How my snoring nearly ruined my marriage 15



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I recently awoke to find my husband gone from my bed. It was an enormous turning point in our relationship: I’d driven him to the couch.

I am a snorer. A bad one. It’s taken me a long time to own up to it. I didn’t believe it when it was described to me as a “raspy, wet gargling noise” – a ridiculous exaggeration if there ever was one. To be honest, I never really took any of my husband’s complaints about it seriously. Surely it was only loud breathing at best.

Only when he made the effort to actually record it on his phone did I come around to his point of view: that it was every bit as terrifying as he described. I wasn’t hearing myself; I was hearing some huge wounded creature.

I was aghast. How had he been putting up with that for so many years? And how had I so casually brushed aside his complaints?

I realised he was not being paranoid. Every breath truly did sound as if it could be the last. All too often I would be in a peaceful slumber, leaving him lying awake, sick with the worry about what might happen if that strained breathing simply stopped. Even if the snoring subsided, the adrenaline of that panic could easily keep him awake another hour.

More and more often, he would begin the next day tireder; grumpier; more prone to error or frustration. I was robbing him of the sleep he needed to bring out his best. Meanwhile, I was so well-rested I just couldn’t relate to that morning grumpiness.

It’s no wonder that he finally finally made the call one night, somewhere around the 1am mark, to get out of bed and finish his night’s rest on the couch. It was there I found him the following morning, sleeping more peacefully than I’d seen him in years.

It was this point – realising he was better off away from me – that I realised that my snoring was actively getting in the way of an otherwise-happy marriage.

Until that point, I had felt helpless. It hardly seemed fair to be blamed for something I had no control over. But this marked a turning point: where I got to say “no more”; where my snoring became a problem we could work together to solve.

It’s early days yet, but so far, this change in attitude has made an enormous difference to us both.

We’re working our way through a list of increasingly elaborate external aids – the decongestants, the “snoring strips”, even anti-snoring caps. They work for some, but I haven’t had much luck.

It should be demoralising, but it feels like for every idea that doesn’t work, we’re taking a step closer to something that does. And each time, that step has a little more skip.

I’m working now on sleeping more on my side – hugging a pillow seems to help. I hear a tennis ball stitched into the pyjamas can help discourage rolling back onto your back, but I’d rather leave this to a last resort!

While an overnight hospital stay eased our fears of sleep apnea, my GP hasn’t ruled out using a dedicated breathing device. A month ago it would have seemed preposterous, but now I know the wellbeing of my best friend is at stake as well, I think I’m willing to try anything.

Has snoring affected your relationship? Was it your partner’s, or your own? What treatment has worked best for you?

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  1. We slept in seperate rooms for 20 yrs then l was diagnosed with sleep aponea and use a mask now and have moved back into same bed

  2. My husband lost 28 kilo. Ahh. Noooow we sleep together and I can rest too. At last he got it that it was his bad eating habits that cost us intimacy and connection through the night. It was distressing to lie beside him wondering if he wld have a heart attack. No more worrying. We love our sleep – especially now.

  3. Sounds like me, I ended up being diagnosed with sleep apnoea and now wear a Cpap mask and we’re all good again

  4. My husband had his sleep test many years ago. When he sleeps his jaw recedes and that cuts off his windpipe. They put a camera down his nose while he was asleep and that is how they saw what was happening. He now wears an orthodontic appliance every night. They made molds of his teeth and on the bottom mold they put 2 fangs (for want of a better word) like upside down vampires teeth. These ‘fangs’ hook over the upper teeth and stop his jaw from receding. Works a treat.

  5. Sleep in separate rooms. Is doesn’t mean you stopped loving each other, it’s just allows you to have a good night sleep.😃

  6. My husband had sleep apnoea and I’d lie awake waiting for him to breathe..In the end I used to tell him to turn over and he did ,in his sleep.

  7. You may like to go on line and check out a product called DUO CONFORT It is a simple membrane shaped so that you can put into your mouth. There is a small hole in the centre of it and its purpose is to force you to breath through your nose I have been using for a number of years and whilst, on occasion, perhaps too much red wine, can still make some snoring noises, it has been a marriage saver. Totally comfortable to use. Quite inexpensive – around $25. Recommend worth trying.

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