Can Sleeping Apart Keep Couples Together?

Couple sitting in bed with laptop and magazineTelevision shows from the 1950s and ‘60s rarely showed married couples in the same bedroom. When they did, they were usually in separate beds. Today, it is assumed that most spouses share not only a bedroom, but also a bed. However, in a recent article, Iris Krasnow, a journalist and author, gives compelling reasons why having separate bedrooms may be just the thing to keep the romance alive in any marriage. Krasnow interviewed people for her recent book on marital success and found that over and over again, both husbands and wives agreed that spending some time apart from a spouse increases the romance.

The idea of taking a guys-only golf vacation or a girls-only weekend may be nothing new to most couples. However, designing a home with two separate master suites to ensure privacy is a new concept but one that was predicted by a 2007 survey conducted by the National Home Builder’s Association. The reasons that this appeals to people are many. Couples with conflicting work schedules may prefer to have separate sleeping quarters. Snoring and other disturbing sleep habits could also be the motivation for sleeping apart. But the most popular reason seems to be the allure of preserving privacy and adding mystery.

Couples who share bathrooms and bedrooms also share exposure to annoying hygiene rituals, unflattering bathroom activities, and full nudity. Some of the couples interviewed by Krasnow stated that keeping the shyness and discretion in the relationship added an air of sexiness and mystery. When there is nothing left to the imagination, intimacy can become routine rather than romantic and erotic. Krasnow also notes that having personal space and privacy is essential for each partner. When one spouse feels like they are exposed at all times, the element of surprise is harder to achieve. One spouse reported that although she did not have her own bedroom, she chose to dress behind a screen that covered her entire body. This allowed her to maintain her physical privacy and also gave her the opportunity to emerge in something that would satisfy her self-esteem and her husband’s sexual appetite. For some of these couples, being apart keeps them closer. Krasnow adds, “It is very healthy for a relationship to be able to retreat into a satisfying feeling of seclusion by simply going into one’s personal bedroom and closing the door.”

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  • Junie N

    Junie N

    May 18th, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Don’t they always say that absence makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe that is true of the boudoir too.

  • Roy


    May 18th, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    My wife has advocated for this for a long time, but I guess I never took it seriously.
    In my way of thinking separate beds is just one step closer to divorce.
    But I guess I never really gave it too much serious thought, and mainly because it wasn’t what I wanted.
    Maybe she is right tough.
    I know I snore and it drives her crazy, but when I am sleeping fine it’s hard to realize how much it is bothering her.
    I think that I have a lot of thinking to do.

  • Shelby


    June 3rd, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    My husband and I have slept in different rooms for our entire 7 Years of marriage. Most people ask what our secret to happiness is. He can snore, have his own colors, pictures and alone time.

    Here is the key…. You MUST spend time together in one of the beds just like you would if you only had one bedroom. So, it is critical to snuggle, have intimate time together (now you have another place woohoo) and just the very act of being near each other. I wait until my husband falls asleep and then I come into my bed. In the morning he snuggles next to me to wake me up.

    It’s insane but we hardly argue and really still have the same giddy feelings from 9 years ago when we met. It leaves some sort of mystery. There are nights I climb in bed with him but rarely. I need my entire bed to sprawl out on!!!

    Good luck and give it a chance.

  • Asheton


    May 19th, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    I don’t necessarily think that you have to have separate beds to keep the marriage together. But I would kill for my won bathroom! My husband and I live in a tiny one bath house, and it is beginning to feel just a little cramped. At first when we got married i liked all of the shared space. But now I am starting to feel like I don’t have any place that is mine. I need a little bit of an esacpe, a sanctuary if you will, and our little starter home just doesn’t have that. I really think that if I have to wantch him shave one more time while I do my makeup that I will lose my mind!

  • stacia adams

    stacia adams

    May 19th, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    There is something to be said for private time, but I think that going to separate bedrooms at night takes away from the intimacy that a marriage is supposed to encourage.

  • Karla


    May 20th, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    dislike and disagree!

  • ivan


    May 20th, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    sounds like a good idea. you know things change when the dating turns into marriage. one reason is the element of surprise as mentioned here, i agree.

    if both the partners are game for it, then why not!

  • Campbell


    May 21st, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Kind of funny how most married couples start out spending so much time together and think that they would not let anything stand between them and their bedroom time, and then reality sets in a few years down the road and you realize that you kind of want a little of your independence back!

  • Jeanne vaughn

    Jeanne vaughn

    May 22nd, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Separate bedrooms worked for my grandparents!
    They were married for 62 years!

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