February 8, 2010

The Other Man

My husband is away on business for a week and I am sleeping with another man. In my marital bed.

Okay, so that was the scintillatingly salacious and just slightly exaggerated version of the story. I am indeed sleeping with another man, but he is stuffed. And no, when I say ‘stuffed’ I don’t mean that ‘he is really, really tired’ (though my husband would argue that after a few days in my company any man would be exhausted, and sadly I don’t mean that in a scintillatingly salacious way).

No, the man is, literally, stuffed. He is a toy. And, if you’re being really picky, he isn’t strictly a man, either. He is a Shrek. A stuffed, almost life-sized, felt-covered Shrek, a replica of the cartoon character from the movie of the same name. Oh, and he is green.

So how did I end up sleeping with a green, stuffed man? I needed a substitute for my husband. Turns out I’m not much good at sleeping in my bed without him. This confuses and shames me because I sleep perfectly well in other beds without him (which again sounds a lot more scintillatingly salacious than it is – I’m referring mainly to my mum’s holiday house on the coast).

The thing is, I really like to think of myself as a strong, independent woman. As put so eloquently by the Pussycat Dolls (a foxy young American girl band with whom I greatly identify, being an Australian, forty-one year old mother of three): I don’t need a man to make me happy, I get off being free!

And I do get off being free! With my husband away, I celebrate my powerful womanhood with glorious abandon. I hold the remote control when I watch TV. I eat cheese on toast for dinner. I walk around the house wearing depilatory cream and nose strips. I put the kids to bed really, really early and lie on the couch. Okay, so this may not be the kind of ‘getting off’ the Pussycat Dolls had in mind, but it works for me.

And yet, when it comes to bed time, I can't drop off. Why not? It’s not as if my husband and I sleep in each others’ arms all night. (Oh don’t get me wrong, we’re not in the Separate But Adjoining Beds stage yet, but we’re not newlyweds either.) So what am I missing? Is it the shaking of the bed when he turns over? The adorable throat clearing thing he does at 3am? The comforting knowledge that, if something goes bump in the night, he’s sure to wake me so that I can go investigate?

I don’t know. All I knew is that after he went away last time, I realised I needed a bedfellow. The kids aren't an option as they are noisy and wriggly. Friends aren't an option as they tend to have their own homes. My son’s life sized Shrek is the obvious choice.

My son looked a little nonplussed when I asked to borrow his toy but quickly regained his composure. (When you’ve seen your mum running around wearing a nose strip and depilatory cream, nothing much surprises you.) I tucked Shrek into my bed on my husband’s side, and pulled the sheets up high to disguise his pointy ears, flat nose, and rather vivid greenness. Then I climbed in next to him, and slept like a baby.

The Pussycat Dolls were right. I don’t need a man to make me happy!

Shrek, though, is harder to give up.

Does anyone else have troubles sleeping alone??? Or do you prefer it???

27 comments:

  1. Feeling guilty - I've booted mine out into the spare bedroom...
    tho that's due to being 30 weeks pregnant and monumentally uncomfortable at night right now.

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  2. I understand! My husband gets up early and I love starfishing across the whole bed. But if he's away I can't sleep properly. I need a Shrek!

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  3. Don't get too attached to Mr Shrek honey! Your husband will come home soon and you are going to have to make way for him!

    I love it when my husband is away! I love to eat toast for dinner. I have not a care in the world when he is away. I also sleep better. I guess all that space in the bed has its advantages!!

    xx

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  4. hahaha that is hilarious, and lovely at the same time. I am more lost without my pillows, then my partner. hahaha... I have to have three pillows layed out just so... oh who am I kidding, I would miss him but putting a stuffed Shrek in instead? I'll leave that one for you. haha. Great story though. Really enjoying your blog.

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  5. All I know is when my man is away the bed is just too big - OK that might me partly because I am too small?

    Still, it feels good - the eating toast for dinner, reading late into the hours and not bothering him with the bedside lamp, drinking tea in bed, watching chic flicks.... - it all feels good until I turn off the light. Taht's whn Sting gets into my head singing "Bed's to big without you...."

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  6. Know what you mean. I pile up the pillows on my side of the bed and sleep on his side! The bed just seems too big with just me in it and too small with me and the kids in it!

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  7. I will eagerly await the blog post where you declare your husband has been kicked out to the spare bed because you now prefer sleeping with Shrek.

    My husband is like you. Not that he gets around with nose strips and depilatory cream. I mean, he can't sleep without me in the bed. I, however, can and do sleep with or without him there. No probs at all!

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  8. Ha, ha and I reckon that Shrek doesn't snore, sniff or fart all night either.

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  9. The real problem is going to arise when you invite Donkey in there too. I imagine that isn't quite going to be what your husband means when he comes home from his time away and demands "Get your ass into bed!"

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  10. Slept in a bed with the same man for 28 years. Missed him when he wasn't there for about the first 25... then I started thinking I want my own bed. Then we separated and I LOVE having my bed to myself :) Not sure I'll ever share again lol oh, well the kids hop in for a cuddle and that's ok but they won't do it for much longer I'm sure.

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  11. Hey, that gives me any idea. We have an almost life-sized Bob the Builder. Wonder what he's like to sleep with? What am I saying?? My husband is always in the bed and if he's not doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me...once my head hits the pillow I'm out to it...until one of the small people in the house rudely awaken me!

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  12. Ha. Sweet post. My partner (father of my children and officially husband-to-be) just left tonight for two weeks in Slovakia/Prague for work. For past three weeks, though, he has mostly not been here either - working on huge project that saw him returning home from work at about 3.30am...5am...one time 6.20am just five mins before my alarm went off to get the kids off to school and he wanted to have sex (erk! - he'd been up for eighteen hours or so straight working and claimed to be exhausted but not so much so that he would just cuddle up peacefully, so I just don't get men). My problem is...well...you should read my book. I am getting too used to the bed being just me and need to make more of an..ahem...effort to welcome him back with the proverbial open arms. or something.
    But I do miss him. It's nice to know they are there and touch your leg against someone else's skin. Then again, I do the starfish thing too.

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  13. Oh I guess I'd miss the elbows to the head I cop every now and again if he wasn't there. And the gigantic farts he lets rip as he turns himself over to get more comfortable (read, take over the bed). It's rare he's mine's not here. Once he went on a 10 surfing exp to Papua New Guinea and I got scared of things at night which I really didn't think, like you, a pretty generally strong woman, would happen. I needed a Shrek. Maybe you can hire him out on a basis as needed ?

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  14. This is EXACTLY like me. When Hubby is away, I take full advantage of my surroundings. I get out a chick flick that, if he were home, would pass the tv and say, "Why are you watching this crap?" I leave on lights that Hubby would walk around switching off, and I sleep almost sideways in the bed.

    But like you, I toss and turn and can't get to bed before midnight when Hubby is away. And even though it's full luxury being able to spread myself across the bed, because my body is so twisted, I end up with aches and pains for sleeping in such a position. *sigh*

    I just wonder if your son will be in therapy someday? I mean, memories of Mum sleeping with Shrek? Tsk tsk.

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  15. Now I know what to do about my mysterious 3-4 nights/week insomnia! My husband regularly works away on projects (read: 9mos of the year) so it's been a hassle. Why did I never consider that I could actually MISS his intermittent snoring?!? I'm going to rummage in my son's room for a suitable bedmate now...thanks for the tip! ;)

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  16. You girls are making me depressed I'm single. Me - I sleep with a pillow lol.

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  17. I have my best night's sleep without my husband and his snoring. When he gets too loud, I kick him out of bed into the spare bedroom. Lately I am practising subliminal anti snoring training which consists of me saying "Lay on your side. Don't move. Stay there all night" said in one of those ominous voices. When he's not snoring he's lovely.

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  18. Cheryl i am married and sleep alone, a good night sleep is worth gold in my world,do not be jalouse you might end up with a husband like my that snore like freight train, great post kerry, love ooxx

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  19. I have the same problem, and solve it by piling the spare pillows in the space my hubby would be ... but also love the freedom for a short time if he is away (could do without the un-relentling kiddie whinging, but that's another story)

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  20. ha ha ha a Shrek codependency! love it, good on you Kerry! love ooxx

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  21. I have my best night's sleep without my husband and his snoring. When he gets too loud, I kick him out of bed into the spare bedroom. Lately I am practising subliminal anti snoring training which consists of me saying "Lay on your side. Don't move. Stay there all night" said in one of those ominous voices. When he's not snoring he's lovely.

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  22. Ha. Sweet post. My partner (father of my children and officially husband-to-be) just left tonight for two weeks in Slovakia/Prague for work. For past three weeks, though, he has mostly not been here either - working on huge project that saw him returning home from work at about 3.30am...5am...one time 6.20am just five mins before my alarm went off to get the kids off to school and he wanted to have sex (erk! - he'd been up for eighteen hours or so straight working and claimed to be exhausted but not so much so that he would just cuddle up peacefully, so I just don't get men). My problem is...well...you should read my book. I am getting too used to the bed being just me and need to make more of an..ahem...effort to welcome him back with the proverbial open arms. or something.
    But I do miss him. It's nice to know they are there and touch your leg against someone else's skin. Then again, I do the starfish thing too.

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  23. Slept in a bed with the same man for 28 years. Missed him when he wasn't there for about the first 25... then I started thinking I want my own bed. Then we separated and I LOVE having my bed to myself :) Not sure I'll ever share again lol oh, well the kids hop in for a cuddle and that's ok but they won't do it for much longer I'm sure.

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  24. You girls are making me depressed I'm single. Me - I sleep with a pillow lol.

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  25. Feeling guilty - I've booted mine out into the spare bedroom...
    tho that's due to being 30 weeks pregnant and monumentally uncomfortable at night right now.

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