Upset woman over partner’s request to sleep separately banged
A woman has been criticized online for getting upset over her partner’s suggestion that she sleep in separate beds.
In a post on the London discussion site Mumsnet, the woman explained her dilemma. “My partner has told me that he no longer wants to share a bedroom or bed with me,” she wrote, adding that she felt hurt and upset by the decision. “He IS recovering from treatment for OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder]but this has never been a problem before.
“I asked him why he feels like this, all he said he wants his own bedroom and wants to sleep alone. Him saying this made me feel worthless and gross and dirty,” she added.
OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by recurring intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses that cause distress and often repetitive behaviors. People with OCD may experience intense anxiety and self-dressing due to their obsessions. This can range from fears of illness, worries about contamination, worries about symmetry, and other intrusive thoughts. To relieve the anxiety caused by these thoughts, people with OCD engage in compulsions. These repetitive acts may include repeatedly checking things, counting, washing hands, or arranging objects in a particular way.
Dr Marianne Trent, clinical psychologist, author and podcaster said so Newsweek: “It is not uncommon for people with OCD to decide that they would rather sleep in a separate room or separate bed. This is because they feel they are better able to manage the variables that have caused them discomfort by sleeping separately.”
While this won’t be the case for all sufferers, Trent added that, sometimes, symptoms can worsen at night: “Like anything, we’re more likely to experience higher levels of suffering when we’re tired, because our window of tolerance will be smaller at such times.”
For this reason, it is understandable that man with OCD may feel better or more comfortable sleeping alone at night. But that doesn’t always make things easy for the other person.
“It’s understandable that, for a partner, this may feel like rejection, especially if they’ve previously enjoyed a close intimate relationship,” said Trent.
On Mumsnet, the woman wrote that her partner’s decision had an impact on her feelings of self-worth: “I’m just really mad right now, I’m good enough for him to have sex with me, but not good enough to share the bed with me?”
“In regards to OCD, it’s important to remember that any changes like this could be an indication of increasing distress, which means new routines, rules and regimens are being introduced,” said Trent. “So, while it’s incredibly difficult and impactful on a relationship when something like this happens, it’s important to separate the person from OCD symptoms and think about how they can best be supported while still maintaining the relationship.”
Indeed, in hundreds of comments on the Mumsnet post, users seemed to agree that the woman should respect her partner’s wishes and try to sleep apart. Some even said she was unreasonable to be angry.
“Maybe give it a go? Just sleepy,” wrote one user, while another posted: “I agree with this. I have been very happily married for 35 years. Have a very healthy sex life but have had separate rooms for 10 years. It’s heaven.”
“Honestly OP [original poster] I don’t think you should feel offended if he just wants to sleep separately,” reads another reply.
Psychologist Dr. Shelby Harris previously said Newsweek that what he dubbed a “sleep divorce” — aka sleeping in a separate bed from your partner — could save a relationship.
A 2022 study revealed that more married couples are choosing to sleep in different beds. A quarter (25%) of respondents to the National Sleep Foundation study reported that they would prefer to sleep apart.
For the couple, though, it’s clear the suggestion that they sleep apart was causing problems. Trent said the pair should work together to reach an amicable solution.
“It’s important to remember that both parties in a relationship need to feel that their needs are being met,” Trent added. “Therefore, if OCD is impacting the couple’s relationship, it may be important to work through these issues with a therapist.”
Newsweek was unable to verify the details of this case.
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