Cameron Diaz appeared on an episode of Molly Sims and Emese Gormley’s podcast, Lipstick on the Rim. Cameron, alongside Katherine Power, her business partner for her wine company, discussed healthy living and ideal living situations in marriage. At one point, Cameron suggested that we should all “normalize” sleeping in separate bedrooms.
“To me, I would literally, I have my house, you have yours. We have the family house in the middle. I will go and sleep in my room. You go sleep in your room. I’m fine,” she explained. “And we have the bedroom in the middle that we can convene in for our relations.”
As tempted as I am to suggest that we should probably focus on normalizing people being able to afford housing at all, in the name of not being a buzzkill during the holidays, it’s a tempting conversation to have that for the sake of this article, I suppose I can lean into. And considering my ever-evolving views on marriage and how it can be a disservice to women, highlighted in the very thing that prompted this conversation, which was one of the women revealing that her husband snores, let’s discuss it.
First, Cameron seems pretty open about having what the group vehemently declared a “controversial” take, saying that it’s something that she’s said in the past, before she married Benji Madden. But for the couples who aren’t so lucky or happy in love, the separate quarters thing really is a great suggestion, obviously when you can afford it.
Back in 2010, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton spoke to The Telegraph about their unique living arrangements.
"We just have two houses knocked together because mine was too small," she said. "We see as much of each other as any couple, but our relationship is enhanced by knowing we have our personal space to retreat to. Tim does snore, and that's an element. We've tried lots of remedies that don't work. He has a deviated septum and doesn't want an operation."
I mean, that’s one way to handle sleep disruption. It’s not to say it had some remarkable impact on their longevity, because they split up a few years after that interview, but I can totally see how not resenting your partner for being the reason you lose sleep might make the day-to-day of married life more pleasant.
Recently, Sheryl Lee Ralph announced that after nearly two decades of marriage, she and her husband, Vincent Hughes, would finally be moving in together.
"We see each other on the average of every two weeks," she told a reporter. "And everybody who questions that I say, guess what? We're still married!"
According to a relationship psychologist that spoke about Sheryl and Vince’s arrangement, there’s tons of benefits to living separately.
"There is a characteristic of those relationships that are more exciting and passionate," Lisa Marie Bobby said. "The time they do spend together does tend to be more intense and fun. There is more space in the marriage for people to pursue their own interests and have fuller, independent lives."
And speaking of fun, it brings me to Cameron’s point about having a bedroom in the middle that she and Benji could “convene” in for sex. Because she’s not the first to talk about it. In Paul Newman’s posthumous memoir, The Extraordinary Life of An Ordinary Man, he revealed that he and Joanne Woodward had a dedicated “f-ck hut”. He described leaving a “trail of lust” everywhere they went, which included public places. He wrote that one day, he came home and she had dedicated a room in their home strictly to pleasure.
“’I call it the F-ck Hut,’ she said proudly. It had been done with such affection and delight. Even if my kids came over, we’d go into the F-ck Hut several nights a week and just be intimate and noisy and ribald,” he wrote.
It seems that all of these couples, Cameron and Benji, Tim and Helena, Sheryl and Vincent, and Paul and Joanne are all saying the same thing – personal space is important, and that looks different for each couple. For Cameron, she simply doesn’t feel the need for it to the extent she may have described in the past. For Tim and Helena having personal quarters wasn’t enough to prevent them from separating. To the contrary, separate living may have been what kept Sheryl and Vincent together to this day, and enthralled by the idea of moving in together. And for Paul and Joanne, well, it wasn’t space from each other they were looking for. It was space from everyone else.
This is the kind of world that awaits you when money isn’t an object. You can choose between sleeping with or without your spouse, explore different treatments for snoring, live bi-coastally, and, in the case of Paul and Joanne, have literal dedicated “f-ck huts” in your home. So though real life might be a nightmare sometimes and I’m typically quick to call that out, if there’s any dream I’d like to escape to, it’s one in which I can have all of these things at my fingertips.
Attached: Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden out shopping in Santa Barbara on November 25, 2023.