I opened my laptop, powered it up, and saw that the clock said 5:58 AM. I’m feeling a little salty about this. My brain has apparently decided I’m a morning person now, and it didn’t give me any conscious say in this decision. It just won’t let me keep sleeping, or at least not sleeping peacefully, once it’s light out. That means if I want a full night’s rest I’m going to have to start going to bed up to 2 hours earlier.
I don’t want to go to bed at 10 PM. That’s when my teenage son has to go to bed during the school year. I’ve always hated not getting any time awake after my children are in bed. I needed that tiny little slice at the end of the day in which I could step back from being ‘mom’ and try to be myself again, even in just a minuscule way. But there’s probably literally nothing I need as much as good, solid rest right now.
I’ll still have to wait a few weeks to implement this earlier bedtime, though. I already let my husband know we’ll need to try sleeping separately after the relocation. Just enforcing a regular sleep schedule and lights out / TV off by midnight has made a world of difference to me. But it’s still not enough. I need to try to get back to the length and kind of sleep that actually let me wake up feeling rested, with energy and the ability to focus.
That was something my husband’s therapist asked the day we went together. Did I used to wake up feeling rested? Yes – yes, back before I shared my bed with anyone, when I wasn’t being kept awake by the sound and lights of the TV until 3AM, or being woken up throughout the night for a variety of reasons, from having someone reach out and touch me, or snuggle up next to me until I’m drenched in sweat, or hearing the noises that go beyond snoring, the noises that leave me anxious and sleepless because it sounds like he might stop being able to breathe.
My husband wants me in the bed with him. It’s a source of comfort to him. But his insomnia and his presence beside me are the opposite of comfort for me (and he would have taken no steps to assist my comfort if I had not issued ultimatums).
I think he’s afraid that our sleep issues are somehow an indication of deeper trouble within the marriage. There does seem to be something of a mirror. So much of what he has looked to for comfort and happiness in our waking life has had the direct result of me being unhappy and uncomfortable to an extreme degree.
I’ve been reaching a conclusion that feels inescapable, lately, and that is that he chose to marry me in the first place out of the motivation of seeking comfort and happiness, not because he was in love with me, but out of a pragmatic belief that marriage and children would provide a happier state of existence for him. They almost certainly did, for a time, and for a long time he wasn’t the one that paid the cost of that happiness. I was the one that paid for his happiness with the loss of my own.
I don’t think he expected or understood in any conscious way that his happiness was purchased at the cost of mine. It was more a case of projection, his assumption that if living a certain way would make him happy, it should make me happy, too. When suspicion started to creep in that this was not the case, he couldn’t bring himself to face the possibility directly.
But now that I’ve delivered ultimatums – now that I’ve made it clear that my happiness and comfort have to matter, too, we’re both being forced to examine whether or not there’s any way for both of us to achieve happiness and comfort if we’re together.
I think, deep down, both of us can see what the answer is going to be.