I have determined (through nothing but sheer experience) that waking and sleeping together is one of the most important things in making a marriage work. I am just sure there are psychological studies to back my claim, but who needs numbers?
Growing up, my mom always made a big deal of bed times. Even into my teen years, she still climbed in my bed and tucked me in. She always stressed the importance of no TV or phones in bed—maybe a book. Going to bed was quiet reflection time. And as an adult, I’ve found that it’s a shame that we often don’t practice this still. While it may no longer be a bed time story or lullaby, it should be relaxing and reflecting (and in my bed, praying) about where the day left us and what tomorrow will bring.
While my husband was in the Army, I always made sure we went to bed together. Most nights, we did. We didn’t have a TV in our room and often put our phones up. It was our time to talk about life, dreams, maybe even peacefully solve an earlier argument we had just dropped, and, well, do other things that are great for marriage. Now, my husband is a night shift cop, and the single thing I miss the most is going to bed with him each night. Now, I find myself lying in bed for hours, unable to sleep. Thinking about what he’s doing at work. Thinking about buying a house. Thinking about how to more effectively discipline my son. Thinking about the future. Thinking about the rapidly approaching school year. But not having anyone to tell these things to allows for me to keep thinking and thinking…and thinking, until it’s 1A.M. and I finally pass out in delirium. Those words “goodnight” and rolling over into our “sleeping positions” (you know, the set ones you always get into every single night) tells my mind, “It’s time to let it all go.” Not just for the night, but for good. And those deep conversations are so good for a marriage. Complete strangers can small talk, but complete strangers can’t talk about things like God’s timing in their relationship, how much their children are just like the other, how they can’t wait until they can take this certain vacation. Intimate conversation brings couples together just as much as other intimacies, and when you have a one-year-old, bedtime is the only time you can hold a conversation for longer than one minute.
I feel like this is a badly written vent, but I guess it’s just what I needed to do. I miss my husband beside me every night. On the nights he is home, the difference in our relationship is miraculous. Now, that may have something to do with my bitter attitude that I sometimes let sneak out. But bedtime, people. Try it. It does wonders for your marriage.