Listen, marriage is work. And everyone's marriage looks and functions differently. So while it may seem like the days of husband and wife sleeping in different beds are gone, that isn't exactly the case. In fact, the Trumps sleep in different bedrooms, and while that might not seem like a huge deal, it turns out that it's actually pretty historic. Sure, it may never be taught in history books, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Now, for those of you who closely follow the presidential drama and all that it entails, this news might not come as a surprise to you. Heck, it might not even be "news" to you. Considering that Donald and Melania Trump's sleeping habits were revealed in the Michael Wolff book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, according to Newsweek, this might not seem that exciting. But, Annette Dunlap, who studies First Ladies and even wrote an autobiography on Grover Cleveland's wife, spoke to People about these recent revelations and claims that they're actually pretty historic.
In fact, according to Dunlap, the last time a president and his wife slept in separate bedrooms was when Nixon was in office, from 1969 to 1974. So, the Trumps are certainly unique in their decision to sleep away from each other.
Back in the good old days, Dunlap explained to People that couples slept in separate beds or bedrooms for a lot of reasons and that it was pretty standard:
It was kind of a European thing. The idea of sleeping in the same bed together in the late 19th century and into the early 20th century was a symbol of poverty because you couldn’t afford your own bed or your own bedroom.
So a while ago, a husband and wife sleeping away from each other wasn't that uncommon. Now, though, it's a lot more unusual. Another expert on First Ladies, Kate Andersen Brower, also spoke to People and told the magazine that the Trump's decision not to sleep together could, in fact, be telling of something more.
Per People, Brower said,
Even when the Kennedys stayed in separate bedrooms, there were great stories about Jackie Kennedy running into her husband’s bedroom or him back to her bedroom. I think it’s pretty unusual now to have a separate room from your husband. I think that speaks volumes [about the Trumps].
Now, that isn't to say that there's something inherently wrong with the Trumps' marriage, but their sleeping arrangements are certainly a point of interest. After all, while it might not be the responsibility of American presidents and their spouses to serve as excellent relationship examples for the rest of the country, it does help keep the public at ease to know that the president and the First Lady are on good terms.
A recent profile of the First Lady's life in The Washington Post revealed that Trump doesn't feel the pressure from the public to put on a front about her relationship. "She is a dignified, private person, and she'll deal with her personal life in private and it’s no one's business," Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a friend of the First Lady, said in the publication. "They are not that couple that holds hands just because; she is old-world European and it's not who she is."
Additionally, though, having separate bedrooms might not be as big of a deal as some people have made it out to be. Per The Washington Post, the First Lady spends much of her time caring after the couples' 12-year-old son, Barron, and working on figuring out her own role in the White House.
The Trumps might not sleep together, but they certainly aren't special for doing so. But they are the first couple in the White House to do so in a while.