Should I let my husband sleep in a separate bedroom?


Dear Violet,

My husband and I, we’ll call him “Joe,” have slept together in the same bed (and bedroom) for the entirety of our marriage, which will be 40 years this spring. I find that sleeping in the same bed is no longer realistic for us at our ages (65 and 70 years old this year).

I have complained for years about “Joe’s” snoring and constant tossing and turning. He insists that he wishes to be close to me at night, and to remain sleeping by my side for life. To be fair and reasonable “Joe” has undergone a slight surgical procedure to stop his snoring from becoming an issue, as well as making a very conscience effort to not move at night to disturb my rest.

The problem? I think perhaps those things were just adding to the bigger facts that I neither wanted to face, myself, nor, horror of horrors, discuss with “Joe.” The truth is Joe repulses me. The thought of his skin touching mine, accidentally, makes me cringe; not to mention his intentional desire to cuddle and show me his “never lost desire for me.”

While I know this is not a kind thing to think, or say out loud, I know from talking to many of my friends that it’s not that unusual. How do I mention my intention to move his items into the guest room while he is on his next business trip, or should I just do it, and let him realize on his own that our relationship dynamic has changed?

I love my life but no longer wish to live day to day as my husband’s “pretend happy wife.”

Longing to be free

Dear Longing,

I can only assume that your husband, “Joe,” will be thrilled with this change, and will want not only his own “guest bedroom” in his own home, but to have his own home to himself.

I am quite sure you will find it not only fun, but perhaps liberating, to find a small place you make your entire own, where you no longer need to pretend any kind of concern, care, love or patience with a man who wants to treat you with a willingness to change his own life for you. No need to pretend you care about his respect, and his having had a surgical alteration to make your beauty sleep so much easier. The complete lack of his understanding that you cannot stand his touch seems very sad, for him. While I actually, personally, have no problem with couples having separate sleeping spaces, for whatever reasons are most comfortable and workable for them, I have a tremendously huge problem with disrespect in relationships, especially one sided versions.

Ultimately I hope you and “Joe” resolve this issue, in the manner you suggested, with love and respect, or with a decision that marks an understanding that perhaps a room in the house isn’t the actual problem, I wish the very best, for you both. We all deserve to be respected, and happy, especially the shorter our years on this revolving ball of constant trauma and stress that we call planet Earth.

In hopes for all involved,


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