I'll just say, off rip, that while we encourage comments on all of our articles, when it comes to this one in particular, when I wouldn't just encourage it; I'd deeply appreciate it. The reason why I say that is because—pause—is it just me, or is traditional marriage becoming more and more taboo these days? Although I totally get, believe and support the fact that, since each marriage consists of two individuals, every union is automatically unique in a variety of ways, it does seem like some things that used to apply to all—or at least most—relationships, simply don't anymore.
The Couple Who Sleeps Apart Stays Together
Take sleeping together, for example. Recently, we published "Larenz Tate On Why Sleeping In Separate Bedrooms Is A Must In His Marriage". I watched the interview that the piece was pulled from (what he says about our people and our community is stellar). From what I remember, Larenz said that he sleeps in another room in a joking kind of way. He also said that it was 1) because his wife is mad fertile and 2) sometimes, after decompressing from a role, the space can be good for their relationship overall. But after he got so much media attention for talking about sleeping in another bedroom, I decided to dig around, just to see how common married couples sleeping in separate beds actually is. You know what? He's not even close to being the only one who does it.
31 percent said that they are all about getting a "sleep divorce"—you know, remaining married but not sleeping together. Not only that but 1 in 4 couples already sleep in separate bedrooms or beds.
Some of the people interviewed in that article said that it was "cool" because sleeping apart provides the chance to have command of the entire room. Plus, you can get your own space in the process. Then there are the couples who sleep apart because one or both spouses snore. A lot. And loudly. If they are going to remain sane, short of a pillow over their (or their spouse's) head, sleeping apart was the only option for them.
That got me to do some off the cuff interviewing of married couples who I personally know. When I asked a few of them if sleeping apart was ever a consideration, this is what some of them said (I'm leaving real names out on purpose):
*Allison. Married 10 Years. "Trust me, if I could get my husband to consider it, I definitely would. Between us both liking the room a different temperature and him always wanting to cuddle when I'd prefer to sleep without all of that all of the time, I'm sure I'd get a lot more rest."
*Andre. Married Four Years. "Sharing a bed is an adjustment. I mean, as much as I love my wife, there are times when you just want some alone time. We've never talked about sleeping in separate beds, but I can't say that I'd be opposed to it."
*Mark. Married 25 Years. "The Bible doesn't say that 'sex in marriage is undefiled'; it says that 'the marriage bed is undefiled'. There is something intimate and special about sharing a bed with my wife. I've never considered not doing it. Not once." (The Scripture he's referring to is Hebrews 13:4, by the way.)
*Crystal. Married Seven Years. "Why does it seem like folks are looking for more ways to not be married? Your spouse is not someone who comes over for a slumber party. A part of what comes with marriage is sharing a bedroom and a bed. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, if you ask me."
How Many Married Couples Actually Live in Different Homes?
See what I mean? Different people bring different views into the concept of marriage. As far as what Crystal said, although I definitely get why she feels that way, it might trip her—and a lot of other people—out that it has been reported that approximately four million married couples live apart. The reasons vary from conflicting work schedules and personal preference to one partner being incarcerated or in a nursing home. In the article that cited the sleep divorce stat, it featured couples who said they are very happy being married and not sharing a roof. Psychotherapist and author Tina B. Tessina said it works well for so many because, "Couples who are living apart successfully are individuals who like living alone, but still want companionship and the financial benefits of marriage." Soo…it's like dating exclusively but still getting a tax write-off? Interesting.
When I read another article on the topic, a counselor said he does it as a way to keep a couple from divorcing. He has the spouses sign a 120-day contract stating that although they will agree to live apart, physical and emotional affairs were not allowed. According to him, it worked for some of his couples. As a result of being apart, they were more proactive about spending a few nights a week together and "sleeping over" on the weekends.
Yeah. That still sounds like dating to me. I mean, as a marriage life coach who specializes in reconciling divorced couples, I dig the whole married-but-living-apart approach as a last-ditch effort before two people decide to call it quits. But for two people who aren't in marital trouble, doesn't it provide an unrealistic approach to the marital dynamic? Isn't it kind of like "playing house" or being "kinda sorta" married? And as far as what Tina said about couples living apart because they would prefer to be alone, why not just be…single?
Because honestly, a lot of what I've shared about all of this sounds a lot like another article—"More Older Couples Stay Together Because They Live Apart". It was published this past July and it features couples who aren't married but are in committed relationships. Basically, the article gets into the fact that more and more seniors are opting out of getting married or living with someone; instead, they prefer to have dinners with their significant other during the week and sleepovers on the weekend. One of the studies in the article stated that unmarried couples between 57-85 were twice as likely to live apart than together these days. All because they enjoy being together without living together.
I get that. I mean, I personally have no intentions on living with someone prior to saying "I do". But again, that's speaking to single folks and a perk of being single is not having to share your space if you don't want to. But when you're married, is it cool—and more than cool, is it realistic—to have the benefits of marriage without the responsibilities as well? Isn't actually living together a part of the marriage package?
I went back to the four people I interviewed about sleeping vs. not sleeping with their spouse. This is what they had to say on the matter.
*Allison. "Girl, I wish I would tell my husband that we should live in different houses. I think that taking girl and guy trips without your partner sometimes is cool, but living apart sounds like you're separated. It also seems like you're living in a fantasy world. If you're not having to deal with the day-to-day of being with the person you vowed to spend your life with, you're not married in its totality."
*Andre. "I haven't been married five years and already get how awesome this whole concept could be. I also think it can make you think that you're single when you're not. Being married is about sharing more than last names and tax write-offs. It's about sharing your entire world. That's hard to do under two different roofs."
*Mark. "I bet a man came up with this whole 'Hey babe, let's be married but live apart' thing. Sounds like another version of the cow vs. the milk if you ask me. When you live with someone, you really get to know them. It also teaches you a lot about yourself. Marriage isn't for selfish people. If you're down with living apart from your spouse, that sounds pretty convenient…convenient to the point of being really self-absorbed."
*Crystal. "Shellie, do you really have to ask what I think? If you don't want to live with someone, don't get married. It's as simple as that."
If you're curious what I think, I actually have a ton of thoughts on all of this. But the Reader's Digest version would probably be, if you'd be down to not live with your spouse, ask yourself why. The answers could very well reveal if you've truly contemplated all that comes with marriage. Because Allison and Andre are right—if you don't want to share your entire life, if you only want to give access to pieces and parts of it, why get married at all?
But again, I want to hear your thoughts as well; especially if you happen to be a married person who is currently living in a different spot than your spouse (and it's not due to a separation). What are the pros? What are the cons? Do you think it's a wise thing to do or do you advise against it?
Since there are currently millions of married couples who don't live together, if there's one thing that we all can agree on, to a large extent, is there is no one way to be married. Some people are making theirs work and last by choosing to ditch the tradition of living with their partner. Instead, they seem to be more in love than ever by actually choosing to live apart.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Feature image by Shutterstock
- What Is A Sleep Divorce -- Should You Have One? - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Live-Apart-Ners: Married Couples Not ... - It's Just Lunch Dating Blog ›
- Married Couples Who Live Alone | POPSUGAR Family ›
- Kaley Cuoco and Husband Karl Cook Live Apart in Separate Houses ›
- One love, two homes: How some couples find happiness in living ... ›
- Is It OK to Live Apart From Your Spouse? Kaley Cuoco and Gwyneth ... ›
- The new relationship trend that sees couples choosing to live apart ... ›
- Together, apart? More long-term couples living in separate homes ›
- Why Some Couples Choose to Live Apart ›
- Living apart: Will Gwyneth Paltrow set a new trend for married ... ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by FreshSplash/Getty Images