A study released by England s Daily Mail stated that thirteen percent of British married couples slept in their own beds. This sparked a controversial debate about whether or not separate beds were the key to a happy marriage. What is important to realize is that separate beds mean no intimacy. So does sleeping apart create a happy couple?
Though it sounds like a good theory, especially since the happy households of the 1950s featured two parents happy to sleep apart, the fact of the matter is that sleeping in two beds takes away one very important factor in a happy marriage: intimacy.
Intimacy is Not Sex
What a lot of couples seem to confuse is the distinction between sex and intimacy. Sex refers to intercourse between a couple, while intimacy is a broader term that encompasses touching, cuddling and physical contact; intimacy is not always sexual in nature.
Physical Intimacy: the Key Ingredient to a Happy Marriage
Though the British study concluded that two beds are better than one, the fact of the matter is that human beings are highly physical. They crave physical contact with each other, and they need it in order to grow. A relationship needs that physical intimacy throughout the day but also at night. When a couple sleep next to each other, they share that physical connection even if they re not actually awake to enjoy it.
Separate Beds Mean Separated Couples
One thing the British study did not overtly publicize was the fact that they polled individuals who were on an extramarital dating site. The poll was based on individuals who have already strayed from their marriages and thus, the idea of separate beds or even separate bedrooms is already appealing for them.
When Separate Beds is Acceptable
There are situations where separate beds may benefit a couple. Sleep is important. In fact, it is vital for an individual to recover mentally, physically and emotionally. When you don t sleep, you can be easily angered, overly emotional and physically exhausted. So if sharing a bed interferes with both partners restful sleep, it may be okay to refrain from sharing a bed temporarily. Some common situations when separate beds or rooms might make sense include:
- When one partner is sick but the other is not.
- During pregnancy, when the mother cannot sleep comfortably in the same bed as her partner.
- When one partner is injured and cannot sleep in a typical prone position in bed.
Next time you nestle into bed next to your partner, snuggle up. You might be surprised at how that slight amount of physical intimacy goes a long way toward not only a restful sleep but also a happy, marriage.