May 22, 2018

Every wife should have her own bedroom, abi – Joy Ehonwa

Every wife should have her own bedroom, abi – Joy Ehonwa

I was about eight years old when I discovered that one of our neighbours who had taken me under her wings, had her own bedroom while her husband had his own. Every couple I knew shared one bedroom, so this was my first introduction to the concept of separate bedrooms, and I found it very strange. Unfortunately, theirs was an abusive marriage, and so separate bedrooms came to be associated in my young mind, with dysfunctional relationships. Consequently, a few years later when my parents were building our house and my dad mentioned “mummy’s room”, I kicked against it with every fibre of my pre-teen body.

Fast-forward nearly two decades later, I’ve done a complete 180 degrees; it now seems to me that one of the best things that can happen to a marriage is being able to afford a separate bedroom for the wife.


Society still tends to see sleeping separately as a sign of trouble in a marriage. Science still recommends sleeping together because of the oxytocin released by physical touch, which aids bonding (we even use ‘sleeping together’ as a euphemism for sex!) and reduces inflammation. I still understand the reasons why many (especially Nigerian Christian) counselors advocate having one bedroom, but allow me to briefly make a case for separate bedrooms.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started snoring. My poor husband could hardly get any sleep, and like most snorers I wasn’t even aware of my snoring. Sometimes I would look at his eyes in the morning and feel so sorry for him that I would offer to sleep in the guest room for just one night so that at least he could have one good night’s rest, but he wouldn’t let me out of his sight. When I had the baby, the snoring refused to go away, and I finally prevailed on him to allow me use the guest room from time to time, especially when he looked stressed. I’m lucky to have found a way to manage this somewhat. Many couples actually have serious disharmony problems because of snoring, as bed partners of snorers get significantly less sleep than they would otherwise. And we know how sleep deprivation makes people unproductive, cranky, unsexy and even ill.

Then there’s the tidiness issue. As an undergraduate I needed someone to share accommodation with, and I wanted it to be my dear friend, Diana. She was older, kind, intelligent, amazing, and I adored her taste in books and music. However, when I asked her, she reminded me of her meticulous nature; she had a place for everything, and kept everything in its place. While I appreciated order, I was not a perfectionist like she was. She begged me, for the sake of our friendship, to consider living with someone else.

You would think that someone like this would end up with an equally super-tidy husband (like mine!). For where? She fell in love with this great guy…who leaves clothes and socks on the floor and doors ajar. As another friend says, “marriage worketh patience”, so she has learnt to deal with it around the house, but for the sake of her sanity she has her own room- and it stays just the way she likes it. Without this, I can categorically tell you that they would have been separated or divorced long ago. I am not joking.

Even without snoring or less-than-tidy partners, there are many who need their own space to stay sane. Practicality is also part of it. For instance, the closet in the master bedroom can’t even take all of my husband’s clothes, not to speak of my own. Right now the closet in my baby’s room is where I have all my stuff, and I find myself shuttling between both rooms morning and evening. The master bedroom feels more like my hubby’s than mine, and I’m sure he enjoys having all his stuff in one place.

Even if we had enough closet space for both, there is still something about a woman having her own boudoir. There are certain aspects of femininity that should be kept out of a man’s face. For me, it is an important part of preserving mystery.

I am looking forward to having mine. He will certainly sleep better (there will be no snoring, and he will find everything where he left it), I will fall asleep with my easy listening playlist soothing me and not worry about disturbing anyone, or have the music in my ears to avoid this, and my alarm clock won’t wake him up come morning. I also think it would be nice to have him invite me to his room to play Whot, and do the walk of joy to my room in the morning. I’m loving the idea already!

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  1. esame

    Joy I so agree with you! I sleep in the spare-room/study and whenever we have guest I move. I dream of my own bedroom, freedom, to keep my stuff however I like, wherever I like. To spare my ears the horror stories from the world, as my husband listens to BBC news all through the night. In the Night I want to be able to think, my own thoughts. To hear myself

  2. annoymous

    This is the most crappy shit I ve had to read…..and dere are millions of ways to deal with all d problems you’ve mentioned. As for space you can go out,take a break or is ur hubby wd you 24/7? You prefer another room to your matrimonial bed? Insane! What woman prefers to fall asleep listening to her playlist in another room? When u can do a mix tape of songs that re 🙂 loved by you and your hubby ndvfall asleep listening to it whyl ur hubby cuddles you to sleep? I bet u were too dumb to fink of that… many pple have spouses that are untidy nd snore yet the ve no divorced or part ways bcus they choose no to let such little things bother them,when they sleep alone they miss those little things and you talk abt desperate bedroom? You shud just pack your bags and go back to your parents cus you red already feeling detached from ur spouse. Mstceeew

  3. Pearl Osibu

    Dear anonymous,
    Next time if you feel that strongly about something enough to call it crap, maybe you should put your name, not this cowardly anonymous. Hate that shit.

    The fact that you disagree does not give you the right to call this crappy. It is so far from. In fact, even to I am who am a pro-same room person, this makes a lot of sense. For instance, my younger sister has been visiting for about two weeks now. Since she came, I have abandoned the bedroom for her and i’m sleeping in the living room. Why? She does not do cold. At all. She sleeps in baking temperature, I sleep in freezing. There is no middle ground.What of things like light? Some people need light to sleep, I need pitch darkness and no, blinders do not work. What of sound? I need silence, some people need music. I do not believe that when you marry, you should forsake all the things that are important to you. It is not the six or so hours during sleep time that your souls knit, duh. You have plenty time when you are awake. Some people are restless and disturb the other. What of those who leave the bed and go to the study to work or something? If you are terrified about sleeping alone, maybe you should check if you feel insecure about your marriage as a whole. Lord knows i have had boyfriends that visit for one week and when they leave, I *finally* get a good nights rest. Then we are talking a life time. enjoy the cuddling etc and i think a couple can take turns visiting each other and if they fall asleep in the other’s bed, the other can get up if disturbed and go elsewhere. Point is, it is nice to have this option open. I can see two people, well rested and smiling shyly over breakfast at each other rather than one grumpy person.

  4. Ify nne chidera

    I love the idea

    As a matter of fact, I have my own bedroom and hubby has his. It doesn’t affect our sexual life in anyway.

    What’s the whole noise about one bedroom?

  5. Clarion

    This anonymous person is obviously not married. *eyes rolling* I’m not even going to bother replying your own crap reply.
    I love sharing a room with my husband, but more than once I’ve found myself wishing for my own space. I like to read and listen to music before bed, he doesn’t. I’m a bit untidy *tongue in cheek*, he is meticulously tidy. I’m a light sleeper and sometimes have trouble falling asleep, he snores. Not to mention closet space.! I hate leaving my clothes in a bag but I’ve had to do that because of the little space we have. Like you, I’m also looking forward to my own space. We can then take turns sharing each other’s bed *wink wink*.
    And by the way, falling asleep in each other’s arms is quite overrated and uncomfortable. yawn.

  6. Henri

    Thanks, Pearl for responding to the angry ? Anonymous. I support separate bedrooms wholly, my husband doesn’t and it’s because of irrational thinking like that of Oga abi Madam Anonymous. Mshewwww. I have sha moved because waking up cranky after a night of struggling to sleep with his LOUD snores and dealing with a toddler and a baby all day plus doing other chores with no hired almost ruined my health. I can’t come and go and die on top this one bedroom matter biko ?

  7. ngozika oguekwe

    Oh yes! I love the idea of a separate room, although I wouldn’t sleep there. I still enjoy the idea and warmth associated with sharing a bed with my husband.

    When it comes to the wardrobe, I can be really mess and I know my husband finds it difficult searching for his clothes.

    An original but very nice article.


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