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OT - “Are you sleeping?”

Iamwoman's picture

This is OT. Not about skids or the Maggot Queen at all.

This is about my DH, who if you know me, you know he is my bff. This may even seem trite or petty to you, but if you are looking for light reading, or care to offer insight on something OT, read on!

I need more sleep than DH. He knows this.

I am also studying for a major exam that cost several hundred dollars to register for. It will add a valuable certification to my work experience, but is one of THE hardest professional exams to pass. It has a 60% pass rate and I've already failed it one time (first test I've ever failed in my life, so you can imagine the recovery and pumping up I had to do to try again 8 months later).

The exam is in three weeks.

The first three weeks I planned on studying, I was sick as dog. Far too sick to focus on anything.

No problem, I flexed my plans and still had time to study.

Well, DD16 has been acting up for over a week (typical teen stuff), and DH has only ADDED to my lack of sleep.

We like to hang out every night and chat and watch something funny on TV. It's like a slumber party every night. It's fun.

The problem is that I fall asleep before DH every single night because my body just falls asleep when it needs to.

...and he wakes me up. Every. Single. Night.

When I fall asleep, he cannot just quietly turn the TV off or quietly leave the room. In addition to shuffling around and deciding he ALWAYS needs to use the bathroom as soon as I doze off, he also ALWAYS feels the need to open his damn mouth.

It varies between "Are you asleep?" to "Oh I see you're asleep." Or "Yep, you're sleeping now."

I tried to have a discussion with him about this as I thought he would react like a normal person and just say "Oh yeah, that is sort of dumb to always open mouth as soon as you fall asleep. I'll just not do that anymore."

I was baffled by my DH's response though. Seriously floored. My DH will do anything for me. ANYTHING.

So it truly floors me that his reply was "Well I can't tell when you're asleep so how do I know when to stop talking?" And he continued to argue and defend his ridiculous stance.

I told him most people would just notice when someone's eyes are closed and that would be a huge clue...

He claimed that he will work on this.

But... the very same night as this discussion (last night), I fell asleep first. As soon as I'm dozing off, he effing says, "I know you're asleep now." ...and of course this wakes me. WTF???!!!

Like seriously, my DH is usually a great guy.

wtf is his problem? Why this? Why the one thing I need the most - sleep - is the one thing he needs to disturb each and every damn night?

How effing hard is it to just STFU when your loved one is exhausted and needs sleep, and especially when I'm behind on studying for an expensive and difficult exam????

I am seriously at a loss here.

He even offered to pay for a week of hotel stays for me so that I could get enough sleep. But I just stared at him in bafflement... because what he is really saying is that he would rather fork out $150 a day than simply just NOT say, "Oh you're sleeping." This is truly mind boggling to me. My DH is usually a rational, logical person.... but this is insane.

Does he have turrets or something? Wtf


hereiam's picture

Oh my God, this made me laugh. It's not funny but.... "Well I can't tell when you're asleep so how do I know when to stop talking?" I mean, seriously? That is funny.

What happens after he wakes you up? I think that subconsciously, he doesn't want you to be asleep when he's not. He's lonely or something when you fall asleep and he's still awake.


Iamwoman's picture

Ha, I suppose it is funny. It's just hard to find the humor in it when I am sleep deprived. I feel like I'm being tortured.

When he wakes me, sometimes I do talk in my sleep, which he then used as an excuse to tell me that he can't tell when I'm sleeping or awake. But my sleep talking is usually wierd and DD can always tell if it's sleep talking or me talking.

I agree that he wants my company, but torturing me isn't the answer.

hereiam's picture

No, the situation is not funny, just reading that was.

He needs to find a hobby or something that he can do when you're sleeping.

My DH goes to work earlier, so goes to bed before me, so I use that time to watch shows that he doesn't like, or clean house, or work on my art because when DH is awake, we are like you guys, we like to hang out together, so I feel like I get NOTHING done. If I don't feel like doing any of that stuff, I just go to bed with him.

Your DH is going to have to discipline himself and let you sleep. I was kind of annoyed when my DH started going to bed so early but he knows how much sleep he needs and I don't want him working and driving while exhausted. Plus, now I like the "me" time.

futurobrillante99's picture

My XH2 would mess with my sleep routines just to be a childish a-hole. I hope your husband doesn't have strong narcissist tendencies.

futurobrillante99's picture

He's being childish because he wants more of your attention. He doesn't like that you fall asleep before him and he's "all alone." It's very immature and the only way to make him stop is to end the bedtime ritual of watching TV with him. Once you're full asleep, will you stay asleep when he comes to bed after you? If so, tell him the nightly ritual ENDS and he can watch TV in the living room.

If you will still wake up when he comes to bed, I would start sleeping in a spare bedroom if you have one.

Survivingstephell's picture

Fake a nightmare and kick him in the groin, tell "him" to f off in your "nightmare",  do what you have to do to make him never ever want to poke a sleeping bear again.  *aggressive*

My Dh does this too at times..  I just lay there silently fighting to hold onto my sleep.  I did find that a small does of melatonin knocks me out.  Like so much, I can sleep through his quesions.  

Aniki's picture

Crikey. I'd tell him to sleep on the couch until AFTER my exam. Or HE can go stay in a hotel or AirBnB. YOU should be sleeping in your own bed so you sleep well. The poopie head.

Iamwoman's picture

Yes he is being a poopie head lately.

Sometimes we all get dragged down by the exorbitant amount of outside stress and drama step life throws at us.

tog redux's picture

Are you falling asleep in bed and he's waking you up? I'm confused about whether you are on the couch or the bed.  If you are in the bed, then him waking you up is ridiculous.

I go to bed way before DH usually, and he knows that he wakes me up upon pain of death. Sometimes he does accidentally, but not on purpose. 

beebeel's picture

I read it as though she's falling asleep on the couch? Or they have the TV on in the bedroom? Either way, the simple solution would be to stop watching TV when you feel tired and go to bed. Or remove the t.v. from the bedroom. That's probably affecting your sleep, too.

 I used to do the same thing to my DH because without fail, he'd pass out on the couch and I'd be commenting away on whatever we were watching. It gets old. I finally stopped bothering him and leave him to snore on the couch.

Crspyew's picture

If he is pulling this childish BS.  I am sorry that you are sleep deprived and I know my response below is going to read harsh but I am one of those people who needs my sleep, I get downright mean when I don't get enough or it is disrupted.  And god knows menopause alone makes a good nights sleep hard enough.  The older I get the more I see that life is far to short to accept anything or anyone who does not treat me with care and respect my needs as much as I respect theirs.

His behavior shows an overt and consistent lack of care for you and your needs. This is selfish behavior.  He offered to pay for a hotel for a week?  How benevolent of him.  Meanwhile he can disrupt your sleep every other night of your life?  If he is incapable of change for someone he professes to love then at a minimum u need to sleep in separate rooms.  
I am completely baffled at the bullshit behaviors, non-skid related, so many posters put up with from their partners. I am sure your DH has many fine qualities but they appear to be overtaken by this intentionally mean behavior.

Iamwoman's picture

I also am a bear without sleep. Trust me, DH is paying the price for it. Not that I'm being mean on purpose, but I will admit that I am a complete a-hole if I've been deprived of sleep for several days or weeks.

That being said, don't lump me in with "all the other posters." I agree that women put up with too much, but you're preaching to the wrong person on this one. Often I feel sorry for people who DON'T have the type of marriage I have. This is one, solitary issue, and it was BECAUSE his reply was so out of character that I am baffled, and it's BECAUSE I'm so sleep deprived that I am even discussing my DH here in a negative light.

Im going to add to the bottom of this post all of the wonderful things about my DH so that this blog isn't just pumped into the string of nightmarish marriages we keep seeing here.

He is not doing it on purpose. I will agree though that he is being selfish and childish in this one area. Our lives are so riddled with outside stress and drama from HCBD, the Maggot Queen, skids, DD16, parents, siblings, etc., that nighttime is truly the ONLY time we EVER get to unwind. Sometimes it feels like that's cut short by my need for extended sleep.

Gimlet's picture

I don't understand this at all.  My DH has sleep issues and I tip toe around like a cat burglar when he's asleep because I know how much his issues affect him.  I can't imagine waking him up, that would feel really mean.

Is there another bedroom he could use while you are prepping for this?  DH and I sleep in separate beds on opposite sides of our Cape Cod, and it works really well for us.  I'm a night reader and he's not so I can have my reading lamp and not disturb him. 

Iamwoman's picture

I like this idea. I think I will hang out with him outside the bedroom and then just walk off when I'm tired.

tog redux's picture

I wish I could talk DH into separate bedrooms.  Sometimes I go into the spare room to sleep if I can't. Neither of us are great sleepers. I have allergies so I clear my throat at night which drives him crazy, and then he reads in the middle of the night and tosses and turns. But I will never talk him into it.  Sad

Gimlet's picture

Hah my rhinoceros noises (chronic drainage issues) are a big part of the reason we do this.  DH has way too many issues to risk even more fractured sleep, and I love having my own bed.  Plus I like a cold room and he likes a warmer room, which doesn't work well with my fun night sweats. 

Steptotheright's picture

I suggest announcing your intent to go to sleep. Just say, "okay I'm going to sleep now."

It seems to me you're a pretty light sleeper if a offhand comment wakes you. So yeah it's best just to communicate to him, "alright this was fun, but I'm going to sleep now."

As a side note, as I was reading, I first thought you were saying he woke you up every night with "bedroom activities".  I was like: that naughty greedy boy. Lol

Iamwoman's picture


I wouldn't mind being woken up for naughty bedtime activities. Lol!!

He won't ever wake me for that though because he says he doesn't enjoy it if I'm sleepy and not fully awake and into it. No skin off my back. 

ChzyBob20's picture

I watch my husband yawn 200 times and start to doze off over and over on the couch. When he half wakes up I say "you should go to bed" he says no ughhhh.

theoldredhen's picture


My DH needs about 6 hours of sleep a night to function but tends to nod off (he's 74) during the day whereas I require 8 hours. I don't nap. When he gets up in the AM, he is quiet as a mouse, so as not to awaken me. He even sneaks into the bedroom to lower the blinds and I never hear him, despite being a very light sleeper.

Your DH is also one of the good guys; supportive, understanding and a good communicator. On this topic, however, he's being inconsiderate. Why? Because he enjoys your company and looks forward to those fun evenings when the two of you kick back, throw off the annoyances of the day, snuggle up and watch TV.

Can't really blame your DH for hating to lose the 'couple time' that's likely his favorite part of the day but, since his thoughtlessness is interfering with your needed sleep, he must be 'slapped down'. Time to turn the TV off at bedtime until your DH gets the message. You need your sleep!  Aggressive


Iamwoman's picture

Lol!! You totally get it red hen - as usual. Smile

Yes, it is all that you've described.

I miss you sometimes. I'll have to hit you up on PM after I'm done studying in March. Lol

Iamwoman's picture

Ok, so I know this is a site to vent, and as I'm exhausted and worried about my exam, I am definitely venting.

However, I also realize this can give newbies a skewed perspective of my marriage.

Here we go:

DH and I enjoy the same things: sailing, hiking, biking, camping, cars, etc.

We can and do talk about anything and everything, including some of you.

DH is my biggest fan and my biggest supporter. He encourages me and I encourage him. He is the reason I have written a novel and am onto my second.

He is an excellent parent. He is always available to our kids if and when they need something or if they just want to talk. The fact that none of them take him up on this often is because our kids are pretty sh***y most of the time.

DH will bend over backwards for me and lasso the moon for me. He cares for me when I'm sick or injured. He has accepted DD as his own daughter that he always wanted.

He maintains our cars. He ALWAYS greets me when I get home from work (if he is home first) and will ALWAYS carry my things for me into the house.

He is my best friend and I am his. We are each other's confidants. We make each other laugh like no one else can.

He offers me help with anything and everything I do.

He commands respect for me from our kids, our extended family, our friends, and everyone. As far as my DH is concerned, NOBODY gets to disrespect me.

He says that if I die first, he will still work to achieve our life goals and dreams in my honor, and thinking of me always.

My DH's sun rises and sets on me. I am the love of his life. He is the love of mine (although I do think he is more in love with me, which ironically makes me feel loved and comfortable, which causes me to fall more in love with him as time marches on).

We have known each other since age 12. We have similar morals, values, and beliefs. We both came from abusive marriages. We both had to work hard on not being co-dependent. I think I am less co-dependent than he is at this point.

We hold hands, watch sun sets, give each other googled eyes, etc. We will celebrate 8 years of marriage this spring.

We are a team in everything. We sometimes finish each other's sentences, and we are a united front. 
We are quantum entangled, having done similar things in similar places since the age of 12, but never really coming together until 9 years ago. We are soulmates.

I am a light sleeper except in thunderstorms.

He is a loud sleeper.

We sleep separately and are stronger for it. Sometimes people think they have love when they don't because they have never experienced true love. True love doesn't mean we all act like angels 24/7. We are human, and last night my husband showed his human side. If anyone wants to place "I can't tell when you're asleep" on par with the litany of abusive relationships we've seen here lately, then I feel sorry for you, because your perspective is unrealistic.

This is why his response last night was so baffling to me. It is out of character, and just plain nonsense.

Thank you all for the suggestions about hanging out outside the bedroom or announcing when I am about to fall asleep.

Thank you for sharing your own stories.

While what my DH is doing is wierd and pretty dumb for someone smart enough to be a chemical engineer, it is not abusive. It is childish. He isn't ready for our fun to end, because we don't get much time away from the rest of the worlds' retarded dramatics much.

If I were stuck on a desert island for the rest of my life, I would consider it heaven to be stuck there with DH. We are soulmates. We are bound as one.

I am going to assume that he was experiencing outside stress and just can't handle the lack of fun we've had to endure lately in our lives.

Im also going to go to bed by myself from now on.

Merry's picture

Oh lordy, this is a lot like my DH. I work a high stress job and will frequently doze off in front of the tv after work. He ALSO does this but I can recognize when his eyes are closed. It requires turning my head to look at him before I speak. But, nope, not him. He just talks. Wakes me up. Ticks me the eff off. He apologizes. Then does the same damn thing 5 minutes later.

His mouth and brain are not always connected.

Iamwoman's picture

Yes Merry! This is what my DH does too!

He will just start talking without looking at me first. I always look.

I am truly at a loss as to why such a basic form of human communication - looking at the person you are speaking to - is suuuuuch as struggle for him to the point that he would rather pay for a hotel than just effing look at me before speaking.

If you ever manage to educate your DH in this very basic communication tool, please send me your blueprints!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I agree with hereiam. I think subconsciously your H wants you to be awake and with him, so he's being a bit of a saboteur. He doesn't realize that though, so he's trying to offer a solution (hotel stay) that doesn't require any reflection on his part. Comparatively harmless stuff, but oh so annoying, right? Do NOT mess with my sleep!

I think if we polled members who've been in a long term relationship, we'd find that many have discovered odd little behaviors in their SO.

theoldredhen's picture

~ I think if we polled members who've been in a long term relationship, we'd find that many have discovered odd little behaviors in their SO.~

Too true, Julie. Mine whistles (he's doing it now) and, although he can carry a tune, the sound goes through my head like a knife. It seems mean to tell him to stop but sometimes (when I'm ready to pop a cork in his gub) I can't bear the sound an instant longer....

Exjuliemccoy's picture

My DH had a complete meltdown when I told him my mother would have to stay with us during her last illness.

We lived in a city, close to all her doctors, while her home was 50 miles away in a rural area and my siblings could not be trusted to care for her. I had done so much for him, his kids (two had lived with us) and his family, and for a man who never panics, his reaction was bizarre. He tried to say that she wasn't really that ill, that she'd be fine in her own home etc. I was apalled - until I realized some of his unresolved poo concerning his late alcoholic mother was leaking out. He eventually straightened out and helped care for Mom, but these previously enjoyed men do have some bugs in their systems.

strugglingSM's picture

My DH talks to himself out loud...sometimes very loudly. When I ask him to repeat what he said, he will sometimes get annoyed and say, "can't I have any thoughts that I can keep to myself?" I tell him that he can, but if he's talking out loud in my vicinity, I have no way of knowing if he's talking to me or to himself. If he wants to keep a thought to himself, he should keep it to himself...and not say it out loud. 

strugglingSM's picture

I had to laugh a little at this. I like for DH and I to spend time together watching tv or talking before we go to sleep. However, DH likes to go to sleep later than I need to go to sleep. As the work week goes on, I become more and more likely to fall asleep before DH comes to our room. Sometimes, he will walk in and make a ruckus and then I get mad at him. However, he has now gotten a bit smarter and if he doesn't want to go to bed, he will be very quiet, because he knows if he wakes me up then I will expect him to spend time with me. 

24 years as a SM's picture

My DAH use to do this to me too. I worked a lot of crazy hours, when DAH was working, he was gone three to four days a week, sleep was so blissful. When he was home the other three days a week sleep broken up, because DAH would not SHUT UP. this went on for about 5 years of asking him to look at me to see if I am awake on the couch in the evenings. I was at my braking point, between working and taking care of my dad that had dementia, sleep was few and far between.

I had warned DAH that if he woke me up one more time, when I fell asleep on the couch, I would hit him with a bat. DAH thought I was teasing him, until I pulled out a plastic Wiffle bat and set next to me on the couch. About an hour later I dozed off and all I hear is "Oh you fell asleep" I came off the couch like a banshee, screaming at him, calling him every dirty name in the book, hitting him with the bat with each word. He's laughing like a damn fool, I am getting madder, the kids have ducted into their bedrooms, the cats and dogs are running for cover. One dog was so scared, she peed on the floor, DAH steps in dog piss, slips and falls, the whole time I am hitting him with the darn plastic bat, cussing him out. DAH finally had enough and took the bat away from me and said I should go to bed. I told him to eff off and went to bed and locked the door.

The next night, he's sitting in his recliner, when I got home from work, acting like nothing had happened the night before. I walked up to him and told him that if he woke me up again he wouldn't live to see tomorrow, then set a wooden baseball bat on the couch, next to where I always sat. The look on his face was priceless, needless to say he always looks to see if I am awake before talking to me now. This was 25 years ago and my kids tell the story and DAH turns beat red, and says "I learned to look before opening my mouth, I just need to think before I say anything stupid that will get me in trouble.:

Iamwoman's picture



I haven't checked this blog in a while! This is a gem of a story. Hahaha. Thank you for sharing. I need to purchase a whiffle bat now...

theoldredhen's picture

Wow, 24 years, that's an amazing story! I'm truly impressed. Are you listening, Iamwoman? Do you have a Wiffle bat?