Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Generally cranky - help fix?
October 24, 2012 9:34 PM   Subscribe

I've feel angry and frustrated for no reason and I don't know what to do about it. I'm worried that I'm taking it out on my husband. Help?

For a few weeks now, I've felt just generally angry and frustrated. I can't really put my finger on why I feel this way. I'm concerned that I'm not being a good partner to my husband as a result.

There are a few life changes that we have made that were relatively big but I should have absorbed them and moved on by now. About a year ago, we moved from a crappy apartment where we had lived for six years to a nicer place. Two years ago, I quit a job where I was underappreciated and underpaid for a better gig. In January, my husband quit his job to start a company and it's going well.

But of course, it's not that simple. I loved my old neighborhood and could walk to work. Now I have to take the bus - and it's fine, but it's different. Similarly, the new job is great - but I don't have the same comfort level and relationships with people that I did at my last job and a lot more is expected of me. And my husband's company is going well but with a start-up, in some ways, it never feels like things are moving quickly enough.

At the same time, my sister is pregnant which I'm excited about. My sister-in-law is getting married and I'm happy for her. But I'm going to need to take time off for both of these things. I used to take time off to do cool stuff that made me proud. I volunteered to build with Habitat in other countries and served as an international election observer. But my new job means fewer vacation days to do cool stuff so I have to make choices. I could conceivably take unpaid leave but people at my job don't see to do that kind of thing.

I don't feel like I have anything to look forward to. I don't mean that in a depressing sense and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing family for the holidays and my sister's babies and such but I feel like I don't have my own thing I'm looking forward to. I kind of just want to be left alone. Since I'm not crazy about my current job, I thought of looking into new ones but it's only been two years and we're about to start working on a big thing that will take me through February and I would feel like a jerk leaving in the middle of it.

I feel like I used to do cool things - travel on my own, volunteer doing cool stuff, run marathons - but it's all in the past. I'm too tired when I get home from work to do anything besides drag myself to yoga a few times a week and occasionally try to call my family.

I think all of this has made me grouchy around my husband. I feel really badly about it because I know I should be nicer to him but I'm just tired. I mentioned to the psychologist I'm seeing (I've had depression and anxiety for years) that I feel generally frustrated and angry and she didn't have anything to say. I'm tired a lot. I've done sleep tests and for whatever reason, I don't get restful sleep so I take Nuvigil which is awesome but I still feel frustrated.

I get frustrated when my husband asks what I want to do for dinner. I feel like I always figure out what to do for dinner. I get annoyed at him when he starts saying he wants to go to bed early and then sits on the couch for another hour and a half. I feel snappy when I'm cleaning up around the apartment and he's just watching TV. But sometimes it's not even stuff like that. He'll say something innocuous and I'll just want to reply something mean for no reason. I feel like a monster. I don't want to be this person. Sometimes I will notice that it's tied to my menstrual cycle and then I'll feel a little better. But usually it's not even that.

TL; DR - I'm generally frustrated, angry, depressed and tired for no particular reason and I'm worried that I'm taking it out on my husband and I don't know what to do. Help?
posted by kat518 to Human Relations (27 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't feel like I have anything to look forward to ... I kind of just want to be left alone.

I don't know what sort of yoga you're doing, but mindfulness practice might help on these and a couple of other issues you mention. Thich Nhat Hanh's books, e.g. The Miracle of Mindfulness, do have some woo in them, but they're still very practical.

I get frustrated when my husband asks what I want to do for dinner ... I feel snappy when I'm cleaning up around the apartment and he's just watching TV ... He'll say something innocuous and I'll just want to reply something mean for no reason.

Assuming that smoke indicates fire, I'll suppose your husband may actually not be pulling his weight on domestic responsibilities. If these reactions are on the rise, you're right to be concerned but probably well in time to resolve them before it's serious.

Ideally, he'd just jump in and do what it takes for you to feel great about his contributions around the house, but it's also true that it's OK for people to be lazy if they're doing what you need, and no one is a mind-reader. So decide exactly what you need him to do, and if he does it, practice forgiving and enjoying his quirks in all areas that are left undetermined.

What'll kill your relationship dead is developing a habit of thinking poorly of him as a person, when in fact it's likely there are manageable circumstances here that can improve the situation quite a bit.

Anyway, to sum up, I think you have a pile of ordinary frustrations, none of which sound key but that collectively add up to something such that your crankiness is understandable. I don't think you can expect a quick route to perfection with these kinds of issues, ever. But try to prioritize your needs and knock them out one by one so that what's going on around you improves in the largest chunks possible without taking on too much at once.

If you can't pick one thing that would most contribute to your sense of contentment, I have to fall back on very generic recommendations: focus on attitude by reading things like Thich Nhat Hanh or Epictetus or Alan Watts or Marcus Aurelius or whatever, and develop a hobby that has measurable but extremely graduated indicators of success so that it makes you feel like you're achieving new things all the time.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:17 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


You've said most of your hours are spent:

- fulfilling expectations not defined by you, among & for people who don't offer comfort, humour, or commiseration
- commuting
- keeping a house, which is situated in a neighbourhood you're not sure you like

I'd be pissy too.

Did you feel you were an equal contributor to the decisions behind these changes, or did your husband drive them, in the main?

Can you improve the quality of your collegial relationships? Carve out more time and space for yourself (e.g. hobby), or meet good friends more often? Find scope for more decision-making in your work, or a way to use more of the skills you enjoy using?

If you hate your neighbourhood, it's not impossible to find another one closer to your job (even though you've just moved).

Husband should clean more.
posted by nelljie at 10:37 PM on October 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can identify - I'm having similar issues right now. Partially because of my personality and partially because of my own depression and anxiety, I don't handle change very well. I'm kind of a creature of habit - I think because tending to anxiety makes you want things to be predictable and routine, it's less to worry about. A particular change might be a great thing for me in the long run, but it still unsettles me. It sounds like you had one big change after another, when you hadn't fully adapted to the change before it, and since each change is a stressor then the stress piles up.

I told my counsellor one of the biggest things bothering me is how "edgy" I am. Everything gets under my skin, even the smallest things, and it's worse because I know if I had some perspective all too often these are not important things at all. It's exhausting to feel angry and frustrated all the time and it's plain unpleasant. So what she told me is to imagine each of us have an empty bottle inside us, that's our energy & our ability to cope with whatever life throws at us. Each thing that happens to us that we have to deal with fills that bottle up a little bit more. Whenever we do things that help us feel relaxed and restorative it will help empty the bottle a little bit.

She said, you are feeling so on edge because your bottle is full. You have no room left, you are at your limit. Your resources are tapped out and you don't have anything left to draw on. Start thinking, she said, about what you can do to empty your bottle even if it's just a little bit. Be selfish, you need time for yourself; if your time for yourself is completely aimless, laying on the couch daydreaming for an hour, do that. If it's taking a long bath and reading mindless magazines, do that. If it's working on something creative, do that. But do only what you have to do for other people - ask for what you need, take on less responsibilities (for instance, dinner - I told my husband flat out I can only think about dinner half the time and that I expect him to figure it out for us the other half, that I need him to step up and take that one small pressure off me; I, too, was flipping out over having to figure that out every day). Basically you've given yourself a lot of changes without time to really process each one so give yourself downtime now to decompress. She mentioned as well that I am tending to downplay the good things going on in my life and overemphasize the negative things - she told me I need to be more aware that I am doing this and think of ways to be in the moment, enjoy the good things and not allow the negative to crowd out what good there is by dwelling on it. I think one way is to actively come up with a few things that were positive about each day, to reinforce it.

I am finding it's really helping me to talk, talk, and talk some more about how I'm feeling and pick at figuring out why I feel how I feel; to consider what would make me feel happier - what would make something I'm upset about, better. I talk to my husband, I talk to my counsellor, I talk to my friends, I talk to my mother, I talk on MeFi; having all the different perspectives helps because each can offer me a new angle to consider. If your psychologist doesn't have anything to say to you or any ideas how to deal with something that is an ongoing issue affecting you - feeling like this definitely impacts getting through each day - maybe you should be talking to a therapist or a social worker, someone with constructive thoughts for you, who can help you drill down to specific things you could do to cope with and mitigate these feelings?
posted by flex at 10:41 PM on October 24, 2012 [21 favorites]


This really jumped out at me:

"There are a few life changes that we have made that were relatively big but I should have absorbed them and moved on by now."

I'm going to guess that at least some of your frustration is coming out of thinking you should be feeling a certain way about all these life changes, but for some reason you just don't. And constantly failing to live up to some internal drill sergeant ("Your life is better! Start being happy, goddammit!") is exhausting.

You sound like you have high standards for yourself--you've traveled solo, run marathons, volunteered. You set goals for yourself, achieved them, and that felt awesome. Now you're spending a lot of time helping other people achieve their goals: your employer, your husband (even if the goal is 'dinner and relaxing'). And you're applying the same drive and energy to those things, but not really getting anything out of it.

Things are not necessarily better now just because they look better on paper. You are allowed to miss your old life and you are allowed to have doubts about your new job. Maybe that leads you to look for a different job, maybe not. I think taking unpaid time off is a great idea, even if it's a little out of the ordinary. It sounds like for you, needing time to work on your own projects is like needing air or food. You need it in order to be able to go to work and be married.

I'm sorry I don't have a lot of practical advice. My own frustrations and feelings of ambivalence about my job led me to save a bunch of money and then quit, so clearly I am not the best career counselor. But a large part of that decision was thinking, hey, maybe I am not broken and it's OK to be frustrated, even though from the outside, my life looked pretty cushy.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 10:42 PM on October 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry, quick follow-up: do you feel able to meet the expectations held of you? Are they more stressful than they are challenging/engaging?

(Husband should cook more often, too. And/or: order in sometimes, and get a cleaner to come in once in a while. You need a break, and you need some fun.)
posted by nelljie at 10:46 PM on October 24, 2012


Assuming the housework is split reasonably, it sounds like you're getting crabby with him because he's a "safe" person to crab at. But as you know, it's unfair to him. So how to stop?

A few thoughts -

1. Find some time to do a nice activity together. Do a crossword, take a walk, something that doesn't tie into whatever domestic irritations are simmering. If you only spend time together with annoying domestic tasks or plugged into different screens, it's not good for team spirit.

2. If you're in a crabby mood, tell him so and excuse yourself to cool down. "I'm sorry, I'm just in a rotten mood, I'm going to go take five" or whatever. If you know you're in a bad mood, find an outlet for it that isn't him.

3. What re-energizes you? (Eg seeing friends? spending time alone in nature? hard exercise? creative stuff?) See if you can fiddle your schedule to find more space for that. Get some more positive stuff happening that you can think about, rather than dwelling on the things that are missing.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:50 PM on October 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


And maybe obvious, but have you done blood tests for things like Vitamin D, iron, thyroid, etc that are sometimes linked to tiredness?
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:53 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone here has really good advice so far, but I'd just like to add that potential side effects of Nuvigil include depression, anxiety, agitation, nervousness, and depressed mood.
posted by erst at 10:58 PM on October 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


It seems like you're getting annoyed with your husband about having to be the cruise director ("what's for dinner, mom?") and for indulging in down time while you are feeling over-burdened, or at least unfairly burdened.

My husband and I are in a somewhat similar position, where he is working on awesome things but for minimal money, and I am working for most of the money. When everything is cool, it works well. When I am really stressed out about work and/or money, though, I can get caught up in resentments from "Cook dinner? Why do I have to do ALL THE THINGS?" to being crabby that he's still in bed at 10 when I had to be at my desk at 8 or that he can stay up later while I have to go to sleep or I will die.

It sounds like you need to re-balance your tasks. We hired someone to clean once a week. My husband does kitchen cleanup and dishwasher duty; I cook 9 out of 10 nights, although he'll chop or dish up if I ask for help. Everyone does their own laundry and whatever house laundry (towels, etc.) is around. The other night we eat one of the meals he can make or one of the meals we've frozen.

To be honest, though, no matter how even we can make it it will still never feel even because there is the whole cultural burden of the boy/girl thing. I don't care if the house is a mess but I know that when people walk in, the messy house earns a demerit point for me but not for him. I am not evolved enough to not care and so I pull out the broom and sweep the dog hair off the floor. He doesn't.

I also keep 27x more running lists in my head; I go to bed thinking "must remember to defrost porkchops in the morning" and "must add TP to shopping list" where he doesn't. I've never figured out what to do about that, but it's an element of domestic burden that is hard to quantify or to share.

I do know, however, that as long as stuff is defrosted, the answer to the question "What do you want to do for dinner?" is "I don't know, honey; work it out."
posted by DarlingBri at 11:21 PM on October 24, 2012 [17 favorites]


You and your husband sound not unlike me and my husband when things get busy. Dinner, and what we're having, and who's in charge of making it, becomes this disproportionately stressful thing.

Do you have a schedule for who's cooking on what nights? We sort of came to a tentative agreement recently that has made our lives easier. It turned out that Mr. Stomper really likes to plan out all the meals for the week, and I really hate deciding what we're eating days in advance, so we compromised by making a big list of staples and things he needs to cook his repertoire of meals, plus flexible items so that I can just make whatever seems easy and good on my nights to cook.

But just having it scheduled who's going to DECIDE what's for dinner has made things somewhat easier.

What DarlingBri said: it never feels even, because I feel more pressure to keep on top of housework than Mr. Stomper does. It takes a lot of mental cheerleading to get myself to say "to hell with it, I'm going to do something fun/for my own career, instead of the dishes."

Oh, and also, I kind of feel you on the holidays. We moved and had a baby and all this stuff in the last two years, and last Christmas everything was so different and...well, just different. It was really hard to enjoy the holidays -- they just felt sort of washed out from all the changes in my life. So there's that.
posted by daisystomper at 11:29 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you getting enough exercise? I get this way very much when I don't. Especially the sleep part.

Your concerns speak loudly. You love your husband. Tell him what's going on. Ask his support. Express yourself.
posted by Goofyy at 11:40 PM on October 24, 2012


I was going to mention the same thing as erst. Two of the extremely well-documented, almost expected side effects of Nuvigil are heightened frustration and anger.
posted by batmonkey at 11:46 PM on October 24, 2012


I just run until i don't give a damn. Run 12 miles. Bike 100 miles. It has a remarkable effect. You can't get angry or frustrated for 2-3 days afterwards. And it sorta trains your brain to react differently over time.

Really hard hatha yoga classes and kettlebells work too. But I find a good long run most effective.
posted by alcahofa at 12:40 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no advice to add, but I just wanted to thank you for this post, it's one I've considered writing for a while now. I could be you or DarlingBri except that my husband already does more around the house than I do and I still get cranky and snippy and I hate it. So thank you for posting this, you're not alone!
posted by platinum at 1:33 AM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


You're not doing anything fun. How can you recharge your batteries without fun? You're spread very thin meeting obligations but you say in your post that you feel you haven't got stuff to look forward to. Of course you're grumpy, you're giving yourself to everyone else without replenishing your own joy. What do you do that feels like play? Make room for that thing. Make it a priority and a routine. Be selfish about it. A hike or a run or a few hours playing an instrument or picking up a knitting pattern or riding rollercoasters or playing Minecraft all Sunday - whatever your thing is. You need it MORE when you have stressful stuff going on - it balances you out. Maybe yoga is your Thing but it sounds more like another obligation right now.
posted by Lou Stuells at 2:00 AM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd add that you said "I don't have anything to look forward to". I think this is exactly right. You don't. You're bored, your life is perhaps a bit better than before, perhaps a bit worse. Bleh.

You need goals. Run a marathon. Volunteer abroad again. Go back to graduate school. Do it!
posted by 3491again at 6:13 AM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I have so been there. Like flex said, I hate that feeling of being edgy and knowing that I'm getting unreasonably irritated/angry/frustrated by things that normally wouldn't be a big deal. You're not alone in feeling this way.

You mention that your therapist had nothing to say. That's sort of troubling to me. What you're experiencing sounds a lot to me like the early stages of depression as I experience it (and maybe as you do, too). Your therapist's job is to help you identify what's causing these symptoms and help you cope with them. That includes not just diagnosing you with depression and sending you to get a prescription, but also some amount of inquiry and encouragement in healthy directions.

The therapists I've had who have been most effective have asked questions like, "What do you feel like you need to be satisfied with your life that you're not getting?" They've also worked with me on self-care stuff like exercise, sleep hygiene, eating, etc. Moreover, they help me with some of the interpersonal stuff that's bothering me that I don't know how to express (things like getting your husband to take on equal responsibility for making dinner). I think it's worth asking your therapist for support in these things if she isn't offering it. If she can't, I would suggest finding a new therapist who will be more helpful.

I second the folks who have said you should talk to your husband. If you've had depression and anxiety for a long time hopefully he's familiar with what that involves. In addition to suffering from depression myself, I'm a partner to someone with depression and when he's irritable it makes a big difference for him to just acknowledge that it's because he's feeling bad and not because he's upset with me.

I am also right there with you on the feeling like you have nothing to look forward to. I know I've said those exact words in the past, even at times when things were going relatively well like they seem to be for you. It's hard to work up the energy and motivation to make something to look forward to when you're feeling like this. I know you mentioned that you have limited time off, but is planning a vacation an option for you right now? Maybe even just taking a long weekend to go visit another city? Maybe a class you could take in the evenings? Sometimes the structure and having paid for something gets me out of the house even when I'm not feeling like it.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 8:11 AM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, setting aside some physical/mental malady or influence (which I'm not actually setting aside, but I'm just not qualified to even guess about), it seems to me that one major thing is clear: you are spending all day at a job that doesn't really do it for you, and then go home to your place in a neighborhood that doesn't really do it for you. Neither are terrible, but neither are giving you anything to feel happy about, and together seem to be significantly weighing down your sense of well-being and satisfaction.

Some people are really sensitive about their home/neighborhood-setting. I'm one. I get actually seriously agoraphobic in certain environments, and I've become physically unwell living in an apartment I disliked. I had chest pains that didn't seem to have a physical cause, and as amazing as it seems to me (because I'm not the princess type, and kind of the complete opposite of a hypochondriac, whatever that is – it's only a flesh wound!), I was apparently ill because I felt depressed by that objectively nice apartment that I just didn't like. After moving, no chest pain. I live in a nice place now, nice enough to keep me from getting depressed, and it's coveted by friends, but I still desperately miss our last, way-too-small apartment (in another city) with the fabulous sunrise view, huge balcony (with the sunset view) and wonderful, wonderful neighborhood. I miss it every day, and we moved five years ago (because of work, otherwise I think I would have held on tooth and nail, even though we would have maybe had to rent another space just to keep my husband's work equipment).

Anyway, I have a lot of thoughts on the other stuff that is bugging you, but to keep this from being a complete wall of text, I'll leave that off for now, especially since you say that it's just in the past few weeks that feelings have become somewhat unbearable. I imagine that the day-to-day minutiae of living with your husband hasn't changed that much over the years, which makes me assume that the more critical problem lies elsewhere, and I can imagine the combo of work-situation-I-don't-like and neighborhood/home I don't like doing the same to me over time, plus making me super snippy about anything else that would normally be manageable.
posted by taz at 8:20 AM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oops. Lost some text there somewhere along the line, but what I was going for is that it might be a great idea to go ahead and change either job or home, though probably not both at the same time. Since you have a thing going through February at work, I'd seriously look at moving, even though you did that fairly recently and it's a royal pain in the ass to move. We moved from the chest-pain apartment after only a few months... which is when we found the place that I loved so much I still quietly long for it every day.
posted by taz at 8:31 AM on October 25, 2012


Depression, I'm learning, takes all sorts of different behavior forms - it's not necessarily always sadsack and ashes and crying all the time. In retrospect, mine started with anger, very similar to what you're describing, after me being totally aloof to the fact that I was burning myself out. I'd recommend seeing a behavioral health doctor or therapist. No, really - just do it.

I was in a similar shoes these past few months and have been exercising regularly for years, which usually does the trick with controlling my stress. However, then all of a sudden, no matter how far I ran or how long I vigorously worked out, I was still ANGRY - at everyone and everything and it was hurting various relationships in my life because I was taking it out that way. :(

Then sometime in the past month the bottom fell out and I felt the saddest I've ever felt, and realized I was full-on depressed. Suddenly the anger that I had dissolved into total exhaustion and I could barely leave the house, was sleeping 14 hours at a time, abusing sick days and working from home...not good. My sense of time became totally warped - it felt like I was moving in slow motion, yet the clock was screaming by at lightning speed.

Luckily, I dragged myself to a doctor who diagnosed me with major clinical depression. I've been on Wellbutrin XL so far and it's amazing how much it's given be back so far. I'm not totally there yet, but I feel my old self coming back a little more each day and it's helping me be clear enough to figure out what I want/need from my relationship and life.

I'd highly, highly recommend taking a step back and seeing a doctor or therapist. They can help you put all of this in check.
posted by floweredfish at 8:47 AM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


What's interesting to me is that this question is not "how can i feel better?" but "how can i be nicer to my husband?" I don't know if that's because he's the only one you feel snappy towards, or because he's the only one you let yourself take it out on, and my answers to those two situations would differ. Do you feel equally frustrated with all those obnoxious people blocking the aisle in the grocery store, for example? Do you feel annoyed at half of your work colleagues?
posted by salvia at 8:56 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


i feel like that a lot frankly. so you're not alone.

1) if you can find a job you like better, take it! you don't owe them anything.
2) the fussy, angry all the time feeling could certainly be stress related. when you're on edge ALL THE TIME because of stress--for whatever reason--every little thing is more irritating and can set you off faster.
3) not getting good sleep adds A LOT to stress
4) fuck dinner. release yourself from the idea that dinner has to be made every night like mom used to. spaghetti or frozen pizza on the couch is fine. really. unless you WANT dinner to be an affair every night, then make it a priority.
5) your therapist might suck. you might need to see a new one or really press the issue with the one you have if he/she is generally good.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:55 PM on October 25, 2012


Hi all, thank you so much for your insights. A few thoughts:
- I've had depression and anxiety for years. I used to get a prescription for Wellbutrin from my GP but about a year ago, I started seeing a psychologist at a university nearby. In that time, I've had like 4 or 5 psychologists. It's not big deal in my opinion. I tried Lexapro but I wasn't wild about it so I went back to Wellbutrin which I really like.
- I have had blood work done relatively recently and tested for things like low thyroid - no dice.
- I do not like being the cruise director for my husband and I. He knows this but he still looks to me to figure stuff out. It makes me super happy when he's like, oh, I just did the dishes because duh, the dishes need to be done, or don't worry about dinner, I've got it. I know I also need to ask for help more often or tell him what I need.
- We do a decent amount of getting take out and going out to dinner. We have someone clean occasionally. I love it :) I acknowledge that my tolerance for messiness is lower than his so I feel responsible to do more since it is my issue.
- I love running but I've had to take time off. I had a really minor unnecessary surgery on my foot and I've been skittish about running since then. However, I ran Sunday and I felt so happy!
- Part of the reason I feel badly is that I know my husband is stressed out with trying to get his company off the ground and I want to be more supportive. I knew that was something I would have to do when he started this and I was ready to take it on so I feel really badly when I'm snappish.
posted by kat518 at 8:45 PM on October 25, 2012


One of the things that has really frustrated me lately is that I feel like my time, for the next several months, is spoken for. I'm visiting family for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I'm also planning a baby shower for my sister. Then for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we're probably visiting my in-laws. After that, I will be super busy for work through February. My sister is due in March and my sister-in-law gets married in May. So even if I had the days off, I feel like I can't do anything I want to do anytime soon.

I recently had an opportunity to volunteer abroad but I didn't really have the days off and my husband wasn't really feeling it and I wasn't really feeling it so I turned it down. And I felt really bummed about having to do it. If I did take time off after the busy time for work but before my sister-in-law's wedding, I would feel obligated to go on vacation with my husband. I'm sure that sounds terrible (poor me, I *have* to go on vacation with my husband) but I would really like to volunteer abroad again. I'm tempted to plan a volunteer abroad gig for the summer and just be like, deal with it, this is in 8 months.
posted by kat518 at 8:57 PM on October 25, 2012


Does it have to be Thanksgiving AND Christmas? Can your husband visit his folks for MLK and you stay home? Because honestly... reading your calendar makes me want to hide under my bed.

If you want to do this supporting-family stuff, you've got to make sure you're supporting your OWN needs enough to have the strength to be there for others. How helpful are you when you're grumpy and snappish? You have to beg off gracefully sometimes. You can do it all, OR you can do it well.

Plan your trip. And in the meantime, get back to running - it feels good cos it IS good! And it's something you can have little bites of, regularly and often. Say you just held out for the thing 8 months from now, and meanwhile plodded grimly onward as you have been. After 8 months without respite, are you even sure you're still going to want to go, or will it have become one of those obligation trips by then, because you're 8 months tireder, and hung so much expectation on it?
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:19 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do not like being the cruise director for my husband and I. He knows this but he still looks to me to figure stuff out.

Again, deflect. From "I don't know honey, you decide" to "I'm not the momma, I don't know" and finally "You are a grown-ass man, figure it out." If you do this, you need to accept that the outcomes he achieves may not be the ones you want.

"Are we going to Mary and Lucy's for brunch on Sunday?"

"I don't know honey. I'm up for it if you are. You sort it out."

Nothing happens and now you can't go because he didn't RSVP? Well okay then. Maybe he'll pick up the ball next time. Because this is not help - a lot of this stuff is mutual household shite, not something that is specifically your task that he's being kind enough to lend a hand with when it really isn't his job. It is, and he needs to do half of it.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:46 AM on October 26, 2012


Thanks again to everyone who offered advice and support. I've been trying to figure this out for a while and part of the reason I put it off is that I don't really have a question. Your words made me glad that I asked.
posted by kat518 at 12:39 PM on October 26, 2012


« Older I saw this film on television ...   |  Do "brain training" ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.