Snoring and the Marital Bed – It Can Ruin a Marriage

You go to bed. And then you are awoken, or unable to sleep because the person next to you is snoring. So you nudge. And you kick. You might even pinch their nose closed for a few minutes to try and shake them out of their snoring fit. For a moment, it subsides and as sleep begins to find you, you are awoken again. Living with someone who snores can be an annoying thing. But when it comes to snoring and the marital bed, there is a massive link that shows it can be harmful, if not deadly to your marriage. Why? Because most people are forced to simply move to another place to sleep. And night after night, week and month and year after week and month and year the couple starts to detach and intimacy flails between the couple.

A study at The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center conducted a scientific study to evaluate how a snoring husband can affect marital satisfaction. They found that couples where one partner suffers with sleep apnea or snoring issues, have a much higher divorce rate than those that do not. The Married Couples Sleep Study found that married couples in this situation have a high rate of marital dissatisfaction and a reduced quality of life. Blame it on the lack of sleep and the stress that ensues, or the lack of intimacy that results from couples not sleeping together. Truth is that people with snoring issues, and those that live with them often find themselves angry and resentful toward one another.

Unfortunately, many couples believe that a snoring issue is similar to a health issue, and one that they don’t have control over. So while they complain, they perceive it as a condition of marriage. But is this a condition that a couple can live with happily? Experts and studies seem to say NO!

Another problem is that sleep apnea and snoring issues, are often related to manageable health problems. They are often attributed to being overweight, drinking too much, or even tobacco addictions. There are of course, hundreds of other health issues that can result in a snoring. But since many of them are preventable issues, the couple often has an underlying sense of resentment and anger about the snoring. The non snoring partner may wonder why their spouse cannot just lose weight, or quit drinking. After all, if it results in snoring that is disrupting the marital bed, it should be important to them.

And, the snoring becomes an underlying stress inducer in the marriage. Often the person who snores, also feels helpless to controlling the snoring in any capacity, so they don’t recognize the importance and significance of the problem that their snoring causes for their spouse.

According to statistics around 40% of adults over the age of 30 snores. The problems associated with snoring, especially as they pertain to marriage are likely massive and yet understated because people feel so helpless about the issue. In the end, it comes down to one thing for couples. Finding a way to get good nights sleep that leaves them rested. And more often than not, after trying ear plugs and sleepless nights nudging their partner the solution is to find another, quieter place to sleep.

So what can be done about the snoring problem?

The first thing to realize is that snoring, regardless of the causes CAN BE a health issue. If your spouse snores, they probably don’t know it, but should see a doctor and sign up to have a sleep study done. They also should try to lose weight and follow some of the more organic advice about learning how to snore less. In other words, trying to use night strips on their nose, taking medications, changing their sleep positioning and avoiding certain foods that can lead to snoring should be a first line of defense. In more than half of all the adults that snore excessively at night, sleep apnea, a dangerous sleep disorder, is diagnosed during a sleep study. Most often, patients are given masks to help them sleep at night that provide them with an oxygen supply.

Additionally, couples should do everything in their power to AVOID coming to the often unspoken solution of sleeping separately. Use ear plugs, or utilize devices that will provide background noise so that the snoring will be drowned out. These efforts can prove enough for many couples, but don’t work for all. And, psychologists also believe that couples should see the snoring issue as one that can be solved, and shouldn’t ignore the detrimental affects snoring has on both the health of the couple and the health of the relationship.

The Couples Sleep Study at Rush Medical Center found that snoring is the thirdly recognized medical reason that couples file for divorce. This speaks volumes for just how damaging ignoring snoring can be in your marriage. It may be funny to talk about, but the truth is the anger and resentment you feel in the middle of the night when you cannot sleep because your partner is snoring, is anything but funny. Instead of living with it, persuade your partner to get some help so that both of you can find a way to get the peaceful slumber that you need.



7 Responses

  1. Snoring is a big problem in a marriage, it can lead to divorce easily. To avoid this you can sleep in different rooms, also you may try some stop snoring mouthpieces or some natural anti snoring drops.

  2. Please stop talking about ear plugs as a solution to a snoring partner. They are an industrial device and only block out explosively loud noise, not speech or snoring. Another problem is that long term all night use can cause tinnitus.

    1. Hi Lou,

      It’s all in vain anyhow, my wife’s snoring literally travels though the bedding. It’s like the bed is vibrating. Ear plugs don’t work for low frequency sound as you pointed out, they’re for temporary, industrial use.

      It would be nice if my wife actually cared. She tried CPAP, but for a whopping 2 nights. She won’t even discuss weight loss. In fact, it’s similar for nearly any problem we have. She will find out what I would like her to do and then does the opposite, then she threatens to divorce me for being so negative….. so for months at a time I won’t say a word….. Then if I do even try to bring it up I get threatened again.

      1. So, LD, has anything changed for your situation?

        My wife never snored, until the last few years, and it’s driving me crazy! She says to wake her if she does, but it only lasts a short time. Just as I’m getting back to sleep, she starts up again! It doesn’t happen every night, but is getting more common than not. If she snores I’ll move to another room now. This happens a few times a week. She sleeps the whole night, and I get little sleep. Today, I finally asked her to please try the nasal strips! Lets see if that works and how long it will last!

  3. If you’re going to basically state that your marriage is over because of snoring, then why didn’t you list of :all of the first line defenses? You offer no specific solution(s). Your laziness has eclipsed your idiocy.

  4. Snoring destroyed my marriage. His snoring was so loud I had to sleep on a love seat as far away from the bedroom as possible. He refused to see a doctor. When we vacationed he told me to sleep in the closet. I traveled a lot internationally for my job and it’s the only time I had a good nights sleep. He ended up having a long term affair and leaving (with a big 6 figure check from me). Now his new relationship is in the same state. If you snore take it very seriously.

  5. I have been with the center of my universe, my best friend for 10 years. His snoring is pretty substantial. He’s been very kind and willing to sleep on the couch about 3/4 through the night, in the early morning when he hits his REM sleep and gets *really* loud. He’s a smoker and does drink wine nightly too.
    I’m in the medical field and he knows I need my rest, and we have teenagers that go to high school so he takes a hit for me in order to help me sleep because I’m a light sleeper. But that’s not to say that the sleeping apart hasn’t gotten to us because he’s made some comments before about being sleeping separately and I feel terribly guilty asking him to go in the living room. But we do talk about it and we’re very very close and communicate very well, and we don’t hold resentment, or at least try not to, because this is something that we refuse to let pull us apart. We always fall asleep together. Always. It doesn’t really get bad until the wee hours of the morning anyway. He does have horrible allergies sometimes and meds help, and eventually when money permits we will see a doctor. But for now we’re just doing our best. I love him to pieces and this really sucks but it is also very very serious. I end up very sleep deprived *many* nights and it’s pretty horrible.

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