As I write this, it’s 11:03 PM. I admit, I am a night owl by default. I’ve lived my entire teenage and adult life going to bed no earlier than 11; sometimes as late as 1 or 2 in the morning. It’s a habit I’ve gotten into that I’m sure is not healthy.
My alarm is set for 5:00 AM during the week. So some days I go to work on less than 4 hours of sleep… I’m sure that’s not the best idea either.
TJ (my wife) usually goes to bed a lot earlier than I do. As I write this she’s been asleep for nearly an hour and a half. But here I sit, writing this post. The question is, why am I not in bed with her?
I have a reason to be up… Maybe
There are a myriad of excuses I can come up with: “This is the only time I have to work on my personal projects”, “I’m not tired yet”, “I’m watching something on TV. I’ll go to bed when it’s finished”
I think the truth of the matter is, I just don’t want to. I find staying awake much more interesting than laying in bed waiting for sleep to come. And yes, it can be more interesting and maybe even more productive. But it may also be more detrimental.
I find things on the Internet I shouldn’t be looking at
One of the biggest problems for me is staying up late and being alone tempts me to start looking at things I shouldn’t be looking at. Images and videos that are no honoring to God or to TJ (hopefully you understand what I’m referring to). When it’s late at night and TJ is in bed, I’m sitting at my desk by myself, I’ve put myself in a place of temptation; and most times when that happens, I fail.
Staying up late, like right now, I’ve put myself in a place where I can easily “stumble” onto something I shouldn’t be looking at.
I put value on my desires over her needs
Another detriment is that I’m giving less value to TJ and her needs. She has told me on several occasions that she doesn’t sleep as well when I’m not in bed when she goes to sleep. She’s explained a need to me and I’m not fulfilling that need for her. I’m showing her I value her needs less than my wants. That’s a terrible message to be sending to her.
Those are two VERY good reasons to start going to bed at the same time as her. Letting her know I value her more than my desires and it helps to keep me faithful to her instead of letting my eyes wander. But there is one other reason that staying up late without TJ is a bad idea:
Our sex life suffers
By staying up late, I’m creating a physical barrier between TJ and I. Ontop of the little value I’m showing to her needs, I’m physically putting myself in a different place. It sends a message of “I’m not interested in anything from you now. My projects or interests are more important that our relationship.”
Plus it’s a lot harder to convince someone to have sex after they’ve fallen asleep already.
Drawing a line in the sand
I’m setting a new goal for myself of going to bed at the same time as TJ. None of the stuff I’m doing at night is as important as taking advantage of the time that I have with TJ. Building up our relationship is something that we need to do together and spending more time together, even if it’s just in bed, is much better than anything I could accomplish on my own sitting at my desk after 11:00 PM.
Having a child takes a lot of time and it makes it so we have less time as just husband and wife and not Mommy and Daddy. Staying up late while TJ goes to bed means we have even less time together. I’m choosing to make my relationship with TJ a priority over other things in my life.
Hopefully this will be the last time I see 11:36 PM while TJ is in bed!