Do you or your partner struggle with fatigue that affects your sex life?

    This is prompted by an earlier thread from Wife of Dan about being intentional for her husband. There was a response indicating one wife has accumulated fatigue over years of draining circumstances that keeps her from even considering such a thing. I can identify with that feeling. I am a SAHM now, but sometimes I feel like I am still tired from the stress of the job I had for 30 years. I find that I often consider and plan wonderful things I’d like to do for my DH, and then don’t manage the follow-through because I just run out of gas before he even gets home!

    We’ve taken some steps to work on this, the biggest being that we both are shifting our mindset to think of “bedtime” as a much earlier time than we have in the past. (That might sound easy, but for people who are definitely wired to be night owls, it’s not.) We’re tackling the things that interfere with sleep (I’m working on reducing the number of times I get up to PEE at night!!) and he’s learning to win the fight with the dog for bed space. There are other things too, but the bitter irony is that there are many fronts on which to fight the war on fatigue, but it takes energy to fight them!

    Anyway, I just wondered if others struggle as much with wanting and planning to do something special for your spouse and then feeling guilty because you just don’t have the oomph to do it? (Guilt which then contributes to more mental fatigue…etc. etc.)

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    15 Answer(s)

      I’m of the not-so-humble opinion that dogs, like kids, do not belong in the bedroom. It’s too easy to place a priority of above or replace a spouse with a pet and certainly kids, where the comfort of and concern for  the pets and kids  is a higher priority than one’s spouse, especially when it comes to lovemaking. Then the spouse we are supposed to love and cherish and become one flesh becomes a second class citizen in their own bedroom and household. It’s not right and it’s destroying marriages.

      Fatigue happens in our house, both physical and emotional. We have to guard our hearts, time, and physical stamina. If it’s an occasional occurrence, it’s understandable that life happens and we plow through. (Happened in our house last night after a step daughter did stupid and our household is struggling, not a lot of sleep and certainly a lot of tension in the house! This is all on top of what’s already happening.) HOWEVER, when we regularly allow life and exhaustion from our activities to replace the thought and effort to express love, appreciation for, and time to make love, it communicates: a lack of concern or value of the marriage relationship, a lack of concern for physical closeness and needs of a spouse, a lack of concern for one’s marriage vows and God’s priority of the marriage, marriage bed and covenant relationship, and spiritual disobedience which has significant consequences spiritual and relational.

      Under the stars Answered on September 24, 2020.
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        It happens to all of us, Duchess.

        The other reality that we need to acknowledge is that we are getting older too! So, no matter how good the plans and intentions are, the uptick in years lowers the amount of energy available 🙁

        Under the stars Answered on September 24, 2020.

        I keep hoping if I just ignore my age I will still be in my late twenties/early thirties. (That’s how old I am in my head.)

        And unfortunately I can’t totally blame age; there are folks at church in their 70’s running rings around me!

        on September 24, 2020.

        Don’t compare yourself to what others do, just ask yourself if you are doing what God has given you to do. When He gives us a task, He also gives us the grace and strength to do it. Am I doing it in His power or in my own. George Whitefield once said “Lord, I am tired in your work, but not tired of your work.”  Hang on to Phil. 4:13

        on September 24, 2020.

        Good advice; thanks!

        on September 24, 2020.

        Yes, you are still a young duchess!

         

        on September 24, 2020.
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          Yes. For the past couple of years there have been a series of stressors mostly for my wife and her work that leaves her tank empty at the end of the day.  There’s always the unexpected phone call at 9 or 10 from someone who can’t make it in to work at 3:30. Late night phone calls garner little support from other potential staff to fill the hole leaving it to my wife to get about 4 hours of sleep to work a 15/16 hour day. That also means that during the day she can’t get her admin work done resulting in another long day the day after she filled the staffing gap. COVID certainly added more stress. She told me last night, something I’ve not heard her say in 17+ years “I’m in a funk.” It has certainly affected any effort at making plans for dates and ML. Some changes have occurred that will affect her schedule for the better but won’t happen until the end of the year. Who knows if there is another tunnel around the bend once she gets through this tunnel. It has been a challenge for me not to get caught up in my own pity party that one more evening or event had to be postponed because of the works conflicts. So maybe @Duchess I’m on the other end of your inquiry where it’s not guilt from lack of energy but frustration/disappointment that plans went by the wayside.

          Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on September 24, 2020.
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            COVID certainly added more stress. She told me last night, something I’ve not heard her say in 17+ years “I’m in a funk.” 

            They are talking in academic circles of a “covid fog”.  Some have ascribed it to a loss of mental capacities after a covid infection but others have attributed it to a brain fog due to the stress and strain of living in a pandemic/post-pandemic world. This is a situation where our mental capacities may be reduced by up to 1/3. Certainly, I’ve observed and personally experienced the high stress of constant changes and never-ending problem solving. This is certainly true in the medical and emergency personnel world where policies and procedures were literally changing on a daily, sometimes hourly basis based on the latest email received, which were constant from national, state, county health authorities on top of organizational emails from their various divisions of labor/struture.

            Under the stars Answered on September 24, 2020.

            Thanks NWNL. I’m sure there will be long lasting ramifications of what has transpired for years to come. Early on, a psychologist friend shared that he was seeing increased anxiety among his clients and that was only after a month of shut down. Your assessment is spot on regarding the constant requirement to change and adapt as new information was gathered and disseminated. Sometimes the protocol changes required were far greater than directed by the CDC or the State level as companies wanted to ensure an extra measure of precaution. I’ll end there before I get up on my soap box. All that to say to the point @Duchess was asking is that fatigue has been a reality for us even before COVID, but certainly exacerbated by it. That’s where II Corinthians 12:9-10 has been such a comfort.

            on September 24, 2020.
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              @NWNL:  ” a brain fog due to the stress and strain…the high stress of constant changes and never-ending problem solving”

              I have heard of this happening in other situations besides the pandemic, and I actually believe I have experienced this (and have some professional–opinions, at least; I don’t know if they ever wrote them down as official diagnoses) to back it up. I KNOW I’m not the same since my accident.

              I wasn’t saying I never “express love, appreciation for, and  [take] time to make love” with my husband. I just meant I’ve been thinking about this cheesecake he likes that takes a whole lot of effort that I’ve been wanting to surprise him with for some time now, but it takes a lot of mental energy to get all the steps right and we always struggle with keeping our small kitchen free of clutter in order to have room to work, and when the mice invaded I was cleaning and sanitizing the same spots every day and had very few places I felt were completely safe to store food until I got the pantry and big food cabinet cleaned out and every time I thought of it I thought how much I would love to see him light up at the sight of it, but I also know he would like the kitchen and dining room put back together and mouse-free, and cleaning out every cabinet and drawer and surface they contaminated takes a lot of time and energy and doesn’t leave much for making a complicated cheesecake.

              I probably should have worded the question to indicate I am thinking mostly of those with chronic conditions of some sort  that tax the body or ongoing situations that tax the mind and spirit.

              As to the dog, I really can see your point.  I am, however, mainly joking about him “fighting” her for space. If she’s in the way, we just move her. When we want to ML, we push her off the bed. She doesn’t like being on there when we are moving around anyway.  She has learned to recognize when we are “done” and hops back up and curls up into a doggie donut at our feet.

              Now, reading your response, I have to ask: am I just over-sensitive (because I am aware that I can be that way and see criticism and/or attack where there genuinely is none) or did I get a little overflow of your frustration with DD and a little bit of a slap-down? Sincerely asking, because I feel a little stung, but it could just be me.

              Under the stars Answered on September 24, 2020.

              Duchess, I meant no harm and NOTHING in my comments were directed at you. (I’ve also seen your heart and desire for your husband time and time again on TMB.) 

              Regarding step daughter situation, it was just trying to show that emotional and physical fatigue hit our household at an inopportune time for DW & I trying to overcome school & work stressors, zig & zag schedules this week, a full blown visit from Aunt Flo (hasn’t happened in the 3.5 yrs of marriage due to early on-set menopause), wife is hurting now emotionally and physically, I’m upset (I didn’t give her what she needed last night when she called and she caught me on this DSD issue as I was busy in final prep for rehearsal & recording), I’m just being a whiny-pee pants with a lot of things right now and things have dragged on this week due to schedules and now an emotional interruption after “connecting” last weekend so now I’m feeling it, emotionally and physically.

              These boards are read by a lot of people and sadly both here and IRL, spouses have replaced spouse with pets and kids time and time again. I’ve seen divorces over it, not named directly, just the effects of repeated misplaced priorities exemplified by this.  I’ve personally experienced being replaced by my kids in my first marriage. (Heck, even the dog got more affection and attention sometimes than I did in my first marriage.)

              on September 24, 2020.

              You really are in a pressure cooker this week! Thanks for the reassurance. I’ve seen  your heart and kindness too and it didn’t really seem likely that you were directing anything at me, but I’ve been extra insecure after finding myself inadvertently in the middle of a Karen-fight in a Facebook group earlier this week. I just don’t DO that and decided better to leave that group than to take a chance of putting my foot in it again, all the while thinking “it was them”, but now I was starting to wonder if “it was ME,” lol! I hope your week gets better and your wife has my sympathies on the visit from Aunt Flo. Those random ones are Not Fun.

              P.S. “whiny-pee pants” cracked me up!!

              on September 24, 2020.
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                Yes, Duchess, I have been there. In the last couple of years, I knew I didn’t have the oomph, so I did things to take that pressure and guilt off of me, but that doesn’t keep the guilt from trying to creep back in. Currently, the past 7-8 weeks has been very draining for me because of so much going on in life, it’s definitely had a negative impact on us.

                PS- I have a differing opinion of where kids belong than @NWNL, I say that so you don’t have to feel guilty if you do too. 😉

                Under the stars Answered on September 24, 2020.

                Lol, I feel very blessed that our DD was a good sleeper so my conviction that kids belonged in their own room never had to be tested! I don’t put any more stock in my holding that opinion than I do in parents who say “children should eat what they are given or they don’t eat” when they don’t have a child with ARFID. 🙂

                on September 24, 2020.
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                  Yes, even as the HD husband fatigue is a problem. I’m an early bird so by about 9:00 I’m done. Oldest kid doesn’t head to bed until around 10. It gets very difficult to put in quality pursuit time when my body starts shutting down at 8:30. We’ve talked it thru plenty of times but there is no consistently good answer. Thankfully, if I send quality signals earlier in the evening she’ll catch on and make herself available even though I may fall asleep in the chair waiting. 🙂

                  Fell out of ... Answered on September 24, 2020.
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                    Yes, health conditions for both of us play a huge role and one night owl and one morning person exacerbate the situation. We are really our best in the middle of the day, but there are so many reasons that won’t work.

                    King bed Answered on September 24, 2020.
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                      Yes. This has been a major issue for us this year.

                      I’ll be thinking about having some fun with DW all day long and read about a lot of great ideas here on TMB, but by the time I pick up our son from school after work, get home, get him situated, eat dinner, clean up the kitchen, get him bathed and in bed (and make sure he stays in bed!), and finally get some time to sit down for a few minutes, I’m exhausted! My body switches from desiring sex to desiring sleep as soon as I see the bed.

                      I’ve always been more of an early riser and DW is a night owl. So that doesn’t help things much, either. I’ll wake up early and in the mood while she’s still sawing logs.

                      California King Answered on September 24, 2020.
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                        I can truly relate to the “I’m in a funk comment”, since I’ve felt that way for weeks. With regards  to the original question, our age along with some health issues, and fatigue has put a damper on our intimate time together.  We are trying to work through this, working on our diets along with exercise. Trying to spend time talking through some issues.

                        California King Answered on September 24, 2020.
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