This morning, my husband tried a couple of times to awaken me, to no avail. Then he stood over me and said (rather loudly, from my perspective), “I want you to get up.” You might think that I responded sweetly with, “Oh honey, I’m so glad you want to spend time with me!” But alas, in between my growls and snipping, I bellowed, “What’s your problem!”
As it turns out, he really did just want me to be with him. He wants us to have relatively matched schedules – going to bed and waking up around the same time. And he’s got a point.
Some of you are married to night owls who come alive at the stroke of midnight, while others have spouses with that annoying habit of waking up early, throwing open the curtains, and greeting the morning with songs whistled at the highest decibels possible. (Can you tell that I am not a morning person?) And very often, a night owl marries a morning person. As if you didn’t have enough to work through with the family backgrounds and gender differences!
I chalk it up to another humorous part of marital sexuality – trying to get those schedules matched so that we can both enjoy some face-to-face, body-to-body time. Sometimes what gets in the way of getting it on is simply that you are exhausted by 11:00 p.m. and he’s raring to go. Or you’re up at the crack of dawn and have plenty of early-morning energy to make love while you she’s sprawled across the bed snoring and drooling into the pillow. What to do? What to do?
Perhaps you should benefit from my years of experience on what doesn’t work:
· Cupping your morning beast’s lovely breast and squeezing at 5:00 a.m. is not the best signal that you adore her and wish to be intimate.
· Straddling his sleeping body and bouncing may arouse his little guy but the big guy is still pretty dang tired and not so happy that he’s awake.
· Demanding in a hostile tone that he stay up later or she wake up earlier is not likely to lead to a morning/evening of memorable lovemaking.
· Trying to get the kids to bed earlier so you can enjoy time before one of you dozes off midsentence will work for one or two nights. Then, the little knee-biters will consult their union manual and stage a rather effective protest.
What does work? Negotiation. Compromise. (Don’t we married people LOVE those words?!)
The truth is that keeping similar bedtimes will indeed be one more thing to foster opportunity for sexual intimacy in your marriage. It’s a great idea! Waking up together also encourages time together – for physical and emotional connection.
Maybe your compromise is that the night owl goes to bed to earlier and then gets back up after his/her spouse falls asleep. Maybe you negotiate days of the week to go to bed early and days to sleep in. Maybe one of you simply shifts the schedule to match the other for now, knowing that it can change in the future. (For instance, a stay-at-home mom might shift to her husband’s early schedule if she can manage a nap sometime in the day.) It’s worth discussing your mismatched schedules to find a solution so that you can spend more time together.
Too many couples have one spouse crawling into bed early, while the other stays up watching television late into the night. In the morning, the early-to-bed one is indeed early to rise, and the night owl wakes long after. And before you know it, two people vowed to love and cherish, be there for one another, and grow in intimacy daily pass each other like ships in the night. You lose your sense of emotional closeness, and the physical closeness fades as well. That’s not the way it’s meant to be!
Make it a priority to be IN BED WITH YOUR SPOUSE at times when you are both awake – morning or night. It will give you a chance to talk and spend time together. And that will cultivate those moments of “Hey, while we’re here, honey . . .” Then enjoy!
“All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves;
I looked for him but did not find him.”
Song of Songs 3:1
(Was he up watching ESPN?)