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BF keeps pressuring me to sleep in the same bed and I need my own space


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Hi everyone,

 

I'm exploring transitioning into moving in with my boyfriend as we've been together for 3 years and it's something that keeps coming up: moving in. I'm not in a rush, but he's always asking me to stay over at his place more. I live nearby and he's only ever been a 5 min walk away so it's been easy and great coordinating things and feeling like we have our own space but also shared space, but it's just he wants us to spend more time together and have me stay over more with the view of transition to me moving in with him. But here's the thing: he owns his apartment and I was renting so the idea is I will be moving in with him. But I don't like his apartment very much. It's OK - I try to make the best of it, but I'm used to having a larger and brighter space. His apartment is on the ground floor, and there is not much natural light. It's hard to imagine myself living there full time, as it doesn't feel like home to me, and hasn't in the last 3 years. But he's very proud of it. He's bought expensive furniture and redone the floors and repainted recently to make the place quirky and eclectic, covered the wall with pictures, is re-doing the bathroom in the next few months. Has created plenty of storage space for me so I can put my clothes etc. in places should I wish to move in. So it's hard to tell him, with all he's doing, that the apartment is not to my taste. I am just trying to suck it up until one day in future, hopefully, we will move somewhere bigger and nicer that we can do up together. Right now, it just feels as if I would be moving into HIS home, not our home.

 

The bigger issue here is that I cannot share his bed with him. For so many reasons. And I've tried it so many times, but each time I have tried it, I wake up cranky, exhausted, and miserable from the lack of sleep. I am 31 yrs old and never shared a bed with anyone / lived with a partner, and I simply cannot sleep with someone by my side. I get too hot and uncomfortable. I think it's too late for me to try and adjust, yet he keeps insisting that I will "Get used to it". Sometimes when we go on vacation, I manage to sleep just fine, if the hotel has a king size bed for example. But other times, I spend vacations tired and missing having a bed to myself. I have tried everything. He likes to get up close and cuddle in sleep, I've asked him politely not to do that as I feel completely smothered by it, and he agreed, but I still find him disruptive to my sleep, and often feel like he's getting too close. I don't want any contact at all during sleep. He also snores, I have bought earplugs, it helps a little, but it's still hard to switch off sometimes. He often (about 50% of the time) stays up late while I go to bed around midnight or earlier, and he comes in at 2am after passing out on the sofa watching TV. Sometimes this wakes me up. So there's a whole number of reasons: the size of the bed, him wanting to have contact, him snoring sometimes, him coming to bed late. One of these things is enough to be disruptive for me, let alone when all happen at once.

 

The perfect solution however presented itself: He has a spare room that's a study but also has a mattress in it, so I asked if I can try sleeping in there a few nights ago. He said sure. So I did. And it was wonderful. I thought to myself: hurrah! Problem solved. And I thought he understood it's what I needed to function and be happy if we live together and thought he accepted that. But it turns out he has not. He's been pressuring me for the last couple of days to come back and sleep in his bed. I said: "But I really like the mattress in the spare room, it's great and I've been sleeping really well". Well I've tried saying that a couple of times now and this morning he went into a big mood and said he was 'sad' that we can't be like a normal couple. He insists I will get used to it if I keep trying. But I've kept trying for 3 years and i always find it hard. I was really surprised to hear him pressuring me like this. I thought that he understood the differences in our sleep routines meant that this worked for us. Apparently not. It works for me but doesn't work for him. I don't really know what to do now. I suggested maybe it would help if he bought a king size bed, but he says it would be an expensive thing to do and make his room look cramped. He asked if he replaced his mattress to a 'better one' but it were still a double size, if I would try.

 

Just wondering if anyone else has experiences with this and how they overcame this problem?

 

Thank you.

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I've been on both sides of this situation.

 

One of my exes HATED having me sleep in his bed. He complained constantly. I didn't grope him or try to cuddle him but he said I made his back hurt and he was horribly uncomfortable all the time. It made me feel awful, like he hated being near me. One thing I love about being in a relationship is sharing a bed, I love the closeness. But he hated it. The relationship didn't last (not solely because of the sleeping problem) but I came out of it feeling kind of bad about myself.

 

Another ex was an extreme night owl. I had a job where I needed to be up at 5:45 am in order to get to work on time. He would stay in his shop across the street until early morning. Sometimes he would come to bed 30 minutes before I had to get up for work. I couldn't sleep unless he was with me as his house was in a terrible industrial area with high crime (I would hear gunshots and police helicopters almost every night) and he would leave the door unlocked so he could go back and forth, plus the relationship was a difficult one where I felt uncertain of him. So for the 4 months I lived with him I was completely and utterly exhausted from lack of sleep. I'll never forget, one time I just left and checked into a motel. I slept and slept and slept! It was glorious. I moved out into my own place and felt much better but again, the relationship didn't last.

 

Sleep incompatibilities can be a big deal. If he insists you absolutely MUST sleep in bed with him, well, that is an incompatibility. Plus you don't like the apartment (which to me is a more minor issue, but I'm not you). I would not move in if I were you.

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can you buy a king size bed with a cooling mattress? I would be more direct. Tell him that for now your sleep is essential to your mental and physical health -you simply can't function without a good night's sleep -others are ok with sleep deprivation and you are not. Tell him you love to cuddle with him before going to sleep etc but when it's time for bed for now you really need your own space for health reasons. Don't just tell him you like the mattress and you've been sleeping well. Explain what it means to you. For example, if fried food made you sick and he loved fried food would he insist on you eating it with him? He might if all you said was "I don't love fried food" or "I ate the grilled version of the chicken sandwich and I felt good after I ate it". - he might then wonder why you can't just for him try something new, if it's just more of a preference.

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Thank you!! @boltnrun that sounds extreme, but you can relate to that feeling of freedom when you no longer have to try and make the sleep thing work. That's how I feel when I go home to my own bed. It's great. But I end up feeling guilty about it. Not liking his apartment isn't as much of deal breaker, as I like the location and it doesn't have to be permanent as such. But it just doesn't help overall right now.

 

@Batya, thanks for the advice. I confided in one of my friends about this problem and she was criticizing me and saying I seem insane to think sleeping in another bed is a solution and that we're not an elderly married couple and that I need to respect his intimacy needs. I thought she was really harsh and made me feel ashamed. I wasn't always like this. In my early 20s, my dream was to sleep beside my boyfriend and I found it to be the most romantic thing. I could have shared a single bed in university dorms with a guy and sleep soundly. But I feel since my late twenties approached, I'm a completely different person. I am more sensitive and can't deal with little sleep, and can't put romantic ideas over practicality and optimum health!

 

It's certainly frustrating that we have these opposing needs. Perhaps I need to save up for a high quality high king size bed and cross my fingers that it solves our problem.

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Get a King Size Bed, Purple brand. You both won't even know you're in the same bed. And then only do it on the weekends. The other times, in the guest room. Tell him you need more light and when remodeling, your input is a must.

 

Thank you!!! I'll check them out. I appreciate the advice. And to feel that my feelings are valid!

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I can relate, as do not want someone snuggling me when trying to sleep. I am a very light sleeper and get hot very easily. I can totally relate to wanting separate bedrooms.

 

Great suggestions made. I also suggest using white noise if you do decide on the king size bed. I use a fan at home and an app when I travel. It is a lifesaver!

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Agreed that this is a situation the two of you will need to find a compromise on that you can both agree to and be happy with, otherwise I do not foresee this relationship working out.

 

My advice is to continue to brainstorm ideas together: yes, try getting a new mattress and/or bed if this may be a solution for the two of you. Discuss a new sleeping arrangement if this may be a solution for the two of you (such as the weekends in the same bed/week days in different beds that was previously suggested)

 

My biggest advice to you, for now, is to NOT move in together until BOTH of you have reached a compromise you are 100% happy with. Also, do a trial-run of the compromise for at least a month before you officially begin the move-in process (just to be absolutely sure that this is something that will work for you both).

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I really think you have the right idea in waiting until you can/decide to get a place together before moving.

That literally is his home that you would be moving into. Imo It's not a great idea financially to move into his place, and IMO it's not a great way to start off on the footing of equal partnering. If you get something together, it's neutral space, rather than one person already having established it as theirs.

Work out these kinks now, and if you want to live with him - do you? I'm not sure if you really do or just feel pressured to?

There's nothing wrong either with having separate homes if that's what makes you happy.

Don't ever do something just because you think you "should" or "that's what normal couples do" etc. Always be honest with yourself first and foremost.

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I hear yah on the sleep issues. I am a light sleeper, but with ear plugs (my guy doesn't even snore) and a king size tempurpedic, you don't feel the other persons movement. Having slept in an air bnb recently, the queen mattress felt like sleeping on a beach ball. I felt every movement and didn't sleep at all. I wanted to cry.

 

I found that the silicone earplugs work the best. You can tear off just the right amount, push and mold it into your ear. It blocks maybe 90% of any noise. I love them. That and time. It was a long hard road but at some point you do get used to it. Either that or you get too exhausted to care and succumb to it. . lol. I do LOVE sleeping alone, but I also can't deny, like it or not, we need to share a bed with our partners. IMO

 

When I was married I almost always ended up on the couch. He snored like a freight train. It was an ongoing contentious issue that we never overcame in 18 years. Add in the exhaustion of raising two small kids, I was wrecked. I am someone who needs 8 solid hours or I feel like I have a hangover.

 

I also understand the issue of moving into his place. My guy and I have been together for 3 years. I own a townhome. It's definitely a womans home. He rents a tiny house by the beach. No room for me and my shoes there. He doesn't feel at home in my place. Add in he married a second time for a short period and moved into her home. He's had the experience of feeling like a guest in someone elses home. That issue compounded with others led to their divorce.

 

We used to try to figure this out, but have tabled it for the time being. Navigating his aging parents in another state are the priority at the moment. When one passes he'll likely have to take one in until he comes up with a plan.

 

I really think the ideal compromise is to start off with a place that both of you choose and create together. But I get it's not a easy as it sounds.

Good luck.

Edited by reinventmyself
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Unfortunately, one of the big hallmarks of a long term successful couple is being able to be considerate and understanding of each others needs. You'd be shocked how many couples sleep separately precisely because of snoring or other sleep issues that cause problems. A very close friend of mine, her and her husband spent quite a few years sleeping in separate rooms simply because of conflicting work schedules. She had to get up early, he worked and came home late. Consideration for each others health and welfare trumped everything else. Eventually their work schedules changed and so they went back to sharing a bed, but.....the key point is care and consideration for each other. Neither one wanted their partner to be tired, exhausted, or otherwise unwell for lack of sleep.

 

Your problem isn't so much sleeping arrangements as your bf being selfish. He wants a cuddle buddy and he doesn't care if you are awake and exhausted. I'm sure it's not the only issue he is selfish about. So maybe take a big step back and think on that before you commit further or waste any more time on him. Not going to advise you about getting a different bed, etc. The elephant in the room is your partner's lack of consideration for your well being and that won't get solved by different beds or whatever.

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You've been together this long and I'm assuming you're both shooting for a lifetime together, so I would be sensitively frank about eventually wishing for a place you can choose together and for a timeline that would happen.

 

If someone is a snorer, it's best both people go to sleep at the same time, since once you're asleep, you have less tendency to have the snoring awaken you. I have to wear earplugs called "Hearos" cause my husband is a loud snorer, and sometimes when he's just keeping me awake regardless, luckily we have an extra bed he goes and sleeps in. We also have a king sized bed, since I can't stand to be touched when I'm sleeping.

 

In the meantime, how about your bf join you in bed earlier for a little while, so you can listen to music together, have fun discussions like bucket list trips you want to take together, with an occasional back rub or caressing hair. A bit of cuddling, and then he can go back to the living room since his sleep schedule is different. Maybe if he gets that sort of bonding time, he'll let get his fix.

 

But yeah, if he's going to regularly make you feel bad, you need to speak up and tell him if he can't handle the differences, then it's not going to work because you won't be around someone who makes you feel guilty about something that makes you miserable. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Unfortunately, one of the big hallmarks of a long term successful couple is being able to be considerate and understanding of each others needs. You'd be shocked how many couples sleep separately precisely because of snoring or other sleep issues that cause problems. A very close friend of mine, her and her husband spent quite a few years sleeping in separate rooms simply because of conflicting work schedules. She had to get up early, he worked and came home late. Consideration for each others health and welfare trumped everything else. Eventually their work schedules changed and so they went back to sharing a bed, but.....the key point is care and consideration for each other. Neither one wanted their partner to be tired, exhausted, or otherwise unwell for lack of sleep.

 

Your problem isn't so much sleeping arrangements as your bf being selfish. He wants a cuddle buddy and he doesn't care if you are awake and exhausted. I'm sure it's not the only issue he is selfish about. So maybe take a big step back and think on that before you commit further or waste any more time on him. Not going to advise you about getting a different bed, etc. The elephant in the room is your partner's lack of consideration for your well being and that won't get solved by different beds or whatever.

 

Yes this - it's not just older married couples either. I still think she needs to be more direct with him about what sleep deprivation does to her. It doesn't affect everyone the same way just like hunger -some people can do fine being hungry and others get hangry/low blood sugar issues so that waiting to eat just another hour is a dealbreaker.

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A lot of couples do sleep separately for personal reasons. I think your boyfriend is a bit immature and being quite childish about the issue if he can't see that sleeping separately benefits your health in the long term. Regardless of how big your bed is or what size it is, if you have different lifestyles or sleep schedules, the size of the bed won't matter because the coming and going is disruptive as is his habit of feeling you up in the morning.

 

I'm coming from a place of empathy for you because my ex had a different sleeping schedule and I probably functioned on minimal levels of sleep for a human for years. That was my choice and I probably adjusted out of sheer willpower, hope, kindness maybe and not having the heart to hurt him. It took about five years for me to adjust fully and sleep past a lot of the disruptions. Not sure how I did it but some days were good and others were not. Believe me, I understand you when you say that sleep is important.

 

Both of you have to practice more consideration and respect for each other. Unfortunately not all couples can do this so stay cautious and tactful and don't be surprised if you'll be moving out to your own place again after living together doesn't end up working out. Be wise about your spending and save in this experimental stage. Remember that things might not work out and you don't want to feel trapped or stuck in a situation that is no longer workable for you.

 

You can also compromise on the darkness of the place and get out of the house a bit more. It's at ground level - what amenities or parks are withing walking distance? Being at ground level can also have its own perks if you consider a pet like a dog and taking it out for regular walks every day. It's easy access outside.

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Honestly, he needs to do a sleep study to see if he has apnea.

 

But I would not put up with him coming to bed at 2 am if you are sleeping over. its not good sleep hygiene. You either enjoy the evening together and retire for the night at reasonably similar times - maybe you cuddle in bed for a little while, and then retreat to your opposite sides to actually sleep. And don't sleep over every night.

 

I personally would not move in. if it was just for the fact that you didn't like his apartment, you could always get a new apartment together if you decided marriage was in the cards, but honestly, you don't sound too thrilled about this guy if you can't wait to be by yourself again

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* Watching the news this morning. Consumer reports that Labor Day weekend is consider the Black Friday of mattress sales. They said you can might even get a queen mattress for the price a king.

 

I think you meant that the other way around :)

 

I don't know that a new mattress is going to solve all the issues but it might be a start.

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Sorry to hear that. Wish I had a better answer than simply don't move in. There's no worse hell than being uncomfortable where you live.

 

On another level, you're correct. It's his place not yours and having a partner who's now legally your landlord is another hell you don't want to be in

 

Sorry to say but band-aid solutions about mattresses, spare rooms, etc are not going to work when the fundamentals are askew.

 

At some level you're incompatible and that added to your partner being your landlord in a place you're uncomfortable in will cause too much friction and stress.

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Instead of staying up until midnight watching tv, go to bed earlier so you guys can have cuddles while watching tv from bed. Have sex too. Then later on, go to the spare room for sleep time.

 

That would be the best solution. Quality time in the bed first, then sleep second.

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