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Offline violagirl

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boyfriend and sleeping over
« on: March 18, 2014, 07:34:50 AM »
Hi,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 8 months. He is 29 and I am 35. Neither of us have ever been married before nor do we have any kids (just some background). My boyfriend does have anxiety issues and is on medication for it.

Overall we have a really great relationship, except one thing that has really started to bother me. My boyfriend will not sleep over at my house. He says that sleeping in a new place causes him to have horrible anxiety, which causes him to not sleep, which makes him physically ill. In the past 8 months he has only slept over a total of three times and all three times he has slept in the guest room and not with me in my room. We have also gone on a trip together and shared a hotel room, however, he had to have a separate bed.

We have taken a few naps together. Once for a couple of hours and we slept on my couch together and another time we took a nap in my bed for a couple of hours.

I would really love it (more than anything) for him to sleep over in my bed. I'm not saying I want this EVERY night, but every once in a while would be great.

Is there anything I can do to get him to sleep over here without making him feel pressured? Any advice?

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Online Cuchculan

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 02:42:42 PM »
As a person with anxiety, I can kind of understand where he is coming from on this. As a rule we tend to sleep badly. I don't know about him. There is also this thing of space. We tend to like our own space. If you ask me it would be this more than anything else he is not used to. He is probably just used to his own space in his own bed alone. Tossing and turning as he wants. Maybe getting up a few times during the night. I know when I had to share a bed for the first time in years I waited till the person fell asleep and I hopped out of the bed and went into a spare bed in another room. Just to sleep. It simple all takes getting used to. By the next time when I was with another person ( no I don't bed hop  :laugh3: there was a few years between both ) I was able to stay in the same bed as her. I was more relaxed. Speak to him about what he thinks might go wrong. Probably lack of sleep. But if he is on medication they might just knock him out. I would simply say it is a space issue. We like our bit of space. We have to work towards letting others into that space. If we fail to sleep we can be more anxious the next day. More on edge. This might also be on his mind. I am sure it is something he can work on. It would certainly be fun trying. Boom Boom !!!!!
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Offline violagirl

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 10:08:30 PM »
OK thank you! I too suffer from anxiety, but mine is of a different sort. But yes I can understand how it would be different and I know he does like his own space.

However I'm going to try and be brave by asking him to sleep over and telling him that it is important to me.  I used to ask him until he told me about the anxiety and I haven't said a word to him about it since as I don't want to nag him, but I have a feeling he won't ever unless I make it clear how important it is to me.
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Offline GenSec

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 05:11:23 PM »
Hi violagirl,

I'm sorry to hear about your hurt feelings. Yet hearing about your boyfriend's behaviour is a huge relief to me, because me and my ex girlfriend had exactly this same problem you two are having now - its nice to know i'm not too odd, or alone!

Like Cuchculan says, anxiety sufferers tend to sleep badly... i've had sleeping problems which i've sought help for ever since i was a child. I'm lucky if i manage to grab a full night's rest. If i don't get enough sleep then i end up feeling unwell, drained, and on edge for the rest of the day. When i began a relationship with my ex, she was my first girlfriend and the first woman i'd ever shared a bed with. :-* Despite her being attractive i found myself anxious and uncomfortable sharing a bed with her. Don't get me wrong, i was very fond of her and i enjoyed spending time with her... but i didn't have the freedom to toss and turn as i wished, i just wasn't accustomed to the experience of sharing with another person. When i sleep i like to have alot of space to myself. Also, i'm not the most presentable guy in the mornings and the thought of her seeing me like that made me uneasy! :laugh3: Suddenly things had to be different and i just couldn't sleep. I preferred separate sleeping arrangements. That way my sleep was always improved and our time together during the day was more enjoyable. Despite that she felt rejected and took it very personally despite my attempts to reassure her, and sometimes she would complain or verge on getting upset with me. My dislike of sharing a bed wasn't personal, and at the time i honestly wondered if something was wrong with me that i was uncomfortable sharing a bed with someone i loved... but what you say about your boyfriend's bed behaviour so to speak, and what Cuchculan says, makes so much sense to me. I also have a rigid bedtime routine that i guess is my anxiety's way of finding certainty and predictability, and being with another person at night with shared sleeping arrangements disturbs all of that.

I remember when me and my ex had to share a single bed for a few nights, and despite my best efforts i just couldn't fall sleep. In contrast she absolutely relished the prospect of having me in a small single bed where i couldn't get away. For two nights she got a wonderful sleep with a content smile on her face, finally getting to cuddle right up to me in bed, whilst i just lay there unable to move about nor toss and turn, enduring muscle cramps without a moment's sleep. :yawn: On the third night i just couldn't take the exhaustion, discomfort and anxiety anymore... i was just so uncomfortable at the lack of space and tired due to the lack of sleep that i bought a separate blow up mattress that i could sleep in on the floor next to the bed. She became very unhappy. :( I mean, verging on tearful unhappy. Thats not the reaction i'd anticipated, as i had shoved the mattress right alongside the bed. I never understood why sharing a bed with someone just didn't suit me and my unease at doing so made her so emotionally unhappy, however what you have said here, violagirl, begins to make me realise how important it can be for some people that their partner shares the same sleeping space with them. :winking0008:

I assure you that your boyfriend loves you very much, and this isn't about you in any way, shape or form. Try not to take it too much to heart. :grinning-smiley-003:

Regards,
Gen.
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Offline violagirl

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 07:49:13 PM »
Thanks Gen!

As someone who sounds like they have the same problem as my boyfriend, I appreciate your insight. I always try to put myself in other people's shoes so I can try to understand where people are coming from. Your post really helped. Still, it's really hard for me to understand--as I don't move around much at all, make noise, snore, kick and I'm not an all night cuddle (and I have told him this). However, I will keep your valuable insight in mind, as he has mentioned that he has a bedtime routine, so he is probably very similar to you.

I do know that my boyfriend does really love me and care about me very much as all of his actions tell me, so I will continue to focus more on that and not so much his lack of spending nights in my bed. I know I'd rather have a great day with him well rested and in a good mood than the other.
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Offline GenSec

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014, 04:22:43 PM »
Hi violagirl :winking0008:


I do know that my boyfriend does really love me and care about me very much as all of his actions tell me,


Let me tell you, this will make him 10 times worse! :happy0062: I was so besotted with my ex, had so much feelings for her, that it made my anxiety 10 times worse. I wanted to sleep well so that our days together would be PERFECT for her. A sleepless night might make me anxious or tired, and i was terrified it would adversely affect our time together. That it would make her day less nice. It also made me nervous at the prospect she would wake in the mornings to see me snoring, looking haggard and potentially drooling on my pillow, lol! :laugh3: I didn't want to put her off of me by letting her see me at my worst!

I would say that his anxiety is probably heightened precisely because he loves you so much. From the behaviour of my ex i can see why this would all be frustrating for you at times, but honestly the best policy you can follow to get him over this is to give him patient reassurance. He will come around to your way of thinking on the matter in time.

Quote

I know I'd rather have a great day with him well rested and in a good mood than the other.


Thats exactly what his intense feelings for you cause him to rationalise things! :winking0008: If he's as fond of you as i think he is (and as i was for my ex) he's thinking more along the lines of "I'd rather SHE has a great day, with me, which means me being well rested and in a good mood". He's ultimately doing this because he thinks it will mean more pleasant days for you as he'll be nicer for you to be around.

Regards,
Gen.

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Offline violagirl

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 01:39:08 PM »
Thanks for the insight Gen!

I think you may be right about his anxiety being heightened in general. There have been a few times where he has post poned a date because he did not sleep well the night before. It has only happened a couple of times, however everything you have said matches up to his behavior. It is all making a lot more sense now. Thank you!

I have always tried to be extra sensitive about his anxiety. I have anxiety too, and whenever someone (especially a significant other) is insensitive, it makes it worse and extremely hard for me. So I try not to get upset as he always makes it up to me. We were friends for a long time before we started dating and he knows that I haven't exactly been treated very nice. He is always telling me that he is going to treat me how I deserve to be treated (which is obviously in a nice way), and your insight just confirms this.
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Offline GenSec

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2014, 02:19:38 PM »
Quote
There have been a few times where he has post poned a date because he did not sleep well the night before. It has only happened a couple of times, however everything you have said matches up to his behavior. It is all making a lot more sense now. Thank you!


Eh, yes... like your boyfriend, i confess to occasionally turning down a meeting with my ex because i hadn't slept well the night before, lol. :-*

Why? Because it can make me tired, boring to be around, sleepy and anxious (therefore ruin her day). Also, when tired my eyes tend to become a bit puffy; i was so enamoured with my girlfriend that i didn't want her to see me as anything but perfect.

So, i know exactly why your boyfriend does this, and he has my sympathies (as do you!) :laugh3: Honestly, he is doing this because he is trying to be sensitive to your happiness when around him. Your past makes him want to be what past insensitive partners were not. He wants his behaviour to be at its 110% best around you, or nothing at all: he's striving to be a perfectionist. :happy0062:

Regards,
Gen.



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Offline kaybee4810

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Re: boyfriend and sleeping over
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2014, 03:05:33 PM »
i totally get the feeling he is having. I have extreme anxiety disorder and the fear of living with my significant other. Things are completely messed up due to my anxiety. Me and my boyfriend have a 4 year old daughter together and he lives at his house and i live with my grandmother and my daughter. It took me a really long time to really make him understand how my anxiety afffected my life and still to this day do i wonder if he is going to leave me for someone who has less "problems". After 5 years now i am finally feeling like i want him to sleep in bed with me. The last few days i have been going threw extreme anxiety from a new med i started taking that wasn't working with my body. I also have extreme IBS and i have gas ALL THE TIME. I get really embarressed that i might pass gas in my sleep. I am very self concious of my ibs. My ibs is mainly caused from anxiety and my weight fluctuates like day and night. I am barely eating at this point in my life right now. I just want you to understand that it doesnt mean he doesnt love you or like you less its just this thing anxiety that somehow causes us to have phobias. Ive been in his place and it took many many years to get pass this. Now with my anxiety i feel more comfortable with him being here to watch over me because i loose control and i hate the feeling of being alone!!! ..
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