Half of us are running around feeling so genuinely tired that it’s affecting our relationships. How much does lack of energy affect your love life? It’s a common question I ask women in relationships and here’s the stat I've discovered: Based on a scale of 1-10, the average is 5.
Love lives are built on give and take but what if your partner is too tired to do anything except the basic day-to-day tasks? Sure, you can pick up some of the slack when grocery shopping risks causing them to shop in pyjamas, however if it’s happening on the regular, your communication skills about it need to skyrocket. Without discussing it, you risk drifting apart and leaves you feeling any myriad of things. Is there something medically wrong? Is your partner using being tired as an excuse to not go out with you? Are you falling out of love? You can get so unnecessarily worked up in your mind that this alone leaves you feeling exhausted. Personally speaking, my partner and I naturally have different energy levels. That doesn’t mean something is wrong between us. It’s just the way it is and we bend our lives around that when we need to.
And if you’re the one that’s tired vs. your partner, please express that to them so they aren't sitting in the dark. Internalizing sh** never did anyone any good.
So, what can we do to live like the other half?
Ya gotta talk it out. End of. You can't assume your partner knows you're exhausted and need a break. Consider various opening sentences such as the below and how they would make you feel if the situation was reverse:
1/ “ What?! You’re going to bed this early AGAIN?”
2/ “ Do you realize I can’t remember when we had sex because you’re always so tired?”
3/ “ Can we please have a date night for once where you aren’t falling asleep at the table?”
4/ "Is there anything I can take off your plate so you don’t feel so overwhelmed?”
5/ “I know how you feel sweetie, I’m tired too. What can do about it?”
I know which of those conversation starters I would prefer.
And here's a trick I learned via my training with the Gottman Institute: The first three minutes of your conversation reveals how the rest of that conversation will go. And it's bang on in my experience.
It’s your choice.
Either enter the conversation with a harsh start-up so it comes across like it’s all about you (such as sentences 1-3) or enter softly to encourage shared, more honest conversation (such as sentences 4 and 5). Or just suppress your feelings and let it fester so the situation turns into a bigger deal than it needs to.
In a world where there is an unspoken expectation to handle everything, it’s not unusual to find yourself exhausted. So find the balance. There’s usually something we can erase from our to-do list that would leave us feeling more energized to enjoy the other things on that same list.
Thanks for reading.