Ask Kari: How can I get my wife to go to bed at the same time as me each night?

Dear Kari,

My wife and I keep fighting over my request for her to come to bed at the same time as me. I go to bed around 10:00 PM each night, but my wife likes to stay up until midnight. After a long day with our jobs and our kids, I would like us to connect up by talking for a few minutes, maybe watch some TV then kiss each other good night and go to bed at the same time. We fight about this constantly, as my wife feels that I am trying to control her. How can I get her to do what I want and stop the fighting between us?

--Lonely Bedmate

Dear Lonely Bedmate,

I understand your desire to connect with your wife on a daily basis and doing so in bed at the end of the night can be a good time to do it. But, repeatedly fighting and requesting that she come to bed at the same exact time as you is troubling. We all have a natural clock that helps move us through the day; some people are early risers while others are night owls. Asking your wife to come lie with you to talk and watch television is a nice way to connect, but the action becomes controlling if you are requesting that she turn out the lights and go to bed with you when she is not tired. I suggest that you compromise by talking and watching television outside of the bedroom, allowing for you to connect daily then go your separate ways and each follow their own natural body clock.


As published in the May 2015 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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