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Relationship under more strain due to corona... considering separate bedrooms?

girl friend

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Hello everyone,


Corona virus put pressure on relationship!(or just made the cracks show)


So a bit of background.

Myself and my partner (both females) have been together officially for 3 years, and probably unofficially for 4, as we spent a lot of time getting to know one another.


We are both rather eccentric creative and probably quite complicated people. We are also very different (chalk and cheese).


Since the lockdown, our relationship has become far far more strained. I think it used to work better with us both out at work for several long shifts per week. We would value the time alone in the house and get things done, and look forward to our evenings together.


With the lockdown everything has changed. My partner's work has halved as some of it is closed so she's lucky if she gets to go to work once a week.

I'm the main earner, and my work already involved about 50% from home. It has changed to about 90% from home, with the odd short visit once every week. Furthermore, they've doubled the amount of work due to other employees being off self-isolating etc.


So the problems.


I'm tired all the time. Sleeping in the room together isn't working.

At all.


My partner has sleep difficulties where she often is awake during the night intermittently, and has restless legs etc

ME - the only sleep difficulty I have, is sleeping next to her.


Its crazy because when we first fell in love, I used to dream of sleeping next to her. I don't think i used to mind so much even if I was tired out all day.


But now.. its frustrating. Here i am again, facing a full day of working from home, feeling annoyed and exhausted because she kept me awake all night.


I described it during a row last week as "like a form of torture sleeping next to you" which I know sounds awful, but it is the way I felt.



My mother said that we were always "chalk and cheese" and it was never going to work.

I think it seems ridiculous to break up due to lockdown, and that we should wait for society to return to normal (ish) and then see where we are in 6 months time.


I don't want her to go. I like the relationship and the parts where we work together etc.


However, I do want us to have separate bedrooms. I find that by sleeping next to her, I get no work done the next day and am ratty and tired all the time.


We own a 3 bedroom house so it is not a problem. I never really wanted to be one of those couples who have separate rooms, it sounded a bit cold and unloving at first. Now I think its the best idea anyone ever had!


Maybe its just because I was an only child, I have never cohabited or shared a room before so maybe thats it. I always wondered if i was going to struggle.


I'm struggling with her being home all the time, and her me.


I know it sounds awful but I think we're both so sick to death of one another currently...!


I miss my friends. I miss her going out!


Now it seems all we do is fight and get annoyed with one another :-(


The pressure of my Working from Home and her being home all the time is definitely a contributing factor (as it feels like she is effectively in my office during the day). If i was furloughed on 80% i probably wouldn't mind being tired all the time and losing my sleep wake pattern, but i'm working 9-5 on my computer all day everyday which my partner doesn't seem to appreciate is tiring.


I'm also a bit frustrated, as financially i'm the high wage earner and I own the house. My partner pays a contribution towards bills. I feel like I pay for an entire house and I can't even have my own room without a fight.


Meh. The joys of love eh.

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You mention you working from home but haven’t mentioned if she does? Is she still working?

And also working from home?


Where is yours and her workplace set up at home?


You also mention that it’s your house , but does that mean you are sharing the house or simply letting her live there?


You also mention that you are the high wage earner. Does that mean to you that her job and role doesn’t matter?


Her sleeping pattern disrupts yours , your solution is seperate bedrooms. Have you made that solution sound permanent or have you suggested work nights only? And until covid ends only?


You come across as a little controlling and self centred in your post. ???


Have you actually had a real discussion with her about this? And considered things from her perspective?!

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Sleep is not overrated. I would have been in separate bedrooms long ago. You need your sleep. Make the change!


You are making this more difficult than it needs to be. My dad had issues with snoring and so my parents slept separately for years. Was a very strong marriage.

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I don't think it's cold or unloving to sleep separately to get sleep and come together for couple time in the same bed. It makes no sense to be sleep deprived and irritable and snapping at your partner in the name of being loving by sleeping in the same bed. My child is having sleep issues because of the covid situation so often my husband sleeps on a mattress in his room or stays in there for a long time. I've had to sleep in there or have him sleep with me/us when he's sick. And my husband snores so there are those times as well. Some people are good with sleep deprivation. I am not, at all and it hurts our relationship when I am and hurts my health.


This is a tough situation.

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I don't see a need to escalate this into an all-or-nothing deal--or even to fight or be snotty about any of it.


If a partner kept me awake while there were unused bedrooms, I'd pick another bed to sleep in.


I would be KIND with my explanation in the morning.


I would NEGOTIATE a better sleeping situation without adding complaints or attitudes.


In other words, consider ways to manage problems by offering solutions without blame. If partner doesn't like your solutions, you can sweeten the deal by offering something of value to partner to make the change you want worth her while. Ask her to tell you any alternative ideas she may come up with to resolve the problem a different way.


You can be annoyed without making another feel lousy about that. Check your motives, and stay focused on solving problems instead of dramatizing them. You will thank yourself later.

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One of the biggest absolute benefits of having spare bedrooms is having a room for one of you to crash in if needed. Could be a heated issue you two just need a night or two of space after. One of you could be incredibly ill and you don't want to pass it on. Or in your case, it's simply more important for one of you to get some quality sleep. It happens.


Honestly, I think back to when it was my mom, my sister, and myself in a 1BR apartment. That would be an experience to live amidst a lockdown. Like you, my wife and I have a 3BR house, no kids yet. A couple cats who are rather annoyingly confused on when exactly feeding time is now, but beyond that, three bedrooms should make it more than simple enough to resolve spacing issues. You know it's coming from a place of love still, so I don't even think you have to carry on too hard negotiating. Don't be d*ck about it, but be sure to focus on your sleep and alone time needs rather than what she does to encroach on them. Talk about how you can allocate the rooms in a hers & hers fashion during all this.


Assuming we're actually dedicated to flattening the curve and not waiting for a cure (*knocking very hard on the desk*), this is a very temporary moment. So long as you're both rational, it should be understood any changes around the house aren't some deep reflection of the state of the relationship.

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Sleeping in separate bedrooms is quite common actually especially as couples age or as schedules change - different phases of life. People have been doing it for a long time in healthy marriages.


Can I ask how your partner feels about keeping you up and your lack of sleep? I think most s.o.'s would show some compassion and empathy, even some degree of horror or guilt, for keeping a loved one up late or depriving them of sleep. If she doesn't seem bothered in the least, I think you have bigger problems on your hands (ie. she's not who you think she is or she's stopped caring about you or your wellbeing). How you both feel about it might create more openness around the idea of sleeping in separate bedrooms. Even if it's a foreign or horrifying idea to some, the thought of caring for a loved one and giving them what they need most (sleep) is enough to be open to the idea or trying it out if it benefits at least one partner a great deal.


I'd propose one week trying out sleeping in separate bedrooms and then see how you both feel. Don't be surprised if you both have trouble adjusting without the movements, habits and presence of each other if you've been sleeping in the same bed for awhile.


What are meal times like at your house? I think diet and exercise play a big role in sleep issues.

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My buddy and hubs dating and now have 3 bedrooms. One for each of them because of their sleeping habits, and one they share together, for ya know, and cuddling, and chilling out.


Our room is sooooo hot, that my hubs sleeps on the couch often, especially when me, the dogs, and our youngest who's snuck into bed is snoring away like banchees.


You can do be loving and cuddle, but retire to sleep separately.

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I dont see this as a big deal to resolve. I dont sleep well most of the time and my husband sleeps like the proverbial log. Sometimes I've gotten up and gone to the spare room to sleep even tho I know I wont likely wake him. If I am sick I go sleep in the spare room so as to not make him sick. It seems a sensible and logical thing to me to sleep elsewhere if there is a problem sharing a bed.


Covid will one day be over and things will become some form of normal and hopefully peoples' jobs will settle down and we can resume our lives. At that point your life should improve and then you can hopefully sleep together. This does not have to be permanent that you go to a spare room.

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