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EST. May 2000 (AD)




How Twin Beds Can Save Your Marriage

by Jennifer Gravel Vanasse

Is your marriage on the rocks, or is your bed just too hard? Troubles in the bedroom are not always about sex. Sharing a bed can cause frustration and build resentments that can

quickly turn a marriage toxic. Your spouse comes to bed late, noisily undresses and lands with a bone wrenching crash on the mattress beside you. Or he slides into bed and presses his cold feet against your warm legs, so that he can warm up. Then there is the snoring, teeth-grinding, gasping, noise-machine who rarely lets you sleep through the night. And, of course, a blanket hog can start a turf-war that will rage on into the early light. If you've been living with someone for at least six months, this is probably sounding very familiar.

To avoid being one-sided, you must also look at your part in the bed-sharing drama. There are two in that bed and, theoretically, you are one of them. Maybe you hoard the blankets or grind your teeth or talk in your sleep, keeping him awake all night long. You worry about morning-breath, unshaven legs and toenails gone wild. And then there are the nights when you wish your spouse would just fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV, so you wouldn't have to explain the smell of sulfur emanating from between the sheets. You try to blame it on the dog, but you don't even have one!

In the golden days of television, when soap operas were meant to sell soap, not sex, married couples on TV slept in separate beds. They were always happy back then. No one ever seemed cranky or sleep deprived, except if it was funny and part of the script. It was a more childlike time in our history, when one didn't discuss how Mommy got pregnant and D-I-V-O-R-C­­-E was a word spoken in whispers and spelled when children were in the room. Soon enough, times changed and with the times, sleeping arrangements changed too. Pretty soon, TV parents would be found reading together in their queen size bed by a bevy of children who would playfully come running into the room. Then came the single divorced women, who slept alone in their double beds, while their teenagers slept on the pullout couch. It wasn't a big leap from there to bed-hopping carefree singles, who never stayed in a relationship long enough to suffer the problems caused by sharing a bed night after night.

Now, as sleeping arrangements changed over the years, so did the presentation of relationships on TV, showing more divorce, unhappier marriages and happier singles. Clearly, in the real world, a similar change in relationships and in the institution of marriage itself had emerged. Is it coincidence or is there a connection?

Have you ever noticed that you sleep much better when your partner isn't in the bed, when you can spread out and enjoy rolling over at will? What about that saying: Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Perhaps there's something to it. Remember when you were a teenager and you slept alone every night aching to sleep with someone else. Maybe you can bring back the aching, the loving feeling, the passion.

To save your marriage, all you need to do is to turn back the clock and turn down the sheets in separate beds! Go back to a time when it was okay for you and your spouse to sleep apart. Don't call the marriage counsellor or that divorce lawyer; call a furniture store. Worried about trying to get used to sleeping in a twin bed? Don't. Buy twin doubles instead of singles. Go wild and buy twin queens! When you and your spouse want to get physical, just push those beds together like they do in a hotel. Won't that put you one up on the Jones' next door?

And if that doesn't solve your marriage troubles, at least it will be one thing you won't have trouble dividing in the divorce settlement!

©2006 Jennifer Gravel Vanasse




Jennifer Gravel Vanasse
has been writing all her life, though for the past 18 years it has been in the course of her employment with a highly successful law firm in Ottawa. She has had articles published in the Ottawa Association of Law Clerks Newsletter and friends, family and acquaintances seek after her original and customized poetry. Jennifer's goal is to branch out from making judges cry and to enter the world of mainstream fiction. She currently lives in Ottawa with her husband Randy and stepson Nick and their huge dog, a Lab-Newf mix named Zucchini.

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