‘It com­pletely Changed my Re­la­tion­ship’

Lisa Wake­ham, 31, a writer from east London tells us why she prefers sleep­ing in a sep­a­rate bed to boyfriend Ben, also 31

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‘Ben and I have been to­gether for seven years, but about 12 months ago I was re­ally strug­gling to get a wink of sleep. Ben moves around in the bed a lot at night and I’m par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive to it. I went through a patch of in­som­nia and it was aw­ful. I was so tired and fraz­zled I felt like even some­one push­ing past me would cause me to fall apart.

We would be up at 3am try­ing to de­cide whose turn it was to sleep on the sofa and things would get pretty fraught. One day, af­ter an­other night of no sleep, I sobbed to a friend and she sug­gested sep­a­rate sin­gle beds as a short-term so­lu­tion. We de­cided to try it. I was pretty down­hearted at first as we lined up our beds in the same room. I thought it would re­ally af­fect our re­la­tion­ship in a bad way and I was em­bar­rassed. I was wor­ried that friends who came to the house would judge us. But it soon turned into the best idea ever.

The beds are on wheels so we can move them to­gether, but we can also sep­a­rate them and move them fur­ther apart if I’m hav­ing a bad night. We still start off on the same bed to­gether, but one of us moves to the other bed if I can’t get off to sleep. Noth­ing has changed in terms of sex, I’m pleased to say. I did worry we wouldn’t feel as close and I would get up­set over it but as time’s gone on, it’s been a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

Now, when I see other cou­ples moan­ing about a lack of sleep I feel so re­lieved be­cause we’ve been saved from years of ar­gu­ments. My friends think it’s great and my fam­ily has been re­ally sup­port­ive. I don’t think it would work for ev­ery­one but our re­la­tion­ship’s so much bet­ter for it.

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