Sleeping alone- how to motivate change



Hi! I’m hoping to find guidance and feedback on how to handle my personal issue. My fiancé and I recently bought a house and moved in together. Prior to moving in we would spend 1-2 nights together a week. Since the move in he has shared the bed with me about 10% off the time. He chooses to sleep on the couch. Most nights he binges tv or listens to Podcasts throughout the night. In the past I have shared how lonely the bed feels and how I miss our ability to connect as a couple at night. His response was that laying in the bed caused him pain and the couch is more comfortable or that he doesn’t want to keep me up all night when he is restless. I am realizing that I am enabling him to continue sleeping apart and I desire to communicate to motivate him to change. I thought about saying:
Babe, I feel awful when you don’t come to bed or stay in bed with me at night. I find myself walking up looking for you throughout the night and feeling tired the next day. I truly enjoy the connection we share when we sleep together. While I enjoy an occasional night of having the bed to myself, I don’t prefer it most nights. I am requesting that we decide on a ‘bedtime’ in which the door stays shut after this time until 5AM.
Any suggestions?


Hi @rltybites,
I can relate. I often snore like a beast and my partner is often starting with the bed then winds up on the couch. I have started to read about how important rest and rejuvenation is in order to help me NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Navigating sleeping arrangements can be tricky. I have to set aside my sometimes lack of confidence and remember sleeping is super important for all of us and none of us has the exact same need.

Does anyone else have any suggestions around sleeping alone?


Thank you for sharing your perspective, I appreciate your viewpoint. I didn’t see it this way, but it makes sense. I often personalize issues and respond accordingly without realizing I’m doing so. I think I struggle the most with it when he isolates and withdraws. Almost like I’m seeking validation when he’s not able to provide it…if that makes sense.,


I feel you @rltybites. I have spent many nights sleeping alone, only to wake up in the middle of the night to an empty bed, and not able to fall back asleep because I didn’t know what he was doing. Nowadays, I try not to let his sleep habits affect my sleep habits.

I like @Thinkstet’s reminder to not take it personally. I have a few other ideas:

  • Get a new bed. If your current bed is uncomfortable for him, maybe it’s time for a new mattress. If you get a king size, maybe it’ll be so big his restlessness won’t affect you.
  • Connect on the couch. If he doesn’t like laying in bed, maybe you can spend time watching TV or talking on the couch together before heading to bed.
  • I like the idea of planning out what you’ll say, expressing your feelings and needs, and coming up with a possible solution. Be sure to address his needs, too. Come up with something together that works for both of you.

What do you think?


I’m sitting here thinking “what wonderful problem solving ideas”! Perhaps if I could detach from taking it personally I could be a problem solver…lol
I know most nights he doesn’t mean any disconnect from couch sleeping…
I especially love asking about his needs and getting out of self to navigate this together!
I appreciate the suggestions and I’ll see what his thoughts are…
He does talk/cuddle before we sleep minus the days he’s feeling ‘off’. It’s in those moments my confidence in myself, and confidence in US can pull me through until he feels better.
Thanks again!


I can understand why you’re upset and why you’re feeling the disconnection. Couples therapy helped tremendously for my partner and I in just terms of communicating properly. We were always just not understanding each other and it was frustrating. I honestly feel like addicts have a hard time seeing outside of themselves and being able to relate to others. Having that third party to provide insight was huge.


@Vieve -great insight.-Thanks for contributing to our forum.:beetle:


@vieve, oh I can definitely relate to that. I feel like just learning how to communicate effectively would resolve most issues! I have asked for couples counseling but it hasn’t happened yet. So, right now I am doing my own work to improve my listening and sharing abilities.


THis is SORT OF on TOPIC, and sort of not- but I heard this tip from Esther Perel about COUPLES COMMUNICATION- in her podcast, “Where Do We Begin?” She says that if you start to get in a fight, ask your partner to lie down on the floor. And you both lie down on your back on the floor, so that your heads are near one another. Try to continue the argument - Dr Perel says that because you’re in a vulnerable position (laying down on back), instead of the fighting position, (on your feet, shoulders squared off, ready) it’s almost impossible to continue fighting. Instead you start laughing.

I’d be interested to see how it works for you and your loved one. I tried with with my partner and he thought it was “stupid” but it worked! I’ll take it.


@Thinkstet, ok! I will leave feedback for how this goes! I will look for that podcast- it sounds both interesting and enlightening. Thanks for sharing!
I’m curious:

  1. Remember this in the of heat of the argument?
  2. Convince your partner to oblige?


@rltybites - It’s been several days since you last posted this. Any updates to share? Did you have a conversation with your partner about the sleeping situation?


Hey! I haven’t had the conversation as he has not been communicating well the past week…or at all really. He’s been working on his recovery and I’m wondering if he had a slip up as he has been VERY detached. He has also been making comments via text about failing but he won’t give any context.
As far as sleeping together goes; he just started sleeping in the bed again. I am not sure what motivated it, but it’s been nice.
I am keeping the suggestions handy if the couch pattern continues though. The funny thing is, I was so accustomed to sleeping alone, I found myself waking up a lot easier and more frequently throughout the night with him in bed. lol


@rltybites keep us posted on how everything goes! :sparkles: