Does your husband sleep on the couch after an argument?
If so, you’re not alone. A lot of men choose to sleep on the couch instead of in bed with their partners after having an argument.
For some couples, this is pretty routine. Although it really shouldn’t be.
For some, it feels like a major relationship crisis. Although, again it really shouldn’t be.
Regardless of how you feel about it, if you want to understand more about why your husband behaves like this and how you can come up with a solution you’re both happier with, hopefully, I can help!
Is It Normal for Couples to Sleep Apart After an Argument?
We always have to use the word ‘normal’ loosely when talking about relationships and what people do and do not do.
That said, having one partner sleep on the couch or some other place other than the marital bed after an argument isn’t that uncommon.
It’s an interesting topic, because for some people, having a partner choose to sleep somewhere other than their bed is pretty much a sign to them that they want out of the relationship. (although it might not mean that to the other partner)
While for some people, it’s simply the best solution for both parties to have a night to themselves to get a good night’s sleep and talk about whatever was bothering them the following day.
If it’s just happened to you for the first time, all I can suggest is that you don’t jump to any wild conclusions.
Don’t bother your husband while things are heated, wait until the following morning when clearer heads can prevail. Tackle the argument in the same way any two mature adults should – by talking about it and try to see it from both sides.
What Does Sleeping On the Couch Mean? Why Men Do It
Everyone reacts differently to conflict or an argument and deals with it in their own way. If you’re trying to understand why your husband sleeps on the couch after an argument, here are some of the most common explanations:
Your Husband Is Avoiding Further Conflict
Your husband might just be avoiding further conflict while temperatures are high – and it’s probably for the best.
It’s not healthy to avoid talking about an argument and pretend like it never happened. But it is often the best option to not talk about it while tempers are high, especially if it’s late at night.
He Wants to Get a Good Night Sleep
There’s never a good time for an argument, but carrying on throughout the night and not getting a good night’s sleep it’s only going to escalate the issue.
There may be a very practical reason, such as your husband needing to get up early for work and needing his energy for the long day ahead.
If this is clearly the case, don’t bother him no matter how urgently you want to speak to him. Let him get his rest, there will be plenty of time to talk about the argument later.
He’s Trying to Get A Psychological Edge Over You
If your husband is upset about whatever it is you’re both disagreeing on and he knows that you don’t want him to sleep on the couch, he may use this as a way to get a one-up on you.
Putting physical distance between the two of you is also a pretty strong signal that he wants some space.
He’s Tired of Fighting
How often do you guys fall out? Has your husband always gone to the couch to get some space after the two of you have had a fight?
If you started doing this because he’s getting tired of the continual fighting, it sounds like there’s a bigger issue brewing.
Is It Bad to Sleep On an Argument?
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that it’s not good to go to bed and sleep on an argument. Like most old wives’ tales, it’s funny because this is actually true from a scientific perspective.
Sure, these old sayings get carried on from generation to generation because there is some anecdotal truth to it, but it’s nice to have some science to back it up.
A study published in Nature Communications entitled ‘Memory consolidation reconfigures neural pathways involved in the suppression of emotional memories’ explored this very theory.
Basically, in this study, a group of participants was made to think about certain things before going to sleep, and their brains were scanned before, during, and when they woke up.
The conclusion is that when you sleep on an argument, or with any form of negative thoughts, you’re more likely to wake up angry and find it more difficult to let it go.
This is interesting to me because I know this to be true. If I go to bed in a bad mood, I almost certainly wake up in a bad mood.
In contrast, if I go to bed after having a good meditation session and I’m feeling great, I wake up feeling refreshed and in a good mood.
This is why, for me personally, I never go to bed on an argument, and meditating before bed is one of the best habits I ever gave myself.
Related – Does your husband ignore you when you cry?
What Should You Do When Your Husband Sleeps On the Couch?
No matter how frustrated, annoyed, or upset you feel, the right thing to do is almost always going to be giving them their space for the night.
If you want to get past the argument and find a resolution, the first – and possibly the most important – thing you need to do is talk about it after emotions and tempers have calmed.
You should also address how it made you feel when they slept on the couch, too.
Avoid pointing the finger, blaming them, and don’t bring up painful things that were said during the fight.
Instead, simply try and see it from their side, and do your best to work as a mediator. Try and find somewhere you can meet in the middle if no one is taking responsibility.
Image Credits – Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.