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Dear Abby: He’s angry about my snoring, and I’m angry about his complaining

Every night man wakes up girlfriend to grouse about the snoring or the machine she’s using to control it.

DEAR ABBY: I’m divorced and dating a man who is 10 years younger. We live together and pretty much have a great relationship. About a year ago, he told me he was losing sleep because of my heavy snoring. I was put on CPAP and use the machine several nights a week. Well, sometimes the air hose may leak and cause a sound, or the mask makes my face sore. I’ve switched several styles, but nothing helped, so I don’t always use it.

Anyway, my nightly torture is him fussing and carrying on about my snoring and/or the CPAP. He is constantly waking me up, shouting at me because it isn’t covering my face properly or, God forbid, I fall asleep before putting it on.

Abby, this has me so frustrated that it’s affecting my entire day, as he says I am affecting his. We have talked about separating because of it. I suggested he get earplugs. He refuses, but continues to torture me almost nightly about the snoring or even during the day if I fall asleep watching TV. I’m beginning to take all this very personally. I feel like I’m too old and sickly for him. He simply can’t accept that I can’t help it. What should I do? — NOISY IN GEORGIA

DEAR NOISY: The first thing you should do is talk to the doctor who prescribed the CPAP because there may be an alternative device that will work for you. The second thing you need to accept is that sleep apnea (which you call snoring) could KILL you if you continue refusing to do something about your very real problem. When people are sleep deprived, they are not at their best, to put it mildly, which may be why your partner is losing his temper.

If you use the CPAP, separate bedrooms may be a solution for HIM. But please check with your physician — and possibly a sleep disorder specialist — about other devices or therapies that might be a better option for you.

DEAR ABBY: I met a senior gentleman (my age) on a dating site. I thought our first date was pretty successful. After dinner, he asked me if I wanted to go and watch some fireworks, so I saw some potential in that. We laughed, communicated well and agreed we had lots to share.

I assumed a text or phone call would be forthcoming. Am I too old school in thinking the man makes the first move? Well, he finally called — four days later — but only to say he isn’t looking for a serious relationship, but would like to see me occasionally. Does that mean I must sit around and wait for the occasion? I am not sure what “occasionally” means these days. — OCCASIONALLY IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR OCCASIONALLY: “Occasionally” means when this senior gentleman feels like it. Do NOT sit around waiting! Proceed with your social life. If you feel like accepting his invitation when he calls, go ahead and enjoy his company. But do not count on him for anything.

DEAR READERS: Tonight is Halloween. I hope that any celebrating you do is creative, fun and safe for everyone involved. Happy Halloween! — LOVE, ABBY

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)