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Arctic Mama

Blankies or other comfort objects and marriage?

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I'm trying to picture the relationship where someone has to get rid of stuff they liked before they got married.

 

But only stuff they liked a real whole lot!

 

(I'm also truly giggling thinking about all the stuff from childhood I didn't truck into the room I have relations. Like my Atari, or this poster: http://alexhalliburton.com/essay_writing/buwinlro/imgs5347870.jpg

 

It could be so much worse.)

That poster would be bad!

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That's kind of how I see it too. And I know some people who are horrified by this. But again, massive hypocrite here, because I did it, myself! It seems to me like part of growing up is transferring emotional comfort to the person you're sharing a bed and life with and not an object, like that is some critical rite of passage for marriage.

 

I have no idea where I got the idea from though?

As if remaining attached to a comfort object were a form of emotional adultery?

 

Frankly, to me "spouse needs to take the place of childhood lovey" sounds weirder. A comfort object is an object; it can carry for me whatever meaning I imbue it with. A person is...a person. I see no similarities.

 

I don't see why having a comfort object would somehow interfere in my adult relationship with my spouse anymore than it would interfere in the childhood relationship between child and parent or between siblings.

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That poster would be bad!

You mean bad in the 80's sense.

 

Ie, good!

 

~~~>>CAUSE THE HEART DONT LIE you can live your alibi, but there's one thing you can't hide, I know; I've tried [the sweet Reba poster that came with her autobiography that you memorized] la-la<<~~~

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As if remaining attached to a comfort object were a form of emotional adultery?

 

Frankly, to me "spouse needs to take the place of childhood lovey" sounds weirder. A comfort object is an object; it can carry for me whatever meaning I imbue it with. A person is...a person. I see no similarities.

 

I don't see why having a comfort object would somehow interfere in my adult relationship with my spouse anymore than it would interfere in the childhood relationship between child and parent or between siblings.

If I told dh he took the place of a blanket he'd be like, "what.... have you been doing with that blanket?....."

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It's time I out myself. I sleep with my baby blanket.

 

AND it's not just for physical comfort. Yes, I drape it over my shoulders if they are cold, or wrap it around my cold toes, or ball it up in my arms. But it's also emotional comfort. Whenever I have a good cry, my blanket is with me. If I am sick or really having a hard time, I will curl up with it. I can and do leave my blanket sometimes. But just recently, when we stayed at a hotel for a homeschool convention, I anticipated trouble sleeping, and brought it along. My husband probably thinks I'm weird, but he does not care.

 

And yes, I was teased as a kid. Told my future husband would be jealous. Was told I needed to grow up. My uncle took it from me (and my younger sister's baby blanket too) shortly after my mother's death. He was trying to "help" us. But my dad got the blankets back about a year later. Blankie and I won't be parted again. ;)

 

Honestly, what is the harm? If something brings someone comfort, why not? My husband and I both saved childhood books that gave us comfort, and we didn't have to throw those away to have sex. I also did not have to throw away my comfortable pajamas. Some people have different ideas about marriage, and sex, than I do.

 

Eta: Ask any lovey questions you have. I will be happy to answer.

 

It comes down to some extent what it represents, doesn't it? For you, it sounds as if the blanket was comfort when you could not get comforted any longer by your mother. I am glad your Dad got your blankets back! And it continues to comfort you today.

 

Edited by Liz CA
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That's kind of how I see it too. And I know some people who are horrified by this. But again, massive hypocrite here, because I did it, myself! It seems to me like part of growing up is transferring emotional comfort to the person you're sharing a bed and life with and not an object, like that is some critical rite of passage for marriage.

 

I have no idea where I got the idea from though?

If a lovey is helping the person self-soothe, foisting that burden on another person when they've already solved their own issue seems off to me. What does the person do if the partner travels or dies or runs off into the night? If the lovey is somehow inhibiting the person's daily life (need to suck thumb and hold a blankie at work won't fly), that would be a red flag. But that is a problem that would need to be addressed by the person for his/her own mental health. I don't see a night lovey as that type of problem. People tend to have weird habits about sleep. Rituals they need. I arrange my pillows just so. I like a particular kind of sheet. Familiar things are good for sleep. :)

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What is that verse from the Bible? "Therefor shall a man leave his blankie and his lovey and shall cleave unto his wife" or something like that?

 

:D

 

No disrespect intended towards the Bible; the amended verse just seemed to fit this conversation...

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Childhood comfort habits are rarely creepy, although I could imagine a few exceptions. Like I sleep with a rag. An off white with a green stripe down the middle commercial cleaning rag. My parents owned an ice cream shop when I was a baby and the rags doubled as burp cloths and I wound up liking the texture. As an adult it hangs out in my pillow case and I rub my fingers on it as I fall asleep. My dh apparently thinks it's cute. He sleeps with a very tattered panda bear. He also kindly informed me not too long after we got together that I sometimes unconsciously suck my thumb if I'm deeply asleep, especially if I'm sick. He still married me knowing this so I guess it's not too creepy.

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A couple of years ago, I found MarkiePoohBear in my storage from way back. That was my bear from childhood. I put my bear in the bookcase-cubby in my headboard above my head. My dh smiled because He remembers my bear from childhood. (I knew dh when we were children.)

 

My dd will definitely be the type to have her night-nights (blankies) on her honeymoon.  :lol:

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As if remaining attached to a comfort object were a form of emotional adultery?

Frankly, to me "spouse needs to take the place of childhood lovey" sounds weirder. A comfort object is an object; it can carry for me whatever meaning I imbue it with. A person is...a person. I see no similarities.

I don't see why having a comfort object would somehow interfere in my adult relationship with my spouse anymore than it would interfere in the childhood relationship between child and parent or between siblings.

I'm with you on this one, maize.

 

I find it odd that anyone would attach so much significance to whether or not a spouse has a teddy bear (or whatever.) It has no impact at all on the marital relationship.

 

Maybe if a person has no sentimental attachment to any of their possessions, they can't understand why someone else does.

 

I don't expect my dh to take the place of a teddy bear, and I don't expect the teddy bear to take the place of my dh. One is a human being and the other is a sentimental and comforting object. They are totally different from each other.

 

My dh doesn't have any comforting blankies or toys, but if he did, it wouldn't have anything to do with his feelings for me.

 

Maybe I'm missing the OP's point. :confused:

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I sleep with several stuffed animals around me at night. I've always loved stuffed animals. In photos of me as a child I was usually toting a stuffed animal around. It's never even crossed my mind that it would be "weird" as an adult. It helps me sleep. And they do travel with me. My DH has never said a word about it. It has nothing to do with our marriage and everything to do with sleeping well.

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As if remaining attached to a comfort object were a form of emotional adultery?

 

Frankly, to me "spouse needs to take the place of childhood lovey" sounds weirder. A comfort object is an object; it can carry for me whatever meaning I imbue it with. A person is...a person. I see no similarities.

 

I don't see why having a comfort object would somehow interfere in my adult relationship with my spouse anymore than it would interfere in the childhood relationship between child and parent or between siblings.

 

LOL

 

I'm probably not supposed to laugh but....

 

 

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I'd chalk this up to different strokes for different folks.  I think it's ok it bothers some and not others.  Which is why we hopefully marry/live with the people we mostly get along with.

 

 

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In the realm of dealing with emotional needs/support, this is TAME.  There are certainly way worse ways.  You know, like drinking too much, eating too much, doing drugs, cheating on spouses, being a general difficult ass. 

 

 

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"actively used out and about" would seem a bit strange, but in bed with them would IMO be extremely strange. 

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I slept with my blanket until I got married. Then I had dh, and I didnt need it. That is sort of weird, but it really did work like that.

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My dh's mom gave me his childhood blankie.  It's a bit nasty, and too small to use as a blanket, so it lives in the linen closet.

 

I don't mind the idea, in theory, of using an object like a stuffy, or a useful sized blanket, in the bed, if it's practical or even nostalgic, or just a habit.  I have some things from when I was a kid - though stuffies now belong to my kids.

 

I might think it odd though if an adult still seemed to treat the object as an emotional crutch the way they are for small kids that are really attached to them. 

 

 

 

Edited by Bluegoat

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I am so sorry. This must be very hard.

 

Scheduling a wedding for right after a divorce is supposed to be final is a terrible idea. Terrible. Divorces get delayed for many reasons. It happens all the time.

 

I also want to say that, as someone who's married a widower, I am shocked by how some posters are so sure that every second wife is a greedy and insensitive.

 

But my heart goes out to you, because this is happening so fast and your grief over your mother' death must still be very raw. I can't imagine what it must be like.

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I just had to tell ya'll I found Shaun the Sheep in my bed last night.  :lol:  I had visited this thread right before going to bed, so I found it quite funny. We had bought a stuffed Shaun for dd after we had watched the episodes and movie a while back. She is always taking stuffed animals and art supplies into my room. It usually drives me batty, but last night I just found it funny.  I don't think the three cats liked having competition in the bed though. :tongue_smilie:

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Whoops, I think you meant to post this in another thread. (It's happened to me before, too!)

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I might think it odd though if an adult still seemed to treat the object as an emotional crutch the way they are for small kids that are really attached to them. 

 

If I came across an adult that feels for anything or anyone what my young son feels for his blankie, I would assume they need intensive therapy, and I'm not being flip. He loves that thing with an intensity I do not comprehend (but think is adorable, doubly so because I sewed it by hand for him before I met him  <3 ) 

 

--------------

 

AM, you did start a thread about a harmless habit/thing some people own/ have and said it was creepy and weird. And the only explanation is "I vaguely feel like women with husbands shouldn't need loveys, and I don't know why."

 

I finally tossed it because it seemed utterly juvenile to me and I think he secretly cheered :o I was also like 20 and it was the only thing I kept from my childhood home though.

 

 

See, i think this is really, profoundly sad. IIRC, your parents are divorced? Even if not...mine split up forever/ever when I was a young adult and now almost everything *we* had, together, and almost everything *I* had from childhood is just poof! gone. Clearly, the dissolved and dysfunctional relationship is the saddest part of this, but the rest of it isn't the cheeriest spot on my timeline, either.

 

If DH had had even remote interest in disappearing the pieces of me (physical or emotional) I brought to the table, he probably wouldn't be DH right now TBH. I didn't begin again and become someone new when I got married, we were whole people who started with intention down the same road together.

 

Anyway I have no skin in this game, but no one who dislikes/disapproves of someone's childhood thing hanging around has given a cogent explanation as to what's bothersome about it. Meanwhile, I suspect they may be hurting feelings for literally no reason whatsoever.

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 I don't think the three cats liked having competition in the bed though. :tongue_smilie:

 

Hold up!

 

Did you have those cats when you were a virgin? Cause if so, prit-tee weird that you have them still when you're not, right?

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an adult keeping their lovie in BED with them indicates ongoing anxiety that they feel they need it. time to give it a place of honor on a shelf.

in bed with them *after* they're married... I would hope they're getting treatment for anxiety.

 

if I  was the other spouse - if would feel put off.

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Red flag indicative of what?

 

Hey, my multiquote works again!

 

Emotional immaturity and an inability to be an adult. Quite a few of the boyfriends I had never acted like adults.  One of them in particular still had an old teddy bear on the bed.  He also referred to himself as, "kids like us," in conversation when he was 30.  He moved back home, he played hours of video games daily, his mother did his laundry. He was Italian and his family acted as if "kids" living at home, even after marriage, was normal.  I never figured any of this out until he moved back home after we'd been dating more than a year and were discussing marriage.  He made good money in a tech career, but had no desire to be launched. Why would he, when his mother cooked, cleaned, and ran errands for him.  There was no room there for me.  The bear was only a symptom.

 

ETA:  He's still single.  Can't seem to be in a relationship for longer than 6 months, if Facebook is any indication.

Edited by Katy
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an adult keeping their lovie in BED with them indicates ongoing anxiety that they feel they need it. [snip]

 

in bed with them *after* they're married... I would hope they're getting treatment for anxiety.

 

if I  was the other spouse - if would feel put off.

 

This makes even less sense to me.

 

 

Why is treatment OK but self-soothing with  blanket is bad?

 

And what does being married have to do with anxiety treatment needs?

 

And why would you feel put off if you thought your spouse needed treatment for anxiety?

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This makes even less sense to me.

 

 

Why is treatment OK but self-soothing with blanket is bad?

 

And what does being married have to do with anxiety treatment needs?

 

And why would you feel put off if you thought your spouse needed treatment for anxiety?

And since learning how to self soothe is often a treatment goal for coping with anxiety, how is having and using an effective self soothing mechanism a negative?

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This falls into the "none of my business " category for me. If it was my spouse it would still be none of my business. We all get to be ourselves.

 

It's not an issue for me personally but I don't see why it would be a big deal.

 

My own special stuffie was stolen from me in boarding school when I was 11 and ruined in a way that it could not salvaged.

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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To me, I think what people are thinking is - why do small kids have lovies?  And if it no longer fills that role, is it still a lovie?  I actually wouldn't think of it as one unless that element of purpose was still there.

 

To me, they have them when they are little as a sort of transference object.  They are scared to sleep alone, or they need comfort but no person is available.

 

Eventually, if an older kid was still having those needs, I'd see it as a problem.  Not necessarily a serious one, but those abilities should be maturing over time.

 

Lots of kids do still keep those things longer - sometimes in fodness, but also there can be a habit of sleeping a particular way, that kind of thing.  Just like a bedtime routine is a habit, or setting up your toilitries when you travel.  They create a sense that you are in your space.

 

But we do expect that adults can cope without these things, deal with change, and see them for what they are.  Many  kids at some point will lose a luvie, or it wears out, and they have to face that difference between its earlier role and the habit role.  Many others just eventually leave it behind.

 

I guess, with an adult, we assume that really, especially if they are married, they have a spouse for companionship and comfort.  And they should beyond personification of a blanket. 

 

So - if it is in bed from old habit and fondness, I think that is fine, but if the partner doesn't like it (it's ichy in bed or takes up room), I would also think it shouldn't be a big deal.

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I think if my 50+ year old father of five dh still needed his baby blanket or baby Casper doll to cuddle with at night in order to sleep, it would seem very odd!

 

Some of you have shared some very sweet and poignant stories of why you sleep with childhood toys/blankets though, and that seems different.

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That just means you fall in the 'not creeped out' category on this one ;)

I guess I just can't figure out why you would be "creeped out" by it. It seems like a strong feeling toward something that seems relatively minor.

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My own special stuffie was stolen from me in boarding school when I was 11 and ruined in a way that it could not salvaged.

 

I am so sorry!  :(

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I'm more bothered by the rigidity of some who rush to judgment. That is a character thing. Having a beloved object from your childhood is not.

:iagree:

 

I also think some people are thinking that these items were always originally intended to help a kid who was afraid of the dark or of being alone, but for many people, I don't think that's the case at all.

 

Often, I think it was just a favorite toy or blanket they've had since they were babies or young children and they still want to keep it near them. They have a sentimental attachment to it because they've always had it, not because they can never sleep without it or they need to have it with them constantly or else they'll never be able to relax.

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This makes even less sense to me.

 

 

Why is treatment OK but self-soothing with blanket is bad?

 

And what does being married have to do with anxiety treatment needs?

 

And why would you feel put off if you thought your spouse needed treatment for anxiety?

I have no issue with anxiety tx.

 

I would have an issue with a *thing* in my bed. They take space, space that would be between me and my spouse. Space that reduces available sleep space for a person.

 

In my social circle, we don't live together sans marriage, so single doesn't impact another.

I have an adult child whose lovey is in their room. Said child has dealt with severe anxiety. It's better to actually tx the anxiety in an adult. It affects other areas besides sleep.

 

It's bad enough when kids crawl in bed. And sleep sideways.

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*steps up to the mic*

 

I sleep with a teddy bear.

 

*waddles back to my seat*

 

Even ducks sleep with teddy bears!  :laugh:

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an adult keeping their lovie in BED with them indicates ongoing anxiety that they feel they need it. time to give it a place of honor on a shelf.

in bed with them *after* they're married... I would hope they're getting treatment for anxiety.

 

if I  was the other spouse - if would feel put off.

 

How would you really know that?  Maybe it is just a habit.  Or maybe they like stuffed animals.  I mean you never really know.  One of mine adores stuffed animals.  Should I assume he has an anxiety issue? 

 

I actually DO suffer from a lot of anxiety and yet I have never had a lovie or blankie. Neither of those things do crap for my anxiety.

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I'm more bothered by the rigidity of some who rush to judgment.  That is a character thing.  Having a beloved object from your childhood is not. 

 

speaking of . . .

 

 

:iagree:

 

I also think some people are thinking that these items were always originally intended to help a kid who was afraid of the dark or of being alone, but for many people, I don't think that's the case at all.

 

Often, I think it was just a favorite toy or blanket they've had since they were babies or young children and they still want to keep it near them. They have a sentimental attachment to it because they've always had it, not because they can never sleep without it or they need to have it with them constantly or else they'll never be able to relax.

 

there IS a difference.   please remember, I'm speaking from experience with an adult child here. 

 

all my kids had luvies (I have four adults) only one *had* to have it or would freak out as an adult.  that's a problem.

 

someone with a very sentimental attachment can sleep without the item firmly in their grasp.

 

I have one with sentimental attachments to luvies. they're displayed, and sleeps fine without holding them.

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If I came across an adult that feels for anything or anyone what my young son feels for his blankie, I would assume they need intensive therapy, and I'm not being flip. He loves that thing with an intensity I do not comprehend (but think is adorable, doubly so because I sewed it by hand for him before I met him <3 )

 

--------------

 

AM, you did start a thread about a harmless habit/thing some people own/ have and said it was creepy and weird. And the only explanation is "I vaguely feel like women with husbands shouldn't need loveys, and I don't know why."

 

 

See, i think this is really, profoundly sad. IIRC, your parents are divorced? Even if not...mine split up forever/ever when I was a young adult and now almost everything *we* had, together, and almost everything *I* had from childhood is just poof! gone. Clearly, the dissolved and dysfunctional relationship is the saddest part of this, but the rest of it isn't the cheeriest spot on my timeline, either.

 

If DH had had even remote interest in disappearing the pieces of me (physical or emotional) I brought to the table, he probably wouldn't be DH right now TBH. I didn't begin again and become someone new when I got married, we were whole people who started with intention down the same road together.

 

Anyway I have no skin in this game, but no one who dislikes/disapproves of someone's childhood thing hanging around has given a cogent explanation as to what's bothersome about it. Meanwhile, I suspect they may be hurting feelings for literally no reason whatsoever.

Yes, parents are split and I got kicked out and most of my stuff didn't come with me. Interestingly I didn't start the thread about my own situation but then I remembered that I had actually experienced it myself. How someone forgets that I'll never know but it wasn't until I typed it out that I was like "heeeeey, didn't I keep my blankie for awhile!?".

 

It's interesting to me that so many people don't find it strange - I'd have guessed more people would have been a little put off by the idea. But I don't really take it personally (duh since I forgot it even happened, it's been years!) and for the record my husband wasn't vocal about it or pressuring me, but I he made a comment or two right after we got hitched and then was very surprised when I tossed it myself. I was ready to when I did though. But I needed it the first few years until I had a stable house of my own that I felt comfortable in. I suppose that is a little sad in and of itself but that's where it is. When I was personally secure again the need for the object and memories dissipated.

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To me, I think what people are thinking is - why do small kids have lovies? And if it no longer fills that role, is it still a lovie? I actually wouldn't think of it as one unless that element of purpose was still there.

 

To me, they have them when they are little as a sort of transference object. They are scared to sleep alone, or they need comfort but no person is available.

 

Eventually, if an older kid was still having those needs, I'd see it as a problem. Not necessarily a serious one, but those abilities should be maturing over time.

 

Lots of kids do still keep those things longer - sometimes in fodness, but also there can be a habit of sleeping a particular way, that kind of thing. Just like a bedtime routine is a habit, or setting up your toilitries when you travel. They create a sense that you are in your space.

 

But we do expect that adults can cope without these things, deal with change, and see them for what they are. Many kids at some point will lose a luvie, or it wears out, and they have to face that difference between its earlier role and the habit role. Many others just eventually leave it behind.

 

I guess, with an adult, we assume that really, especially if they are married, they have a spouse for companionship and comfort. And they should beyond personification of a blanket.

 

So - if it is in bed from old habit and fondness, I think that is fine, but if the partner doesn't like it (it's ichy in bed or takes up room), I would also think it shouldn't be a big deal.

 

That's exactly what I was struggling to put into words and you did it perfectly.

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an adult keeping their lovie in BED with them indicates ongoing anxiety that they feel they need it. time to give it a place of honor on a shelf.

in bed with them *after* they're married... I would hope they're getting treatment for anxiety.

 

if I was the other spouse - if would feel put off.

Or maybe, they woke one midnight with a funny crick in their neck and figured out the stuffie was exactly the right size and squishability to enable a comfy sleeping position. Maybe the only anxiety involved was the need to make an 8am meeting and being afraid to miss it due to said crick. Maybe. Edited by Seasider
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I had a stuffed animal given to me in my twenties by an ex that I became very attached to. Like went out and bought another one to have just in case attached to. I slept with it. I traveled with it. I processed childhood trauma with it. And as my new relationship with my husband developed, my need for the animal waned. I finally had the secure attachment I needed. I still have the animal, I think it's in my toddler's room somewhere. I figure it deserved a pleasant retirement with other toys. It's just a stuffed animal now, it doesn't have the same emotional sway it once had.

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Or maybe, they woke one midnight with a funny crick in their neck and figured out the stuffie was exactly the right size and squishability to allow enable a comfy sleeping position. Maybe the only anxiety involved was the need to make an 8am meeting and being afraid to miss it due to said crick. Maybe.

Overly specific example time? ;)

 

See that sort of thing doesn't bother me at all. The physical comfort seems benign, but the emotional support gives me pause. And no, I have no idea why specifically. It just does, like someone chewing on a wooden spoon or putting toilet paper on the wrong way.

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Overly specific example time? ;)

 

See that sort of thing doesn't bother me at all. The physical comfort seems benign, but the emotional support gives me pause. And no, I have no idea why specifically. It just does, like someone chewing on a wooden spoon or putting toilet paper on the wrong way.

lol yeah 😆 It's actually not even my own stuffie, but since our mattress isn't the best, and the stuffie has turned out to be a wonderfully comfortable pillow, in my bed it will stay.

 

As for your OP, I really have thought about it and can't say that I have any feelings strong enough to offer an opinion either way. Probably because I've never had reason to. Our kids all have special lovies but the young adults have moved on successfully and been content to leave said lovies into their rooms at home.

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I'm in the no-big-deal camp.   I have both my first teddy bear (in storage) and a special bear I was given when I had to spend 3 weeks in the hospital when I was 9 (sitting on a shelf, I can see it from where I'm sitting).  

 

My son sleeps with a few dozen stuffed animals on his bed.   My oldest still has her baby blanket, brought it to college, used to bring it when we'd travel for dance but I don't know if she still does that.

 

Why only after marriage is it "creepy"?  Is it then okay for a 40 year old single person?   

 

If I was more comfortable sleeping holding something, I don't think it would matter if it was a stuffed animal that I had for years or a pillow I went out and brought for the purpose.   Dh and I don't sleep holding each other all night long so it's not like this object would be taking his place.

 

I also think that if someone is using a comfort object at night to help them deal with anxiety than there's nothing wrong with that.  If it's working for them and allowing them to get through their day, what's the problem?  They should take medications with a million side effects instead?  Why?  It's like the difference between using a heating pad or using opiods for cramps.  If the heating pad works, why take the meds?

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