Melania Trump’s Perfect Marriage
No matter how you feel about Trump, many people wonder about his wife, Melania. Is she truly happy? Is she just waiting for the right moment to divorce? What did her “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” parka really mean? Does she really need to be rescued, as the #FreeMelania meme suggested? Mostly, why does she sleep apart from her husband?
Although their sleeping arrangement has been discussed before, it’s still among the “oddities” of their marriage according to a new, just-released unauthorized biography about the First Lady, “Free, Melania.”As reported in the New York Times, their presumably odd sleeping arrangement is among the top takeaways of the book:
While the president sleeps in the master bedroom on the second level of the White House residence — he requested a lock for his door — Mrs. Trump stays on the third floor, in the two-room space formerly occupied by Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, Bennett reports.
Is it all that odd to want to sleep apart from your partner?
There’s been much ado made about sleeping in separate beds or rooms from your romantic partner, unfortunately named a “sleep divorce.” While divorce is most often seen as a painful, unhappy thing (although not necessarily always), sleeping apart from your loved one is generally not a painful, unhappy thing because it’s most likely a (hopefully mutual) choice. And since none of us truly know the true relationship between the Trumps — or any couple, for that matter — their decision to sleep separately shouldn’t be an issue.
Still, it bothers people. So does the fact that the Trumps don’t spend a lot of time together.
But Melania has no problem with that. In fact, she seems to revel in it:
My life is very normal — for me. Maybe for some people they would not think that. But for me it is. I know my husband. We have a great relationship. We are both very independent. We know what our roles are and we are happy with them. I don’t think you need to be with your husband every minute of every day. Both people should do what their passion is and then get together in the mornings and evenings and share and experience life and have a great time.
A room of her own
I am no fan of the Trumps when it comes to their policies for this country. When it comes to their marriage? I agree with Melania — “I don’t think you need to be with your husband every minute of every day.”
No, you don’t.
What the First Lady has apparently done is given herself a room of her own — and what wife hasn’t craved that? As Jada Pinkett Smith recently said:
I knew that I was not built for conventional marriage. Even the word ‘wife’: it’s a golden cage, swallow the key. … I can assure you that some of the most powerful women in the world feel caged and tied, because of the sacrifices they have to make to be in that position.”
They certainly aren’t the first presidential couple to have separate beds or bedrooms. But even if they were, why would that bother anyone?
And that’s the bigger issue. Even now, when more people are living together or living apart in committed relationships, somehow we still think that once you get married, it needs to look a certain way — you live together, sleep together, do everything together.
Sleep together, sleep apart, live together, live apart. These are decisions couples — married or not — should make together based on their needs and goals, not what others think. And to criticize someone’s marriage because it doesn’t look like we expect it to look like, or to consider it unhappy because it doesn’t fit our expectations just perpetuates the idea that all relationships and marriages should look and be a certain way.
Is that what we truly want?
There may be signs of marital trouble between the Trumps by certain actions — like Melania’s much-repeated refusal to hold her husband’s hand — but living independently and sleeping apart from a spouse should never be interpreted as something “bad” for a marriage.
Sometimes, that’s exactly what makes the marriage work.
Want to create space in your marriage? (Of course you do!) Read The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press). You can support your local indie bookstore (please do) or order it on Amazon. And we’re now on Audible.