Written by Leslie Pelon
**Part 2 in a 4 part series based on a survey of 4.5 thousand married people asking about their sleeping habits.**
As I started this journey learning more about how different couples navigate bedtime routines I was, admittedly, focused on the things in my marriage that may be weird.
The big one, we make the bed weird.
Okay, okay, cards on the table...most of the time we don’t make the bed. I’d like to say it’s something we were once good at and then kids and life made us bad at it, but alas, that would be dishonest (Since the whole point of this lifting-the-veil-on-what-is-normal-honesty on my part is key.). So, truth be told, my husband and I have never been good about making the bed...so of course I wanted to know if we were alone!
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Much to my relief, we were not! The largest group of respondents were in the “Hahahah…. No!” category (40.4%).
So fellow bed making slackers, WE ARE NOT ALONE! YAY!
Obviously lots of couples do make the bed at least part of the time, many of the “other" respondents said that the bed got made but that it was always one partner or the other who did it, not a joint effort. That lead perfectly into my next question, “Who cares more if the bed is made?”
I’ll give you a hint, it’s probably the person you are thinking of. In our marriage I’m the one who cares, sort of.
Most of the time I want the bed made so I have a nice large area for a project, like laying out quilt squares or folding laundry. My husband is more of a throw blankets on the bed right before you get in kind of person.
One of my really good friends says that she doesn’t care about having the bed made at all but her husband, a former Marine, cannot function if it is not made.
The responses didn’t surprise me much.
However, what did surprise me is what followed. My next question was “Whose job is it to make the bed?”
I expected the layout to be similar. The wives being the ones who did it most because they tend to care the most. I was surprised and proud to see that the largest group of respondents indicated at least an element of compromise.
I loved that such a large section of the group responded that “whoever gets out of bed last,” is in charge of making the bed.
I also loved some of the “other” responses.
Wife indicates and makes husband help. —Wife married less than a year
Wife 5 days a week, husband on weekends. —Wife married 10-20 years
Whoever is cleaning. —Husband married less than a year
Whoever wants to surprise the other. —Wife married 1-5 years
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Whoever remembers… okay that’s always my wife. —Husband married 5-10 years
When wife decides it’s going to get made it’s usually a team effort for the first few steps, then wife
makes it look perfect the rest of the way. —Wife married 1-5 years
We sleep separately. —Wife married 1-5 years
We don’t treat it like a job or a chore. If I’ve been working a long day and I’m exhausted my husband
might make the bed. He read somewhere that it makes you feel good to come home to a made bed. It
does make me smile. —Wife 5-10 years
All these responses led me to the question “How do you make your bed?” I got some flak for this question because people thought it was silly.
Here is my truth part of the reason (besides the fact that we are lazy) that my husband and I are less-than-perfect bed makers, is because we have very VERY different ideas about how a bed should be made. I like to have the blankets tucked in tight with a top sheet. My husband, on the other hand, likes things to be loose. As he puts it, “He hates feeling like a mummy,” when he climbs into bed. So when we make the bed it’s an involved and admittedly weird process.
Step 1: Fold husband and wife’s personal blankets (more on that next time) in half and lay them on the respective sides of the bed.
Step 2: Cover bed with pretty quilt from wedding so that no one who walks in can tell that you don’t share blankets.
Step 3: Tuck in the wife’s side of the top blanket while leaving the husband’s side loose and free.
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Maybe I think it is weirder than it is, but it bothers me. Luckily I’m not alone. Among the many responses saying that the bed was made “hotel level,” or by just throwing the blankets back, some resembled my own multiple-step version.
One-minute style. —Husband married 5-10 years
A carefully arranged fortress of pillows and blankets surrounds my wife. I use a single fleece blanket and pillow. No top sheet; nothing is tucked in anywhere. —Husband married 1-5 years
Absolutely no tucking, pillows arranged in certain order, comforter straightened/smoothed out. —Wife married 1 to 5 years
All of the billion pillows need to get put on. —Wife married 1 to 5 years
As perfect as possible (on my side), but my husband requests that his side remain untucked.—Wife married 5-10 years
Basically just straightened up. We are basically the only ones that see our bedroom. Kids are teenagers now and don't care. —Husband married 20+ years
Depends on who makes it. Me: military style ... Wife: just pull the covers up. —Husband married 20+years
Flawless. Ready for a photo-shoot at any time. —Wife married 20+ years
Hotel level at the beginning of the week- it gets a little less perfect each day until the next Saturday when we wash the sheets and start over. —Wife married less than a year
I guess the main point of this segment is mostly for me. For me and hopefully others out there who have found some weird way of compromising, be it about how to make the bed or something else, and are wondering if they are alone. Good news, we aren’t! Sometimes compromise in marriage looks a little different from the picture of a bed in Better Homes and Garden or the in latest sitcom...and let me say once and for all, that that is okay.
Photo Credit: Jason Corey Photography
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"What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility."
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