I love my husband. I really do. We have a great relationship. I am one of those women that is able to say that my husband is my best friend, and I actually mean it. We were friends first and then our relationship developed from there. We have a solid foundation of love, trust, friendship...which is good because that keeps me from killing him.
My husband and I lead very busy lives (duh - who doesn't?) But between three small children, their activities, his job, the business we own together, his hobbies and our social lives in general (which is last on this list for a reason) we do not have much time together. We make date nights, try to have some meaningful conversation here and there, and talk during the day, but time is precious, and we don't have a lot of it. So we cherish our time together....sort of. I feel like I would REALLY REALLY want to see my husband more if I did not have to spend the hours of 11pm-6am with him. We like sleeping...and NOT sleeping together (wink wink) but one of us (me) does not find his little idiosyncrasies so charming anymore as we grow together in our relationship. First of all, he puts the kids to bed, and hops on in himself. While for me, kids in bed=laundry, undone dishes, school paperwork, etc. So by the time I do make it to bed, he has already begun his nightly "unwind". I complete my nightly bedtime ritual, which includes wiping up the bathroom vanity from his leftover toothpaste and contact solution. Then I change one more load of laundry, check on the kids and crawl into my side of the bed to .....ahhhhh.....finally unwind to ESPN SportsCenter. Yes, not particularly my idea of downtime. He does comply and we agree on something to watch together while we trade war stories of the day. If I am lucky I will either A) stay awake through the weather forecast or B) Fall asleep before he does or if if the stars are aligned, the moon is waning and Mercury is in retrograde C) both A and B will occur. But rarely do I fall asleep before he does. He turns out the lights, and it is lights out for him as well. But there is something in my brain that kicks into overdrive the minute he double-claps an dall goes dark (just kidding, we don't have a Clapper but I always thought they were intriguing). So I lay there thinking about "Did I call the bank? Did I sign the field trip permission slip? Did I take bread out of the freezer? Where is my cell phone? Are the kids still breathing? I think my library books are due. What is the name of the elf on Rudolph who is a dentist? I have to remember to get toothpaste, deodorant and Tide at the store tomorrow. Is it our turn to bring snack tomorrow?..." The "mom" brain finds it hard to shut off once she has a rare moment of quiet....even if that "quiet" comes at 11pm. It is even harder to shut off my brain when I am laying in bed awake making my mental "To Do" list, listening to my husband snore and using the rest of the energy I have left trying NOT to smother him with my pillow. When sleep does finally take over, I hardly have enough time to get into a decent REM state before I have one of those F'd-up dreams about being chased in the forest; I am sweating and struggling....a tree has fallen on me...oh WAIT, nope. Not a tree. A hairy leg the size of one. Snuggling is great, but not when one of his legs is thrown over me therefore rendering me paralyzed from the torso down and unable to breathe. In all fairness, one of his legs is almost the size of my whole body. But I don't care what the size differential is between you and your mate; no one wants uninvited limbs thrown across their midsection in the middle of the night. So, I am awake again, which is handy because it saves the kids the trouble of waking me. One of them must have heard my struggles and thought "Hmmmm...sounds like mom would like to get me a drink of water." So I send the youngster back off to bed, so that I can lay there awake again, fighting for survival and valuable mattress real estate while my husband snores on peacefully. And an hour later, I am having lucid "I am on the verge of consciousness" dreams and I hear the panic yell "Mommy, who turned off my night light!?" To which I bound out of bed before she wakes anyone else (god forbid HE actually be interrupted) and flip the light back on. I crawl back into bed. I am amazed. If he is truly asleep, why is it every time I get out of bed, does he migrate over to my spot? I wake him to have him move back over, because any physical attempt on my part to move him would be futile. I say "Did you hear her?" to which he replies face down into his pillow "hmsdhf". I want to tell him to hold that spot.....really, really tight. Now I am awake, frustrated and semi-angry that I am the only one that hears/responds to any nighttime requests. Thinking about it makes me more angry, therefore pushing sleep that much further away. But again, that is handy because the bed wetter strikes again. When he calls for me, I just lay there a minute to see if Sasquatch moves at all. "MOMMY!?" Nothing from the big man. Part of me revels in the amazement that all of this can go on, and he has no idea. Then I think maybe it is a game. Maybe he is awake but trying to keep so still that I only THINK he is asleep. I think it is a gift he inherited the moment we brought an infant into our home...I digress. So since I am wide awake, I am the obvious choice for changing sheets at 4am. I throw myself into bed not-so-gracefully, and if he were awake, he would say "What's the matter?" and I would say "Well, I have been up three times tonight and when I do finally get back into bed I can't sleep because you are snoring, rolling over on me, sweating, breathing, making weird noises with your mouth, throwing limbs at me and taking up my space!" But he won't ask because he is stone-cold asleep. At 5 am the alarm goes off....and here is a real "thinker" for ya because I still have not figured it our nor have I been met with a clear answer; why would someone set the alarm for 5 am if they really don't plan on getting out of bed until 5:45am?? Perhaps because he thinks his wife LOVES to listen to 3 seconds of a country music song being blasted out every 9 minutes?? Let's take a vote - NOT ME!!!! And each time he beats the alarm clock into silence, he is snoring again. I swear this man should be a Sleep Study subject. He is a phenomenon. He finally gets out of bed, and I lay there by myself for a few moments and enjoy the space, quiet, and the memory of my solid 21 minutes of sleep I got that night . And I am reminded of a neighbor girl when I was growing up. She was an only child. Once when I went to her house, we walked by her parents' bedroom and I noticed two double beds in there. She caught my quizzical look, because she said "My mom and dad don't sleep together." And I always thought that was really strange. And then I got married. And then I got older. And then sleep became a very valuable commodity. I get it now. There are even current homes being built with 2 master suites. Brilliant!...and obviously designed by a woman architect. But again, I do love my husband. It just makes it hard for me to really really really want to see him when he comes home at the end of the day and I say "Hi, how are you?" and his response?? "I'm tired."