Sleeping at night with your spouse

DO YOU remember what it was like, when you started sleeping with your true love? The man of your dreams, the one you would promise your loyalty, your best years and your PIN number to?

I'm not referring to the kind of "sleeping" that involves swinging from the chandelier wearing a French maid's outfit and screaming, "ready or not here I come".

I'm referring to real sleeping - the head-on-the-pillow, breathing-softly, eyes-shut-'til-morning kind of sleeping.

There's nothing like those first nights sleeping with your true love. Entwined in each other's arms, so in love your nostrils are unable to register morning breath and the novelty of sharing a bathroom is still viewed as intimate rather than indecent.

Ah, those were the nights. It was like something out of a romantic Hollywood movie. All low deep sighs, long lingering goodnight kisses and loving glances across satin pillows.

But clock up a few years on the marriage certificate and suddenly bedroom etiquette becomes a casualty.

For hubby and me the whisper-filled nights of sleeping in each other's arms are long gone.

Oh I can still recall the honeymoon years. I would lie in hubby's arms and suffer the agony of pins and needles, a crick in the neck and numb limbs rather than move away and be the first one to break the embrace.

Not anymore. Nowadays the only lying I do with hubby involves the Visa bill.

Sure, we still share the same bed (and luckily a love for garlic bread), but share a pillow or doona or an uncomfortable embrace all night long for the sake of true love? I don't think so.

Over time it's not just the lover's embrace that disappears; it's also the mood lighting.

In our courtship days, candlelight was a given. We wanted to gaze into each other's faces before falling asleep while the scent of frangipanis filled the air.

The only time you'll find a candle in my bedroom these nights will be if there is a blackout and it's definitely not the scent of frangipanis that's filling the air.

If you ask me Hollywood has a lot to answer for. They make movie after movie showing couples going to sleep or waking up peacefully in each arm's. Pure fiction.

After the first flush of a relationship it's either a race to jump into bed so you're not the one left turning off the light and stumbling around in the dark stubbing your toe in the process, or, in the morning, it's a mad race to the loo.

And trust me; after a woman has given birth to a couple of kids, this is not a race she will lose without a fight.

Couples who have been sleeping together for many years often sing the praises of single beds. Maybe there is something to be said for this idea.

I mean, you could shove them together for those intimate nocturnal moments like when you hear a noise and need to ask hubby if he locked the back door then you could just move them apart again when one partner (who shall remain nameless but was formerly known as "true love") starts snoring like a B-double truck going uphill.

The all-night lovers' embraces and the honeymoon may well be over, but I suspect the fight over the doona, the lamp and who's going to get up and investigate the strange noise the dog is making, will keep us Sleepless in Suburbia for years to come.

Topics:  family taming marriage opinion wendy's world

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