A few months back, I came across a cute and quaint article about the size of your bed reflecting the happiness of your marriage. Basically, the smaller the bed, the better it is for your relationship.
For the life of me, I can’t find that article again to refer to in this column (despite my amazing Google skills), but let me tell you, I’ll never forget the message it sent or how much I disagreed with it.
It wasn’t an aggressive or judgmental piece of writing; if anything it was quite adorable, discussing how this couple had started out in a double bed 20 years ago, moved up to a king-sized bed and ultimately went back to a double, mostly because they felt distant in the giant bed, didn’t cuddle as much and had sex less.
For them, a double (or full-sized) bed suited their marriage.
The summary, however, hinted that a smaller bed is better for a marriage than a big bed – that you lose intimacy and connection when you upgrade a size or two, and that a smaller bed keeps you constantly touching, constantly in tune with each other’s bodies and, thus, each other.
When my husband and I first met, we too shared a double bed, and it was an absolute nightmare, he at 6-feet-3 inches and myself at 5-feet-11 inches. We were two giants in a tiny bed with nowhere to turn (literally).
Within six months we bought the biggest bed we could possibly find and have had absolutely zero regrets ever since. In fact, we LOVE our bed and would probably marry it if we didn’t marry each other.
I am a light sleeper. I need my space in a bed to stretch out my bad back and hips throughout the night. I can’t be touching anyone or anything when I am asleep. I can’t be touching anyone or anyone to FALL asleep. I must read before bed every night. I sleep with earplugs, and the room must be dark.
If I don’t get these things, I’ll have a terrible sleep and be the most miserable human being alive the next day. It’s not an insult to my husband if I need a lot of space at night; it’s just how I am and what I need in order to get proper rest, and if I don’t get that proper rest, he might be at the receiving end of a rather gnarly woman the next day.
A king-sized bed, not a double, is what’s best for our marriage.
All marriages and people in these marriages are different. We all sleep differently and there’s nothing wrong with that, so how on earth is me being the most miserable human being alive every morning (and most of the day after a bad sleep) because of a small bed good for my marriage?
Sleep is important, not only for your health, but for your everyday function and your mental state. If you don’t get a good sleep, especially for long periods at a time, everything suffers – your productivity, your moods, and even your weight. It’s not surprising that some of your personal relationships might suffer too, especially if you’re grumpy, irritable or constantly too tired to socialize.
If you can fall asleep with your partner in a small bed every single day for 20-plus years, hey, you’re amazing, but the fact is, a lot of us can’t. And guess what? We’re not bad people or have a bad relationship if we need a king-sized bed to sleep well, or even if we have to sleep in separate beds to get that sleep we deserve.
Plenty of couples sleep in separate beds, especially as they get older. Maybe this is to get away from relentless snoring or hot flashes, or because one partner is on night shift and the other isn’t, but almost always couples do this in order to sleep well. And hey, that’s perfectly understandable. No judging here.
So maybe the key to a happy marriage isn’t the size of your bed at all; it’s about getting a good night’s sleep and being decent to be around in the morning. No one likes a grump.
Katie Maximick is a newlywed freelance writer who firmly believes that wine is a girl's best friend, not diamonds. Her writing can be polarizing, but at least it won't lie to your face. Follow her on Twitter @KMaximick.