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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so worn out, and it is affecting my relationship.

I work a full time, at times stressful job. I leave around 7 am and return home around 6pm, Monday through Friday. Lately, we have been very busy. I have also had to travel a little bit for business. I'm worn out, to say the least.

At home, I do all the cleaning. I'm good at it, so it is no big deal. We cannot afford a housecleaning service, as we are trying to pay off debt.

I don't usually cook. I'm so tired by the time I get home. We eat sandwiches or go out.

My husband works the same; however, I make 2.5 times more. I cannot cut back on work, nor can he. My husband does the yardwork sometimes. I also do it sometimes.

I'm worn out lately, and it affects everything. I fall asleep on the couch or as soon as I lie down. I don't feel like going out.

I'm also stressed as we are trying to pay off bills so my husband can finish school. We've also had problems with my husband's son, who was living with us. I feel I'm tired and stressed.

Anyone else feel like this? What do I do? I feel I'm not putting enough into the relationship because I'm tired and stressed..
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One thing that pops out at me is that you eat out too much.

I assume you have weekends off? if so, spend a day making a weeks worth of meals - feed your freezer. This will save you a lot of money! Google 'freezer meals' for ideas, then go shopping. Take your hubby grocery shopping and make it a fun evening! Also, why not leave the cleaning till the weekends? Besides the kitchen, what has to be cleaned every day?

Schedule a date night every week. One that no one is allowed to back out on. Our date night is Mondays. We usually spend it working on stuff out of a marriage building book. But every month or so we go out for dinner or go away for the weekend and just relax. We also have Friday nights reserved to do NOTHING except enjoy each others company. Your date night could be anything the two of you enjoy and want to do together - take a walk, play video games, go swimming, whatever.
 

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I hear you. Leave at 7. Get home at 7 every day. Its a grind.

Sounds like you have (had) an extra load though. Is your husbands son gone now?

When is your husband home and able to cook or do you both get home about the same time?

and then the next big question.. when do you plan to take your next vacation? Everybody needs a real break.

I've always said it, February stinks.

Sometimes I do alot of cooking on the weekends so that can help during the week.. like making a big lasagna or a stew and fresh bread that you can break out on Tues & Wednesday or whatever. That helps. Cripes even a freaking meatloaf can seem like mana when its ready to warm up after a long day.

But im kindof a wierdo - I find cooking a little therapeutic, so it doesnt seem like such a chore. Not the same for everyone, I know.

It can help to try and plan your meals. Staring into the fridge trying to figure it out can seem daunting at 7:00pm at night... but if you have figured it out beforehand, sometimes it doesnt seem so bad when you know what you have and what you are making and have everything within short reach. Like I can stir-fry a tenderloin beef and broccoli and steam a pot of rice in (im not kidding) in 20 minutes. If you arent good with prep work - thats something you can do on sunday too maybe.

Nothing wrong with admitting you are just friggin wiped sometimes - but its also important to realize - like you are - that you cant operate at that level for long. You need to figure a way to recharge your batteries.
 

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Honestly, I have been in that situation too...and with problems at home with the husband to boot. There were times I would sit in my car at work in the parking lot and cry because I hated being at work, and I hated being at home. And it would be the same way with me, with 2 kids to feed and being the only one working, I would still have to come home, cook dinner, clean up the house, clothes, dishes, floors, dealing with the kids homework, making sure they take their baths, try to spend time with them before trying to relax myself, and when the hubby wanted some time, I was so tired and stressed, yeah, I would try to give it, but I wouldn't be all there...

Bottom line I had to learn is that sometimes people are like a pitcher of water....they pour the water out for other people, and they pour, and pour, and pour, until there's nothing left in the pitcher, and they haven't had a chance to take time for themselves to refill that pitcher, so they're dry and empty. You need to take time for yourself to refill the pitcher, otherwise you're going to work yourself into a hole and it's going to affect your relationship even more, especially when you don't feel like giving the attention, then get accused of giving it somewhere else....sorry, that's what happened to me...when I started telling him that I was tired and I started actually falling asleep when he was talking at me, things just got worse and I couldn't keep myself together. I finally learned I have to take time out for me, no matter what that entails, even getting a babysitter for the kids for awhile..and definitely make a date for you and your husband just to enjoy each other's company, it sounds like you both need it. :) Good luck, hon, I hope everything works out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hope, I appreciate the suggestion of cooking on the weekend, but if I add anything more to my plate, I will go crazy.
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It seems counterintuitive but starting an exercise program can actually relieve stress and give you more energy. You have to give yourself permission to do it, though. That means you have to give it a higher priority than some other things. I like to hit the gym after work and eat later. You'd think it would be hard to do after a long stressful day but it isn't. It's therapeutic and energizing. Some people prefer the morning. Four times a week minimum. What's the worst that can happen? Your carpets go a little longer between vacuuming and your floors a little longer between scrubbing? Not the end of the world!
 

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You need to make your "you" time a priority.

We have 2 kids, mortgage, etc and I still manage to find time to blow off some steam in the gym each week.

It's what I need to keep going. It actually energizes me...
 

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It seems counterintuitive but starting an exercise program can actually relieve stress and give you more energy. You have to give yourself permission to do it, though. That means you have to give it a higher priority than some other things. I like to hit the gym after work and eat later. You'd think it would be hard to do after a long stressful day but it isn't. It's therapeutic and energizing. Some people prefer the morning. Four times a week minimum. What's the worst that can happen? Your carpets go a little longer between vacuuming and your floors a little longer between scrubbing? Not the end of the world!
I just saw this now. Agreed!
 

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It seems counterintuitive but starting an exercise program can actually relieve stress and give you more energy. You have to give yourself permission to do it, though. That means you have to give it a higher priority than some other things. I like to hit the gym after work and eat later. You'd think it would be hard to do after a long stressful day but it isn't. It's therapeutic and energizing. Some people prefer the morning. Four times a week minimum. What's the worst that can happen? Your carpets go a little longer between vacuuming and your floors a little longer between scrubbing? Not the end of the world!
This is SO true. We actually started doing most of our weekday cooking on the weekends just so we could hit the home gym together as soon as we get home every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I play tennis, and that's a good stress reliever. I play a few nights a week and on weekends. Due to winter and rain, I've played less lately. That is part of my stress problem, I'm sure.

The date night is a good thing and we do try. My husband works shift work, though, which means he works evenings and weekends a lot. So we often work opposite of each other. He's going to school, though, so hopefully he will works weekdays when he finishes in a couple years.

His son is a teenager. He moved out because he refused to follow our rules. Lots of problems.

My son is grown.

We lost one person at work, so I'm having to pick up extra workload as well. That makes it harder, too.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Bottom line I had to learn is that sometimes people are like a pitcher of water....they pour the water out for other people, and they pour, and pour, and pour, until there's nothing left in the pitcher, and they haven't had a chance to take time for themselves to refill that pitcher, so they're dry and empty. You need to take time for yourself to refill the pitcher, otherwise you're going to work yourself into a hole and it's going to affect your relationship even more, especially when you don't feel like giving the attention, then get accused of giving it somewhere else....sorry, that's what happened to me...when I started telling him that I was tired and I started actually falling asleep when he was talking at me, things just got worse and I couldn't keep myself together. I finally learned I have to take time out for me, no matter what that entails, even getting a babysitter for the kids for awhile..and definitely make a date for you and your husband just to enjoy each other's company, it sounds like you both need it. :) Good luck, hon, I hope everything works out.
The pitcher analogy is a good one. The thing to remember is that no one else really knows how empty the pitcher is. Don't expect your husband to sense your level of distress and fill you up. It doesn't work that way. He will be thinking that if you ARE doing the work it is because you CAN do the work. You have to back off and admit that it's too much and try to come to a good balance of chores that allows you time to relax and re-energize. Your biggest enemy is the attitude that things will fall apart if you back off. They won't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do believe in exercise, as many of you suggested. I love tennis, and I do play quite a bit.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The pitcher analogy is a good one. The thing to remember is that no one else really knows how empty the pitcher is. Don't expect your husband to sense your level of distress and fill you up. It doesn't work that way. He will be thinking that if you ARE doing the work it is because you CAN do the work. You have to back off and admit that it's too much and try to come to a good balance of chores that allows you time to relax and re-energize. Your biggest enemy is the attitude that things will fall apart if you back off. They won't.
Well, I have to work. I am very efficient at cleaning, so that's not a problem. I think it is work that's wearing me out.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Also, someone asked about a vacation. We would love to take a vacation this year, but finances will not permit with my husband in college.
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Well, I have to work. I am very efficient at cleaning, so that's not a problem. I think it is work that's wearing me out.
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Well, that's tougher to solve. I'd say that more people work because they have to than because they want to. That is, they don't like their jobs but they can't just quit. I still think that cleaning the house does nothing to recharge your batteries. It isn't fun. I guess it could be fun but that would be pretty unusual. And I suggest adding a different activity instead of playing more tennis. If it's a sport you get a cross-training benefit. If it's an activity it gives you a mental break. I like working on Habitat For Humanity houses when I get a chance. Working at the local food bank is also a good thing.
 

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Honestly, I feel the same as you but I feel like I hit my rock bottom last fall when I had a total nervous breakdown, and have vowed not to let myself get that mired down in stress ever again.

A few things I am doing:

- Learn to say no, and mean it. This applies mostly for my working situation, I realize I have a tendency to over extend myself and cram in too much at once which leaves me stretched thin. I can't say no to projects, but I am a manager with about 20 employees, all of whom I dearly want to spend quality time with to mentor and train, but I can't be there to guide them through every situation. I have been a bit tougher since the new year and forced them to fend for themselves and learned how to delegate more efficiently. Without allowing myself to feel guilt over it. It also means having a thick skin when you make an unpopular decision - its expected that most people wont be happy when you suddenly start saying no.

- I went to see someone about my mental health, and didn't allow myself to feel embarrassment or shame over itanymore (which was a big stumbling block for me). I got on Meds and I am seeing the doctor regularly now. I made my health a bigger priority. The SSRI does have side effects but overall my life is 75% better than it was. It also got rid of that constant beat down exhausted feeling which has left me with a clearer mind and the ability to handle my stress better. It has also improved my marriage, even tho it does affect my libido, because I am able to interact better with my husband and be a more positive presence in the house. Meds aren't for everyone, but you might consider a counselor or even something more holistic like yoga or meditation.

- I changed my diet. I do cook 99% of our food when at home, but I was a stress eater so even though I cooked dinner every night, I would eat fast food for lunch, grab candy after a stressful meeting, be snacking in the car to and from work without thinking about it. I stopped eating fast food and switched to whole foods and less processed foods and after 3-4 weeks my energy levels noticeably improved. To be honest though, for me the diet change came last. I don't think I could have dropped the stress eating without the Meds working first. I didn't have it in me to make one more sacrifice, and eating was one of the few joys I had in an otherwise overwhelming day. Once my mental state improved and I felt more balanced overall, the diet came naturally and without much struggle, it didn't feel like such a sacrifice.
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