Love Rules: Always sleep together


Cliche #4: Always sleep together

OK.  Now you’re thinking I really have gone too far.  The difference between a friend, and a boyfriend or girlfriend, is the actual sleeping together.  That’s the best bit.   You must go to bed together, or otherwise you’ll never get the pleasure of touching the warm waist of a stranger, the ecstasy of sexual union, the delicious comfort of falling asleep in someone else’s arms…

But it’s not always like that, is it?  Sometimes they’re thinking it’s delicious to fall asleep in your arms; you’re thinking:  “My arm’s gone to sleep, and your leg’s all sweaty!”    And, yes, it is lovely, when they wake you for sex.  But what if you’re waking, when they need a wee?  Recently that’s been happening to me.  I wake if my neighbour needs a wee.  I wake, if a cat in a nearby street has a dream about a wee.   Then I lie awake thinking those awful 4 am thoughts: “I can’t sleep…  Tomorrow I’ll be unable to work…  Oh God, I must die, but if I do, who’ll pay the mortgage?”

But this week, the gloom lifted.  The clouds cleared.  The spirit of Love returned and it sung like a blackbird in our garden.

Really?? Yes! So what changed?  Well… we worked through all the love advice, and none of it worked…

On the first day, we had a date.  But we were tired, so we rowed.

On the second day, I read Men are from Mars, which says that men must learn to listen to problems;  they must not offer a solution.  I put that into practise that very evening.  She was talking about her frustrations about mess.   I said:  “Tell me more!”  She said:  “I’ve told you this before!”  I said:  “But I’m trying to listen, and to not offer a solution.”  She said:  “I’m happy you’re listening.  I’d prefer it, if you did so, while wiping the sink.  There is a solution.  It involves Ecover.”  I said:  “I’ve got an even better solution:  let’s get a cleaner.” She said:  “But a cleaner costs 30 quid a week.”  I said:  “Divorce costs 300 grand.  You pay for lawyers, separate houses, therapy for the kids…”  She said:  “Let the cleaner come twice a week!”  I said:  “Done.”

Then, on the third day, came the real breakthrough…  She stayed home.  I went out.  And when I returned, she was asleep, so I went to the spare room again, where I slept for nine delicious hours and each one was like a drink of water in the desert.  The next day, I felt great, I felt energetic, I felt generous.   The bad atmosphere faded away, like a man faced with the washing up.  And I’d urge other couples, occasionally, to try sleeping apart.   In a couple, each partner is like the sun and the moon:  sometimes you need to be a certain distance apart.

On the next night, though, I moved back to the marital bed.   It felt new, unfamiliar.  I reached out and touched her warm waist.   But she was asleep.

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