I remember a long, long time ago, almost 11 years in fact, when I laid in bed and heard a noise that to me evoked the same reaction nails on a chalk board. I was watching my new husband getting ready for work in our ensuite bathroom. He was washing his face and with each splash of water, he would “AHHHH.” At first I was totally startled. It was an “AHHHH” of satisfaction that was much too loud for 6:30 a.m. It was an “AHHHH” that I felt was completely unnecessary, especially for face-washing. And it wasn’t just one “ahhh”. It was like 4 or 5 in a row. Something so simple and innocent totally irked me. More than irked maybe, it kind of enraged me.
That was the first of many little things that he would do or say that would annoy me over the following years. I know that these little quirks that annoy people about their partners are normal. I’m not alone in being annoyed about my husband’s weird little habits. Surely, he’s got a list of things that I do that make him bat-shit crazy too. Actually, we were discussing these things awhile back, and he told me that it drives him absolutely insane that I never put the cap back on the toothpaste. It made me laugh, and then consciously do it EVERY single time I brush my teeth. I can’t help myself now. I snicker as I give the tube a press so just the right about of toothpaste drools out of the tube and crusts around the opening. I secretly love doing it. I secretly love annoying him with toothpaste. It’s one of the things I do to retaliate for the one thing he does that makes me want to kill him in his sleep.
Let me tell you now about the newest battle in our marriage. It’s over sleep. I thought about writing this all out one morning around 4 a.m. when I was up in the kitchen, drinking tea, feeling utterly exhausted. I could have gone back to bed. I could have, but I wasn’t going to waste my time. I had been up since 2:38 a.m. I know the exact time because I have been on a year-long mission to prove that I cannot share a bed with my husband. Or, rather, that I cannot share our CURRENT bed with him. You see, every single night, I am constantly at war, and my enemy is my best friend and much-loved husband. I don’t want to hate him at night. But I do. Every night I fall asleep easily. I’m always sleep deprived, so falling asleep while laying down comes 100 percent naturally. It’s once I’ve fallen asleep. That’s when the bed we sleep on becomes a wrestling ring/trampoline. Honestly. I once explained this to a good friend of mine while we were away on vacation. I acted it out for her in our shared hotel room. Me, sleeping quietly…curled up in a tiny ball (because, also, he hogs every inch of space). Then I showed her exactly how he sleeps. Cue sleeping husband…. laying peacefully…. and then it’s like a sudden earthquake. He thinks he’s just turning over in his sleep, but is is nothing like what a normal person would consider “rolling over.” It’s like he levitates above the bed, crashing down and thus, bouncing me awake, and often times off the bed. Honestly, I don’t think I can even write the words needed to explain this. I’ve taken elbows to the head from his crazed limbs flying every which way. But anyway, I had to act it out for my friend. I needed someone to understand, to see, it’s not that I’m crazy. He’s just not a person you can share a bed with. When I did, her reaction was this: “OMG… Are you serious? I would KILL him.” That’s exactly how I feel every night. He sleeps soundly, loudly and with wrestling moves like Randy Savage or Hulk Hogan. If you snuck up to our bedroom late at night…this is us…or at least it feels that way.
He is also a person who likes to sleep as close to the other person as possible, which is against everything I believe in and problematic when you throw elbow drops like Macho Man. Sleep-time is for sleeping, not wrapping yourself around your partner like a boa constrictor suffocating its prey before eating it. He’s also a heavy breather which is completely different from a person who snores. He doesn’t snore so much as blows gale force winds at my face. It’s infuriating to say the least. Sometimes I burrow deep in the covers, making sure that every part of me is wrapped up, even my head, covered with a pillow to block the sounds and any sudden blows to the head. Just when I’m in the perfect position, with a clear and tiny breathing hole, he’ll roll over and his face will be thisclose, blowing his hurricane breath into my cocoon of safe sleep. That’s when I get up. I just leave. I can’t handle it anymore, and I know that if I don’t leave the room, I will do something bad. Something that may lead to my kids visiting me in jail.
When I voice these issues to my dear husband, he gets really upset. He hates hearing that I don’t want to sleep with him. I remind him over and over, that it’s not personal. I adore him. I don’t think he’s a hideous and grotesque monster. I just feel like I need to wear a helmet to bed, and well, that’s not going to be comfortable. I’m also miserable when I don’t sleep, and trust me, when you add sleep deprivation to my already prickly personality, LOOK OUT!
We were recently on vacation and for the whole week, we slept in a king-sized bed. The whole week, I slept through the night and actually didn’t have any homicidal thoughts. So, I broached the topic with him. I said, “you see, it’s not that you’re disgusting, it’s that I just need space. Look how much nicer I can be. All I need is sleep.” He still says it’s not happening, which I do NOT understand. Maybe he’s just pulling the same passive-aggressiveness that I am with my toothpaste tubes.
In protest of his unreasonable response to my pleas for a bed and not a wrestling ring…. This is my next course of action…