I know a lady who says she can’t get to sleep unless her husband is lying next to her in bed. He is retired from a third shift job and simply will not come to bed before 2. She often has to be up for work at 6. The math just doesn’t work out.
He says he is not tired. She’s repeatedly asked him to come to bed so she can sleep and he repeatedly says he will be there “in a minute.” An hour or two later he is still up, mindlessly surfing the web.
She spends the day dragging. She has almost fallen asleep at work because of lack of sleep. She has a heart problem that is exacerbated by not getting enough sleep.
I’ve started thinking about this in terms of alcoholism. Say she is the sober spouse, and his drinking is affecting her. If he listens to her needs and comes to bed, then it is OK. If he doesn’t and she suffers, then there is a problem.
So, what to do? Should she take sleeping pills? Should they get marriage counseling?
Or would a divorce be better?
Sometimes you have to separate yourself from people and situations that are harmful to you. You may want to be part of a “happy family” but if it is a family that is just for show, then the only person being fooled is you. The same works with friends. Better to have just one real friend than a bunch of people who aren’t really very loving to you, who don’t really care about your well-being.
Or, what about this? Perhaps her need to have him there is psychosomatic. Perhaps she needs to think back to before she met him and remember how she got to sleep then. If you can’t sleep because someone else isn’t present, is that their problem, or yours?