Needing space

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    <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 13.8351764678955px; line-height: normal;”>Hi there…I’ve been dealing with this for a long time. My work days are very stressful and long. My wife doesn’t understand. When I come home I need space and time for myself, just to clear my head, relax and have down time. But as soon as I get home she dumps more work on me. I don’t mean to sound angry, I love my wife very much, but I’m afraid I will snap if this keeps going on. I think it will hurt her feelings if I tell her I want time to myself when I come home from office, some peace and quiet. I don’t want her to take it the wrong way and be hurt. How should I bring up this topic? Please advise.</span>

    SS Moderator
    SS Moderator

    Hello Beardedbaby,

    It’s important to be open and genuine with your wife.  Most people nowadays are aware of the damaging effects stress and fatigue can have, so chances are your wife will be empathic, once she knows how you feel. You can suggest to her that the “to do list” can be kept for weekends. It’s important to clearly state how you feel, and describe the problem in terms of the consequences for you:

    “I’m really tired and I need some peace and quiet after work, so please don’t ask me to do things as soon as I come home, because it makes me even more stressed. Some down time will help me relax and unwind. I’m fine with doing those things for you on the weekend. ” Healthy communication involves appealing to your partner in a genuine and honest way, but making room for her needs too by giving alternative options. If she still reacts by getting hurt or angry, maybe there are some deeper issues of unmet needs on her part, that need to be resolved.


    Hi guys. Bearded baby – I can definitely see where you’re coming from, but I just want to add in one thing. I think you should put yourself in her shoes before talking to her, just so you can get a feel for how she must be feeling. She probably misses you all day and feels dependent on you, looks up to you to be the problem-solver for everything, and might feel helpless when you’re not around. That’s why it feels like everything piles up until you get home, and you’re faced with all these demands. Try not to think of them as demands, but as things your wife’s drowning in and can’t get done without you around. I still think you should talk to her, but just be soft and loving when you have the conversation.


    Hello Beardedbaby,

    I agree with the suggestions put forth by both SS Moderator and ablacksheep, I couldn’t have phrased it better. It’s always important to be honest with your partner, especially about something that is affecting you this badly, and of course that’s only natural since we all need a break every now and then. Your need for some down time is very reasonable, and since you’re worried of hurting her feelings by telling her that, I think your wife would be understanding. As long as you communicate your honest thoughts while still showing her that you understand her position and feelings in the matter, it’ll hopefully make the transition smoother and you’ll both find a solution that suits you together. Instead of telling her to “back away”, ask her to “help” you.

    I undersand how worried you are of hurting her or causing trouble, but you should keep in mind nothing will become better if you keep your thoughts to yourself. It’ll be like filling air into a balloon not big enough to handle it, over time it’ll fill to the point of having no space and end up exploding. Don’t push yourself to reach that point otherwise the discussion will be much, much harder to have, let alone you’ll be past the point of exhaustion.

    Practice telling yourself what you want to say to her, it could make it easier for you to phrase your words better and to counter any parts that you think could sound harmful. If you think telling your wife you need some “alone time” is what could upset her, you could start by having some time to relax together at first, maybe sit and watch a movie together or take a walk outside or simply eat dinner together. I mean spending some quality time together, but not neccesarily working and doing tasks or chores. Then if you still need more alone time, you could honestly tell her that. Emphasize how important it is for every person to relax and have a little break, and the positive impacts it has both mentally and physcially.

    When you want or need a big change in your life, it always helps to take things slow, one step at a time, especially if you want to avoid being overwhelmed.

    I hope this helps you, and I wish you all the best!

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