2455. — Blame and Complain Don’t Work and ‘Tired’ is Subtle

Again, I use hyperbole to describe the imperceptible effects of a wife routinely claiming tiredness. I make it appear worse than it probably is to more clearly describe the effects on the psyche of husband and her.

In no way do I claim that she isn’t tired—perhaps all the time—for whatever she blames (there’s that dirty word). I do claim it’s both mental and physical and, therefore, more easily defeated in order to preserve her composure, dignity, and enjoyment of life. Rejecting the term and doing something else also protects her marriage.

Subtle advantages accrue to wife and hidden advantages accrue to husband when she refuses to admit that she’s tired. Oh, she gets tired all right, but her feminine ability to intuitively turn her thoughts to something else are possible, practical, and beneficial.

When women get tired at job or home, they don’t stop doing what they intend to do. They finish the day’s work, change the baby, do the dishes, clean the house, do the laundry, tend to sick husband, call sick mother for an encouraging chat, and think through how they will handle tomorrow’s schedule and stresses. So, being tired doesn’t stop but it leaves them frustrated that they can’t do what’s needed more enjoyably—or even do more. IOW, they love their importance about what they do, but they wish their tiredness was less discouraging of enjoyment. Tired and enjoyment become mutually exclusive, but it needn’t be that way.

Wife claims to husband that she’s tired as she continues to cook, wash dishes, clean the house, or not do what husband wants to do. She may be looking for sympathy or recognition of her dedication.

Females nearby recognize her hard work and easily extend sympathy to her, but husband isn’t as eager. He may offer a pat on the head or tad of sympathy or even a helping hand, but it’s seldom enough.

Basically, men are not tuned to respond favorably to such complaints. If he’s tired, he does something about it. It’s the male nature. He instinctively takes a break to relieve it.

He doesn’t relate well with indirect pleas for sympathy or recognition. Rather than solicit thoughts and feelings from others, he takes a break that confirms his independent ability and avoids dependence on others. In short, he’s more an individualist and she is different.

Unintentionally and without knowing it, tired women discourage or guilt their  husbands. Whether she’s truly or just acting like a victim, someone else must be to blame for her working so long and hard, and he’s the most likely by his doing little to satisfy her. Probably unknown to her, but he receives “I’m tired” as he should feel guilty, which men arbitrarily reject. However, we can’t escape thoughts that enter our minds.

The mental side first. Here’s a model of what women are very capable of. They can do this reasonably easy. It fits their feminine nature to be mysterious about hidden abilities that lead to female success.

  1. The thought enters her mind that she’s terribly tired at the moment. At the first thought she shifts her thinking to find and remind herself of those or that for which she’s grateful. Big or little, hugely or conditionally grateful, she immediately begins counting her blessings. Then, she turns to doing something else to match her new thoughts.
  2. Husband comes quickly to mind. She has gratitude on her mind, loves to share it, and so she figures to please him. If for no other reason, she’s grateful for having him around. So, rather than focus on herself, she moves into action.
  3. Perhaps after finishing the dishes, she flops down in the den with him. During the next commercial, she speaks lovingly. “You know, honey, after a long (not tough or tiring) day, nothing rewards me better and comforts me more than you in bed where you do what you do best. I might even be more than just available if you’d tease me up a little bit first.” (Now we all know that she’s too tired for such action. But when she sets aside those thoughts of tired and begins to enjoy intimate possibilities with a husband inspired by her compliment that he’s good in bed and possibly more willing to please her, it can displace tiredness long enough to forget it. Sleep follows easily and tiredness fades or vice versa.)
  4. Another example: At the sink she feels tired. She stops, turns to husband and proposes they make love. He says no, not now. She says, okay. I’m going to shower and then come finish the dishes. She’s capable of independently changing her feelings, but it takes different actions than her current busyness. If he’s devoted or figures she deserves some sympathy, he may finish the dishes while she showers. Her new challenge: How to reward him for that kindness? (What he figures she needs motivates him more than what she tells him.)
  5. Another example: She’s very tired but they have to go out. The baby needs changing before they depart. She says, “Honey, have you noticed lately that the baby recognizes your face and smiles when you smile? He’s so cute when you tend to him. By the way, don’t let me forget to change him before we go.” Whether he takes the hint or not is immaterial. She got her thoughts off of being tired and her spirit is more enjoyable to baby and husband.
  6. There can even be simpler ways. Whatever changes her mind to think about anything other than tired. Anything. She can forget the word and the prospects for hurt feelings, if she can just focus on something else that she finds pleasant or rewarding. Gratitude for who she is and what she has is the best starting point.

These are more possibilities than certainties, but men are not like women. When wife claims of tiredness, husband may internally absorb one or more of these thoughts whether he responds to her or not. He thinks: 1) I must be to blame, but what am I supposed to do about it? I’m not expecting her to work that hard, not cracking any whip. 2) I’m expected to relieve her tiredness or do something else she wants to do? What? Let her tell me directly what she expects. 3) She wouldn’t be tired if she weren’t working so hard to please herself, she’s overly duty bound. But I can’t tell her that.

Another version starts with the old phrase, “Not tonight, honey, I’m too tired.” In which case he absorbs this message: “I guess I’m not the lover I think I am. If I were, she’d overlook tired because good sex is so therapeutic.”

Wife probably never intends for him to take her complaints that way. But over time they can accumulate negatively and can irritate sufficiently to offend. He absorbs reminders of his shortcomings and she loses some of her likeability.

Now for the physical side. Dehydration is a major cause of tiredness. Coffee and tea are diuretics. Soft drinks are laced with so much sugar that letdowns follow. Decaf and diet drinks are not good substitutes for water.

I have for many years followed a regimen of coffee and tea in the morning and at least three pints of tap water per day. I avoid ice—except iced tea—as it puts me under stress. Anytime I feel tired, I think dehydration. I immediately load up on at least two pints of tap water. (Two bottles after a 4-mile swim across Chesapeake Bay restored me so quickly I felt ready to swim back.) Escaping dehydration has never failed me. My tiredness shortly fades; I’m rejuvenated and my attitude changes totally away from tired.

Probably no one ever suspected that a woman’s habitual “I’m tired” could provoke disenchantment in a husband. But think about his hearing that complaint over and over for years. It probably contributes if other things tend to sour a marriage.

A better life awaits the wife who refuses to tolerate the terms exhausted and tired in her thoughts and speech. It’s simple with a new habit. With a little practice, she shifts her thoughts to something else until it become intuitive.

All of that above would not be worthy of addressing were it not for this conviction. When women work from a base of gratefulness, they can find endless alternatives that improve connections with a man and lead to their own happiness. The very term ‘tired’ discourages wives from both.


Filed under feminine, marriage, sex differences, The mind

22 responses to “2455. — Blame and Complain Don’t Work and ‘Tired’ is Subtle

  1. Preaching to myself here: I have read and heard in various contexts that women are multi-takers and men are not. We women almost instinctively take on many and various challenges during any given day.

    Sometimes we have to juggle endless amounts of stuff and deal with the resulting tiredness, but sometimes we don’t. Maybe a lot of times we don’t.

    If we end up overloaded because pride (or fear or even greed) drives us to take on too much, whose fault is that, and how is complaining to a man going to solve that problem?

    Since men are “uni-taskers” (“I’m going to take this one activity and pound it into the ground!”) and probably see the female approach to tasks as inefficient, even flaky, they may be able to offer some advice on getting things in better focus, but getting a woman’s schedule straight is not something he is capable of doing. And why should he take on her (to him) incomprehensible responsibilities as well as his?

    • My Husband's Wife

      Very true what you wrote, Lady Edith, “…probably sees the female approach to tasks as inefficient, even flaky…” My husband is usually baffled by the fact (and openly expresses it) that I’m “all over” in the kitchen as he’s usually planted in one spot doing one task, and adds how I’m not very “efficient” (in his mind, ha ha). A male coworker was also recently laughing about this very subject of him and his wife in the kitchen and how differently the two of them approach tasks.

      And I also believe you’re right that women need to be responsible for knowing how much they take on and acting accordingly. Good point. Sometimes saying “no” is best for all parties involved!

  2. This is Bs. If the wife didn’t do all she does (even though there is no relief from being tired) husband will judge her negatively. He really should help but from your point of view men just need a place to flop. BTW, I wonder why the military doesn’t allow men to flop.

    Get Outlook for Android

    Your Highness Godsgrace55,
    Your objections are noted.

    • My Husband's Wife

      Sir Guy, what about men “flopping” in the military? Would their “flopping” be their time going out to have a drink or play a sport when their “duty” is up? I would think the military wouldn’t want their men to “flop” working, nor would any employer. Although I’ve read that the younger generation (millennials) now integrates “fun” into their work and not as much gets accomplished. (Could this be a result of a more feminized work environment, multi-tasked female vs. unitask male?).

      I would agree with God’sGrace when she says men judge wife negatively if she doesn’t keep up. So what’s the root of her not keeping up? I believe nowadays it’s mostly her working outside the home. Women working outside the don’t get the “home advantage.” They may get or need to have the “financial advantage” from working outside the home, but from what I experience and the women I know, it puts the woman behind all the time instead of ahead of the curve.

      Your Highness My Husband’s Wife,

      Q: “Sir Guy, what about men “flopping” in the military? Would their “flopping” be their time going out to have a drink or play a sport when their “duty” is up?”

      A: No, flopping isn’t liberty or malingering but relaxing in their bunk and room or barracks. The ‘flop’ mentioned comes from their primal need, which is a place to flop, eat, throw their things, and prepare to face their dragons next day. Many in the military marry so they have a better place to flop.

      Q: “(Could [millennial fun at work] be a result of a more “feminized work environment, multi-tasked female vs. unitask male?”

      A: Yes, plus political correctness that condemns impositions of authority, which arises out of feminization and politicization of both workplace and boys.

      Q: “…men judge wife negatively if she doesn’t keep up. So what’s the root of her not keeping up?”

      A: Her admitting and complaining that she can’t keep up. Husbands don’t pay that much attention to what she does until she admits defeat with complaints. She’s keeping up in his eyes as long as she’s quiet about it.

      Q: It’s not a question but you presume that working outside the home denies her the ability to also manage the home.

      A: It’s a common presumption, because a woman can blame that on her lack of satisfaction managing her relationship and home. It makes immense sense to those who think they fall short of WHAT THEY EXPECT OF THEMSELVES.

      Q: Many a woman succeeds at it. What does she do differently?

      A: First, she pays no attention to what she can’t do. She focuses on what can be done, and then she makes herself more efficient doing it. Instead of pleading her case for extra help, she first satisfies the basic needs of self, husband, and children in that order. Second, she manages and keeps those satisfactions balanced. Third, she avoids the temptation (of typical females) to try harder to satisfy herself that she is a good mother first, husband-keeper second, and wife third, which is the reverse of what works for a happy home. Finally, she comes to realize that over-mothering and under-husbanding choke off her feminine nature and squeeze the ‘superior’ out of her feminine capability. After that, she does everything so right that she lacks reason to complain or even tire beyond her limits.


      • My Husband's Wife

        Dear Sir Guy, thank you for clarifying my questions—I’m seeing things a bit differently now at how this dynamic works and the best way one can smooth “overwhelming” situations (as she sees it) at home. Once again, it goes back to don’t blame, complain, explain!

  3. Cote

    When wife claims of tiredness, husband may internally absorb one or more of these thoughts whether he responds to her or not. He thinks: 1) I must be to blame, but what am I supposed to do about it? I’m not expecting her to work that hard, not cracking any whip. 2) I’m expected to relieve her tiredness or do something else she wants to do? What? Let her tell me directly what she expects. 3) She wouldn’t be tired if she weren’t working so hard to please herself, she’s overly duty bound. But I can’t tell her that.

    Or 4) I I could probably lend a helping hand.

    Men can use their common sense and help around the house without them being asked to.

    Your Highness Cote,
    You’re absolutely right. But you can see in nearby comments that it’s not the whole story.

    • I’ve observed this with my parents. My dad is constantly offering help to my mother. Often, she brushes him off, claiming that he can’t do it to her exact specifications, she will have to redo everything he does, so it’s easier for her to do it in the first place. Or, my father takes initiative to do something — then gets chewed out by my mother because he “didn’t do it the way she wanted”, and she has to redo the task anyway.

      If most husbands are like my father, I think he is just dying to help out. But he gets criticized for not “doing it right”. What’s a man to do? Thus, he stays out of things.

      Mr Guy, what’s a man to do?

      Your Highness Vega,

      Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise
      to WhatWomenNeverHear.

      “What’s a man to do?” Grin and bear it. Just because women complain about their man should have no effect on any other man—or any other wife either. A couple has to work out their own solution. But, and it’s a big but, she had better not find him inadequate to please her on routine tasks and then blame him for not helping.
      She’s certain to lose and perhaps lose him. Once again, it’s his nature.

      In the man’s psyche, these habits tend to develop if not already embedded his nature. Anyone give him a bunch of crap or offends his character, he reacts in several ways.

      If the offender has not earned his respect, he reacts with words or physically as necessary to appear to win by dominating both the situation and person. If the offender has earned his high respect, he takes a calm and perhaps polite way to ignore, hide it if he’s hurt, and move on to other things. Or, if offenses are repeated multiple times and his character prevents responding physically to stop it (e.g., can’t hit a woman), he retires to his own thoughts and loses respect for the offender.

      In the case of a wife multiple offender, loss of respect leads to loss of her likeability, which is a vital ingredient of a man’s love. Many divorced men claim, “I just got tired of her s*** !”

      Now the subject that started these comments is why men don’t help more around the house. They don’t help more because wives don’t know how to handle their man. They pay attention to the complaints of other women and bring the complaints into their own home. They don’t complain during courtship. Why would they think complaints work after marriage? Her ownership of his ability to produce? If so, it’s the opposite of the conqueror’s view of their connection.


    • @Mr Guy: Just to add, that I can see my father turning those 3 points over in his mind every time he’s deciding whether or not to help my mother. Sometimes, that thinking manifests physically as head-scratching.

      Thanks for explaining it: now I understand why that head-scratching happens.

    • If a man’s view of what constitutes “good enough” in a given household situation is different from a woman’s, he is probably going to look at stuff she obsesses about and *not* see what she sees at all.

      And if she, due to frustration of whatever kind, gets on his case about that particular situation, he is going to take offense, point out how he sees things are not that big a deal, offend her by discounting all her hard work *for him*, get reamed by her for not caring about what she does, and withdraw.

      So then he will purposely avoid whatever she thinks he should be helping with.

      Is that about right, Sir Guy?

      Thing is, I observed often that, when my mother tried indirectly to get my father to help with things (rather than simply say, “Dear, I really need X done; would you do X for me?”), he would ignore her. He was famous for going and taking a nap in response to her indirect pleas for (in my view) a quite often legitimate need for help with something.

      Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,

      “Is that about right, Sir Guy?” It could be. Couples work out their own trifles. If it’s not a trifle, then call it a trifle and move on. Why linger when it can be ignored.

      Last para: If it was obvious to you, what kept mother from learning to request it directly? Indirectness works best but not always. Looks like father was using indirectness to tell mother to get more direct. Couples have to work out their own details for success.


      • When my mom stated some things directly, my father got offended. When she stated some things indirectly, he ignored. The result either way was some really scorching arguments.

        When they weren’t having these moments, they had enough monents over 55 years, including (evidence suggests) a very good sex life, to make their relationship special.

        From the day my father died until my mother died seven years later, she said “He was the live of my life.”

        I remain somewhat mystified as to the exact glue that held them together aside from “we made a vow before God” and a mutual respect for each others’ intelligence, idealism, and lack of hypocrisy.

        • P. S. If something really is a trifle, of course ignore it. If that little cough is due to dust in the air, close the window, apply a dust rag , and go on. If it’s due to developing lung cancer, ignoring it is not a good idea.

          What does it do to a marriage if, in the interest of keeping the peace and avoiding complaints, a woman keeps silent on something that’s not a trifle, and it bites her husband in the butt?

          He’s never, if your model is correct, going to apologize for assuming something was a trifle when it wasn’t. And he is going to blame her for making him look bad.

          All because she wanted to do the “right” thing.

  4. Femme

    Mr Guy, I agree with so much of what you are saying here! I am not a fan of the feminist movement… I just can’t express it openly for fear of being considered backwards. I think what we have “achieved” is that guys have become more lazy and selfish and much less inclined to enter relationships and women have to work outside the house and sometimes be the breadwinner… AS WELL as being a housewife. That can really leave little time for them to focus on being feminine. But my question for you is this: what about the narcissistic/codependent marriage. Why is it so common these days, do you think? Has it always been around or is it a more recent phenomenon? I have just gotten out of one myself and have this huge dilemma: I don’t mind being dominated by a worthy guy. But what if the man you trust with making decisions is ONLY interested in “what’s in it for me”? and doesn’t listen to feedback and gets emotionally and verbally abusive when he doesn’t get his way?

    Your Highness Femme,
    My response to your questions has been posted as today’s article, 2460. Thanks for the opportunity to respond.

    • gonemaverick

      Femme, i think it all boils down to screening thoroughly and a long courtship BEFORE accepting his engagement. The key is to AVOID choosing poorly and living with a husband who turns out to be abusive. Sir Guy will elaborate.

    • Miss Gina

      Dear Lady Femme,

      If a lady finds herself already in such a marriage, the first thing she must do is examine herself. Codependency is an unhealthy or immature way of relating to others. Much of what allows narcissism to have its way is the sickness of codependency.

      If a wife begins to learn better emotional intelligence, the husband will be forced to change by virtue of her creating a new environment. Ultimately, he will either become more compliant to her desires (perhaps over time, and things very well could get worse before getting better), or he will object so strongly that he will leave. This is, of course, an oversimplification and generalization, but I find it to be accurate overall. It applies when the gender roles are reversed and the wife is the narcissist, also.

      By learning emotional intelligence, I mean learning the following skills: stand up for herself in a respectful yet non-argumentative way, disengage and deflect from unproductive thought patterns and conversations, develop herself, meet her own needs instead of expecting others to do so, thoughtfully set and enforce proper boundaries, reach out in the community to form friendships and social connections, recruit respected members of the community to help her manage her situation, and learn how to manage her affairs with benevolent cunning. I have learned much in this vein from the work of Kim and Steve Cooper–a Google search will bring up their very worthy materials, which I highly recommend.

      Of course, it would stand to reason what others have said…singles should be examining themselves for weaknesses and developing their own emotional intelligence. Learning a mature view of love and marriage as this blog teaches is also important. Such preparation will enable them to read red flags and avoid such situations altogether.

      Your Highness Miss Gina,
      Sound advice, darling. Thanks for the contribution.

      • Meow Meow

        Thank you for this Miss Gina! It’s all too common to hear the comment “Well you should have picked better….” but that unhelpful advice doesn’t help the mother who has come to the realization too late that she is in a marriage with a narcissist or worse. I love your positive suggestions!

    • Femme

      My pleasure, Sir Guy. So to speak. Thank you for the historical take on the problem. I’ve been curious to know if it’s always been there but it hasn’t been recognized or if it’s more recent. It seems the difference between then and now is that now it’s much more common. I would personally like to see something like North American Indians rites of passage for young guys…I know it’s not very Christian like but if they don’t have the chance to go through hardship and emerge on the other side victorious then how can they know what they are capable of? These days, some of them don’t even have to make a decent living since the woman makes more money…

  5. Femme

    Thank you Gonemaverick. You seem to be confirming my suspicion that not ALL men are trustworthy and it’s not always the woman’s fault if things don’t work out. In my case, there was no long courtship and also we are from 2 different cultures, religious backgrounds and live in a 3rd culture. Meaning I’ve had no family support and very few friends for a long time. He is not Christian. I also am the daughter of a Baby Boomer who not only worked outside the house but more often than not brought work home. With the unfortunate result that me and my younger half brother always felt like she had so much on her plate already that we hardly ever bothered her with our problems. I felt like she was never there for me emotionally and sometimes hostile. Add to that a stepfather who abused me sexually until I was 18 – all in all, I made a decision that I wanted to be there for my children the way my mother wasn’t and I want all my kids to have the same father. Well I achieved the latter. I also stayed at home to raise them while he worked… But boy, did I pay the price! He was resentful all the time, wanted me to go outside and work, even when my daughter was barely 2 years old. I was called bad names and manipulated emotionally and with money. At the age of 40 he said to me he was thinking of retirement. We were living in a rented 1 bed flat and had no savings… I was constantly worried about the future. Finally I separated from him. And now after 3 years of separation I still don’t know what I did wrong. If men want to be the breadwinner, why was he so resentful about me staying at home? I enjoy my children and love being a homemaker. But I have to start working for money (am currently on JSA), otherwise we won’t be able to survive.

    • Miss Gina

      Dear Lady Femme,

      I’m so sorry to hear all you have been through. There are some men who think feminism “liberated” them from being the breadwinner in the US. And of course, though I don’t know your husband’s background, I understand that some other cultures and religions see women as workhorses or even slaves. (My husband spent his teen years in an Indian village in South America, as his parents were missionaries. He was horrified, as a young man, that the men would make their wives carry big loads of firewood and other heavy burdens on long hikes through the jungle, while the men would carry only their bows and arrows, “to protect the women,” ha ha! Women also did most of the heavy labor.) I pray that God gives you a way to earn a living that will not wear you out but will enable you to spend the maximum time and attention on your children and home, as you desire.

      • Femme

        Thanks so much for this, Miss Gina! That’s what I would like now: not a “career” because I already have one. I’m a mum. I’m also quite well educated and like reading so try and not be ignorant. I just need money to survive. But “bows and arrows to protect the women while they toil away?” Ha! I’m afraid I’ve seen this sort of behavior in Europe, too….

    • gonemaverick

      Femme, so sorry about your stressful experience. but you know what? that is your past. girl, you don’t live there anymore. as Sir Guy puts it, “recovery is everything “. all the best

  6. Femme

    Thank you.

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