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Could a “sleep divorce” help couples avoid an actual divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | Family Law |

Numerous factors can place a marriage at heightened risk for divorce. Some people discover that their spouse has been unfaithful, which destroys their trust in their partner and their relationship. Other people grow apart over the years, as changing religious beliefs or political values strain their bond with their spouses.

For some people, it is factors outside of someone’s control that make them feel like divorce is their only path forward. For example, most couples share a bedroom in addition to sharing their finances. Eventually, sharing a room together can put a lot of strain on a couple’s relationship.

However, a recent trend has led couples to engage in a sleep divorce in order to relieve such tensions. A sleep divorce involves couples choosing to sleep in separate rooms while maintaining all other aspects of their relationship. Can a sleep divorce help people avoid the legal end of their marriages?

Bad sleep can destroy relationships

In some cases, a sleep divorce is really only a bandage on an infected wound, meaning it won’t resolve the issues in the marriage. However, for many couples, a sleep divorce can take significant pressure off of their relationship.

When one spouse has started snoring or now has sleep apnea, the noises they make at night could disrupt their spouse. Differing schedules or even the higher sensitivity to heat and movement associated with perimenopause in some cases can make sharing a room a miserable experience for spouses.

When people have an opportunity to get adequate sleep, they are less likely to feel negative and hostile toward their spouse and will have an easier time being a supportive and pleasant person throughout the day.

Sleeping separately won’t fix everything

When the only real problem in the relationship is that both spouses are now terser with one another because of the sleep issues they have had in recent years, then a sleep divorce could be sufficient to improve their relationship. However, if irritability is only one of many issues, then separate bedrooms may not be a solution but merely a delay in the resolution of the problem.

Learning about the tools that people often use to repair struggling marriages can help those who are contemplating divorce feel more confident about making informed choices related to their own situation. Speaking with an experienced legal professional can provide similar clarity, depending on the concerns that are at issue.