The bed shook. My eyes popped open in the dark. I lay still, hopeful that I could fall back to sleep. Just as my lids closed, a quick jerk roused me again. Then a three-stage snore ripped through the silence. Exasperated, I threw back the covers and headed for the guest room.
Tempted to stomp across the hall, I tiptoed instead. Even though my husband's sounds and motion prevented a restful night for me, I didn't want to wake him. No sense in both of us stumbling around in a fog at work the next day. He snored peacefully . . . and loudly, unaware that I'd left our bedroom yet again.
During 20 years of marriage Jerry and I slept most nights in the same bed. However, his snoring and restlessness increased over the years. In addition, I experienced more difficulty staying asleep, even if he was still and quiet. For two long years I'd move to another bed every night after about one hour's sleep. That's when I departed to a more tranquil environment. After tucking myself in bed, I might lie awake for another hour or two. I grew weary, angry, and frustrated but still hesitated to suggest separate bedrooms. I didn't want to hurt his feelings or cause him to think that my love for him was fading.
Finally I couldn't continue in a sleep-deprived state any more. I brought up the subject one night at dinner.
To my surprise my dear husband said, "I know you need your rest. It's okay." No signs of defensiveness or hurt.
"Of course, we'll have dates," I said. He raised his eyebrows and smiled at our code word for sex.1