Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

This interesting article deals with the phenomenon of couples going their separate ways… but only at bedtime. Sleeping apart is often something that’s taken to signify a loss of intimacy, especially in marriages of older couples. But according to research quoted in the article, “sleep divorces” can actually be good for partners. When couples get more sleep they have less resentment towards their partner and more enthusiasm for the relationship.

Rather than just walking away from a sleeping arrangement with your partner, it’s better to negotiate first. Some partners might not be able to get past the traditional idea that married couples should sleep together. They might have stronger feelings because of their upbringing and values. Also, what about the logistics if you need to change your living arrangements to make this happen (say you have young children, or you need to move into a different apartment or convert a study or office into a bedroom to accommodate your partner’s needs)? Marital mediation is a good starting point for negotiating your needs.

One thing marital mediation isn’t: it isn’t counseling. It focuses on dispute resolution first. It is goal-orientated, time-limited and deals with specific disputes. At Boileau Conflict Solutions, when we do marital mediation with a couple we also aim to educate them to negotiate and resolve conflict more productively in the future. If a couple is in conflict about behaviors or lifestyle choices including sleep habits, they usually have entrenched perspectives on the conflict. The goal of mediation is to come to an agreeable resolution, and perhaps even a written (private, informal) agreement, to allow couples to move forward on specific issues.

One reason sleep separation may have a bad reputation is that by the time a couple “parts ways”, sleep deprivation has already taken its toll on their marriage. The research showed that people who slept poorly showed more selfishness, less appreciation of their partners and less gratitude. If “sleep divorces” could be made less taboo, marriages might actually have a better chance at survival. At Boileau Conflict Solutions we use tools from psychoanalysis, game theory and communication theory to uncover diverging values and priorities that might lead to conflict over sleep habits. If you can understand your partner’s perspective and work out a sleeping regime, such as sleeping separately on weekdays, planning time for intimacy etc., you may be able to sleep better and approach your marriage with more care and enthusiasm.

Marital mediation can help you negotiate every issue imaginable from parenting to setting longterm financial goals together and anything in between. We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. In marital mediation we can assist by analyzing your specific issue or communication problems, helping you make informal written agreements, or helping you draft more formal, legal agreements called postnups. We are available 7 days a week, and at urgent notice. You can visit us at our offices in Boulder, CO, Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and Beverly Hills, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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