Who's been sleeping in Mommy's bed?
DEAR AMY: About 10 months ago I started sleeping in the guest room because any little movements or sounds wake me at night. I was suffering from fatigue and depression and now my health has improved. My 10-year-old daughter has now moved in on my old spot next to my husband. I find her asleep in bed with him every morning. It was really cute at first seeing her cuddled up to him with his arm around her. Now she expects to sleep there, and she brings her books in at night and they read together. Even though I know this is an innocent arrangement, I told my husband she is too old now to sleep with him. He told her she now has to sleep in her own room. We told her we would rearrange her room however she wants to be comfortable. Well, she cried, and dad caved in and told her she could sleep with him on weekends. Amy, I don't think they should be sleeping together at all. I would like my bed available for conjugal visits. I am not sure how to handle this situation, since my husband and daughter are not cooperating with me. --Rested but Concerned
DEAR RESTED: The obvious answer is that if you want your daughter to stop sleeping in your marital bed, you will have to sleep there -- at least at the beginning of the night (you could enjoy family story time together and then escort her to her room). Having two beds (or two separate mattresses) in the room might help you stay with him and still get a decent night's sleep.
It's likely that your husband is resentful that you have left the marriage bed. His caving to a 10-year-old's demand is sending a little message to you -- and he is using her normal desire for closeness to punish you (just a little) for leaving.
You and he are not demonstrating optimal parenting because you are unwilling to try other solutions. Do not blame your daughter. She is doing what kids do best -- leaping into a noticeable void to have her own emotional needs met.