Dear Dr. Love,I am certain that my problem is not uncommon. My husband snores loudly and probably has sleep apnea. I have been the one who has wore the ear plugs, ear phones etc. in order to try to Sleep with him. he HAS done nothing and acts as if the problem doesn’t exist.I am now sleeping on the couch which I don’t mind because I need my sleep. He thinks that I am wrong not to sleep with him but I don’t feel my rest should be deprived nor do I need the ear infection and tinnitis that I now have from trying to put up with the snoring. He can sex at any time. Who is wrong or what can be done? THANK YOU!!!
Your problem isn’t just the snoring. It’s the fact that your husband doesn’t seem to give a crap about how his snoring effects you.I notice that you said he ‘can sex at any time. ‘I think you mean he wants sex all the time. And, if I read you correctly, you feel invaded by his sexual demands as well. So, without realizing it, you may be using the snoring as an ‘excuse’ to keep your distance, hoping that he will approach you less often for sex.I think the real issue here is that you are feeling walked on. And, I think you need to find a way to help your husband understand the effect he’s having on you. From your letter, it isn’t clear whether his refusal to admit that he snores is because it would wound his pride to admit that he has physical frailties. Or, is your husband equally unwilling to accept responsibility for upsetting you in other areas of your relationship as well, such as in the sexual arena. If he is unresponsive in all areas, then you will probably need professional help to get past this impasse.If you decide to work on your own at helping him be more considerate, here’s how to begin: You can ask him, ‘How do you think I feel when I point out that I can’t sleep with the snoring and nothing is done about it?’ (Notice I avoided the word ‘you.’) The ‘How do you think I feel’ technique is good because it helps your mate realize the effect his behavior is having upon you.After you ask the question, two things may happen: 1) He may say that he doesn’t care how you feel. If he says this, then you do not have a working relationship. And, you will need to go to marriage counseling right away. If he refuses to go, then seek help yourself; or 2) He may counterblame and say, ‘You don’t care how I feel when you sleep on the couch.’ At which point, you can either: tell him you will address his feelings after you’ve finished your discussion about your issue; or, if you sense that he can’t tolerate the wait, then discuss and understand his feelings first.This is annoying, but understanding his feelings will demonstrate how to listen and understand you. Read through my Dr. Love’s 10 Tips for additional advice on how you can teach him to listen and understand your feelings. Good luck. If you’re still stuck, please write to me again.