Two nights ago, but not for the first time, it all became too much for me and I slid my hand out of the covers to reach for the phone. I needed him to know once and for all how difficult things were for me and I hoped that by doing what I had planned, he would feel forced into making some changes.
Flash forward to today and I am still in the same position. Nothing has changed. Despite recording it, showing him the video, pleading with him to do something about it, to try anything: HE STILL SNORES.
There is nothing that has driven a wedge through our relationship like his snoring has. Nothing has brought me closer to a jail sentence. I know from my own mother that she feels similarly about my father; from friends that they share the same violent distaste for the unfortunate habit and I am certain that there are millions more who understand the horror that is sleeping next to, near to or in the vicinity of someone who snores.
When I first met my boyfriend I remember asking him on one of our dates whether or not he snored. He assured me that he didn’t. I’d like to say that he was lying to me – it would make the current situation easier – but he wasn’t. He genuinely believes that he is a silent sleeper, barely makes a sound and that I am over-reacting.
Which brings me to what I’ve been trying recently: video recording. My first task is to break his delusion. In the past few months I have recorded him a total of four times and each time that I have reached for the phone I have been thwarted not by low battery or relationship guilt but by the fact that inevitably he has moved slightly and the intensity of the snoring has momentarily reduced. For the duration of time that I have my phone in my hand the sound will not be what it had been seconds before.
When I show him these videos – which I do out of desperation – he says something like: well it’s not as bad as you say. I’m barely making any noise. And he’s right! The result is that I end up even more frustrated and he laughs his way to bed, convinced even more so that I am inventing what happens most every night.
What also happens is that I become increasingly violent. I have found myself half-awake in the dead of night lashing out at his legs in an attempt to kick him awake or literally heaving him over onto the other side. I know he’s unimpressed – he’s shunned me some early mornings when he must subconsciously have realised that he’s been moved – but I can’t help it! It’s a pretty big defence: he stops me from sleeping.
I now move to the couch if it gets too much but it is not a long-term solution because I simply refuse to believe that he cannot stop it! The snoring is often accompanied by a loud breathing and even if he can’t stop one, surely he can stop the other? There are those rare nights when it isn’t so bad – how do I ensure these happen more often?
My sanity is hanging by a thread.
Ah, relationships. Nobody warns you about this stuff.