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Old 10-21-2010, 10:21 PM   #21
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I'll fess up. In my working days I certainly felt this upon occasion. DW wife also worked outside the house which was important to the following.

Wake up really sick and call in sick. Once everyone leaves have a quite peaceful breakfast alone, Watch any TV you want for a hour or so and then go out in Nature somewhere close for a few hours. Get home in time to take a nap before everyone gets home and wake up feeling only slightly better incase you need another day!

I would usually take a drive to the home I grew up in or to the old family farm as both had a special place to get in touch with my thougts and dreams for a little while.

Be sure to allow Dw to do the same sometimes but never admit to knowing it.

This always helped me. Yes it is lying and could be considered stealing from the company as you are not really sick. My last job they were called Mental health days and we could call in with them every now and then. I never felt guilty about it as I certainly made it up to my wife and the company got its fair share and then some.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:53 PM   #22
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The other problem is the occasional spousal double standard. Selfish when you take time for yourself, but perfectly fine for her to do after she's reached the breaking point. I think we're in the same boat here.

-CC

Although it is hard for me to admit as a neutered, modern 'Merkin male, ding, ding, ding!!! Part of what is pushing m to the edge of the cliffis that just as I drag my thoroughly chewed ass to the weekend, I know that I have full-time kid care duties to deal with because DW is a member of a fairly serious choir which be performing on Sunday. Sorry dear; its nice you lead a full life, but I have needs too.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:12 PM   #23
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Tell DW that you're busy Saturday cause you also joined a Choir.


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Old 10-22-2010, 12:35 AM   #24
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Although it is hard for me to admit as a neutered, modern 'Merkin male, ding, ding, ding!!! Part of what is pushing m to the edge of the cliffis that just as I drag my thoroughly chewed ass to the weekend, I know that I have full-time kid care duties to deal with because DW is a member of a fairly serious choir which be performing on Sunday. Sorry dear; its nice you lead a full life, but I have needs too.
Propose that you become Mr. Mom, and she becomes wage slave. Married life can suck, I see it with my kids too. I am happy that my time at least was not as awful as yours, but it was worse than my Dad's and Grandfathers'.

What unimaginable hell will our grandsons face? Or will male babies lperhaps look out of the womb and just give it up in advance?
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:00 AM   #25
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Although it is hard for me to admit as a neutered, modern 'Merkin male, ding, ding, ding!!! Part of what is pushing m to the edge of the cliffis that just as I drag my thoroughly chewed ass to the weekend, I know that I have full-time kid care duties to deal with because DW is a member of a fairly serious choir which be performing on Sunday. Sorry dear; its nice you lead a full life, but I have needs too.
Have a babysitter come over. What is wrong with that? You can putz in the yard or something.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:21 AM   #26
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Have a babysitter come over. What is wrong with that? You can putz in the yard or something.
+1 on the babysitter idea. But I'm sure Brewer can think of something more fun that putzing in the yard....more like Ferris Brewer's Day Off

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Old 10-22-2010, 09:27 AM   #27
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Dear Brewer, I think you and I work at the same company! But all kidding aside, you did mention "dogs" in your OP. May I suggest you take the dogs for a very long walk alone. If you live near a woods, hiking trail, etc. go there. If you don't, put your dogs in the car, and drive somewhere beautiful nearby and get out of your car with your dogs and just start walking. Don't decide which direction, just WALK, or let your dogs walk you. Stop thinking and making decisions for a while. Be mindless. Leave your watch in the glove box in the car. Your dogs always know which direction they want to go so let the leashes be at their full lengths. Just looking at their joyful faces on this outing will be so therapeutic for you. Just keep walking. Don't worry about getting lost. Just be carefree for a while. Now and then, even break into a RUN, not for any aerobic/cardio fitness, just run a spell, for the joy of it, like when you were a kid (didn't you just sometimes run for no reason at all?!). After a while, you look back at your smart phone and use GPS to find your way back to your car. I hope you will find bliss doing this. If not, your dogs sure had an enjoyable time. This works for me and I have a stressful job and I am also busy when I am not at work trying to fix up an OLD house by myself to put it on the market so I do truly relate to your stress. Have a beautiful day, Brewer!
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:44 AM   #28
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I told DW tonight that I really need some down time and got a frosty response. Is it cheating if I take a day off, don't tell her, disappear at the appointed time for work and just go find a place to hide for a day?
I feel your pain, bro. If I was in your shoes, I would tell the DW straight up that I'm losing it and need a day (just 8 am to 5 pm) to decompress a little. Maybe not even the whole day. It's the only way you can slog it out and keep bringing home the bacon. You're not asking for permission, you are stating the facts and stating your course of action.

Maybe take the kids to the park or let them out in the backyard and let them run around while you relax and read a book, nap, or something.

Longer term, make sure you plan "down weekends" where you don't have social appointments or trips out of town. Just a do nothing weekend. Yeah, you'll still have kids and chores and choirs to contend with, but you should be able to squeeze at least a day's worth of uninterrupted unstructured time in there.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:35 AM   #29
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Brew, not having kids I can't relate completely, but sounds like everyone is stressed in your program. I like Fuego's suggestion to level with the DW. You have got to have some decompression time from the job that doesn't involve your second job of kids.
Seriously--whatever bargain with the wife you have to make--just carve out a camping trip alone with the pups or with some good buddies. You need it!
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:37 AM   #30
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I go through this type of thing and call it non-financial triple witching (wife, kids, work). At least 3 or 4 times a year I take a day off from work and do something without the wife and kids. The days are usually planned a couple of weeks in advance so I learn to recognize when something like this is building. I usually go sailing with friends, but I have also gone on long hikes (16 plus miles), seen an early movie and then went to happy hour or similar things. It works wonders to feel far away from everything. I know the day is successful if it feels like I'm in another world. I think the key is to drastically break your routine.

Good luck getting through it quickly.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #31
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I can't imagine feeling I have to ask permission of DH to do something, nor him of me. Discuss, yes, but get permission? Never.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #32
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brewer, if you're like I was, a day off or a long walk won't help you at all. Everything is tainted by pain of your forced servitude. In that case, the only thing that will help is envisioning your imminent escape. Sit down in a quiet room and run the numbers. Devise ways to improve them. Run FireCalc. Read this board. Think of the deep joy you will feel on that day. Those are the only things that allowed me to keep spinning the hamster wheel and stay sane.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:54 AM   #33
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I told DW tonight that I really need some down time and got a frosty response. Is it cheating if I take a day off, don't tell her, disappear at the appointed time for work and just go find a place to hide for a day?
Well, you just told her that your fantasy day off doesn't involve her. And we marriage veterans in the guy demographic all know that it ain't about you.

The worst part of this scheme is that you'd feel guilty and wouldn't have as much fun as you would if you were truly given a guy's day off. Wait, no, that's just the bad part. The worst part would inevitably come someday shortly after you'd feel compelled to confess your "infidelity".

Is there any possibility that you could call in a personal day and spend it at home with your spouse getting caught up on the small maintenance/repair jobs that would just take an hour or so? The little annoying problems that are relatively straightforward to fix yet somehow don't get attended to for months? Spend some time together, do a chore, take the rest of the morning off, go out for lunch?
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #34
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I can't imagine feeling I have to ask permission of DH to do something, nor him of me. Discuss, yes, but get permission? Never.
+1, with the gender-based wording reversed.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #35
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Even without a spouse or kid at home, when working I felt the same as Brewer sometimes. It seemed like with grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning, dealing with household, family, or health emergencies and so on, there just wasn't time to do much but partially decompress at the end of the day and go to sleep if I could even sleep.

I used to spread my vacation time fairly evenly as "mental health days" during the year, to allow me time to just kick back and do nothing. Brewer can't even do that, because he has the kids to deal with. I don't know the solution but my sympathies to anyone with a high stress job and insufficient down time.

I enjoy ER so very, very much.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #36
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I can't imagine feeling I have to ask permission of DH to do something, nor him of me. Discuss, yes, but get permission? Never.
With American divorce laws and courts, it often is much more like asking for permission. If you have children, and your spouse is likely to get custody, you are a serf. You can't just do a fade, you can appeal to fairness, but spousey is judge and jury, so you beg or simmer or both.

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Old 10-22-2010, 11:33 AM   #37
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Brewer, don't discount the possibility that you are clinically depressed. In other words, your brain is not handling stress properly. I've been through a period in my life like that where nothing sounds good except crawling into a cave and hide.

Took me a long while to actually go to a psychiatrist and get some medication that put my brain back in balance. That gets you in a much better frame of mind to tackle some of the problems you got.
Why you getting your ass chewed at work? I hear a hint in your posts that you may be drinking too. If you drink everyday and can't stop for a week, then you are an alcoholic. I been there too. Functioning alcoholic that made plenty of money until it finally caught up with me. Spent a month in a rehab center to dry out and learn how to deal with that problem.

Modern medicine has help for both these problems. But you've got to fess up to them yourself. A trip to the psychiatrist can't hurt. S/he can tell you a lot more than this forum can. And don't lie about the booze either. If you are hiding empty bottles, you got a problem too big for you to handle by yourself.

Even in the normal rat race, most people are happy most of the time. If you ain't ever happy at all, then you need some help and maybe some real changes in your life.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:39 AM   #38
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I'm not sure a "day off" is really the issue here. While it may be welcomed and probably would be good preventive medicine in the future considering where you find yourself now, I am sensing that the issues may run deeper.

Sure - enjoy the day off, but consider whether a day off with just the wife would have more durable results. A good rehashing of the issues, asking for ideas and support in a calm environment could be helpful. Problem with a day off is that at the end of the day, you have the same issues lurking.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:10 PM   #39
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Could be your wife has similar feelings. If she doesn’t, she probably sees your struggle and wants to help you out, not feel part to blame.

When I had these feelings, “get away” didn’t help because I couldn’t turn off the brain. What did help was taking a short break from the big stuff and doing something – anything – than needed to be done. Just being able to cross something off my permanently growing list of stuff to do gave me a feeling of achievement, which helped my motivation.

DW and I also set aside some regular time together. Not a lot, but we found that going out to lunch or dinner alone every couple of weeks helped us get back to where we could have just small talk. Then, and now, life is much more relaxing when DW and I just sit around and talk about the little things.

Is lunch a break for you or do you eat while you work?
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:19 PM   #40
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Brewer, don't discount the possibility that you are clinically depressed. In other words, your brain is not handling stress properly. I've been through a period in my life like that where nothing sounds good except crawling into a cave and hide.

Depression (major depression): Symptoms - MayoClinic.com

Depression symptoms include:
  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren't going right
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
I would add sighing.

Also, the decrease in sun light could lead to Seasonal affective depression.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - MayoClinic.com

Burn out another possibility.

Things to think about but difficult to diagnose on a forum.
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