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  • Writer's pictureDeirdre Maloney


Jon and I have had a small war going on in the bedroom; an adult pillow fight. Space, pillows, lighting, fans, tv, phones… we manage to argue about it all. As I sit down and think it over, it’s been quite childish. But frustration from each of us wanting our way, in our most private space, is understandable. We have fought over the pillows so many times I couldn’t give you a number. Jon thinks I hoard all of the GOOD pillows for myself leaving him with crumbs! So, I increased our pillow count from 4 to 6 thinking this would solve the problem, it didn’t. Since I’m the person making the bed I do believe that I get top pick: I take the very best pillow for myself, the second-best pillow goes to him, third to me, fourth to him, and so on. I believe this is incredibly fair, and even offered that he could take over the bed making duty full- time, along with the first choice of pillows, but surprisingly, he declined.

I knew that my issues in the bedroom were running deeper than pillows. I felt a bit of anger recently that he seemed to be taking over the bedroom. When he was ready to sleep, everything was shut down and adjusted just right for him to fall into his slumber. I respect this completely, as I understand that sleep is one of the most important things that we do. On the other hand, when I’m ready for sleep, he drags out the shutting shit down as long as possible and it drives me nuts. I’ve now become hyper-sensitive to the use of our bedroom. He likes to be in there watching a program, fan on full blast, while he’s stretching. I like the fan on low and I don’t like watching tv, so I feel like I’m being assaulted when I enter. I told him this. His response: “Assaulted? Don’t you think you’re exaggerating just a little?” Yes, I do see how someone could view this as a major overreaction but, no, I’m not.

His question forced me to reflect on myself because I could see that he genuinely couldn’t understand. I thought back to a few months ago when Jon was away at a cycling event for a few nights and I was home with the kids. I LOVED having the bedroom to myself. I snuggled in to watch Brenee Brown on Netflix one night and read my book the next. It was quiet and glorious, almost like being away on vacation! I love having the bedroom to myself, why do I have such an issue sharing it?

Jon and I were out on the bikes together last week sorting out our issues as married cyclists do, right? He won’t drop the bedroom thing and it’s stirring up a lot of emotions, then it finally hits me! My bedroom has always been my safe place. As a little girl, I spent SO much time alone in my room; I would hide out in there and dream of my adult life, hide away under covers, listen to my music, or talk on the phone all night. It has been a refuge from all of the pain, a sanctuary where I could let my tears fall freely, and a door that I could hide from the world behind. I have carried this with me from childhood so even as an adult, I need my room to feel safe and quiet and vibrate at my speed. When he is in it vibrating at a completely different frequency, I can’t relax, and I lose my safe place. When I can’t control the fan, tv, or pillows, I lose my sanctuary.

Well, understanding the root of a problem is the only way to fix it. I passed my newfound information on to my husband, and he understood. Finally, with a reason behind my control issues, it made sense! He offered to move the tv (which came into the bedroom after Kayden was born, and I was in bed all day breastfeeding, for 3 months) out for good, and that evening he didn’t go into the bedroom. I walked into the bedroom, and it was empty and perfect. I touched the mattress as though we were meeting for the first time, I crawled onto it and picked up my book to read. Ahhhhh, relaxing.

Jon is the most loving and understanding person I know, and he intentionally gave me my space once he understood why it was so deeply important to me. I’m sure faux pillow feathers will get ruffled again, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the safety I feel when in my personal space.

Do any of you need to have your own private space to relax in? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Be Well Friends.

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