Q: My wife and I have been married for three years. A year into our marriage she began sleeping in another bedroom because my snoring was keeping her awake. We still get along great, but physical intimacy has diminished significantly, and our relationship feels more like we’re housemates. What can we do?
A: Surprisingly, the arrangement you’ve described is becoming less uncommon. A recent survey by Ryerson University suggests that between 30-40 per cent of couples are now opting for separate sleeping arrangements. While a good night’s sleep is important to both physical and marital health, the benefits of a husband and wife sharing a bed are worth exhausting every effort to find a solution.
If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your doctor. Causes for snoring can sometimes be minor and easily remedied. Your doctor can assess your situation and, if necessary, refer you to a sleep specialist. If the cause of your snoring is determined to be obstructive sleep apnoea, your doctor may prescribe a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine or may recommend an oral appliance that repositions the jaw or tongue.
In the meantime, do whatever is necessary to jumpstart your sex life so you’re enjoying physical intimacy together on a regular basis. Schedule an “appointment” if you need to. It may not sound very romantic, but it’s that important. While you’re working toward getting back to your former sleeping arrangement, you start off in the same bed before one of you moves to the next room for the night. The quiet and uninterrupted time together can encourage emotional and physical intimacy so crucial to a strong and vibrant marriage. If we can help in any way, please call our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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