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Controversy on separate rooms for snoring couples in Saudi Arabia

Family consultant warns new concept causes lost intimacy, divorce

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Gulf News

Manama: Around 23 per cent of couples in Saudi Arabia sleep in separate bedrooms due to the snoring of at least one spouse, a study indicates.

According to the unofficial study, several of the spouses have, however, complained that the issue had affected their intimacy and even their relations with the larger family, local news site Sabq reported on Wednesday.

“I was forced to file for divorce from my husband because of his snoring,” a woman was quoted as saying by Sabq. “My husband refuses to see a doctor because he does not believe he has a problem and attributes his snoring to being exhausted from work. My family has flatly rejected my complaints, arguing that I was interested in trivial and frivolous matters and causing problems and apologised to my husband for thinking about filing for divorce,” she said.

Ali Abdul Qader said that he had problems talking with his wife about her snoring.

“We have recently celebrated our wedding and I discovered that she snored,” he said. “I could not be honest with her about it because I did not want to hurt her feelings and self-esteem even though I have problems going to sleep because of her loud snoring,” he said.

However, Fahd Hussain, another Saudi national, said that he talked with his wife over her snoring and agreed that they should sleep in separate rooms.

“I of course do not blame her, but it is necessary for the spouses to talk about the snoring issue and to find together a satisfactory solution,” he said. “I think that snoring is a major factor in separations and as such should be treated seriously.”

Family relations consultant Hana Nagroo rejected the idea of separate rooms for the spouses.

“There is no excuse to have the couples separated and I totally reject the idea of spouses sleeping in different rooms,” she said. “A physical separation often ends in an emotional divorce. There should be no barriers between couples and all problems have solutions. Whoever has a physical condition should consult a doctor and have it treated. The idea of separate rooms for couples should not be taken lightly because its impact on the marital relation is far more terrible than the problem,” she said.

For the consultant, the bedroom is the only place where couples feel intimate and the absence of a spouse is not the solution.

“The spouses should sit together and discuss the issue. I really deplore the emergence and recent spread of ideas that support separate rooms for the couples. I do warn all couples not to adopt such ideas that create huge gaps within families. All problems have solutions and people have to learn how to coexist with them,” she said.