Pillow Talk

Last week, I read an article that claimed that 75% of couples go to bed separately. I was horrified. I was like, “Are ALL married couples unhappy? Are my husband and I REALLY part of only 1 in 4 who fall asleep semi-simultaneously?”

Few marriage statistics have ever made me sadder. It’s no wonder our divorce rates are so high when married couples are missing one of the most sacred moments of each other’s days….just before sleep, when it’s time to reflect on what happened during the day, what they’re worried about, dreaming about, hoping for…they’re missing the “pillow talk,” the invisible string that holds two individuals together throughout their often separate days.

It makes me so sad that people are missing out on the connection that comes with “powering down” together at the end of the day.

In the article, the writer also mentioned that 55% are kept up when their partner uses a tablet/electronic for reading or gaming.

Now, I understand that some people simply have different schedules – some have to be at work hours before their spouses, while others don’t have to be at work at all. Others need to read to relax before falling asleep, while others need absolute darkness. But 55%?? Fifty-five percent of married individuals lie awake while their spouse checks their phone, plays Candy Crush, or catches up on Netflix? Put the smartphone down. Seriously.

If I had to pinpoint the happiest moment of my day, it’s in the few minutes before sleep. I look contentedly at my sleepy husband and puppy, I slip under my warm down comforter, I set the alarm, and drift off knowing that all is right in my little piece of the world. It’s not about talking for hours, and our schedules don’t always perfectly collide, but it’s an effort to live in sync.

There are thousands of moving parts in a marriage—in life, in general—and it takes effort to fully commit to sharing your daily life with someone else. Sure, sometimes we want to watch different things, and I could curl up in one room while my husband watches something else across the house, swinging by for a quick kiss and a sleepy “goodnight” before climbing into my bed alone.

Do I think this statistic has something to do with the high divorce rate? Correlation does not necessarily equal causation, and I’m not sure couples’ daily schedules are to blame for unhappiness…but I think that, like any other part of your marriage, it’s easy to fall into a pattern and forget about the long-term consequences that come with certain choices.

Do I think this statistic indicates a big problem for married couples? Definitely. Making time for these intimacy-building rituals that keep your lives in sync is another way to protect your marriage from everyday stressors, helping you stay in touch and in tune with one another in more ways than one.