snoring spouseDear Mr. Manners: When my fiancée and I were dating, his occasional snoring didn’t bother me—or maybe I just didn’t notice as much because we weren’t together every night. Now we’re married, and I’m at my wit’s end with his honking, which gets going about 30 seconds after he falls asleep and goes on an on. Last night, when the snoring began, I elbowed him (gently), but he got angry and told me to leave him alone. I have two questions: Isn’t it okay for me to wake him up to stop the snoring? And if it comes to the point where someone needs to sleep in the guest bed, which one of us should it be?–Sleepless in San Diego

A: Before I get into the etiquette of poking and prodding your snorer of a husband, I want to make sure you know that while snoring is generally considered a minor “social” problem (though a major marital one), it can also be a serious health issue. It’s correlated with a heightened risk of both heart attack (snorers have a 34 percent greater chance of having one) and stroke (67 percent). Other problems include sleep apnea, drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and decreased libido. In short, it’s important for your husband to determine why he’s snoring so much and the most helpful thing you can do is push him into making an appointment with a specialist for asleep study.

Now onto the snoring etiquette! 
When I posted your question on my Facebook page, my readers came through with loads of practical advice that was clearly based on extensive experience:

*.“Many a marriage has been saved with separate bedrooms (and a two-sink bathroom).”

*.“The one who’s having anger issues should sleep in a different bed. Why do couples feel they must share a bed every night? My partner and I have separate bedrooms, we cuddle before we go to sleep in one bed or the other, then sleep separately most nights. It’s okay–really!”

*.“Instead of pushing, shoving & elbowing I tickle the hair lightly by the neck, knee or other area so he thinks it’s an itch. This makes him change breathing patterns. And then he stops snoring long enough for me to fall to sleep.”

Here’s my own advice for snorers:

1.Make sure your snoring has been properly diagnosed and you are following a treatment plan—which may include sleeping on more pillows, taking a decongestant, foregoing the nightcap and/or losing some weight.

2.Provide earplugs for bedmates.

3.Try “snore strips” such as Breath Right.

4.Tell your sleeping companion that it’s okay to wake you up when your snoring gets too loud.

5.If it takes more than two or three prods to stop your snoring, your sleep mate deserves the bed to him- or herself.

And here’s my advice for anyone sharing a bed with a snorer:

1.Remember that snoring is a medical condition, not a personal failing. Don’t exacerbate your sleeplessness with an outburst of anger.

2.If “occasional” snoring has become nightly, consider together whether there have been any changes in a partner’s health or behaviour that could contribute to the increase. Regardless, be gentle with your spouse and discuss this in a non-confrontational manner—and not when you both are trying to get some zzzs.

3.Wear earplugs.

4.If the snoring continues to bother you, consider sleeping separately. 

As one Facebook poster put it: “I’ve been sleeping in our guest bed on and off for 22 years. Just before he wakes up I slip back into our bed to give him a kiss to start our day.”I would only add this: Occasional prodding and poking are fine, but if you’re counting on a long and happy marriage, beware the resentment and shoving. Get to the heart of the matter as quickly as you can.


Lessons from My 30s

Originally posted on A Holistic Journey:

I learned not to expect anything from anyone – not even friends – but to give. Not because I don’t have amazing friends but because people are busy, have their own burden. I am grateful that anyone should stop to think of me in some way. Wish I had known earlier not to impose standards in my relationships, to free people in their weakness. Free God to grow them.

It was the decade I fell in love twice. With the man I agreed to marry and the baby boy I found myself cradling. I realized my guys have been my 30s. With an I.V. needling sustenance into my broken body on my 30th birthday, I had yet to imagine I would meet my husband the following year – on the dance floor. While some of the most excruciating trials darken this period of my history, these 10 years have been…

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I Arise

I arise above what you know cutest3_edit_edit
Above the person you always knew me to be
Above the presumption you had on me
Above the confinement you made me believe in
I arise, far above the condemnation I laid on me
Above the ones you made me believe
Above the ideas you call reality
Far above the intuition that this is suppose to be
I arise, out from the ashes I created myself
Out of the cages I built over the years
Cages in my mind, cages in my thought
I arise and watch the way you watch me
I arise so you stare at me
Stare at the woman you said I will never become
Stare at the woman you ‎thought will always be there
I arise before the wake of day.

The Measure of a Woman

Originally posted on A Holistic Journey:

I don’t remember my mother ever having the cold or flu. She must’ve had her share, especially in the sharp New York winter. She remains healthy in my memory because she never took a day off, never took a nap, never complained. Not even when the needle flew off the Singer and disappeared into her finger. Between the waitressing years in New York, Mom sewed for the giant garment industry that Latino and Asian immigrants pinned their hopes on in the 70s and 80s. The heaps of cut fabric she brought home in the metal shopping cart, they literally called homework. It enabled her to raise her kids and stay involved in my early schooling. Mom did everything fast. She would feed polyester rectangles through the machine and recruit me and my little brother to flip them. At two cents a piece, time was the enemy. She ate a lot…

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cutest3_edit_editTake a look at my eyes,
Take a look at my body
Have a look at your black dress
Take a look at a blackboard
Stare at me in all your intellectuality
Stare at me with all your fierceness
Have a look at yourself
Have a look at the mirror
Look upon your black dress
Do I look like the black you call a black?
Do I look like the colour you call black?
Why then do you call me black?
Have a look again,
Cause black is far from what I am.

Zimbabwean First Lady Bags PhD Two Months After Enrollment

Originally posted on Stories without Border:

Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, has reportedly been awarded a PhD in Sociology just two months after enrolling at University of Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe happens to be the chancellor of the school.

For her thesis, the first lady carried out a study of children’s homes in Zimbabwe.

Many are questioning the plausibility of someone earning a PhD in just eight weeks.

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