Donald and Melania Trump Don’t Sleep in the Same Bedroom— Who Cares?
There are millions of couples who have separate bedrooms and even separate homes — let’s not shame them
Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a scathing look at Donald Trump, was published this week, and while there are many shocking and horrific revelations in Michael Wolff’s book, here’s that shouldn’t be: Trump and his wife, Melania, have separate bedrooms.
It’s 2018, a time when people have more choice in the way they live and the way they navigate their romantic relationships than ever before. So why do we judge those who actually act on those choices and create a life that suits their values and goals?
The Mirror, citing the book, calls the Trump marriage a “toxic trophy” marriage and says Trump will “never sleep with his wife.”
On his TV show, Stephen Colbert also made fun of the fact that the Trumps don’t sleep together — “the first first couple to do so since John and Jackie Kennedy,” according to Wolff — joking that, “Donald Trump has had just as much sex as JFK has had in the past year.”
I find it fascinating that people think that the only way a couple can and do have sex is if they share the same bedroom. I also am disappointed that so many people still have such a narrow view of what a marriage “should” look like.
As Jennifer Adams, author of Sleeping Apart Not Falling Apart, writes:
It’s only been since about the 1970s that Western culture has constructed the ideal that a happy couple sleep in the same bed. Prior to that single beds in the same room were the norm, and head back a few more decades and centuries and communal sleeping was the norm for most of us. It was only the rich and the royal who had their own rooms — and they didn’t sleep with their partner! How common!
In England, one in six couples say they sleep in separate beds, typically because of snoring or differing bedtime habits, including Prince Charles and Camilla, according to the Telegraph.
And there are millions of married and unmarried couples who sleep in separate bedrooms because they don’t even live together. About a third of couples who aren’t married or cohabiting are in Live Apart Together (LAT) partnerships for a variety of reasons, including a desire for commitment and independence or because of the restraints of school or work, or a desire to be close to their adult children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of spouses whose partner is absent from the household has doubled to 3.6 million since 1991. Some are in so-called commuter marriages, couples separated geographically because of their professional careers.
And, yes, those couples who don’t sleep together have loving and committed relationships that do indeed include sex.
The Trumps even were a LAT couple briefly when Trump moved into the White House and Melania stayed in New York so their young son Barron could finish his school year.
Now, I can’t speak to the kind of sexual life the Trumps have, nor am I interested. But they are actually part of a much greater and growing trend of couples seeking to shape their romantic partnerships to fit their values and goals — no one else’s. Rather than shame and ridicule them, we might want to open our minds to the many romantic possibilities available to us rather than trying to squeeze into a one-size-fits all “traditional” model.