere around 11:30 each night, though my husband can keep himself going for another hour or two. It’s his time to play video games or listen to music on his fancy headphones all alone in peace (well, the cat too). But, after I’m ready and under the covers, I call him in and he spends 10-15 minutes sitting on the side of the bed and we talk about our days, our dreams, our weekend plans, our next trip, our troubles, just whatever. It’s a great few minutes of real honest face time and it’s become my favorite part of the day. I drift off feeling heard, loved and supported. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  63. we are the same! I’m the morning person, he’s the night owl. It is fine with me.

    But I love your idea of a tuck-in and I’m going to pass that on to my husband and see what happens ;)

    • Erin says...

      Ha! I’m about to send it to my husband, too!
      I prefer falling asleep solo, so I never minded that our bedtimes were spaced out. But I would love to be tucked in…

  64. Emma says...

    What surprised me the most is how great my husband is with babies. My husband always seemed uncomfortable around babies, but through the haze of an unexpected c-section and recovery, I remember thinking, “Who is this person taking care of this baby like it’s NBD?!” He never flinched for one second during the sleepless nights and colicy screams which the memory of is giving me PTSD as I type so I’m going to stop now. : )

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what an amazing trait in a partner! that’s wonderful, emma xoxo

    • Whitney says...

      This is the sweetest. Watching my husband with our babies was the best.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that made my day!!!

  65. Alex says...

    This is so funny–one of the things that surprised me most was the exact opposite. I remember when we first got married, I assumed that we would each go to bed whenever we were ready, just like my previous roommates and I had always done. But my husband acted like of course we were going to go to bed together. We had just finished a watching show and he asked if we should go to be now or watch something else. I think I said I was ready for bed but he watch another if he wanted and he said, “No, it’s ok, we can go to bed.” I was so surprised. Like “Oh, even this is a decision we have to make together?” But now I like it, and there are of course nights that one of us is just exhausted or working late, etc. But for the most part I enjoy getting into bed together.
    Now that I think about it, my parents didn’t usually go to bed together, which is probably why it surprised me. My dad would fall asleep on the couch and stumble up to bed hours later, whereas my mom would get in bed with a book and be asleep before she could turn the page. At least that’s what I remember from high school. Now I’m curious what it was like when we were little or now that they are empty nesters!

  66. Kate says...

    When my husband and I were first married we always went to bed together, but as time went on we realized that we have different sleep patterns so now we’ll go to sleep separately most nights. However, the first night we tried this, I wandered in the room alone to read and then go to sleep but I didn’t say anything to my husband. He came in and thought that I was upset because I didn’t say good night! Of course I wasn’t, this was just something new for us. Turns out, he really wanted to tuck me in! I thought this was the sweetest so it has now become a ritual for us as well :)

  67. My husband and I are going on 5 years of marriage in August and going on 7 years of living together. From the moment we moved in together it was the most natural thing to go to bed at the same time. I don’t sleep very well when he isn’t by my side and he doesn’t sleep very well when he doesn’t have something to hold on to (I am his “body pillow” most nights!) We always fall asleep facing the West wall, he’s the big spoon, I’m the little spoon. We separate briefly at some point during the night but right around 5am (if I’m not already up and out the door for the gym) we are back together, only this time he’s facing the East wall and then I become big spoon. :) Very rarely, if he is restless, do I go to bed before him and even if I do my sleeping is VERY light because there’s something about that empty space that keeps me from relaxing!

  68. Lucy says...

    I grew up with parents who went to bed together, at 10pm, every night. My husband and I used to do this before kids–at a much later time!–because I wasn’t so exhausted every day. But now I like to be upstairs getting ready by 10:30 and he stays up until midnight working. It still makes me a bit sad because it’s not what I envisioned, but your perspective and hearing from readers makes me realize this is pretty typical. He tucks me in, but it’s usually more brief, so now we have something to aspire to!

  69. MK says...

    What is crazy about this to me is not that you go to sleep at different times (that’s pretty common for us too), but that you can fall asleep within a few minutes! What sort of magical super power is that?
    If I try to fall asleep without reading until I drop the book in my hands, it would take me at least 15 minutes, maybe longer! I need to have time to shut my brain off. It never occurred to me that someone could crawl into bed and be asleep within a minute.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      MK, i wasn’t always a great sleeper (i used to lie awake obsessing about random things) but my anxiety is better now, and also i ended up developing a trick that works for me — i kind of blur my mind. if i have thoughts about things, i just sort of fuzz/fade them out, like in a movie. it’s hard to explain, but i swear, it works almost every time for me. so weird, right?

    • Sophia F. says...

      When I was a kid, I had a hard time falling asleep, and as a very visual thinker, my trick was to imagine a bright red stop sign flipping up right in front of my face (picture a cartoon character stepping on a rake) every time I started to overthink a topic! Now that we’ve just moved to a new city and bought a house with a pretty long to-do list, I’m experiencing a lot of anxiety and night-obsessing and should probably try it again :)

  70. Anna says...

    You’ve mentioned this before. I guess I was hoping for a more thought-provoking revelation. :) Maybe it’s because i just finished the book The Course of Love and I have cultural-psychological patterns around marriage on my mind.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll try to think of more, anna! it surprises me how funny i still think alex is after ten years together (even his “dad jokes” haven’t gotten old!), and it surprises me how you can still find out new things about each other, and it surprises me how your marriage can go through ups and downs and still be a strong, happy marriage. i’ll keep thinking :)

    • Anna Culp says...

      That’s so sweet, Joanna! I didn’t mean to sound entitled to your personal life. :) My marriage is rather strained, so I think I’m most surprised at how seemingly small things can deteriorate the foundation of a relationship. At the same time, I’m surprised my marriage did survive my major faith transition, in which I stopped practicing our previously shared Mormon religion!

  71. I love that you shared this! I have often felt strange that we sleep so differently, but then realizing that we are two different people with different needs and habits made me realize that we would obviously have different sleep habits. I’m the early bird and he’s the night owl. Sometimes we do go to bed at the same time and read for a bit, but more often than not I’m asleep when he comes up. I’m a light sleeper and this was a challenge for a while, but we embraced the two duvet trick and have been sleeping so well, even at different hours!

  72. Nicole says...

    I can’t fall asleep without my boyfriend! It’s actually a problem because he feels obligated to go to bed at the same time as me since he knows if he stays up later in the living room I will just be lying awake in bed until he comes to join me. I always say I can’t fall asleep until everything is settled and something about knowing he’s going to come in the room later and make noise/move around makes me unable to fall asleep. I can’t help it!

  73. my sweet and i go to bed at the same time, it’s very rare indeed if one of us hits the sack before the other. he is capable of falling asleep right away, regardless if the lights are on or i’m watching a video on my phone, whereas i need wind-down time. sometimes i read or play games on my phone (such a terrible habit!). i also don’t need as much sleep as he does, sometimes he falls asleep before and i still wake up about 1-2 hours before him. it works, it’s the best quiet time for me.

  74. This is the same for my husband and me! I usually go to sleep between 10 and 11pm, and he stays up until midnight-1am. He usually watches TV in the next room (yay for tiny NYC apartments) so I’m very grateful for our noise machine! Comes in handy in the morning as well–I usually wake up about an hour earlier, so the noise machine helps drown out the noise of me showering and prepping breakfast/lunch etc. When we first started dating, we used to try and go to sleep at the same time and it just never worked out! I’d either be exhausted from staying up too late or he’d be annoyed at having to try and go to sleep too early. Much better now that we accept each other’s habits!

  75. My husband and I usually go to bed together, and we both fall asleep quickly, but lately I’ve had TERRIBLE pregnancy insomnia and his snoring is keeping me awake so this morning I decided I’m moving to the guest room…but only for the next three weeks. After that I don’t expect any of us to get any sleep for a while :)

    My in-laws never went to bed at the same time. My MIL has the sleep schedule of a two year old. She goes to bed early, rises early (like, 4:30 AM!), and needs an afternoon nap. My FIL was a serious night owl and would stay up until 2 or 3 and sleep until noon (schedule permitting, of course)! My parents are funny because my dad insists that they go to bed at the same time, but he’s a morning person and my mom is a night owl, so he usually passes out in his recliner while my mom watches TV and then she wakes him up when she’s ready to sleep and they go to bed together.

  76. Jessica says...

    Ja! I’ve been married for almost 7 years and it’s the same for us: i fall sleep very easyly and my husband does a lot of activities after that, and for me is a very romantic part of our marriage: i love sleeping on his chest while he reads… So you’re not alone on this! xoxo

  77. Nina says...

    Ha we’re the same! My boyfriend just seems to need way more sleep than I do, going to bed earlier and sleeping in longer on weekends!

    I wish I could do that thing where I fall asleep as soon as I hit my pillow :/ Lately I have been listening to a podcast (with headphones) to lull me into sleep, it really helps my brain to unwind!

  78. Lana says...

    Soooo, do you have sex during “tuck in” time? My husband comes to bed later than me most nights but if he heads into the bathroom to brush his teeth the same time as me, I know what that means! Lol!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha that is cute, lana :)

      and to answer your question: sometimes for sure! but at the end of the work day we’re often exhausted, so mornings or weekends (with cartoons for the boys) can be ideal for us ;)

    • hahahah! Same here! Very occasionally my husband comes to bed at my early bedtime just because he’s TIRED and it’s a treat.

  79. My husband and I have been married for 12 years – we never go to sleep at the same time! I generally go to sleep around 9pm and get up at 4am, whereas he’s usually 11pm-7am. But he always tucks in me and our 12 year old dog (she sleeps in our bed and is on my sleep schedule). We talk about our day, he plays little games with our dog (its seriously the sweetest…they’ve been doing this every night for 10+ years). After he leaves I pretty much fall asleep immediately.

  80. Cle says...

    I am a night owl and husband is not. I love saying goodnight to him and then puttering around doing stuff before I am ready to sleep. Conversely, he gets up early and has a quiet coffee and enjoys the morning silence. We recently had twins and he moved to a different room (so he could sleep more and so I could take over the bed for ease of breastfeeding). He moved back in a couple weeks ago and I realized I like sleeping apart more, so maybe we will go back to that at some point.

  81. Sarah C says...

    I seriously thought I was the only one whose husband tucks them in at night! I have to go to bed earlier than my husband because I need more sleep and the kids are up early. So I get ready and he tucks me in. I thought it was babyish but I feel encouraged by all these comments. We are both night owls, but with 3 small children, I’m so tired earlier in the evening.

  82. Lauren E. says...

    This was a weirdly huge issue for me when my now-husband and I first moved in together. It was really important for me that we go to bed together (and I have NO idea why – my parents certainly never did). So now, after six years living together and one year married, we always do. He compromises by going to bed earlier than he’d like and watching TV in bed with bluetooth headphones (a marriage saver if ever there was one), and I compromise by staying up a little later than I’d like and I just sleep through the TV light (I am also a super heavy sleeper).

    However, I am with Alex – the early mornings on the weekends are for ME. My husband sleeps in and I cherish my alone time – I have my coffee, watch my bad reality show, read my fashion magazines. Sometimes he wakes up shortly after I do and says he “missed me” and I wish he’d just go back to sleep! Ha! At least for like, another hour…

  83. Chelsea says...

    I’m an RN and work the night shift. My husband works out of town almost every week. We are used to sleeping alone and sprawling in our king sized bed. Granted, we usually have a cat or dog snuggling up with us. Given that it’s so rare, we love the opportunity to share the bed. Albeit, I usually go to bed hours after him as he is up at 5am for work! There is nothing better than waking up next to him when our schedules allow it.

    • Kate says...

      Chelsea, it’s awesome that you make two pretty different schedules work. :)

  84. Mary Beth says...

    My husband and I do the same thing! I used to wear myself out trying to stay up as late as him but this has been a great solution.

    And now I love my nightly “tuck ins”! Nothing makes me happier than yelling “I’m ready for my tuck in” across the apartment. Hahaha. They are such a great way to end the day. Glad to know I’m not the only one having my husband do this. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha i always yell, “can you come put me to bed?” makes me feel like i’m five years old but i love it :)

    • Jessica Remitz says...

      This comment makes me so happy – I do the EXACT same thing and have been for 10 years. My doggo and I “assume the position” and get tucked in every night.

  85. Alex says...

    We’re sort of the same but different. I, like you, fall asleep in about 30 seconds. My husband on the other hand has trouble sleeping, so as soon as he starts to feel tired he heads right to bed in hopes of falling asleep quickly and staying that way, which is usually an hour or two before me. We say goodnight in the living room, but I love the idea of tucking him in. Sounds so sweet and would bring some intimate time to our normally separate night time routine. I am going to start doing this!

    One thing that has surprised me about marriage is how easily and automatically we’ve fallen into stereotypical gender roles, ESPECIALLY after having a kid. We’re working on that now. Before we got married I had very clear thoughts on the kind of truly equal partnership I anticipated. But it just hasn’t really turned out that way. Have you read the book How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids? Its spot on.

  86. Katherine says...

    My husband and I started going to bed at separate times about 5 years ago when I was pregnant with our first child. I was so exhausted that I’d need to lie down by 7:30 or 8 pm and he’d carry on with his normal schedule. Somehow, after the pregnancy ended and we made it out of the sleep deprived early months of parenthood, our sleep schedules never fully synced up again. I sometimes miss getting into bed together but the tucking-in ritual could be a nice solution. Thanks for sharing!

  87. Laura says...

    I have always done shift work, meaning I either need to be at work by 7AM or I work overnight and sleep during the day. Either way, It’s quite different from my husband’s work-from-home sleep schedule. On weekends and days off it’s such a treat to go to bed together.
    And Alex, I’m with you on the whole introvert needing to unwind thing. Staring out my window with a cup of tea watching people walk their dogs is one of my favorite pastimes. I actually get up earlier than necessary to allow myself time for it.

  88. Amber Olney says...

    I LOVE that he tucks you in. That is so sweet. What a lovely habit. <3

  89. Tanith says...

    We try to go to bed at the same time every night, even though I usually lie there for an hour trying to sleep, while he passes out instantly. If one of us gets tired early (and by early I mean 10:30), and the other isn’t tired yet or is working on some project, the sleepy one will curl up on a couch nearby just to be near each other until the other is ready to go to bed. We even bought a second couch to put in our office for this very reason, and we’ve been doing this for 7 years… only now do I realize how silly it seems!

  90. Em says...

    An interesting thing about my relationship is that we rarely eat together. I grew up in a family that ate dinner together every night so at first it was weird. But my fiance and I have very different food preferences and eating schedules and so, this is what works! I tend to do three square meals per day, and I’m a more adventurous cook. So I’ll come home from work pretty hungry and cook up something spicy or ethnic and eat it around 7. My fiance is eats 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day and eats simple, healthy foods (he’s a serious athlete and so he eats healthy aka boring food – like brown rice, broccoli, and chicken literally every night). He has no interest in my dinner and I have no interest in his, and we get hungry at different times, so early on in our relationship we learned to do our own thing! Some people have commented that it’s bizarre but I’m so used to it I don’t think of it. Of course we go out to dinner together once or twice a week but other than that, mealtime is a separate affair.

    • Jessamyn Pritchard says...

      My husband and I do the same thing! We cook separate meals through the week and only make breakfast and dinner together on the weekends. It’s mostly a food preference thing as we generally eat around the same time. I actually love it because I only need to think about what I want to eat but he is still around the kitchen so I get to enjoy his company.

  91. Kiley says...

    My fiancé and I rarely fall asleep at the same time even if we’re laying in bed together, but on the weekends he likes to stay up really late, and I typically turn in around 10pm. If he’s any later than 1:00am he’ll just sleep on the couch so he doesn’t disturb me, then in the morning we’ll switch and he’ll go back to the bedroom. That way he gets quiet time at night and I get it in the morning when he goes back to sleep.

  92. Amanda says...

    We’ve always alternated. Some nights we’ll curl up together, have a little pillow talk and pass out and every other night we’ll either hang out together and watch a show, sit on the porch with some wine or take time to do something individually. We love our time together, especially since most of time is now occupied with kids, but I think it’s the variety of mixing it up that keeps us going. My husband will have nights where he just wants to go play guitar and I just want to go read. We don’t take offense if the other isn’t up for hanging out, but we also make sure to check in with each other to see that we’re getting enough together time too. *I always know it’s time to have more together time when I start having dreams about missing my husband!

  93. Same! I either fall asleep instantly or do a bunch of fidgeting until I’m in the right spot and then pass out. Either way, my fiancé isn’t around to deal with it because he’s usually up reading, or playing video games and listening to podcasts. It has worked out so well for us, and I actually find it odd when we do go to bed at the same time! Whatever works for you :) I find that a lot of my girl friends expect their guy to bed at the same time as them, and when we have a big friend hang out they tend to look a little bummed as they retreat to bed when everyone else is still hanging out! I’m happy to head out and let the people who need less sleep do their thing. ;)

    I also loved the comments about the different blankets – we’ve talked about it!! I grew up in a European household with just a comforter, whereas he had the tucked in top sheet. I can’t deal with anything tucked in, so we usually end up battling the slipping sheet and comforter. Something to really think about again!

  94. Meredith says...

    We don’t even sleep in the same room anymore. We each have our own room and OMG, I sleep SOOOOO much better. I need wind down time, but only in bed, reading, with the light on. He falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow UNLESS someone is laying there reading with the light on. I used to wake up many times during the night because of his thrashing around, then we being awake would wake him up. Also, two dogs. I sleep in my own room with the two dogs and everybody is happy. Every now and then I start hearing that its weird that we don’t sleep together and he says he misses the intimacy, so the dogs and I move back in for a night and everybody lays awake all night and in the morning we are all grumpy and then we say ‘never again’. Until the next time.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so interesting, meredith! a friend of mine says the same thing — they sleep so much better apart, and they’re happier all day and have sex in one of the rooms! :)

    • Nicole says...

      My husband and I also don’t sleep in the same room because we are both extremely light sleepers. It was something that I struggled with initially I think because of social pressure/norms and the ‘what will everyone think?’ But now I’m in a better place knowing that our sleeping arrangement has no bearing on the health and intimacy of our marriage, but rather is something that concretely meets our sleep needs

    • Nina says...

      Thinking about it, it’s so weird a relationship’s success is (partially) judged on the place where you sleep, aka the place where you pass out and are pretty much oblivious to your surroundings for the night.

    • Tracy says...

      This is the secret no one will talk about and/or admit to, it’s a marriage saver!!! Together for 17 years with my dear husband, and still love my solo sleep time. :)

    • Heather says...

      I read recently that this is the flip side to training kids to sleep on their own when they’re little (vs. bed-sharing). By the time we’re adults, we’re used to sleeping solo and it can be difficult to re-acclimate to sharing the bed with someone. I miss my husband when one of us is traveling, but I also love taking up as much room as I want and arranging the pillows/sheets/blankets just so.

    • Meredith says...

      Yes. Stop caring what other people think. I had serious issues with anxiety (starting to snowball into depression) around the time that we started experimenting with sleeping apart and after over two years of sleeping in separate rooms, my anxiety issues are pretty much gone and I swear it was mostly caused by long term sleep deprivation…..just never really getting a good nights sleep. Sleep is so important to our mental and physical health and do whatever you have to to get a good nights sleep.

    • Meg says...

      We sleep separately too! We figured it out when I was pregnant with our first. It’s the absolute best. We have completely different sleeping ecosystems and make each other miserable at night. To make up for the loss of time together we spend an hour or so cuddling in bed every evening; he reads out loud and rubs my back. We discovered the names of both our kids during these nightly readings, and have been through dozens and dozens of books together as we approach our 10th year of marriage, so that we identify different characters and narratives with certain stages of our life together. I also love the random “tap tap” through the wall of our rooms when one or the other of us feels sexy – and I’m way more game for anytime sex when I’m sleeping well and on my own terms every night. Do what works!

  95. Jenna says...

    Same here. I never thought of it before! I love being tucked in bed by 9am with a TV show or a book. Often my husband will head out to a concert, or take the dogs for a long walk. We actually both like our routines and so don’t have any hard feelings about it. We commute for about an hour together every day so, that is our time to chat and share about our day.

  96. Emily says...

    That meme cracked me up! My boyfriend and I always joke that the worst thing that can ever happen to you while you’re falling asleep is to have “Take a Chance on Me” by Abba stuck in your head. Try it…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha now i’m scared for tonight!

    • Heather says...

      The Song that Must Not Be Named! My husband and I have a moratorium on even *mentioning* ABBA because of that song. We both used to get it stuck in our heads a lot, and when one of us would say, “I’ve got ‘Take a Chance on Me’ stuck in my head again,” the other would instantly be dragged back in. We called it “the ABBA song” for a while, but even that came to be too much of a trigger.

  97. My fiance and I always go to bed at the same time, we’re more or less on the same sleep schedule. If he’ll be home late, I usually wait up for him, because I can’t fall asleep knowing I’ll be woken up when he gets in. Occasionally, he’ll go to bed before me, as he’s often tired before I am, and sometimes I just want to stay up a little longer. It’s not often, though, because I feel a little sad when he goes to bed without me. I love the experience of going to sleep together, but that’s just what works for us! Interesting to see all the ways people find what works for them.

  98. Anna Kleinfeld says...

    What a sweet post joanna! My boyfriend and I go to bed at the same time most of the time but I love staying up late like alex. Those hours feel like stolen time since the world is asleep.

  99. sadie says...

    It’s so funny you post this today. My boyfriend just moved into my condo this past weekend, and I/we’re learning a new routine, etc. But what remains a comfort from my childhood is going to bed and hearing the sounds of others at home. Parents, etc. Now, it’s my boyfriend. I slept SO well last night, the first night since he’s moved in that we went to bed at separate times, dozing off while I could see the office light and hear his keyboard, mouse clicks, and the occasional comment to one of our cats. I was SORT of awake when he came to bed, but then we petted cats, laughed some, and then I passed out. So nice. :) I’ll have to put in the “tuck me in” suggestion. :) I definitely give him a kiss before going to the bedroom.

  100. Emmy says...

    I’m intrigued. My partner and I are considering getting married (romantically yes, tax/insurance maybe not now) after being together over 6 years. When you say this is a part of your marriage do you really mean your relationship or does being married change something for you? I’m curious as to what long term partners feel about this. Some people will say “we’ve been married five years! Yay! But actually together 15.” And I always think- isn’t the 15 years more important? Why start over? Or maybe there’s some secret transformation that happens when you get married? I don’t think anyone means to invalidate non-married long term partners, but am curious as to what makes folks say “our marriage” over “our relationship”. You know?

    • Emmy says...

      I also realize this is totally outside of the bedtime convo! And lastly, love that Alex tucks you in! Be still my heart!

    • This is interesting, because I have heard people say that being married felt the same to them, and others say it felt different. It probably depends a lot on your cultural or religious views, but for me personally being married feels very different! We were together five years before we got married, living together far away from our families for two of those years, so you would think it would have felt the same to have a piece of paper binding us together. Those five years are important to me because we got to know each other, and fall in love, and have a lot of fun, but being married just feels so permanent and serious to me. From an emotional standpoint I just feel like we are so much more committed, and from a practical standpoint we’re stuck together unless we want to painfully untangle a decade’s worth of interwoven finances and belongings. It also shifts a lot of serious responsibility onto your spouse. If you’re not married, they’re not next of kin. If you are, that partner is going to decide when to take you off life support (morbid, sorry). Of course, the greatest commitment of all has been having kids. That means we’ll be in each other’s lives forever no matter what happens!

    • Nerissa says...

      I always say that there’s no difference between the day before you get married and the day after – the real switch was when you chose to spend your lives together. For us, at least, there was no earth-shattering change after marriage, especially since we already lived together (insurance sure is nice, though! and marriage is a great excuse to have a massive party). I usually think more about the total time we have been together than only the years since we got married. To each their own, though! Whatever feels right for you is just fine and dandy – don’t worry about how other people’s relationships/marriages work.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great question, emily! for me, i feel like the concept of marriage has all these societal norms/expectations — whereas the concept of romantic relationships don’t seem to have such limits on them, if that makes sense. so if you went to bed at different times in a relationship it might not seem odd, but in the confines of marriage, it seems more dramatic. does that make sense?

    • shannon says...

      This is such an interesting question – how does getting married change or not change the feel of your relationship? COJ team, I’d be interested to read a whole post on this topic!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes such an interesting question!

  101. Renee says...

    My husband and I have never gone to bed at the same time either! It was originally because of his work schedule, he worked the night shift for many years and went to bed VERY late. Then he started a super early shift and had to go to bed at 7:30 with the kids :) But now, he has been working a normal daytime shift for several years, but we still go to bed at different times, and on the rare occasion that we do try to go to bed at the same time, we both have a hard time falling asleep! I think we’re just so used to going to bed at different times, and it works for us. I’m an early bird and go to bed around 9:00, and he is a night owl, staying up till 11:00 or so…but we both get up at 5:30am, go figure! I say if it’s working for you guys, then it’s all good :)

  102. Sarah says...

    My husband and I have gone to bed at the same time almost every night for our whole marriage… and I’ve never even thought about it! It’s just such a part of our routine. So funny! :)

  103. Alexandra says...

    Are you talking about my husband and me? I always thought we were weird, having such very different sleep patterns. I am in bed usually by around 10:30 p.m. and read in bed for a while, my husband usually joins me and tucks me in when I am ready to pass out, sometimes we talk a bit, but often, we just enjoy each other’s company in silence, since we have very talkative kids who go to bed later and later (12-year old here …) Once I am asleep, he usually goes to his office, watches old war movies or works on one of his craft projects, on the weekend with a glass of whisky (otherwise, total non-drinker). He does not need a whole lot of sleep, and I do, otherwise, I am not the nicest person, so we have figured it out. I love getting up early on weekends and he sleeps in, and I enjoy my morning coffee and newspaper by myself. Thanks for confirming that we are normal!

  104. Meg says...

    oh, yeah….we go to bed at the same time, but i fall asleep immediately (b/c i wake up at an insanely early hour to get in a morning run) while my husband watches netflix or HBO Go on his ipad with earbuds. Works for us! i’m only slightly envious of all the shows he’s watched that i’ll never get to.

  105. Kat says...

    I seem to be in the minority here, but my bf (of six years) and I function so much better the next day if we go to bed at the same time. He tends to fall asleep first and I struggle with sleeping due to a host of chronic pain syndromes. But it helps us to connect infinitely better by spending those few quiet moments together as we unwind from the day. On the days when he heads to bed first, he almost always comments the next day about how he missed me before he drifted off. I’m not sure, but I think it stems from the fact that the first two years of our relationship were long-distance, and we use to fall asleep over Skype together. It just has always been our thing.

    This was a sweet, sweet post.

  106. LizO says...

    When my then husband and I were together we were apartment hopping in Paris one year and one of the one-bedrooms we stayed in had a trundle bed. It was awesome! We usually went to bed at the same time but having the trundle bed meant each had a separate space yet we were still together. Bliss

    • Christina says...

      That is a hilarious mental picture but I love it! Who knew – a trundle bed!! What a great idea. Also, a trundle bed in Paris seems infinitely more chic.

  107. Melanie says...

    We are the EXACT same as you too! It bugged me the first few years of marriage but now i’m used to it. Right now i’m co-sleeping with our month old and I often fall asleep while nursing her to sleep so we kiss good bye ‘just in case’ that happens when I leave with her. Some times I come back out and we have an hour to ourselves before I go to bed for real. sometimes not. We will probably go back to him ‘tucking me in’ once she’s in her own room (in 8 years hahahaha….)

  108. That’s really funny! Totally makes sense. Everyone has their own sleep needs. My husband and I go to bed at about the same time every night, though if I’m reading a page turner, I often want to stay up. He HATES it when I stay up and starts dropping hints, “it’s getting late”, “you should get to sleep” and they become increasingly more irritated, “turn off the light!” , “you have to sleep now!!” . It’s pretty funny. Then the next morning he drills me about the book I’m reading. So quickly he forgets.

  109. Carly says...

    I liked hearing about this routine- I might have to adopt it! I usually fall asleep on the couch around 10 as we’re watching tv, and my husband will stay up for another hour or two. Then he usually will fall asleep too, and then we wake up around 2am and trudge up to bed. So much less romantic/sweet!

  110. Carolyn M says...

    I always go to bed first. I really cherish my alone time in bed where I get to read my books in peace and quiet, spread my arms and legs like a starfish, and relax. My husband snores and is usually pretty restless in bed, so if I’m awake and he’s sleeping, all of his noises and jittery body keep me awake. So we’ve figured out what works for us: I go to bed first, usually fall asleep, while he gets his quiet time to watch sports, talk on the phone, do projects, whatever. On the rare occasion that he is so tired that he wants to go to sleep at the same time as me, he’ll wait downstairs for 5 minutes so that I get a few moments of quiet starfish time first. It’s so thoughtful and sweet and makes me such a happy girl.

  111. Samantha says...

    Oh my goodness, I’m so glad I’m not alone on this! My fiance and I recently told our therapist and she was kinda shocked by it but it works for us. She was mainly concerned that we were not being intimate but we make time for that like any normal couple! I’m early to bed, early to rise and my partner is a night owl and sleeps in. I love having the alone time in the morning and going for a run. I’m in charge of making coffee and I love it. At night, he tucks me in and we talk about our days but I’m asleep in no time and he likes to read or watch TV in our living room until at least an hour later. Sometimes, he’ll watch an iPad next to me. I think we both cherish our alone time.

  112. Stephanie says...

    My husband and I try to go to bed at the same time, but my insomnia/anxiety does keep my brain whirring long after he’s nodded off. Lately, what’s helped is us reading together. We’ve been doing this for a couple years, taking turns reading chapters aloud. If I want to continue (with another novel) I can do so, and he passes out. The quiet ritual is helpful! And I like that we’re sharing all these stories together.

  113. Elisabeth says...

    We’re the opposite! We both like to go to bed early and get up early, so we usually get in bed around 8:30pm or so (after our daughter is asleep) and then we watch a few episodes of a favorite show, or read until one or both of us drifts off. BUT. In the morning, I love nothing more than to lay in bed and read for a bit, catch up on the news, etc. My husband, however, wants to get up practically as soon as his eyes open. So he usually gets up and putters around for a bit (makes breakfast), and then I get up and join him. This, of course, assumes that our daughter doesn’t wake us both up, first. Ha!

  114. Fiona says...

    I also fall asleep really quickly, and my husband needs some solid wind-down time. We talked a little bit about him listening to podcasts before he goes to sleep but I found i would get caught up in the story and then be wide awake while he was snoring. Our solution has been that I recite him a couple of poems I’ve known for years (The Owl and the Pussycat, Robert Luis Stevenson, T.S. Elliot), and he usually dozes off to the sound of my voice, and then I nod off right away once I’m done. The poems for me have become a bit of a mantra now, and when I’m stressed or overwhelmed I recite them to myself until I can relax and step away, even mentally, from what’s going on around me. Has been working great for almost 2 years now!

    • Kristen says...

      This is so cool Fiona! What a cool idea. Sounds meditative.

  115. Ileana says...

    How interesting to know that this is not an unusual thing among married couples! I’m the early bird who gets up first and goes to sleep first .We’ve gotten into a routine where I shower first, come back to bed and we watch some tv for a bit before I fall asleep. Then he’ll keep on watching for a while, shower and come back. Married for 1.5 years.

  116. Ellie says...

    This is wild because for the past couple of months, my husband’s and my schedule have been very different and we never go to bed at the same time – and I find it so discouraging! (insert embarrassed face) He’s just not ready to go to sleep when I am. I love what you guys do – him “putting you to bed”. We’ll have to try that. :)

  117. Lilian S. says...

    I used to think it was strange, but my husband and I are the same way! I always go to bed earlier. He stays up playing video games, watching sports, playing with code in his computer. I used to say that I wish we were like some friends we have, who always go to bed together and have “pillow talk”, but this is just how things work with us! By now I am used to it. :)

  118. katie says...

    My mom “tucks” my dad into bed. She rubs his back, they chat, and she kisses him goodnight. I grew up thinking this was the way of the world.

    Now, both of my sisters go to bed before their husbands. My fiance and I go to bed at the same time. I guess I’m the oddball out in my family.

  119. Amy says...

    You are not alone! Your bedtime routine is so sweet and romantic, I might need to implement some of it in my own marriage. Our routine is I head to bed around 10:00 (I’m an early-to-bed, early-to-rise) and he will come into bed, we will chat for a while, he will read a book in bed while I fall asleep and then he will often head back downstairs to read or watch TV. I love waking up in the morning (5:00) and having the house to myself for a minute, watching the sun come up, having my morning coffee. Everything is so quiet. I usually get about 30-45 minutes of peace and then my baby, who is also an early riser, is up with me and then we get some alone time together before everyone else wakes-up. It works for us! At this point, if my husband tried to fall asleep with me, I’d think something weird was going on.

  120. Diana McNeill says...

    My partner and I go to sleep (well, we get in bed) at the same time whenever we are together (we don’t live together yet). Sometimes I fall asleep first while he endlessly scrolls through reddit. Sometimes he passes out immediately while I watch The White Princess. For us, it seems that it just depends on how tired we are from our respective days. There’s no real pattern or routine about it.

  121. Whitney says...

    I’m a night owl and my husband has slowly transformed into one. I think it’s having two small children, staying up late to enjoy the quiet and hanging out together is essential to our sanity.

    The thing that has surprised me about marriage is how much I still like him. We’ve been together for 12 years, married for nearly 7 and I just like him so much. My husband is my best friend and I’d rather spend time with him than anyone else. When we kiss I still feel butterflies.

    • Lilian S. says...

      Aw, this is so sweet to read!

    • Andrea says...

      I agree! I tell my husband very often, “You are my favorite person!”

  122. Shelley says...

    I’m so happy read this. My husband and I have never gone to sleep together and I’ve been suspicious that we were a strange couple. We’ve always been on different schedules and he’s a night owl. I get a little weirded out on rare nights that we both go to bed together….

  123. L8Blmr says...

    We started out going to bed for the first several years together. Then it naturally progressed as my hubs is a night owl and I am not. I send him a text from the bed and he comes in to tuck me in and then kisses me again when he comes to bed himself. Feels normal to me after 10 years of marriage and 16 together.

  124. brianna says...

    I love that Alex tucks you in. That’s so romantic.

    When I’ve been in relationships, my significant other and I have always gone to bed at the same time, unless he was away for work or something. Now it’s just me and I go to bed relatively early. It’s late if I’m still up at 9:30. I’m a 35 year old living in an 80 year old body.

  125. Although we go to bed at the same time, we use entirely separate covers. He has his sheet and comforter and I have mine. We’ve been together 7 years (married for one) and have done this ever since we started sharing a bed. (After attempting to share blankets for ~2 nights that resulted in me having all the blankets in the morning and him having none.) Sometimes, when I tell this to other couple they’re aghast – but hey, you gotta do what works for you. :)

    • SN says...

      My husband and I do this — it’s the secret to us sleeping well next to each other, I swear!

      Also – sleep masks. That way if he wants to watch something on Netflix or I have to wake up early, neither of us are as bothered by lights.

    • JR says...

      We started doing separate duvets based on the Cup of Jo article from a few months ago! I casually mentioned that article to my husband, and lo and behold, I came home from work a few days later, and he had arranged our two communal duvets into his-and-hers duvets divided down the middle. Now, we’ll randomly be watching TV or washing the dishes, and he’ll blurt out, “You know, I just *really* like having our own duvets.” He thinks it’s the most genius life hack ever, and it cracks me up.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha i love that, JR!

    • Allison says...

      My husband and I do this too! Qualify of sleep is exponentially better!

    • Mary says...

      My husband and I do this too! He has his duvet, I have mine, and we both sleep so much better since we aren’t playing tug of war all night long.

  126. Julie says...

    We actually sleep in separate rooms! Just about everyone in both of our families is scandalized by this, but I have terrible insomnia and my husband can sleep for as long as he wants whenever he wants but also has
    restless leg and our sleep schedules are different—so after five years of struggling to sleep in the same bed, we have found serious happiness saying goodnight after cuddling or sexy time and then retreating to our own rooms. Sometimes we’ll sleep in the same bed on weekends if we don’t need to get a ton of good sleep that night.

    Funny thing is, while many of our friends have balked at this behavior, several couples we know are doing it now too (one husband snores super loud, etc)…and they’re also much happier. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s the BEST.

    • Rach says...

      I would love to see a post about this! My husband and I go to sleep together but invariably end up in separate rooms (insomnia, dog issues, his snoring, etc.). Also I have to be up earlier than him in the morning. I wonder if it would be easier if we just slept in separate rooms. I hate that one of reasons I’d be most inclined NOT to do this is because of my fear of what people would think (not that they’d ever have to know, I guess).

    • Rasheeda says...

      My husband and I do this, too! For a few years after we got married, I tried to tough it out through his constant shifting around, but I began to feel more and more irritated and resentful over my lack of sleep. So, I started sleeping in the spare room. I usually go to sleep earlier than he does so I say goodnight (after we’ve spent a good chunk of time together winding down), go through my nightly routine and read for a bit. Then, when he’s ready to call it a night, he comes and kisses me goodnight. And then I SLEEP LIKE A DAMN BABY. I used to feel like this would drive us apart, but surprisingly, it’s brought us closer. Who woulda thought!

    • Stephanie says...

      For years, before my dad was diagnosed with sleep apnea (and got a breathing apparatus) and was a CRAZY loud snorer. My mom used to come and kick my sister out of her room. (Her mattress was newest in the family!) My sister could sleep “hanging from her toenails” and so she’d just go pass out on the couch or in the guest bedroom.
      After my dad got diagnosed, my mom still couldn’t sleep, so then she got tested and eventually got diagnosed with apnea as well!

    • Deborah says...

      My husband and I have been together 13 years and do this, too! I’m an insomniac who needs to be alone to sleep. My husband snores and has restless legs. At first I was self-conscious about it but I’ve found that I’m infinitely happier being well rested. My husband is happier, too, because who wants to deal with a grump in the morning? The only tricky thing is on vacation we usually need two different rooms! Airbnb to the rescue. Also, our 3 year old son thinks it’s normal that there’s mommy’s room and daddy’s room! Ha!

    • Rachel says...

      We also sleep in separate rooms! My fiance and I have lived together for 3 years now and when I initially moved in we put both double mattresses in the tiny master. There wasn’t space for much else in that room but it was fun as heck. A couple weeks later we sold our guest room bed and moved one of the master doubles downstairs. We tried to sleep together in the remaining double but it was too cramped for our big bodies, we’re both around six feet and I like to starfish! So my fiance started sleeping downstairs and every night when I go to bed at 10:30, we kiss goodnight and he goes back downstairs to do who knows what. We end up sleeping together when we have guests over on the weekends but often times when fiance tries to crawl in I’m already sprawled out! We are saving for a king size bed but it will be a while until we can afford it and honestly I’m enjoying having my own bed for now. Less snoring/ bouncing = happier everyone.

    • Erin G. says...

      Same here! We were miserable for our first handful of years together and than after we had a baby – forget it! We were so tired that I no longer had the patience to tough it out. We started sleeping in different rooms and have never stopped (five years later). We happily bid each other goodnight and slip into our own bed, alone, with our own covers, at our optimal temperature, with no one tossing or turning or snoring or setting an early alarm or…you get it. Not for everyone, but great for some!

    • Julia says...

      My grandparents, who were married for over 65 years, slept in separate bedrooms for at least the 30 years I’d been around. No idea when it started in their lives, but they were the most in-love couple and had the best marriage! My mom used to be a bit judgy about their choice, but she’s suffered through 2 not-so-great marriages so I finally figured out to take her comments with a grain of salt. For my husband and I, if one of us is having a bad sleeping night or is sick we definitely just move to the guest room. Sleep is so important to health and well-being & I feel having more good nights of sleep will help your marriage in the long run for sure :)

    • MK says...

      We don’t have the extra room to do this now, but I think we definitely will eventually. My husband will talk about us one day sleeping in separate beds fondly, like it’s what he’s been dreaming of his whole life! It makes me chuckle.

    • Us too! Tried to tough it out for a few years but in a double bed…and with a large dog, too, it just got to be too much. I’m a light sleeper, he is not – and he’s a snorer. Plus, with not much room in a double, one of us was always hanging off the edge of the bed or awkwardly straddling the dog. He likes to get up earlier and I like to go to bed later so it just makes sense. I’ve started valuing sleep more and more because of this and we now usually sleep in two bedrooms during the week and it makes life easier. We are both better rested and happier for it!

    • Jennifer says...

      I so want to have my own room for sleeping! My grandparents slept in separate rooms and even when I was a small child I thought it made perfect sense (especially because you could hear him snoring all the way downstairs). We have a den with a very comfortable fold-out couch and I will sleep there if one of us is sick, or if my husband is going to a concert on a weeknight and I don’t want to be woken when he comes home. I am a crappy sleeper and sleep so much better in my own bed by myself. I’ve proposed the idea to my husband and he was not jazzed. We did upgrade to a king sized bed however and that helped. I envy you!

    • Kirsten says...

      Oh man, I bring this up to my husband occasionally. He not only usually goes to bed before I do, but if we go to bed together he falls asleep within one minute and begins either snort-snoring (worst) or just breathing super freaking loud! I’m such a light sleeper and even with a white noise machine he drives me nuts. I like being near him and all but I can’t help but feel that I would get better sleep if we weren’t in the same room.

    • Beth says...

      It is the best!! My husband and I have been married for 28 years, together for 35, since we met as freshman in college, and for the past 15 years or so, we’ve had separate bedrooms and we couldn’t be happier. We started sleeping apart when his snoring got really bad, it’s improved so much with yoga over the years, but I couldn’t go back to sleeping together. I am a super early person, up at 4:15, in bed by 9, and he is a late person, so for years I had to tiptoe around the bedroom in the morning, grab my book for an early morning read, quietly open the dresser drawers to gather my clothes for work. What a drag. He also needs a noise canceller and the door shut, and I need to hear what’s going on in the house and outside of the house (we have a huge deck and there is always some creature out there causing a ruckus, and of course, listen for our sons when they were younger (and when they were coming in once older). Also, I make the bed every day and he never does and that used to drive me crazy when we shared a bedroom. Some days I’d like to take this a little further and I fantasize about separate little vacation houses, Scandanavian in style, connected by a big open porch–I’m a minimalist and he is not, but I still love him like crazy after all these years, so maybe the connecting porch doesn’t have to be all the big.

  127. Caitlin says...

    We have a very similar routine, Joanna! We never go to bed at the same time. It used to bother me a bit, but now it’s ritualized for us.

  128. Sof says...

    Love that picture! Our routine is exactly the same as yours, including the tuck-in, I LOVE it. When we first started dating, I thought it was slightly “dysfunctional”, but I quickly realized it was not and it worked well for us.

  129. My husband’s a total night owl and if I’m going to get up for work I need to go to sleep earlier and get my 7 hours in or I’m worthless! We often get ready for bed together and then cuddle/hang out/read together for a little while. Then he might get up and do some work in his studio for a little while more, or whoever is sleepy first will turn out the light on their side and drift off while the other keeps reading.

  130. Liz says...

    My husband and I very rarely go to bed at the same time. I go to bed a bit earlier and he also comes in to chat while I’m getting into bed. Most nights he falls asleep on the couch and I usually wake him up to come into bed when I’m up during the night, swearing I heard our daughter. I’m a light sleeper so this works really well for us and I’m glad we aren’t the only ones.

  131. Milou says...

    I’m an early bird, too! I’ve been with my partner for 16 years and we call it a “Turducken” (there is a bit of an elaborate tucking ritual). After the turducken-ing, he reads a little something to me: a favorite is “A Pocket Guide to the Trees” that we swear is lightly veiled porn. It’s so funny!!

  132. Natalie says...

    I have a difficult time falling asleep, and my husband often snores.
    We typically read our son stories, then I go to bed and my husband goes downstairs and has some alone time. Sometimes he comes back to our bed and sometimes he sleeps downstairs. After 8 years , we are still deeply in love but don’t always sleep in the same bed.

  133. That meme is TOO REAL. I am normally a good sleeper, but a few years ago I had this season of insomnia due to family/work/life stress. Aside from being completely perplexed and frustrated at my body’s new reaction to stress, the WORST part about it was that every night around 3AM, the chorus to Fergi’s “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” would get stuck in my head on a loop. This went on for weeks and I felt like I was losing my mind. Eventually I started sleeping normally again, but during times of high stress I still experience insomnia and I always get the worst possible song stuck in my head. My brain is so obnoxious sometimes!

  134. Leah says...

    AHH, this is such a dilemma for this early bird (me)/night owl (him) combo! I’m so very smitten by your “tuck in” ritual – I need it in my life!!! So, while we more often than not fail at the bedtime side of things, we have sorted our mornings. Our alarm goes off at 5.55am, but I’ve inevitably woken up sometime before (4am, I kind of almost actually hate you). Any hint of light–heaven help if I see sunshine–and my brain is ON. So, when that alarm goes off invariably many minutes later, I pop back up to turn the radio on as 20 mins of the morning news is part of his morning routine… one I often crash for a snuggle. The weird alarm time means we catch “Tweet of the Day,” a daily 90 seconds of bird song, as the BBC describes it!, before diving into the day’s news. It’s such a charming segment and my dorky self daily laughs at the ironic Twitter connection! I love our mornings together, even (especially) when one of the cats crashes the party!

  135. Vee says...

    This is so sweet, especially the part about the backrubs! You both sound like you’re incredibly considerate about what the other partner wants/needs. Those are the best relationships :)

  136. Shel says...

    My husband and I have been married for 22 years and we have pretty much the exact same bedtime routine as you guys do : )

  137. cooper says...

    We go to bed at the same time on the weeknights, but then I sleep in for an hour longer in the mornings (hey, women need more sleep, #science). But on weekends, I LOVE going to bed earlier while my husband stays up and watches lame movies – then I can wake up early and enjoy a quiet Saturday morning with the kitties :)

  138. Jen says...

    We rarely go to bed at the same time. When we do, its because we’re both completely exhausted! And after 20 years together, we’ll often dress similarly without realizing it. I don’t know how many times one of us has had to go back and change our outfit because we were matching.

    • Lauren E. says...

      I’m giggling at this. My parents, married for 38 years, do this, too. More often that not, actually. And my husband and I do it now, too, but I swear it’s because I’m always dressed first and subconsciously he thinks the color combination looks good and he emulates it. I’m always telling him to change!

  139. Katie says...

    I was just thinking about our sleep patterns this morning! I go to sleep way earlier than my partner and am such a heavy sleeper that I don’t notice when he joins me. While I miss some snuggly time, it makes me really appreciate vacations – when we get in bed together at the same time!

  140. Amy says...

    We never go to bed at the same time. I like to read in bed and slowly fall asleep, so I always head to the bedroom early. I like the downtime by myself.

  141. Now that my husband is in law school, he usually stays up about an hour or two later than me studying! We have a studio apartment and I thought the lamp staying on would keep me awake, but we’ve totally adjusted! It’s amazing how adaptable humans are. :)

  142. VVV says...

    Ha, I had to initially convince my husband that it’s okay if we go to bed at different times, mostly because I need at least an hour more sleep (or at least silent, dark time) each night than he does. I was the first person he cohabitated with, and he just assumed that the same bedtime was a given! He’s caught on now, though pregnancy has thrown everything out of sync, which I imagine will be a pattern for a while :)

  143. Audrey says...

    Happy Almost Anniversary! My husband and I do go to bed together and read in bed or watch Netflix. But I’m like Alex in that I need some “me time”, only mines in the morning. I wake up first at 5:30am to make my slow brew coffee and either read or just sip my coffee and zone out. It’s bliss before the morning chaos begins.

  144. Pat says...

    What suprised me most – I thought that we will be forever together. He is my person. I am 39 yo, married for 12 y, together for 22. He was diagnosed with brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme) last year. I love him even more, watching him giving up his favourite things one after another, leaving our perfect life behind…

    • Erin says...

      While so very eloquently put, how very sad. I hope that you get to enjoy the remainder of your time together.

    • Avalanche Lake says...

      I’m so sorry, Pat.

    • Kay says...

      My heart goes out to you both.

    • SN says...

      “I love him even more” — beautiful. I am so sorry. I hope time is kind to you.

    • Jenny says...

      Oh this breaks my heart. Sending you so much love. <3

    • Kris says...

      I don’t know who you are, but I’m moved by you sharing this. Life is beautiful and brief. I know time is precious for you, especially right now – may it be generous to you and your husband.

    • Kat says...

      Oh, Pat. This is equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. You sound so kind and I’m inspired by your love. May time be on your side.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, pat, sending so much love to you and your husband. i imagine being a caretaker can be so exhausting and emotional, and sending you so much strength. we’re holding you close in our thoughts. xoxo

    • Sarah says...

      I cried reading this. This must be one of the most heartbreaking life experiences a human can go through. Sending you love and peace from the Midwest.

    • bisbee says...

      So sorry Pat…what more is there to say? I wish peace to both of you along your shared journey.

    • Elle says...

      Wow. Your shared heartbreak just moved me so. Sending you much love and wishing for you and your husband the precious gift of time.

    • Lucy says...

      Pat, your story touched me. May you have many more wonderful moments together. Sending you love.

    • Cynthia says...

      I am so sorry. Sending good thoughts your way.

    • Kate M says...

      This is so poignant. Brought tears to my eyes. Life can seem so cruel- having a beautiful life with someone you love so deeply, and watching it fade away. May you find peace.

    • E says...

      Sending you love… and the care of your guardian angels. : )

    • Pat says...

      Thank you All.
      I am touched deeply by your comments. Such a beautiful community.
      I am trying hard to stay thankful for the time we had and still have.
      My heart breaks when I think about our 10 yo girl – wish they have more time. He is such wonderful father…

  145. Veronica says...

    My husband and I tend to go to bed at the same time. Usually though, I will lay in bed and read while he watches TV or hangs out in the living room, but he usually comes in around bed time and we “tuck in” at around the same time. I’m very introverted, and I love having the time in bed to myself, but I also appreciate that we go to sleep at the same time.

    What surprised me most about marriage is that in almost three years, nothing has changed about the way we fight. My husband is big into stonewalling, and I tend to play the false stoicism card (“no really, I’m fine!”) until my anger boils over. However, we have never had a huge fight. I thought for sure we would have one in our first year of marriage, but I guess this weird run around is just how we are. It works for us, I guess I can see myself fighting that way for the next sixty years :)

  146. Pretty rare that my longtime BF and I go to bed at the same time. He has a wild sleep pattern – his doctor pegged him as a kid as a “healthy insomniac” which means he can run on virtually no sleep, no problem. Plus his internal clock is more like 26 hours, so before he started working a regular job (he used to freelance), his day would slowly cycle around so that he was up all night and sleeping all day. Then slowly it would start to cycle back. Super frustrating when we started dating, but I just roll with it now. I fall asleep pretty fast myself so it doesn’t bug me. And he tucks me in too! I love that ritual. It makes me feel safe. Also the meme: is me, sometimes. Especially when I get up to pee and then all of the sudden it’s like a radio turned on in my brain, lol.

  147. Laura says...

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 12 years and this is the same norm for us! I love it because I can fall asleep sprawled across the bed and then when he comes in, I can cuddle up next to him for the rest of the night. I have a much harder time going to sleep when he does come to bed at the same time as me because we both toss and turn for a few minutes before falling asleep and it keeps me up so much longer!

  148. tessa says...

    my husband and i rarely go to bed at the same time. it used to really bother me, but now i’m used to it. he needs to go to bed way earlier than i do, so i tuck him in every night! i would say we go to bed at the same time about once every two months.