We need to talk.

How well do you communicate?   (this is actually a trick question – don’t answer it)

Making the move to sleep separately may require on of those conversations that start with a big, long breath and a pained expression. Even if both parties know it has to happen or even want it to happen, there is still a high chance that one of the couple might have their feelings hurt or just not be in the right space to hear the news.

A quick search on the internet for how to best communicate with your partner yields millions of results – 8m + to be a little more exact.

I find this most appropriate, for there are millions of ways that are both right and wrong to communicate with your partner.

The tricky part of communicating with anyone really is the variables. These are the tricky bits to navigate with each other that make talking with another person in the pursuit of an outcome a veritable mine field.

My challenge – time myself for a minute and think of as many variables as I can that affect good clear communication between couples. And go…

  • time of the day
  • what’s on television at that time
  • level of stress caused by work, children, public transport, finances, sporting results
  • time of the month (a lady one)
  • trying to initiate or build up to sex
  • sporting success or lack thereof during the day
  • career trajectory
  • relationship with their or your friends and family
  • mood swings
  • amount of food sating a hungry belly
  • amount of alcohol consumed, or not

There is SO (yes… capitals are necessary) much STUFF (yes… necessary again) that impacts on how well we communicate, that even if you have a gold medal in couples communication, there might be times when it all goes horribly wrong. This is why the question at the top is a trick question – sometimes we’re great and sometimes we are bloody awful.

It’s the design of humans. So flawed. So unreliable. So dodgy. So endearing.

So if you ever wanted to raise the topic of sleeping separately from your partner, but were too afraid, I may have the answer for you.

If I’d had access to a Manslater when raising the issue of separate sleeping with my husband, I think I would have chosen the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice.

When I told him that he would have to sleep in his room because of the snoring, but that I still loved him and still wanted to spend time with him, and that our relationship was going to be fine because I trusted that there was so much else between us that not sharing a bed at night wouldn’t take away from our new life together, and that we would not lose the closeness between us – it would just have to be explicit in other ‘things’ we did together, and that I still found him attractive and wanted to maintain our sex life, my Manslater would have summed it up with……. “Hasta la vista, baby!”.

Now that’s communicating.

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