Question: My husband and I have been married for almost two years. For his whole life, people have told him that he talks in his sleep, to the point where they have been able to carry on conversations with him. I can attest to this- he’s a talker! What’s strange is that he usually says very bizarre things (“There are tortillas under the mattress.” “There are seven monkeys in the living room.” “I’ve made pepperoni pizza for the bus to Mexico.” “I’m bleeding.” “My toe fell off.” “We need to cut my toe off.”) or he makes loud noises (“BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEP!”) or shrieks over and over again for minutes on end. While some of the things sound funny and were amusing at first, I’ve also heard him scream, “RAPE! RAPE! RAPE!” at the top of his lungs maybe for 20 minutes and it’s actually frightening because. At first I would think he was making a bad joke but then I realized he was sleeping and I cannot, for the life of me, wake him up, so I’ll leave the room and sleep elsewhere.
Sometimes his night fits or “active sleeping” as he calls it will turn more active, violent and disturbing and I have definitely noticed that these nights are highly impacted by whether or not he’s been drinking that night. Note: I’m not saying he has a drinking problem but it just seems that alcohol makes his sleeping behavior even more erratic. He’s had nights where he’s pushed me out of the bed and said things that were hurtful ( that I’m not worthy, that I don’t do anything or that we won’t stay together and our relationship won’t work). He’ll often do repetitious behavior, like tapping me, flailing his arms back and forth across the bed for 5-10 minutes straight which will end up smacking me over and over as he does this. He has also punched out in his sleep and hit and broke the lamp on his side table. I think he may also scratch himself because for years now (even before we met), he’s woken up with strange scrapes and drops of blood on the sheets. Sometimes he will get up and one of these times, he went into my closet and took everything out and threw it on the floor. He’s also once told me that he was going to “kill himself” and since we have a gun in the house, though we keep in unloaded, trigger locked, and hidden, I went and made sure to hide it again, just in case.Last night was another bad night. I woke up to him talking about “terrorists” and he took his hands like they were a gun and held them to my head and said, “you need to choose, A, B, or C.” The problem is that
if I ignore him or tell him to “stop” or “sleep”, he keeps talking and gets very passionate about what he’s doing… it’s like he actually IS active in his sleep and thinks that I am someone else. He kept shouting, “A, B or C.” and “You have to choose.” … “Time is running out.” I finally said I wouldn’t choose so he made a “bang” noise and shot me with his imaginary gun and then said, “Time is up.” He then started round 2 of whatever this was even though I kept saying, “please go to bed, I need to get some sleep” and tried rubbing his arm. This time, I just chose “B” to see if it would get him to stop when he gave me the choices and he said, “fine, A and C” and then made another “bang” noise. He made more loud “BEEP” noises after that but seemed to settle down and we were able to fall asleep. This whole interaction (from me waking up to being able to fall back asleep) probably lasted 35-45 minutes.This morning when I confronted him about it, he told me he didn’t remember any of this and that he’s starting to think I’m making these things up for some reason. He said he thinks it’s just all part of the vivid dreams he has. He does suffer from horrible stress. Also, he was physically and verbally abused by his mother as a child (from about 7 until around 11) to an almost unbearable point. She was HORRIBLE to him and I think this may have some relation to that abuse. He asked me why I don’t try to wake him up and thats another thing. I HAVE! And I hate to say this but I’ve gone so far as to smack him and even poured water on him to try and wake him up and all the water got me was, “you bitch!” Which he has never said to me while awake.We’ve been together for 4 years. I grew up with great role models and I’m a very independent and strong person and would NEVER be with a man who was abusive or mean. My husband is so kind and funny and sensitive and we get along very well (or I obviously wouldn’t haven’t married him) but when he sleeps, it’s like this switch goes off. He is 6’7 (a full foot taller then me) and 230 lbs so it’s extra nerve-wracking since there’s a lot of him. I’ve started doing research so I can try and convince him to see a Dr. and talk to someone about this and I found information on RBD and this site. This had been my experience so far. I’m just hoping that he’ll agree to see someone to try and get this sorted out.