Sleeping with a Territorial Kind of Guy

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2004

Periodically my husband accuses me of swiping the covers from him and taking up too much of the bed, as if I were doing so to be mean. This invariably happens in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping until he wakes me up to complain, in a cranky and obnoxious way, as opposed to gently reclaiming his share of the covers or something. I've assured him that this behavior is unconscious on my part, and used to feel hurt by his accusations, but now I'm just puzzled. He was shipped off to boarding school as a child, had to become very self-sufficient, and still has what I regard as hang-ups about space, territory, etc.

I thought this behavior was unusual until two women at work said their men complained about exactly the same thing and, again, as if the women were committing these foul deeds on purpose! Any comments, stories, suggestions? (I'd be very interested to hear the male point of view on this matter as well.)

Heres what we do: We each have twin sized comforter on our queen sized bed and we have a quilt we throw over the top when the bed is made. at night, the quilt comes off, and we each have our own comforter so nobody wakes up all pissy because of ''stolen'' covers (I get very silly and petty about the cover thing too, I just HATE to wake up cold so I am mean about it even though I know its obviously accidental!) Also, we use comforters with duvet covers so we dont need a top sheet, its a good system for a happy couple who arent so good at sharing our blankies :) Hope that helps!!
Do like the Danes do -- each of you have your very own twin sized downie. That way you each have your own covers to pull at and they are each of the right warmth rating. I've slept in such beds many a time - while I was initially hestitant that this would make it hard to cuddle together and/or create a draft down the middle of the bed, it's actually a very cozy way to sleep together. The other method is to get a LARGER downie than your bed requires - get a King duvet if your bed is a queen, or a Super size King ($$) duvet if you have a king-sized bed. with all the extra acreage, it's hard to steal it all!! Oh and be understanding of midnight grumps-it's very wearying and annoying to wake up cold and have to fight for blankies. warm and cozy
This is our solution to a happy marriage: buy two twin size comforters with comfortable comforter covers so you each have one.No more thrashing,no issues of different heat tolerances,no more stolen covers! Good luck. happy sleepers
My wife used to hog the bed and sheets occasionally, although it wasn't a point of major contention. She stopped after I started sleeping with a long 'body pillow.' It was kind of like having a speed bump in the middle of the bed. Anon.
I have only one piece of advice for you: get separate blankets! Sounds unromantic, but you'll both sleep much better. My partner is the expert in rolling himself into blankets to the point that I would end up completely uncovered and cold - I think it's an exaggeration to call that being territorial, it's just unpleasant. With each our own cover we had nothing to worry about. saving cuddling for when we are awake
This is not a gender thing. My wife woke up one night, half asleep, angrily pushing me and saying ''you're taking up half the bed!''. The power of the subconscious to reveal the truth :) Though I can comfortably sleep in a child size bed myself, I supported my wife's need to get a bigger and more comfortable bed, and oversize duvet. She's happier now. I suggest giving in to your husband's needs, and to try and not argue with the tone of someone uncomfortable and mid-dream. As a note, my wife finds it difficult to fall asleep after waking up, or being woken up, which I think may be part of her frustration with a perceived bed hog. I fall asleep immediately after being woken up, so finding myself uncomfortable, when it may happen, doens't bother me as much. pushed aside
Hi. I get this complaint a lot as well. One thing you could try that my brother actually suggested to me, is separate blankets for the two of you. If you each have you own blanket, the likelyhood of stealing blanket space is minimized. Hope you find a solution! Lisa
My husband sleeps like a pile of lumber with a tarp tucked in around it. He's either flat on his back or flat on his stomach, encased in the covers like a sausage, somewhere close to the middle of the bed. When he flips from front to back or back to front, the covers wind up with him like a giant roll of paper towels in reverse. The solution for us and maybe for you was a bigger bed and an extra wide comforter. We don't use a top sheet or any other covers and we don't tuck anything in at the bottom - just a duvet cover on the comforter that can be taken off for laundry. It's fast to make up too! Because it is thick, the comforter stays on top of the pile of lumber, not tucked in around it, and since it's wide and isn't tucked in, it can shift around on the bed so that I always have at least a good sized corner of it. Maybe this will work for you! G