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How to make my husband take me home when I'm tired?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Athene, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I've been getting better lately, and I do actually feel like going out sometimes with my husband. The problem is, when I'm worn out and want to be taken home, he just won't get the message.

    e.g. Last weekend he sugested going to a little town in the mountains about an hour away. On the way there, he casually mentioned he'd arranged for us to have lunch with one of his colleagues who happened to be there at her parents' house. So a couple of hours walking round a town and having coffee turned into a morning and lunch out. The lunch went on and on and despite me begging him to take me home lots of times, it came to 6pm and we were still there.

    At 6pm his mother (who was looking after our son) rang and said she was tired, and I swear he was up and heading to the car before he'd even finished the phonecall. WTF?

    I spent 2 years always telling him I didn't want to go out (anywhere, ever) because I knew this would happen and just make me get progressively more ill. Now I an fed up of always staying in, I do want to go out but.... How can I make him get the message?

    I've tried the logical method of explaining that, when I say tired, I really mean ill. I've also told him - he has seen it happen enough times - that if I get over-tired it takes at least 2 weeks for me to recover.
    Nothing normal is going to work. I need some kind of stratagem worthy of the Desperate Housewives which will manipulate him into doing what I want without delay!
  2. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    How about loudly declaring (hopefully in the presence of a number of people), "I feel really sick. I think I'd better go now." That would probably gain you the support of the other people in the room who likely don't want to be around someone who's really sick. ;)

    And don't pretend to feel okay for the sake of the social situation -- as we so often do.
    taniaaust1, ggingues, merylg and 2 others like this.
  3. penny

    penny Senior Member

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    Interestingly I sort of have the same problem, my husband's very sympathetic and usually very good about respecting my limits, but a handful of times we've been at some social thing, and he just doesn't take my "oh, it's getting late", "I'm worn out" and even "we should leave soon" cues. I think maybe it's that I'm trying too hard to couch them in normal, polite, socially acceptable language. Also I think this is exacerbated by wine and how relaxed he is ;)

    I agree with SOC, saying you feel sick, you could also say you've got to leave now (terribly sorry, thanks for the lovely lunch) and you need to go and lay down in the car...This only works of course if you've driven wherever it is and you don't mind being in the car (if it's a restful place for you). But it may make him realize that you really are feeling very bad

    I'll ask my husband about this, maybe he'll have some idea of where our communication is breaking down in those situations, and maybe that'll be useful to you as well. I'll report back if I found out anything interesting : )
    SOC, Athene and merylg like this.
  4. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    I find the problem with using the word 'sick' as opposed to tired, is it makes people think that you either have the flu or feel sick from the food, so it sets them into alarm mode, or else pity pity 'ooooooh' mode, both of which constitutes an energy-demanding commotion of explaining that it is normal for you to be sick when you are out and it means you have to go home. I can't think of a socially acceptable 'out' that means 'I feel unwell and want to leave with a minimum of fuss'.

    When it's your partner though, there really has to be a way to communicate it. Maybe a signal or a safe word...
    merylg likes this.
  5. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Or maybe a very direct approach before you ever leave the house. Like, "I'll be getting in the car at 3:00," and you'll have to absolutely stick with it. Then you can be very polite at the restaurant (or wherever) as you say "I know you need to finish up; I don't mind waiting in the car for a minute."

    Over time, he might learn that he doesn't have to pack everything in each time he gets out with you. You'll go out more often if it's for shorter times, and if you can trust him to respect your boundaries.
    taniaaust1 and merylg like this.
  6. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    I suspect that our significant others find themselves isolated by our illness, too. It's hard on them to have to leave before they are ready all the time, I'm sure. They finally get some social time out and they have to leave early. It's got to be hard.

    In my experience, the best thing to do for social situations is to keep everything clear and above-board. We get so used to pretending that we're not ill for the benefit of other people that we sometimes confuse the situation. Clear communication of the truth usually gets the best results. I've learned this lesson the hard way, believe me.

    Now when we go out, we tell everyone from the moment of the invitation that I'm very ill and that we probably won't be able to stay very long. We make sure I'm in the best possible condition to function by minimizing energy expenditure in advance and during the event. That often means arriving in a wheelchair to save every ounce of energy. While I'm there I don't pretend I'm not ill if I am. In the vast majority of circumstances everyone is kind and considerate.

    I also have to be honest with myself. I can't do everything everyone else does. Lots of times my family goes to events without me. There's no way I can sit through a sports event or a concert, for example. That doesn't mean my family has to miss out on all those opportunities, though. Sometimes it stinks to be left at home, but I think they deserve some social time when they don't have to be worrying about me every minute.

    Our significant others need to be sensitive to our needs -- leaving social situations when we need to is a big one -- but we need to be sensitive to theirs, too. That doesn't mean we have to pretend we're not ill. We just have to plan for social events with open eyes and open minds. There can be a lot of creative solutions to the problem, but we might not see them if we aren't being fully (maybe brutally?) honest with ourselves and others about the limitations of this illness.
    penny and Calathea like this.
  7. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Yeah, that's a tricky situation. We've managed to work with that at the invitation stage. "SOC has a serious chronic illness, and while we would love to come to your party, she usually can't stay very long. If it's okay with you, we'd love to stop by, but won't stay more than _____." Or, "If it's okay with you, I'll take her home at about ___ and come back and visit with you some more." Then people are mentally prepared for a chronic illness/fatigue situation rather than a "your food made me ill" situation. ;) I've been able to leave with a minimum of fuss because most people get that there's not much they can do in the moment about a chronic illness.
    L'engle likes this.
  8. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    SOC, you hit the nail on the head with the fact that it is socially isolating for my husband too. I've always encouraged him to go out and take our son out as much as possible is it is certainly healthier for both of them. But my husband doesn't really enjoy himself when I'm not there, he just worries about me at home alone.

    Yet, I have explained that half the time, I would be happy to go out with him for 2 hours, but not 4. I need to come home NOT when the party's finished, but when I'm finished. I've told him so many times that I would go out a lot more if only I could come home when I am tired, rather than when I am exhausted.

    I don't understand why this message just goes in one ear and out the other. I do suspect he still believes some part of my illness is psychological and that I'll be fine if he can just cheer me up.

    I also think maybe part of it is cultural. I don't make a big scene when I feel bad, mainly because I just don't have the energy and because I think it would be embarrassing. But here in Sicily, the drama they make out of the most trivial thing is pretty spectacular. I think I might need to throw myself to the gound and make scary wheezing noises, or perhaps make loud gagging noises whilst also twitching uncontrollably. Otherwise nobody will actually believe I feel ill at all.
    Valentijn, penny and L'engle like this.
  9. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    LOL! You're probably right -- you need to get in the appropriate cultural mood to get the message across. ;) My husband's family was both insensitive and manipulative. Politeness and good manners went in one ear and out the other. The only way to get heard was to pitch a nasty fit, then everybody gave in to what you wanted. I never really managed to function in that environment, even though I knew what I needed to do, because it was so alien to me.

    You could always skip the makeup, arrive in a wheelchair, wilt in your seat, and push your food around listlessly. Maybe then they'd get that you're sick. ;)

    As for your poor hubby -- he's probably terribly conflicted. He wants to go out AND he wants to be with you, but the two are mutually incompatible (time-wise, anyway). Maybe the take-you-home-and-come-back thing would work. My husband is emotionally more able to leave me at home and return to the event if I say I am going to have a nap while he's gone -- then he doesn't feel so much like he's abandoning me. :)

    The danged illness gets you from every direction, doesn't it? The physical symptoms are bad enough, but then there's the social isolation, and family having to adapt. I think we're a pretty tough bunch surviving this illness at all. :thumbsup:
    Athene, penny and L'engle like this.
  10. Rooney

    Rooney

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    The holder of the car keys at the end of the event has leaving power. I would stand up, say you must go to lie down in the car, or whatever you like, and leave. He should follow soon enough? Leaving is the best conversation ender, I find.:)
    taniaaust1, Athene and L'engle like this.
  11. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Now there's the cleanest, most straight-forward solution, yet, lol!
    L'engle likes this.
  12. penny

    penny Senior Member

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    So I asked my husband about this, and he said pretty quickly that he thinks we need a code word (bingo L'engle!), and that some vague statements like "it's getting late" can be interpreted as feelers for whether the hosts are ready for the event to be over, not an indication that I'm done in. Sigh, sometimes he seems so clever, and then sometimes ;) Anyway, not sure if this is helpful, but that's one man's take.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  13. Rooney

    Rooney

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    When the hosts want to end a successful evening they are to don their pajamas.

    I believe the credit is to the great Judith Martin, "Miss Manners" columnist. If we could hire her as a consultant for our unique social needs, our lives would be improved greatly. Then again PR gets five stars.
    SOC and Athene like this.
  14. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Maybe it is because he is male. ;)

    If you are visiting family or good friends, could you go lie down somewhere quiet until your husband is ready to leave?
    Athene likes this.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Id suggest many of the things the others have said so wont repeat those .. but another thing I suggest is maybe a quiet word in his ear asking him if he would mind asking the host for you if there is anywhere you can go and lay down .. If he's not ready to take you home.

    He probably wont wont to ask the host that so will instead just take you home.
    Tito and silicon like this.
  16. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Hi folks,
    I actually have had offers to go and lie down. Our hosts are always very accomodating like that, they've always been extremely hospitable. It's just that then I'm on someone else's bed, the level of dustmites sets off my allergies, and I just don't feel comfortable without being able to take my itchy bra off and sprawl all over the bed knowing I can fall deeply asleep and won't be disturbed for about 14 hours. Once I'm worn out, a couple of hours nap just doesn't cut it.
    Does anyone else feel like that? Has anyone else tried to rest in someone else's bed... or am I just too fussy?
  17. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    No I dont think you are too fussy.. if you are uncomfortable and cant sleep well.. its probably not a good idea anyway.

    Im lucky as when I get ME tired.. the tiredness can make me fall asleep anywhere.
  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    Might it help to let him know that you're already pushing yourself to your limits? My husband got the message much better when we discussed that. I think we all try to downplay things as much as possible to give us the chance to interact more normally in social situations. If we're out and I'm feeling tired, I don't say anything. When I'm feeling uncomfortable, I don't say anything. When I'm feeling a little sick, I don't say anything. By the time I actually speak up and say that we need to leave, we need to leave NOW. In fact, we probably needed to leave two hours ago. And it's not because I'm a little worn out. It's because there is a crisis going on.

    I would also consider having your husband read the Stanford University patient guide (there's a link near the start of the page that's called Instructions for Current Stanford...etc and the relevant message is on page 5 of that document), where it talks about the potential consequences of overdoing it (i.e. possible permanent CNS damage). Stanford is a respectable institution, and it might help to get him to take what you're saying more seriously. He needs to understand that you don't need to go home because you're worn out in the way that a regular person is (I'm sure you can and do already push through "regular" tired). You need to go home because you may be triggering an autoimmune attack (or whatever it is that's wrong with us). Hopefully explaining that difference might wake him up a bit.
    penny, taniaaust1, Athene and 2 others like this.

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