So last week I talked about how we’ve been coping with colic (which turned out to be an un-diagnosed dairy allergy, and possibly posterior tongue tie on top of that). And I mentioned that there was a second way we were dealing with the stress and chaos – one which I was hesitant to share.
Why? Because I’m protective of my marriage. (I’ve had to deal with attempted sabotage once before in the early days. Not fun!)
I was chatting to a friend not so long ago, and we agreed that something changed for us both when we each got engaged. Essentially, our relationships became sacred, and the subject of them – specifically any ‘issues’ we may have – was off-limits as a topic for discussion. We were fully in and on board – ergo we became intensely protective and private.
Bottom line: it was no longer acceptable to air our grievances and hold them up for scrutiny and analysis by friends and family.
Ultimately, if someone else thinks there’s something not right in my marriage, I don’t want to hear it. If we’re happy (we are) and what we’re doing works for us (it does) then that’s all that interests me. Nobody else’s opinion is of any consequence.
Of course, that doesn’t actually make proper sense – if it’s truly inconsequential, then owning and sharing this (about to become un-secret) secret shouldn’t make me uncomfortable. Thing is, I anticipate certain opinions and I just can’t be bothered with having to defend our unusual setup.
What am I on about?
Yep – right now and pretty much since our second princess arrived, we’ve not shared a bedroom. Why? It goes hand in hand with what I wrote about last week and is a temporary arrangement to see us through a difficult period.
As I write, we’ve recently received a dairy allergy diagnosis which validates my extreme fatigue. It explains such a lot and I’m hopeful that my elimination diet will soon mean our baby girl is far more settled. For the time being and as things stand, hubby is helping me with the relentless pacing in the evenings when it’s required. He’s also taking Elfin for walks after dinner to allow me half an hour to unwind.
And then, come ten or eleven o’clock, he’s retreating downstairs and leaving us to it.
Does this sound unsupportive? It’s anything but. If Elfin gets too worked up, hubby will come back to help me – we’ve established a system which works at least half the time: after I’ve fed, he paces with her for a while and once she’s finally crashed out he’ll pass her to me to lay her down (my husband is afflicted with clumsiness and not trusted to attempt the manoeuvre).
Ultimately, as I spoke about last week, hubby needs his sleep in order to be of use to our family and to adequately fulfil his responsibility to provide for us.
Why Separate Bedrooms?
How did this situation come about? Funnily enough it was something we’d both thought about independently, but were afraid to voice to each other – him for fear of making me feel unsupported; me for fear of making him feel unwanted. His reasons for choosing to vacate the boudoir may be obvious, but mine? Because I’d inadvertently found myself co-sleeping (my only no-no, oops) and was terrified of squashing our tiny baby as I slept: the more space I had in our bed, the safer Elfin would be.
As and when things settle down with Elfin (it has to happen eventually, right?) we’ll reevaluate and I’ll welcome hubby back into the fold. But for now, our arrangement suits us both.
Is this something you have or would consider, or do you think separate bedrooms spells the end of a marriage?