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Question
My husband and I have a great relationship in general but there is one thing that bugs me and has been bugging me for 5 years! It's the fact he doesn't ever go to bed at a decent time. We have been married for 9 years. The first 4 years we never had this problem, but year 5, he started going to bed later from internet stimulation. Nothing porn related because I secretly checked his browser history, just lots and lots of facebook, cracked.com and other time-wasting forums. He will often go to bed 3 or 4 in the morning and sleep until noon. His work allows him to have flexible hours so there doesn't seem to be any motivation to change this schedule. Recently he denied me sex because he was tired from waking up earlier than usual that he had to take a nap. On the days he wakes up early, he will always take a 2-3 hour nap that keeps him up for longer times in the evening. I've tried to tell him the longer the nap, the harder it will go to bed later on the evening but he always denies a correlation. I have talked to him about this profusely and he always promises to change but never does. What should I do? I'm tired of going to bed by myself every night. I am also concerned with his health. I'd love to have breakfast together or a few hours before I go to work, but he is still sleeping til the late afternoon. What can I say or do to convince him to go to bed at a reasonable time? I don't want to be the nagging wife anymore. Please help!

Answer
Hi Vanessa - from your description, I'd say your partner has developed an Internet addiction. If so, it probably means [1] he's carrying unexpressed inner pain, and doesn't know it or how to release it; and [2] he will protectively minimize or deny this. If I'm right, you have one or both of two problems: [1] he is a "Grown Wounded Child" [GWC] in denial; and [2] the two of you don't know how to do win-win problem-solving. See these:

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/gwc.htm   http://sfhelp.org/gwc/addiction.htm  and

http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills/ps.htm.

See if he will read and discuss these 3 articles with you.

Ideally, you both will; patiently study online lessons 1 and 2 as teammates:

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/guide1.htm  and http://sfhelp.org/cx/guide2.htm

If these bring up further questions, please ask - Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions

Experience

I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see http://sfhelp.org/hazatrds. This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

Organizations
I now answer "AllExpert.com" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to "SelfGrowth.com, "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at http://acestudy.org/

Publications
I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons (http://sfhelp.org). These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by Xlibris.com.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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