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Why does my husband insist on sleeping apart?

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We have been married for 14 years and have not had sex for at least 5 years. That would not be so bad, but I actually have to tell my husband that I need attention for him to show affection. Also, ever since I can remember he has slept with his clothes on, on top of the comforter with his own blanket. The days of my thinking that this behavior is due to adjusting to marriage has been over for quite some time. Staying in this marriage is chipping at what little sanity I have left. I have never heard of a man sleeping fully clothed every night on top of the bed while his wife sleeps between the sheets. Why do you think he prefers sleeping this way?

Why does my husband insist on sleeping apart?

Answered by on -


Your husband is putting lots of barriers between you but still stays. Without more information, I can only venture a few guesses. Perhaps your husband loves you but is phobic about sex. Maybe he is struggling with his sexuality. Or perhaps he has performance anxiety. Whatever the reason, it is striking to me that you two have gone on like this for 5 years! People are married in many different ways but if you didn’t mind this arrangement, you wouldn’t be writing to me or talking about your sanity being chipped away. Have you talked directly to him about this? Have you tried to get him to go to a therapist with you to develop a more mutually satisfying relationship? If he won’t go, please make an appointment for yourself. Whether or not he joins you in the therapy sessions, it will be helpful for you to talk out alternatives with someone objective.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Why does my husband insist on sleeping apart?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Why does my husband insist on sleeping apart?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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