Being told to sleep on the couch? (003-Q4-Ken)

Ken say: “My wife keeps telling me to sleep on the couch. I usually go, just to avoid conflict, but I’m getting pretty tired of being told to sleep on the couch. What suggestions do you have?”

Answer (From Podcast Episode 003):

Ken, I have slept on the couch before. Not a lot, but enough to know some of the pros and cons.

One pro, like you say, avoid more conflict. You kind of escape the frustration and bitterness that can sometimes follow us to bed.

The main cons are: We don’t generally sleep as well on the couch as on the bed. Plus, I personally don’t enjoy lying there on the couch feeling like a dog, whose just one step away from sleeping outside in his dog house.

So, here are my suggestions…

First, if you’re tired of being told to sleep on the couch, then refuse to do so. Fairness dictates that you should, at a minimum, take turns on the couch. Right? So perhaps tell her it’s her turn to sleep on the couch, and that you can alternate, if she likes the “sleeping on the couch” plan.

However, I don’t think either one of you should be sleeping on the couch, because it’s not that productive. It might be counter-productive. You want to avoid conflict, I know. But why not just keep your mouth shut at bedtime.

If you’re not getting along at bedtime, maybe tell her that you love her, and that you want to work out your differences, but sleeping on the couch does not work for you tonight. You’ll agree not to argue, as long as you can you both sleep in the bed. Okay? Maybe she’ll go for that.

Will you go to bed mad? Sure. What’s the difference? I know that people say you shouldn’t go to bed mad, but if you’re sleeping on the couch, you’re mad. And if she’s sick of you, it’s her right, if she wants, to sleep on the couch. She can make that choice.

I will say this, in the bed, you should either try to sleep, or try to talk politely, or make love. But don’t lay there running your mouth, or keeping a fight going. All right? That’s what I would do. I would go to bed. I would sleep in the bed. And I would refuse to fight. (If I get to the point when I’m tired.)

Now, if I’m not ready for bed, maybe we don’t go into the bedroom. Maybe we have our discussion, or our argument, in another room. But when it’s time to go to bed, I go to bed, and I either want to sleep, like I said, talk nicely to my wife, or make love. That’s it. I’ll close my eyes. And I can try to fall asleep. If she wants to still continue an argument, I can kind of tune that out, and I feel I have a right to do that. If I’ve got to work in the morning, I’m going to close my eyes and I’m going to sleep. All right? Try not to come at me with a knife.

Good luck. Hope that helps. Stay tuned—we’ll probably have questions similar to this in the future.

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