IF you are honest with yourselves, you ladies would agree with me that it must be frustrating for a man to hear the words, "Not tonight honey, I'm tired".
Just think about it, imagine how he feels when he reaches over to touch and even before he can think of stretching out his hands fully, all he hears is the same old tired excuse.
These words can shatter a man's ego indefinitely, especially if it is becoming the norm rather than the exception with women.
But men, why not look at this from the woman's perspective? Could it be that when she says she is tired, she is really suffering from severe exhaustion and just cannot muster the strength to accommodate you? Maybe the best thing that you can do for your tired queen is to shower her with love and affection. This will show her that you care. With this in mind, the next time you hear her say 'I'm tired', instead of huffing and puffing, here are some suggestions you may try:
*Tell her that you're sorry that she is not feeling like a million dollars and ask her if there is anything that you can do to make her feel better.
* Give her a light and tender massage to help her fall asleep more easily.
* Hug her tightly and reassure her of your love; that might even help her not to feel so tired after all, and then again, you can never tell what might happen after that. She might just suddenly recuperate.
* Ask her how you might help her not to be so tired in the future and commit to working with her to put a plan of action in place to rectify the situation.
* Desist from insisting on having it your way. Be very supportive and understanding instead.
* Tell her that anytime she feels tired, she has your shoulders to lean on and if she only wants to talk, you have two ears waiting to hear her story. This is not that difficult; it can happen if you try.
Note that the above is in no way intended to encourage women into laxity but fair is fair and we have to call a spade a spade. A tired woman is a tired woman.
But ladies, if you are guilty of pulling the tired card falsely, stop it. Consider that your action hurts and may also cause physical pain. Also, if you are one of the many tired women out there, the following suggestions should help.
* If you work outside the home even in a regular nine to five job, you should expect to work hard during the day but you must plan to leave your work when work ends. This might be easier said than done but still it is worth a try.
* Do not be selfish, try not to over-extend yourself but save some of your energy for your family.
* Think about how he is affected. If you are always tired your partner will feel lonely and rejected.
* Plan your time well; include in your activities time for work, time for love, time for play and time to pray.
* Take care of yourself — eat well and balance work, rest and exercise.
* Use a daily calendar to help you so you do not pack a week's activities in one day.
* Bear in mind that you are only one person and you can do so much and no more.
* Check with a medical doctor to see if something is wrong physically.
* Be very sensitive and try not to be too quick to say you are tired; habits are easily formed.
* Don't use tiredness as an excuse but communicate exactly what is on your mind.
In a love relationship both partners should be aiming to please, both should be thinking about the happiness of the other. Therefore, neither man nor woman should be fixated on the words, "not tonight honey; I'm tired".
Jacqueline Champier is a counselling psychologist from Mandeville.