QUESTION: I’m a very light sleeper, so when my marriage broke up, one upside was that I finally got a great night’s sleep. Three years later, I have a lovely new man, but I have to ask him to sleep in the spare room or I won’t sleep. Now he’s said he can’t deal with the rejection and has considered ending things. What should I do?
ANSWER: You know you’re middle-aged when you start fantasising about sleep more than sex. Which makes sense, as you won’t have the energy for a night of passion if you’re shattered.
While I have every sympathy for your need to slumber, I do feel sorry for your man. After all, part of the delight of a committed relationship is that shared intimacy. Then there’s the joy of waking to the person you adore, not to mention the pragmatist’s case for warming their feet on a snoozing partner. I can see being dispatched to the spare room seems like being sent into exile. Don’t underestimate how undermining that exit can feel.
So, it seems the pair of you are at stalemate. Both of you are really saying: ‘If you loved me enough, you’d do this one thing for me.’ You feel you have the stronger cause, because who can function without sleep? But you must acknowledge that your boyfriend’s cause also has merit.
I also wonder if you’ve simply let yourself fall out of the habit of sleeping with someone?
It sounds as if dozing solo is something that happened to you post-divorce and that you started to relish it. But couldn’t you, with a bit of love and willpower, train yourself back to companionship?
If this man is lovely, isn’t it worth investing in the relationship? Why not buy a super kingsize bed, where you won’t feel so encroached upon? And if you still feel the need to dispatch him, why not get up early and slip into the spare room with him?
If you make him feel listened to, he won’t begrudge you lone dreams. - Daily Mail