My husband and I have shared a bed with one of our kids (or two) for the past 11 years. For some of those years, we’ve all squished together in our queen. At other times, one or both kids have slept in their own beds, but in our room. And there were even times when my husband consistently slept in another room just because it was getting too crammed in our room.
From the looks of things, you might be wondering if these arrangements have driven a wrench in our marriage. While I will contend that having young kids with high needs can definitely challenge a marriage at times, I beg to differ with the idea that co-sleeping somehow ruins marriages.
I’ve heard this argument time and again—"co-sleeping will wreck your relationship"—and not just from the perspective of ruining your sex life. People believe that if a couple doesn’t have the “sacred marriage bed” to themselves, they will lose touch with one another or they will come to resent their partner.
Now, it obviously stands to reason if one or both partners really don’t want to co-sleep or if one partner does, but the other doesn’t. This could cause conflict and strife. No couple should do anything that they don’t want to do. But I’m here to tell you that co-sleeping in and of itself is definitely not going to harm a marriage, as long as both partners are on board.
In fact, co-sleeping can actually deepen your marriage. Yes, I’m actually serious—and here’s why.
Your bed is not the only place to have sex.
Sharing sleep with your kids can bring you closer to your partner. There have been so many nights, especially when my kids were babies, when I lay there in the dark with my husband, watching my kids sleep, watching him hold one of our babies, and I have never felt more love and admiration for him. There is something beautiful, lovely and very comforting about nestling together in bed as a family. Sharing that feeling with your partner is priceless.
Then there is that little issue of sharing responsibility at night. All children, whether they sleep in your bed or not, will need their parents at night sometimes. But it’s usually the mom who does all the nighttime work, am I right? Having a partner who co-sleeps kind of guarantees that they will help you out at night (or at least be equally woken up by the commotion). That is not only an important way for you to form a more equal partnership, but you will likely resent your partner much less if they help out at night. Plus, it’s actually incredibly hot when a partner chips in, especially in the middle of the night. Wink, wink.
So, that leads me to the whole sex question. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your bed is not the only place to have sex. As long as you have another room in your house with an acceptable surface, you can have all the sex you want. Just wait till your kids are asleep (or immersed in their favorite show). And don’t forget to lock the door.
Again, no one is saying that you definitely should co-sleep. All families should do what works for them. But if someone is trying to scare you away from co-sleeping by saying it’s going to be a one-way ticket to divorce, don’t listen to that nonsense. Listen to your instincts, come to a mutual agreement and do what works for you.