A match made in Heaven! My husband and I were best friends, and so in love when we got married. It seemed we were totally compatible. Of course, most couples subscribe to this theory pre-wedding.
After the vows were exchanged, our rift began small. It was simply that I would sleep lightly and he would snore lightly. True love seemed to prevail, though, and all I had to do was lightly touch his arm when he’d start to make the slightest noise. He would then immediately stop, and we would hold hands and drift back to sleep. Can you just feel the love?
Fast forward a few years, to a sleep-deprived household with two babies under the age of two and a mommy with a formidable case of post-partum depression. I was sleeping lighter than ever, and refused to do anything to block out noise because I was afraid I wouldn’t hear my babies. Realistically, the only thing that hadn’t gotten worse was my husband’s snoring. Yet, it was during this time that a few things occurred to me, as I lay there in the dark, listening to what I perceived to be a bomber plane landing beside the bed. First of all, sounds in the dark at night must be magnified at least one-hundred times their normal decibel level. Secondly, it was plausible to me that this man was staying awake all night, on purpose, making that noise just to irritate me. Thirdly, my dear husband might have been having some sort of airway blockage that possibly put his life in danger and I should, perhaps, go and get a kitchen utensil to unblock it for him.
Thankfully, we got through my outlandish, overtired, new-mom phase with our marriage and our love intact. But even then my once gentle attitude toward my groom seemed to have suffered a permanent blow. Despite his every attempt at nasal sprays and those little strips that stick to the nose and rip the skin off every morning, I was pre-programmed to react at the slightest noise my husband made in the night. My once gentle tap on the arm was replaced by a good shove. Or a punch, a kick, or trying to roll him off the side of the bed. My poor husband would wake up in the middle of what I thought was an argument with him, stunned and not knowing why I was so furious.
Down the road a few more years, I determined to make a change in the way I treated this wonderful man. I was spurred on by the fact that it did not look good for half of the couple that leads a study group for married couples to show up with bumps and bruises inflicted on him by his ‘better half’. While he was sleeping, no less! I planned to act in a more loving way toward my partner, even while sleeping.
So the next time he began to snore, I stopped myself before giving him a solid kick. Remembering my pledge to be a kinder, gentler wife, I softly nudged his shoulder.
I nudged harder. No reaction. Not even when I shook him hard. If I tried anything more, I’d be bordering on brutality. So I tried something else.
“Honey….. Honey! HONEY!” I’ve heard using endearing terms softens the blow. I was still trying to be gentle, even while whisper-yelling.
“What?” He finally answered, sitting up.
“Shhh…” I whispered softly, so proud of the patience I was able to muster!
He looked at me, slightly annoyed, and replied, “But I didn’t say anything!” as he rolled back over to sleep. Discussion over.
I lay there in the dark staring at the ceiling and listening to the sounds of his rhythmic snoring. I guess I was left with no other choice than to go down to the kitchen and get a fork to clean his airways.
I’m kidding, I promise. Take last summer when we renewed our wedding vows, for example. There was no clause inserted anywhere that mentioned snoring or being kicked in the shins. Now if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
~ This story is published in ‘Fireside Dreams’, and has received an Award of Excellence! Can you believe it? Do you feel sorry for my family NOW?