CHICAGO—Noting that the bedtime ritual appeared to be an essential part of nearly every marital relationship, a study published Friday by the American Journal Of Sociology found that married couples spend nearly 40 minutes each year pointing a gun at their sleeping spouse. “Our findings suggest that married Americans spend four or five minutes each month holding a handgun in their shaking hands mere inches from the head of their slumbering husband or wife,” said study coauthor Alicia Lambert, describing how after confirming that their spouse was still asleep, most American would quietly remove the revolver or semi-automatic pistol from its hiding spot in a bedside table while whispering that this was the night they would finally go through with it. “What’s interesting is that after several seconds of muttering to themselves, ‘Do it, just fucking do it,’ while beads of sweat trickled down their forehead, these individuals almost inevitably sigh in frustration and slam the pistol down in cowardice after deciding this was not the night. We found many then pretend to sleep for the next several hours and awaken with a smile to tell their oblivious spouse, ‘Good morning, honey. Sleep well?’” The study also found that on rare occasions, the other spouse would turn over with a pistol in their own hand, announce that they had known about this plan since their wedding day, and reveal that they had swapped out the bullets in their would-be assailant’s gun.