DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Pete," and I have been happily married for four years. We get along beautifully, have a wonderful physical relationship, share many interests and truly enjoy being together. However, we do not share a bedroom.
In the beginning, we tried to share a room, but I never got any sleep and was extremely crabby and exhausted all the time. We finally realized we just don't sleep well together. When I'm sleeping, I like it freezing cold; he likes it warm. He sleeps with the TV on; I must have complete silence and total darkness. I need nine hours of sleep to feel rested; he's a night owl who gets by on four to five hours. I have tried sleep masks and ear plugs without success.
We do share a bed when we travel, but when I have to get up for work in the morning, I'd better sleep alone. We are both perfectly fine with this arrangement. The problem is, our families insist that a married couple should share a bedroom, no matter what. How can we get our families to leave us alone? -- FRUSTRATED IN FLORIDA
DEAR FRUSTRATED: While the majority of my readers would agree that there is a special kind of closeness and intimacy that comes from sharing a bed or bedroom, there's no law that demands couples have to do it. When spouses' sleep habits are as disparate as yours are, it should be to both people's benefit to sleep separately, and your families should respect your choice and stay out of it.