Married to a snorer
Before marriage, I slept well every night. Since I’ve been married and my husband and I shared a home together for the first time, my sleep has suffered. The main culprit is my husband’s snoring.
When he snores at night, I wake up so often to poke him or tell him to change positions that we both wake up tired and resentful in the morning. At times, he has slept on the couch, but his own sleep suffered during those times, and I felt guilty. When we sleep together, I have to take sleeping pills just to be able to fall back to sleep. I spent last night on the couch myself just so I could catch some uninterrupted sleep.
The problem is that he gets sensitive about it when I bring it up, and he also is sad when I leave the room to go sleep elsewhere. It feels as if I have to either keep my mouth shut and suffer to avoid offending him or do what I need to do to sleep but risk having a sad husband on my hands. I just want us to have a “normal” marriage bed.
What do I do? I am tired all of the time.
— Losing Sleep
You’re not alone. Thirteen percent of couples who live together sleep in separate beds every night, and half of them do so because of snoring. I assume, seeing as you’re writing to me, that your husband has tried all the usual tips — breathing strips, propping his upper body and head up with pillows, sleeping on his side, etc. If that’s the case, his doctor should refer him to a sleep specialist. He may suffer from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
What is going on with customer service? Every time I go to my bank, which is not a lot, the teller wants to know the details of how I spent my weekend. Or if I cash a check, one teller asks me what I am going to spend the money on, saying, “Hopefully something good.” Now when I give them a check to be cashed, I stand 2 feet away from the window so the teller can’t ask me any questions. When I got my oil changed at my car dealership, the strange man working there asked me what my plans for the day were. Are they kidding? This is so intrusive! First, they don’t really care, and second, it’s none of their business. How can I possibly tell them this in a not-so-smart-alecky way? — J.W.
Yes, you are right that not everyone who asks how you’re doing or what your plans are actually cares what the answer is. But this type of person cares about at least trying to reach out and make you feel appreciated. In a world that is increasingly impersonal and digital, there’s a lot to be said for good old-fashioned face-to-face contact.
By no means are you obligated to have a heart-to-heart with every mechanic or bank teller, though. If you keep your replies short and sweet, they’ll get the message.
I assume, seeing as you’re writing to me, that your husband has tried all the usual tips — breathing strips, propping his upper body and head up with pillows, sleeping on his side, etc. If that’s the case, his doctor should refer him to a sleep specialist.