My husband falls asleep in front of the television four or five nights a week. He says this is the best way for him to fall asleep, but I hate sleeping alone and it’s become such a problem that we fight about it all the time. Basically, every night we watch TV together, I get sleepy, and go to bed. He stays up and says he’ll be in later. He falls asleep. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to find he’s not in bed. If I go wake him up and ask him to come to bed, he’s usually upset because he has trouble falling back asleep again.
Sleeping together is important to me, but he thinks I’m being selfish. Obviously, I do not have an evil plot to prevent him from sleeping, but I am frustrated because he doesn’t seem to want to work on this issue at all. He has found something that works for him so “that’s the way it has to be” in his mind. I do not want to spend the rest of our marriage mostly sleeping alone. What can I do?
What you can do is stop being so freaking high-maintenance—and I’m walking in your shoes, sister.
The only thing my husband loves more than falling asleep on the couch watching TV is falling asleep in bed watching TV, but I won’t let him do that because the sound bothers me and I’m selfish. In the spirit of compromise, I bought him some giant dorky wireless headphones that hook up to the television, but apparently they’re uncomfortable because he used them one time and now they’re dusty on the bureau, taking up space and messing up my feng shui. So he falls asleep on the couch, and sometimes the next morning I yell at him about how he’s not getting a good sleep if he’s not in the bed, but really, I care for his sake, not because I miss him.
It’s completely unreasonable to think that an entirely separate human being from yourself should be obligated to go to bed whenever you tell him to just because he’s decided to spend the rest of his life with you. What if he’s not tired when you’re tired? You said yourself that he found something that works for him, so why would you want him to give that up so you can get your way? If you really need to be with someone while you fall asleep, maybe you can convince him to come cuddle with you for a little while and then go back to his TV and couch. Or maybe you can just grow up and sleep alone. It’s not like you’ve been married your whole entire life; I’m sure there were plenty of nights before you got married where you fell asleep on your own just fine.
Stop trying to control every aspect of the poor man’s life and let him fall asleep to SportsCenter in peace. If it’s too unbearable to sleep alone, get a giant teddy bear, a puppy, or a male blow-up doll, and sleep with that.