Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

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SeekingChange
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Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:58 am

The Generous Wife shared this link, Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage. Maybe there are others besides me who found this helpful in understanding yourself, or can use it as a preventative. It speaks specifically of marriage, but it relates to all relationships.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby wyseguy » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:13 am

I like these kinds of articles telling us to slow down and de-stress. I don't think this is something we can remind ourselves often enough. Modern life is often busy for the sake of being busy. We often order our day such that if we spend an hour just in quiet contemplation that we've somehow wasted our entire day. We pass this kind of thing onto our kids as we fill their lives with as much as we can.

What I wish more of these articles did would be to be more specific in providing practical ways for us to eliminate sources of stress/exhaustion. This particular article sounded a lot like my doctor when he says "you need to get rid of stress". Ok...I agree, but how? My kids are a source of exhaustion. Sometimes my marriage is a source of exhaustion (when we go through times when I need to serve her more than normal). Most of the time work is a source of exhaustion. Ministry is a source of exhaustion. So what precisely is the expectation if my sources of exhaustion are the things that are extraordinarily valuable to me?

Finally, I would like to see articles like this being written from the perspective of an introvert. One of the things I find exhausting about life is that my bride loves to think that what I need most on my days off is non-stop activity and socializing. I can only imagine how hurt she'd be if I said "I'm taking Friday off and spending it alone." and then actually spending the day in total solitude. She absolutely doesn't understand my critical need for alone time and as much as I love her sentiment that she only stays out on girl's nights only as long as she needs to so she can get back to me, I dearly wish she'd linger for a few more hours.

And it isn't just my bride, it is nearly everyone I come in contact with. Last night, I took DD to youth group. Normally during the year, I volunteer as a small group leader but they give us the summer off. I'm in the building anyway but last night, I just couldn't take being around people anymore so I found a seat in the auditorium (which isn't being used during that time and was gloriously quiet). I sat for several minutes and just soaked in the quiet and solitude and then opened the book I'm reading and just immersed myself in the fictional world. About 10 minutes to the end, one of the pastors came by and asked me what I was up to. I just said that I was enjoying the quiet and a good book. He seemed taken aback and I tried to explain but I don't think he got it.

For those of us who are introverts, we would very much like to see extroverts better understand our need to not have our day filled with sound, activity, and socializing.

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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:36 am

I totally understand what you are saying. After reading this, it was nice to have it so clearly explained of what's going on in me, but I said the same kind of thing, I'm not sure what my next steps should be to get out of this. There is the factor of the type of spouse you are married to, and one can only have so much influence on their choices, and their choices do affect us, no matter the boundaries set.

I would guess they don't give specifics because it will be different for everyone. We each have to look at our lives and figure out what we can eliminate, what we can step away from for a time, or what we can change.

I sent the link to this to my husband, and it helped him understand where I am at. Which he was trying to come up with ideas to help me, but nothing about how he can change, other than actually taking his day off. He isn't realizing how great of an effect his choices and actions have actually had on me, therefore us.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby tjw » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:24 pm

wyseguy wrote:sounded a lot like my doctor when he says "you need to get rid of stress"


And then the next thing he says is, "I want you to take this medicine for which the co-pay is $ 300 per month"
And then, on my way out of his office, the check-out person says "sorry, Mr. W. Your insurance doesn't participate with us anymore, you owe us $300"

I'm not really sure Genesis doesn't say "..in the sweat of your face shalt thou take medicine all the days of your life..."

wyseguy wrote:For those of us who are introverts, we would very much like to see extroverts better understand our need to not have our day filled with sound, activity, and socializing.


If you know of any way to explain this to my wife, I would pay real money. She doesn't even have a clue why, after 55-60 hours of work over 6 days, then church, I don't want to drive up to the grandkids and stay until the last possible minute during the only possible time I have in which I don't have to either work or sleep.

She has been telling me for 7 straight years that I need to go to a doctor :)

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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby wyseguy » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:22 pm

tjw wrote:And then the next thing he says is, "I want you to take this medicine for which the co-pay is $ 300 per month"
And then, on my way out of his office, the check-out person says "sorry, Mr. W. Your insurance doesn't participate with us anymore, you owe us $300"


My doc knows that I'm not taking medicine for lifestyle issues. I've refused his prescriptions on more than one occasion. I won't even take tylenol or advil until my headache is so bad I can't concentrate anymore.

I can't really complain about paying for meds. I'm currently taking a medication for my severe chronic psoriasis that is $4500 per dose. Insurance won't pay for it so the pharma company is. So I'm not paying for an expensive medication and I'm not plagued by itching so bad my every waking moment threatened to drive me mad.

tjw wrote:If you know of any way to explain this to my wife, I would pay real money. She doesn't even have a clue why, after 55-60 hours of work over 6 days, then church, I don't want to drive up to the grandkids and stay until the last possible minute during the only possible time I have in which I don't have to either work or sleep.

She has been telling me for 7 straight years that I need to go to a doctor :)


Sunday afternoons are a bit of a struggle 18 years in. I realize how strange I am, but Sunday afternoons are for, as a pastor friend of mine puts it, "worshiping well", followed by afterglow, followed by a nap. My beloved bride is ok with having sex (I'm still exploring why going to church puts me in the mood) on Sunday afternoons, but the nap drives her crazy. I should consider myself fortunate, when my bride and I were first married, ANY time I slept annoyed her. If I slept in an hour longer than she did on Saturday, she'd be frustrated with me. If I took a nap on Sunday afternoon, by Sunday evening she'd be angry.

So I feel you on this. Just this past weekend I had an almost identical situation where my bride wanted me to go to her parents church (where I would know her and my in-laws only) for some event. I explained to her that I just didn't have it in me considering all the socializing we'd been doing over the previous few weekends. She always understands, but is always sad.

The closest I've ever come to her really understanding was to sit her down and explain things to her directly. I explained that introverts draw energy and refreshment from quiet and solitude and that extroverts draw energy and refreshment from being around others and having lots of activity around them. I told her that she married and introvert and she knew that when she married me. I told her that I would strive to be there as much as possible to be with her socially as much as possible but that she would need to recognize that if I said no, it wasn't a rejection of her or the people she wanted to be with but that I really needed time to myself. I suggested that she have more girl's nights out to compensate which has worked for us so far. I know my bride's social needs FAR out pace my own and I try to be very conscious and encourage her to go do stuff with her friends as often as I can.

The most important thing is getting her to understand that you're not sick, you're an introvert. It is a bit like being left handed (which I am also). We're not people that need to be fixed. This is an extrovert's world, but that doesn't mean we have to stop being who we are just to fit in. Do a little reading on what it means to be an introvert and talk to your wife about it. It might mean setting a boundary like only going up to see the grandkids twice a month and then only through dinner.

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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby slowandsteady » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:04 pm

The challenge with what to do, is it isn't the same with everyone. But there is so much good stuff on different personality types, that just learning more can be really helpful. And I think it can also be pretty helpful to really understand your spouse as well. The more you show that you understand them, maybe they will be more likely to try and understand you.

There is a lot of things written about different personality types that go well beyond just the extrovert/ introvert stuff too. Gary Thomas' Sacred Pathways is pretty good. And some of the Enneagram stuff is really helpful and fascinating too. My wife really learned a lot about both of us from https://www.amazon.com/Road-Back-You-Enneagram-Self-Discovery/dp/0830846190/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1501196555&sr=8-18-spons&keywords=the+road+back+to+you&psc=1

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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby VikingJ » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:58 am

wyseguy wrote:I like these kinds of articles telling us to slow down and de-stress. I don't think this is something we can remind ourselves often enough. Modern life is often busy for the sake of being busy. We often order our day such that if we spend an hour just in quiet contemplation that we've somehow wasted our entire day. We pass this kind of thing onto our kids as we fill their lives with as much as we can.

I wouldn't call my self an introvert but I still need time where I can relax and "quiet" my always working brain to recover. My wife doesn't understand that need and thinks I'm lazy if I'm just doing "nothing".
For me the solution has been to take long slow runs alone. My wife understands my need for physical exercise so that's acceptable so I try to pack my backpack around once per month and go for a 40-50K run and eat lunch somewhere with a nice scenery and just the forest around.


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Re: Exhaustion Is Killing Your Marriage

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:36 am

For me, It seems like there's a difference in what one does to replenish when things are in a fairly healthy balance and you want to maintain it versus when you hit a truly exhausted state. Those maintenance things (being alone, exercising, etc) don't seem to be enough to pull one out of exhaustion and all that comes with it (the points the article makes). Something more has to be done, and it is probably a personal quest to figure out what will work, and I guess for many that's when divorce comes in.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

My Story


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