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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.