It seems in most marital folklore, the spare room is the dark dungeon of doom, the place where stroppy spouses sulk, and where only anger and resentment sleep. But I offer an alternative view.
My hubby is an oncologist who gets up at 6.15 every morning and is out of the house by seven before the girls wake up. He leaves work early so he can see them before they go to bed and then works every evening catching up on patient’s notes and paperwork. He’s busy. He’s tired.
I’m on my sixth pregnancy in 5 years (my third baby) and have been pregnant two and a half years of those five. I don’t sleep well, not helped by Poppy who decides to visit me at least four nights out of seven – often wearing a tutu. I have no childcare, and as well as looking after them and the home, I try to write magazine articles, blogs and a novel. I’m busy. I’m tired.
So sometimes we need a night off. The spare room in our house is not the Room of Resentment – it is the Bedroom of Bliss. We’ve never ever used it as a retreat from each other, but we often use it as retreat from the children. It is the Reward Room, the place we offer up to each other as a treat to refresh ourselves and get a good night’s sleep. “Why don’t you sleep in the spare room tonight?” is one of the nicest things hubby can say to me!
The other day I mentioned sleeping in the spare room to my mum and she raised that ever-expressive eyebrow (I’ve mentioned before how much my mum can say without actually talking just by raising her eyebrow – I’ve tried but I just look like someone whose face lift went wrong). “That’s not good for a marriage you know,” she claimed. I knew better than to argue (merely rolled my eyes – standard response to raised eyebrow – we barely have to talk). But I did ponder it. And as such, I’ve decided to go public with my findings.
THE SPARE ROOM IS A MARRIAGE SAVER. I’ll tell you one thing that’s a marriage breaker – Exhaustion, along with its team mates Grumpy, Short-temper and Snappy. If they are not controlled on a regular basis, then the spare room would indeed be used for altogether different reasons. So I just wondered… is anyone else a closet Spare Room User? Does anyone else want to come out and admit that closing that spare room door is the best part of the week?