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Midnite bedtimer just married 9:00 PM bedtimer. HELP! [Ma Strong]
January 17, 2007
3:24 pm
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StronginHim77
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Okay. This is probably laughable to alot of us who are suffering through FAR WORSE adjustments and relationship difficulties, but I am absolutely unsure of how to resolve this problem.

For the past 10-12 years, I have settled into a sleeping routiine of 12:00-1:00 AM bedtime, rising around 9:00 AM. I am basically a night owl who loves curling up and watching old movies, while doing my hair, nails, paying bills, journaling, etc. This has been my pattern for a long time (I am 56) and works for me (I am prone to insomnia).

I recently remarried. New husband is WONDERFUL in every way, but we have one major obstacle: on worknights, he needs to hit the hay by 9:00-9:30 PM and gets up around 6:00 AM for work. And he wants me to go to sleep when he does.

I find it absolutely impossible to forego my little "sleep rituals" (hair/nails/old movies, etc.) and actually sleep that early in the evening. Even trying to sleep at 10:30-11:00 (after two straight days of being sleep-deprived) proved impossible for me.

He has explained to me that I need to learn to go to sleep when I am "relaxed." (We just got married, so use your imagination to figure out WHEN I am "relaxed," OK?) But I find myself unable to go to sleep. I can feel relaxed, calm, etc., but I am NOT able to sleep, like he can. And he is not happy, if I slip quietly into another room and silently watch TV, until I feel ready to sleep.

Any suggestions? Has anyone else here encountered such an adjustment in sleeping routines when you began living with a new partner? I truly love this man and want to please him very much, but cannot for the life of me sleep without my tv/reading/unwinding ritual time late at night. I even tried popping an Ambien, but still couldn't fall asleep when he did.

HELP!!!

- Strong

January 17, 2007
3:54 pm
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taj64
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Hi First off congratulations! I could not believe my ears of the news!!!!

I would think weaning yourself is the best best as this is going to take a lot of time for adjustment. There is huge vast difference between the hours and sometimes I think once a nightowl, always a nighowl. My ex husband was a nightowl and I am early to bed, early to rise. How about going to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier for a week and then make it sooner. It is such a gradual process I think. Even if you could go to bed an hour after he does, that is at least a compromise. It sure is the idea thing to go to bed together but reality is different when you have a night owl and an early riser. Plus then you have peak times during the 24 hour when you feel your best. I am day person and my ex was definately an evening person. We just did not match sadly. But that was not the sole reason we broke up though. I'd say time and patience on both side and you will be going to bed together side by side like an old married couple.

Again congratulations, it really tickles me that you found someone to share your life with.

January 17, 2007
4:50 pm
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thetbeav
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I personally don't think you should change your bed time habits. My boyfriend went through the same thing, wanting me to come to bed when he did. But I'm like you. Late at night is my time to catch up on me stuff...ie check up on the forums, watch cooking shows, do my nails, etc. Afterall, when we are both awake together, he wants to spent that time together. That means also having to give up the stuff I do late at night b/c I can't do them when he's awake...he doesn't really care about food network and hgtv!

Our compromise: he's a heavy sleeper so he just prefers me to come to bed when he does, alghough I sit up and do my nails, watch tv in bed, and have my laptop out and do some surfing and emailing. I'm lucky that he can sleep so hard so we can both be happy. He just likes to have me next to him when he sleeps.

Relationships aren't about giving things up...but trying to come to compromises. Are there some ways you two can figure out a way to make you both happy?

Good luck!

January 17, 2007
4:54 pm
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nappy
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Congratulations Strong, Glad to hear that you finally found your soulmate but I do understand what you are talking about because that is the way I am. My ex and I was the same as you and your husband but what I couldn't understand was that before we were sleeping together he was sleeping fine when he was single and now I had come into the picture and he was trying to tell me when to go to sleep. At first I thought it was because he was concern about me getting enough rest but it was for his own pleasure that I was in the bed so that he could turn over and want sex. Well as you know we are not together, not because of that but I have the same sleep pattern and I am doing fine. Good Luck!

January 17, 2007
4:58 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I have had this issue...and all I can say is find middle ground.

He may not like you slipping away, but that may be the middle ground.

Does he want the physical connection? Cuz he could have that UNTIL he falls asleep.

Is he a sound sleeper - could you do the stuff in the bed while he sleeps?

You don't ask him to stay in bed until nine a.m. when you rise, so it's a little much to ask you to go to bed when he does.

He has to work...so he has to keep that schedule...that may be the only key to this whole thing - when it comes to compromising.

Perhaps you guys need to "dedicate" one hour before his bedtime for "you" time...so that you can get that connection, then go off and do your stuff while he goes to sleep.

beyond that, I dunno.

congrats!!!

January 17, 2007
5:27 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Ma and Congratulations!

I have had (have) the same problem and I agree with the others that a compromise from BOTH of you must be made.

My b/f also goes to bed much earlier than I but wants me in there with him. Most often I do go to bed with him (my compromise) and he doesn't complain if I watch t.v or read with my lamp on (his compromise). However, occationally, I just don't want to be in bed that early and he just has to accept it when it happens. I am willing to compromise but I am still grown person after all and ultimately *I* will decide what I am going to do.

Good luck,
Lolli

January 17, 2007
5:35 pm
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turnabout
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I don't understand why he cares what time you go to bed, or why you want to accomodate him. I mean, I get the desire to compromise and find something that both of you can be happy with, but if your ritual doesn't interfere with his ability to get rest, then what is he wanting from you? Didn't he know you were a night owl when he married you? I don't understand why this is an issue for him.

January 17, 2007
5:40 pm
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lollipop3
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That's a good question Turn.....

I know in my case that b/f likes us to do EVERYTHING together, which is fine with me and most often I enjoy it as well. However, there is a fine line between wanting to be together and wanting to CONTROL the other person and that is something that should be looked at.

Although I hope that is not the case here.

January 17, 2007
6:48 pm
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taj64
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I happen to think that there is a certain notion especially where tv and books where the couple turn out the light and the idea is that they go hand in hand to bed together. It is the idea and perhaps he had this idea in mind.

I did not hear much about your dating life so it was quite a shock for me to hear, but pleasant shock.

Ricky and Lucy always went to bed at the same time. But in seperate beds. I remember in episodes some show where they did the clap clap for the lights?

I just say like all new things, adjustment takes a lot of time. Especially if you are used to sleeping by yourself. It is hard to concentrate on what you are supposed to be doing, what you usually do and that is sleep. It is quite the distraction to have new person there, taking up space, breathing, etc.

January 17, 2007
6:52 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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My husband and I have had to adjust becuase he works a crazy schedule. We worked out that whenwe go to bed together and I am not sleepy, sometimes I read with my little lamp sometimes I get up. He usually plays with the computer when go to bed before he does.

January 17, 2007
7:20 pm
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StronginHim77
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Wow! Great input. Thank you, everyone, for responding. Your responses certainly give us some good starting points for compromise...I really appreciate your suggestions, as this really has us stumped for a solution.

We are both "older," so possibly not as used to compromising and working out things like "sleeping arrangements" with a new partner.

Love,

Strong

January 17, 2007
7:32 pm
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gracenotes
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Strong,

Congratulations on your marriage! It was happily surprised to hear this. Its great to know that we can find our soulmate no matter what our age!!

As far as sleeping arrangements, and also being around your age, I am stuck on going to bed around 11:30 PM and waking up a little before 7:00. It is simply my inner time clock. I get sleepy around that time. Can't change it, it just is. Yes, I can unnaturally adjust it, and have for relationships, work, etc., but it is my natural tendency to want to sleep those hours. I rarely, if ever, have insomnia and usually sleep very well. Some of us are simply naturally more morning persons, others are evening persons.

When I was in a relationship, my b/f liked to go to bed earlier than me. I used this time for my alone time and creative time and totally enjoyed being able to pursue my interests after 9:00ish on my own. It contributed to making this a good relationship, as long as it lasted, because I had that time to myself.

Of course, you are newbies, so maybe that time is not that important now, but it sounds like it is to you.

My solution would be more along the lines of respecting each other's sleep patterns without trying to change and control them. It sounds more like you are being asked to compromise and he is not, if I am reading this correctly. In the morning, when he gets up early to go to work, he will then have the place to himself too. On weekends, of course, that can be the time to bend and accommodate. That's what I would do because, for me, getting out of my normal wake/sleep cycle is really disrupting if I do this for any length of time.

January 17, 2007
8:11 pm
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Loralei
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Strong,

I'm a nightowl too and my partner is an early bird. Since I had to get up early to go to work, it wasn't as hard for me to go to bed a bit earlier during the week, but on weekends I wanted to stay up late and sleep in. Back when I was a "pleaser" I would drag out of bed on the weekend to fix him a big breakfast when I wasn't even hungry myself. Pleasing him was making me miserable. Years later when I finally stopped being the submissive, subserviant woman, I got up when I was good and ready and I'd cook a big breakfast for brunch if I felt like it. Otherwise, he could fix himself something. Just like him wanting me to go to bed when he did, it was a control issue. It's best if you set your boundaries early on because if you don't they'll pout and complain that you aren't the wonderful wife you used to be. When you are in our age group, compromise means each doing their own thing. If he could do it when he was single, he can still do it now. Don't let his old fashioned opinion of what a wife 'should' do, control your life. As long as you are considerate about not disturbing his sleep, after 'tucking him into bed' how you spend the rest of your time should be up to you. BTW, Congratulations!

January 17, 2007
8:22 pm
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mdmdm
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I had the same problem when I first married 20 years ago. I was in bed by 10:00, but my new spouse insisted on staying up and then would fall asleep on the couch. Turns out he was up watching porno.
We still sleep in seperate beds, but
now I prefer it that way.
But back then I wanted him in bed with me so that we would have some couple time to talk and be close. Perhaps this is the main thing your new husband wants. It seems to me if you are giving him that, it shouldn't
matter if you get up after he falls asleep.

January 17, 2007
9:09 pm
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doubleloss
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Ma, well, not much can be done about internal clocks, I'm a night owl as well.

Would it work if you go to be with him, cuddle, snuggle, talk, winkwink and then you go off to YOUR nightly ritual? My new motto is: don't compromise, negotiate.... so, what can be negotiated?

Oh yes, the little things that are not that little. But as long as nobody tries to control the other, it's just a hiccup, there always are, you know that. So, have a good night sleep!!!

love, double

January 17, 2007
10:11 pm
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Matteo
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Congratulations, Ma Strong!

Does he want you early in bed because he wants to sleep - sleep beside you or to have some more entertaining activity?

If it is really about sleeping, I would not compromise. My mother and her late husband were in the same position. He used to sleep soundly at 10:00 amd my mother used to go to sleep at 12:00-1:00 am. He used to get up 5:30 or 6:00 and she arond 8:30-9:30. They had their home bussiness, so they spent their all days together, always together, but because of that arrangement they both had their privacy and time for themselves. It worked out for them quite nicely. Good luck!

January 18, 2007
4:46 am
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alycia
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What the heck have i missed? Weren't you in no contact thread with me back in june.... since when did ma strong get married? I really need to keep updated...... Congratulations lady, you most certainly have been rewarded with happiness...

God bless!!!!!!!!

January 18, 2007
8:13 am
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healintime
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Hi Ma,

I agree with posters who have urged you to ask hubby what it is that he's looking for/needs. Maybe for him an important part of marriage is the idea of "turning in" together. But if he's out cold, then really - does it matter if you're up?

I think that our internal body clocks are like time zones - highly personal and really difficult to change. There is no way I could go to bed at nine and sleep. Read, journal, surf the Web, sure - but I wouldn't be drowsy until 11-12. I only need 6-7 hours sleep so am up early anyway. I'm a night person, and a morning person, so won't please night or morning partners.. LOL.

Your body clock is a highly personal part of "you" and you shouldn't have to change it for someone else. That said - if he wants to cuddle while he falls asleep, by all means cuddle - then slip away until you're ready to hit the hay. How would he react if you told him it was insensitive for him to turn in -before- you did - and asked him to stay up to keep you company... He would be too tired to function. Asking you to try to force yourself to sleep feels to me like it's in the same vein.

Compromise is definitely your best bet,

Hugs,

H.

January 18, 2007
11:00 am
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lovetocrochet
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I agree that your individual body clocks need to be respected. Like you said, you're newlywed (and congratulations on that btw!). When are you going to be relaxed?!

My DH nags me about coming to bed with him and it's been that way regardless of when we worked the same schedule or now that we work different shifts. If I'm up because I can't sleep when he comes home from work he has to say something about it... and 99.9% of the time I just wish he'd leave me the hell alone. I've voiced that to him and it hasn't done a thing. He acts as if I'm sort of anomaly because of it...

I do think it's based on some wired-in expectation. He doesn't like sleeping alone at all... interesting given this was someone who said he'd live single the rest of his life when we were just friends, LOL!

I hope you guys are able to work this out. I like the suggestion of just snuggling up together until he's out cold and then sneaking away - by then it shouldn't matter to him right?

January 18, 2007
11:10 am
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gracenotes
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Strong,

This is just a tad off the subject, but I woke up this morning thinking how wonderful it is that you got married again at age 56!! For me, it just reawakened the hope that I, being around your age but having the energy and enthusiam of a 30 year old, can find my soulmate, and when I find him, it is just going to be the healthiest and happiest and most different relationship I have ever had. Hmmm, I think I feel it in my bones, whatever that means. Its going to happen.

Blessings to you and your new husband.

January 18, 2007
11:12 am
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nappy
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I had to ask difference womens at my job about there husband and they all look at me with strange faces because they didn't or haven't experience that problems. They said that each partner goes to bed if they are tired. That shouldn't be a problems. They also said that it is some form of control. Because if you start doing what he is asking all the time and then the moment that you decide to stay up late, then you will see the real him. Telling you to go to bed, like when your parents told you that it was time to go to bed, whether you were sleepy or not.
I guess that is one reason I haven't never married because I see on this post that being married you have to change yourself somewhat for that other person and I just feel that why should you change who you are because when they were trying to get to know you, they knew how you were before and then as soon as you get married, they have you now and then there true self comes out but by then it is a trap because you are married now.

January 18, 2007
11:22 am
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loverbee
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I gotta ask why he cares what time you go to bed too. I mean, it shouldn't affect his sleep. He needs to go to bed early, you are an individual, this should not affect you because its his life.

January 18, 2007
3:50 pm
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StronginHim77
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These are very helpful posts and very much appreciated. Thank you!

- Ma

January 18, 2007
3:55 pm
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StronginHim77
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P.S. I didn't mention that the new husband is a VERY light sleeper...worse than I am (and I am pretty bad from years of motherhood). Staying with him till he falls asleep, then slipping out quietly does not work. He KNOWS I have left the bed. I am trying to do my evening things early in the afternoon, while he is at work (like manicures, hair, bill-paying, reading, etc.), but still have a problem going to sleep at a different time. I have always cherished my quiet time at night. It is when I am the most relaxed and "off duty."

I have one of those small, DVD players with headphones, so may try slipping into the living room and watching a movie silently, until I can sleep. We do spend all of our evening together when he gets home from work: dinner, clean-up, his computer time/shower time and a couple of hours for talking, cuddling, etc., before he wants "lights out." Please keep those ideas and suggestions coming. I truly welcome them.

- Ma

January 18, 2007
4:14 pm
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Loralei
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I don't know how big your home is, but the answer to your problem is separate bedrooms. You can be together for sex and cuddling, but for sleeping, separate is better. Since you've both been single for a good while and used to living alone, each having your own private sanctuary would really help your marriage in the long run.

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