Marriage changes many lifelong preferences and habits. We change the food we eat, and the clothing we wear. We change our hairstyles, and we even change our friends. Oh, but habits in the bedroom are difficult to change. Conflicts arise about the amount of window to leave open, the number of pillows and who gets them, and even blanket control. When to close the lights, and go to sleep can disrupt the most beloved marriage…
The evening wore on, and I decided that I was not going to read in the t.v. room, den, kitchen, living room, carport, bathroom or the greenhouse. I was going to read in my bed. What’s more I was going to read on my side of the bed. I was going to read until I felt sleepy and then I would close my reading lamp and go to sleep. Regardless of how nicely my wife requested that I close my light, or read in another room, or stop reading and “just go to sleep”, I was determined to read in my bed. I was being stubborn, but if I left the room with my book, our marriage might have been wounded forever.
“Darling, let’s go to sleep.,” she cooed.
“O.K. As soon as I’m done reading.”
“But I’m tired, let’s go to sleep honey,” she sighed.
“I’m not sleepy yet, I’ll soon be finished.”
“It’s late, darling,” she declared.
“I know, soon honey, soon.”
“It’s 11:30,” she snapped.
“Yes, I know.”
“I’m really very tired, Frank,” she pleaded.
“Go to sleep honey.”
“I can’t,” she moaned.
“I’ll turn the light down, just try to sleep.”
“You know I can’t sleep with a light on,” she said between clenched teeth.
“Try,try. I’ll be done soon.”
My wife pulled the covers over her head, and turned her back to me. I turned the light down. I could hardly read the words.
“Frank, are you done yet,” she gently asked.
“Soon,just a few more pages.”
“Aren’t you tired?” She sat up in bed, and stared at me.
“It’s late!” She was angry. It was now 11:35 p.m.
“Listen honey, I’m going to read downstairs.”
“But it’s late aren’t you going to sleep?” She truly couldn’t understand me. She actually was dumbfounded at my lack of desire for sleep.
“No. I’m not sleepy. I want to read.”
“But I want to go to sleep!”
I wished she did go to sleep. I was beginning to feel guilty for staying awake.
“So go to sleep I’ll be downstairs.”
“I can’t sleep.” My wife was near tears.
“But you said that you were tired.”
“I am, but I can’t sleep if you’re not in bed.”
I wondered if that was a trap. My quilt was turning fast toward anger.
“Sarah, I’m not tired and I want to read. Go to sleep! ”
I started to leave the bed…
“Frank you’ll never get up in the morning,” she said as a devils curse.
“Where are you going?” she said with fearful voice.
“Just downstairs to the living room.”
“But I can’t sleep I’m exhausted Frank. Why can’t you just go to sleep? Why do you fight sleep? It’s late.”
I looked at her pleading eyes. I caught a glimpse of the clock. It was 11:50 p.m. She was right. It was late. I closed the book, and I closed the light. I was exhausted.