Sleeping on the Couch When Lovers Quarrel

“I guess we know who’ll be sleeping in the couch tonight.”

Everyone once in a while, when joking around with friends, the boyfriend and I will toss sarcastic remarks back and forth. It’s all good-natured and usually ends when one of us gives the other a you’re-verging-on-unfunny-territory stare. This is the point at which a friend will joke about one of us sleeping on the couch tonight.

Chapter TK - Sleeping on the couch is not the joke people make it out to be.

This can only be a joke because the boyfriend  and I don’t live together. Even if we did, there are very few situations during which I would tolerate one of us sleeping on the couch while the other sleeps in the bed.

  1. If one of us is sick and the other does not want to get sick, the healthy person can choose to sleep on the couch.
  2. If one of us has farts that smell so bad the other can’t possibly fall asleep, the non-flatulent person may choose to sleep on the couch.

That’s it. Fighting or being angry with each other is no reason to avoid ending the day and beginning the morning next to each other. Relationships are hard. Even the best couple will sometimes fight and/or go to bed angry. Despite these fights, I expect my life partner to stay with me. I expect him to love me even after I have made him so angry he can barely stand to stay in the same room with me. That’ no less than I expect of myself towards him.

I don’t feel like this is that tall of an order. I’m not demanding anything romantic. In fact, I would be perfectly fine if, in our anger, we slept facing away from each other, as close to the edge of the bed as possible. So long as we still came together at the end of the day and woke up together in the morning, I’m happy. In doing so, we are showing that, in spite of our anger, we are still dedicated to the relationship.

A lot of the reason why I have this unwritten rule is because of family events. According to my parents, my aunt told her children, when they would call her for support in the middle of an argument with their spouse, to leave for a few weeks. No joke. She told them to stay with her for a few weeks and ‘see how they like it.’ It seems to me the only thing this would show any spouse is that the fleeing person is willing to leave in order to get their way. Someone who just walks out like that is not interested in a relationship; they’re interested in a dictatorship where they are the boss.

I’m sure none of you will be surprised to hear that those cousins have a lot of marital issues and/or divorce.

Managing a relationship is hard work, married or not. Adding anything to the mix which could further complicate things is unnecessary and unwise. On that list of unnecessary complications is walking out during a fight. Mature adults fight and come to civil compromises. Refusal to do so is a refusal to participate in the relationship.

I accept that people sometimes need air. Going for a walk alone or asking for some time alone in another room of the house to cool down is acceptable. Screaming at each other doesn’t get anything done. If those actions are necessary to continue the fight in a civil manner, so be it. I still expect my partner to return and sleep next to me, unless, of course, he is no longer interested in our relationship.

Right about now, you guys are probably thinking these are some big words for someone who has never lived with a lover before. This is true, which is why I wanted to put this idea out there. I wonder if other couples have similar expectations. If, during a fight, your partner stormed out and didn’t return until the next morning (or for a few days), what would you think? Is that a tolerable action? If you and your partner can’t avoid going to bed angry, would you insist on sleeping separately?


Photo Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

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138 thoughts on “Sleeping on the Couch When Lovers Quarrel”

    1. Well thank you. I guess that year in college I spent as a self-proclaimed online dating expert (seriously – and I got paid $10 and hour to do it) paid off ^_^

      1. Haha, I wish someone would give me a job to give dating advice. I rule that shit.lol. I never went to college, I actually got kicked out in grade ten. Just goes to show education does not a writer make. I have impeccable grammar as you can see 😉

  1. Interesting thoughts and something with which we can all relate. Checking out your work and enjoy what I’m seeing. JT

  2. Hey TK, love the post. I’ve been blogging for a while now but have really just been doing my own thing, so I’m still a bit uneducated on the rules of blogging etiquette. Your post gave me an idea for something, and I want to use one of your lines. Do you have any issues with that? I would credit you and link to the post it came from. Please let me know.

    1. If possible, I’d like to know what line, but so long as you credit me I certainly don’t mind. I’m happy you find me worth quoting ^_^

  3. I really enjoyed your ideas on going to bed together and waking up that way. Excellent on not opting for the flight choice and escaping issues. One thing though.. I say the non-farty gets to stay in bed (this is where I may tend to ply double standards).

    1. Haha. Yes. I think non-farty should stay in bed. but when someone is sick, I feel that it’s better for them to stay in bed. Then they stay confined to fewer rooms. Cleaning bed sheets is easier than cleaning couch cushions.

  4. I have been so angry that I’ve slept on the couch, but this post makes me rethink my actions. I hope I never get that angry again, but if I do, I’ll try to think of this 🙂

    1. I admit, I’ve gotten that angry before too. But what I ended up doing is sleeping on the floor next to the bed. It was a long time ago, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that walking out of the room would have been like giving up or quitting.

      What I’ve found is that I express myself better in words. Now, when I get that angry, I write out a note describing how I feel, why I’m hurt and what I want to change. I’ll then give that note to my partner, let him read it and have a discussion about what’s going on. I’m not sure if that would work for everyone, but it certainly works for us.

  5. I’m writing this from the comfort of the couch whilst my other half sleeps in our bed after an argument; but I totally agree with that you said, to the point it almost made me angry. I guess thats the realisation that me being here is me having walked out on my relationship right now.

    Me and my OH always talk in bed and if we disagree we discuss that in bed too so when it gets bad the space we sometimes need means sleeping else where, but it’s not really an excuse when the simple fact is it got so bad that I simply don’t want to be near him right now.

  6. Found this as I googled “sleeping separate during a fight”. My husband is currently in the guest room because I couldn’t stand to sleep in the same room with him. We have two babies, and sometimes my emotions get the best of me.

    I do agree with what you’re saying. I am giving up on my marriage. The space away from him gives me time to reflect. Your blog made me realize, that maybe the reason I send him out, is because subconsciously, I don’t want him anymore.

    1. Like Cindy I wonder if my main problem is I don’t want him anymore. I am sitting on my couch while he is in the bedroom after a fight. I don’t want to go in there although I know sleeping out here will make him more angry. The thought of him trying for make up sex repulses me. Although I agree that it’s walking out on the relationship, maybe it’s what I need and want to do. I’m sick of the stupid arguments he always starts.

    2. Haha I was googling “sleep on the couch” for the same reason. My significant other is giving me the ice treatment over a stupid fight… but I got really angry and mock him and he got really upset. I tried to talk about it, I said I am sorry but he just said he didn’t understand why I was making so much drama about it. But he still isn’t talking to me. I decided to give him space and he’s in the bedroom watching tv. In the three years we are together we almost never fight, so I am not sure how to behave. I was wondering if I should sleep in the other bedroom.

  7. I have been involved for over a year and I have lost count of how many nights he sleeps on the couch in the lounge…….I cant bear to think of the fact I mean nothing to him what should i do?

  8. I thought I was the only one that felt this way. My relationship might be over soon but he managed to come to bed when I told him that to me it was important to sleep next to my partner because it showed his commitment to the relationship.

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