Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing

Article excerpt

Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing. Paul C. Rosenblatt. Albany: The State University of New York Press. 2006. ISBN 0-7914-6830-5. $23.95 (paper).

This book investigates one of the ordinary, taken-for-granted aspects of life, the day-to-day sharing of a bed with one's partner. Using interview data from 42 mostly White, heterosexual, married couples (plus four individuals) in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the author describes the process of sharing a bed as part of a couple system in which the individual's experience of going to bed, getting to sleep, and sleep (or failure to sleep) is experienced by both who share that space. In tum, the experience of sleep is affected by external sources such as our jobs that, for example, create aching bodies that make sleep difficult. This book covers a wide range of issues faced by couples including such things as dealing with snoring, health problems, insomnia, different sleep schedules, and regulation of temperature. The author also showed the importance of the intimacy that couples experience as they snuggle and talk over their concerns and experiences of the day before going to sleep.

This research fills a gap in the understanding of couple dynamics by showing the important of bedtime as a time in which couples manage conflict and construct intimacy. This book would be useful to therapists, marriage counselors, and those who work with couples for insights into how couples manage the many issues - large and small - that emerge when sharing a bed. …

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