During my friend’s wedding ceremony in September, her pastor shared several words of wisdom for her and her husband as they embark on their marital journey and become one. Among the typical bits of advice, like putting God first and everyone else’s opinion about their marriage last, he advised: When people come over your house, make sure they stay in the living room. They don’t go in your bedroom, they don’t even go in your kitchen; guests stay in the common living area only.
I immediately laughed to myself and thought, “whoops!” I’d just visited my friend’s apartment for the first time a few week’s prior to the wedding and was all up and through their 2-bed, 2-bath condo, mostly because I hadn’t been there before and because the couple wanted to show off all of their DIY handywork with which I was thoroughly impressed. At no point did I feel like I violated the sacred marriage sanctuary, though I do know I wouldn’t have stepped a foot past the sofa had I not been invited to, because that’s just good manners. Funny enough, that same friend recently had two guests stay with her — a friend and a friend of that friend — and as her husband took the ladies on a tour of the home, the friend wandered into the bedroom when directed but the friend of the friend stood outside the door. That prompted my friend to ask if there was some unspoken rule about stepping into a couple’s bedroom. I looked at her and thought, I don’t know you’re the married one here, but I promised I’d do some digging to find out.
Turns out this is a pretty popular topic (Google it) and the general consensus among traditional and so-called liberal couples is the bedroom is private, i.e. for the married couple’s eyes only — possibly not even your kids’ but that’s an entirely different topic. Not surprisingly, a thread on an Islam Q&A site determined:
[T]he marital bedroom is particularly private; it is the wife’s chamber and private space, the innermost part of her house, where she takes off her clothes and is alone with her husband, which is something that she cannot do anywhere except in this place.
Those who walk around their apartments naked and get it in on the couch, kitchen table, and any other sturdy surface may more appreciate the thread on Apartmenttherapy.com, where the common perspective is the bedroom is off limits mostly because of clutter (move on, there’s nothing to see here) but if someone needs to be in the bedroom out of necessity (house tour, they have a small space and guests need to gather wherever they can) they don’t see the big deal.
It’s hard for me to think about this question because (1) I’m not married and (2) up until three years ago my bed was smack dab in the center of any living space I had (thank you New York City studio apartments). When I have guests now as a single woman, I give them my bed and take the couch so that they’ll be more comfortable but I imagine that will stop in the next few years as I’m getting too old for couches and people will just have to understand I don’t have room for overnight guests for too many days. If/when I jump the broom, I’m sure I’d let new visitors see my bedroom quarters, but as far as anyone making themselves comfortable where me and my husband lay our heads? I doubt it.
What’s your stance on entering a couple’s bedroom?