04 April 2014

Not Really an Issue but Kind of…

It’s about the bed but related to sleeping, not, you know, recreational activity, ahem, as it were…

My partner and I both want the same side of the bed.  If you are in it, it’s the right hand side.  We both have our reasons and we both think that our reasons outweigh her reasons.  So far I am winning.

When T first moved in I let her have the right side.  She wanted it and I was in a tolerant mood.  Soon after, however, I said that I needed to switch sides with her.  I said that the other side was too claustrophobia-inducing for me.  It’s the side next to the wall; the bed is a couple feet away from the wall, but still.  I have a deeply ingrained need to be able to bolt.  Domestic violence scars will do that to a person.  I get a little panicky when I feel trapped.

Her reasons are less potent – to me, at least.  She has always slept on that side; her shoulder hurts if she lies on the other side; she is not as comfortable or as able to ‘get busy’ on that side; and her latest, she can’t sleep through the night when she is on the other side of the bed.

In response to her latest I said that she would just have to get used to not sleeping through the night.  I mean, that’s part of aging, right?!  In middle age our sleep patterns change.  She can’t sleep through the night because she is a menopausal, middle-aged woman!  Not my fault!

We were at a stalemate for a while, she refusing to budge and me being bitter and resentful.  Then, she adopted the scared little dog.  HA!

Tanner has special needs.  One of his needs is that he needs to sleep somewhere that he feels secure.  T built him a special bed and put it on the right side our bed.  That just didn’t work.  He didn’t feel secure, it’s right by the door and there is too much coming and going.  He would run to the far side of the bed and hide but then when I would walk over there to get in bed, he would bark and growl at me and generally freak out.
So, I told her that for the dog’s peace of mind we would have to switch sides.  She agreed; reluctantly, grudgingly and gracelessly, but she agreed.  She moved to the wall side of the bed. 

Now that Tanner has relaxed somewhat she wants to switch back to the other side.  I am holding firm on my refusal to move.  She then asked if we could rearrange the furniture so that the left side of the bed was near the door and the right side would be next to the closet.  It’s not an ideal arrangement by any stretch, and I’m not even sure that it would work.  The door would open right onto the bed that way.  Plus, another of my quirks is that I feel much healthier when my bed is facing south.  It took me many years to figure this out, but it makes a big difference for me, especially in this cloudy climate.  I feel a little too idiosyncratic with this additional requirement, but I’m just being me. 

So far, I’m still on the right side.  Thanks, Tanner.  Good boy!


8thday said...

We had the same problem. When I moved in, Martha was very accommodating of my need to feel safe and gave me the right side. I have never relinquished it even though I know she would prefer to sleep near the door as she often gets up during the night. And we have a lot of similar issues - she has a bad shoulder, I am more comfortable making love with my right arm free, etc. Fortunately she can't use our dog as an excuse as the dog will sleep anywhere.

I thought rearranging your furniture was a brilliant idea (something that is not possible in our teeny tiny bedroom) but I understand your directional sleeping issue. It took me years to get used to sleeping in a position that I consider upside down.

I wish I could give you some sage advice like you always give me. I almost always go to bed before her so I naturally take the right side. (Possession is 9/10 of the law) The best I do is allow her to pick a side when we travel.

Perhaps you could sleep head to toe so each person has the right side. It could lead to some interesting recreational activity : )

Good luck with this one!

Em said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the only daughter said...

Wait...two people in the same bed? The hell you say.


Yay for the pup.

Em said...

My god. I wish I'd made the comment the only daughter made.


Jean said...

PTSD wins. Not even a question.

e said...


Thanks for the chuckles, youse guys! I'm glad to know that this is not a rare occurrence. And, thanks for the vote of confidence that I'm not just being a picky jerk about it.

If this were our greatest issue, I would be happy. It is simply our most persistent issue. But, such is life lived with another person. There's all kinds of negotiations.

Em said...

Actually, I needed Jean to pipe up and say what she did. She's 100% right. It's not a small issue.

And whatever it takes to tame PTSD is what should be done.


(Thanks Jean. Your comment was very clarifying.)

Maria said...

I must have hit the jack pot with Bing, my partner. She has never shown a need to sleep on either side of the bed. I like the right side...unless we are sleeping in a hotel or at family or friend's homes and then I like to sleep on the side closest to the bathroom or the exit door. She's never said a word. I never thought of myself as lucky, but now I can see that I am since we are both hard headed and stubborn and if this was an issue, we would fight for control.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think her physical needs (her shoulder) trump your emotional needs.
- Rae

elf said...

So when looking at the bed from bottom of the bed the queen likes to sleep on the right, which means when in the bed she's sleeping on the left (I can do simple math too).

She has this great need to sleep on the left side of the bed. Maybe because she's left handed, I dunno. All I know is wherever we are no matter which direction the bed is facing she needs to sleep on the left.

I don't really care. In fact, one time when we were on the road I forgot about the side-of-bed issue and fell asleep on the left side. And it messed with some sort of planetary alignment in a far off distant universe. I've never done that again.

Good luck. Oh, and Deborah told me you said 'hey' so hey back. I think I'll be blogging more these days.