Let's say you are going over to a friend's house for the first time. She's showing you around, taking you on "the tour" -- the basement they had redone, the kids' rooms with new bunk beds, her bedroom and her husband's bedroom. Whoa. Separate bedrooms? You'd think twice, right? Wonder what was up in their marriage ... but according to a new book, separate bedrooms are actually not so uncommon.

Already one in four Americans sleep in separate bedrooms or beds from their spouses. The National Association of Homebuilders predicts that by 2015, 60% of new homes will be designed with "dual master bedrooms."

Not only are they more common than you think, separate bedrooms are being suggested for couples whose marriages aren't doing so well, as a way to improve their relationship! In couples therapy? Have some bumps in the ol' marriage ... maybe you should call your contractor instead of your shrink!

The book talks about those semi-happy marriages, where it's going only kind of so-so. Switching up how you do marriage, including your sleeping arrangements, is a way to come at your relationship from a different angle.

And the whole separate bedrooms? They give a little privacy for each person and give each one a "non-marital space," which is sometimes all the couples need. I get this and you know, when things aren't working, it helps to change it up, shake the snow globe of your relationship to get the flakes floating again.

Still not sold? Well, I come from a long line of separate bedroom couples. My grandparents had separate bedrooms for most of their lives  -- and they were married 65 years, till they both passed away. My parents, who will be celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary this summer, had separate bedrooms incorporated into the home they built to retire in. Not a bad track record for separate bedrooms, I have to say!

Do you have separate bedrooms?

 

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