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Waking up Angry and Mean
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vLauren posted:
My husband has a hard time sleeping. It takes him a while to get to sleep and he wakes up often during the night. If I wake up before him in the morning and startle him, he gets extremely angry. We cannot cuddle because if I touch him while he is sleeping or even dozing off, it scares him (I think??) and he yells at me. I also have to be careful when moving in the bed because that also startles him and again, he's angry. Although it seems like he can't help it, it still hurts my feelings and we end up fighting a lot.

He doesn't want to go to a sleep clinic and says it's just stress. He used to say it was because he wasn't used to sleeping with someone every night, but we've been together for three years now! We do not have kids, but we would like to soon. I am afraid of what he will do when our child wakes him up. He says it will be different when we have kids and he'll "know" not to get angry. I'm not so sure he'll be able to control it.

I want to help him, but I'm not sure how. I also miss sharing that closeness and I'm concerned for our future. Has anyone else experienced this with their partner? Any advice?
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi vLauren,

I hope that others will be responding but, in the meantime, I wanted to welcome you here.

I can imagine how distressing this is to you. It really does sound like he needs a sleep study but if he insists it's 'just stress', he can get help with that too. Perhaps try encouraging him to at least start with seeing his doctor. It's possible some counseling may be in order to help him deal with that stress.

Three years seems long enough for this to go on without any effort on his part for a resolution.

Let us know how it goes for you.
 
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vesuvius13 responded:
This has to be distressing for you. I can understand his feelings because some of us don't feel good when we wake up suddenly. However, he needs to control his outburst of anger at you as you aren't doing anything except trying to love him. He needs to decide how important you are to his life and take steps to improve the situation either on his own or through a sleep lab. If he doesn't work at changing his response he will find that when you have children he will be angry at them when they wake him up unexpectedly.
 
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Anon_1694 responded:
I had the same problem, except any show of affection on my part, in bed or watching TV, was met with a push away and a nasty remark such as "what's the matter with you?" or "Are you queer or something." Needles to say it ruined our marriage but we stayed together for over 50 years. Looking back I believe he had performance problems that Viagra might have helped.

I think you need to see a sex doctor. Start with yourself and then try to get him to join you. If he refuses don't have kids, find somebody new,
 
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snorewell responded:
As luck would have it, I am a very light sleeper. My wife is a restless one and I never slept well. Many years ago we found the solution was twin beds placed next to each other with no gap in between. It has worked very well.

In the last 10 years I have had sleep apnea and the twin bed solution has ensured we both sleep well especially since I use a CPAP machine.

Even when traveling since I must do most of the driving we get motel rooms with two beds. I get a better nights sleep so that my driving doesn't suffer.
 
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vLauren replied to snorewell's response:
I really like this idea and even brought it up to my husband. Our bed is less than a year old though, so I'm not ready to give up on it just yet...
 
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vLauren replied to Anon_1694's response:
Our sex life is not an issue. I may have been misleading with the closeness comment. I only meant that I would like to be able to cuddle in the middle of the night or when I wake up in the morning. By the time he's fully awake and not "sensitive" to my noise or movements, I'm usually out of the bed and ready to start my day.


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