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Lv 7

Stressed out...any ideas?

I am currently at home, not working a regular 'job'. However, aside from being a homemaker & wife, I am extremely involved in many charitable activities (which requires a lot of time, effort, and dedication to do). Our financial situation is comfortable, and we don't struggle to eat or pay bills..so, money is not really an issue (not rich, just have what we need). In fact, my husband seems to like me home more than working.

Now, recently, as I am backing away from the massive duties and obligations that I had for some time with the non-profit charitable work (all volunteer)...my husband has decided to step into the same duties I am giving up. Here is the situation:

I am Pres of one org's local branch. I am a Board Member & Secretary for another local org. As I feel the need for the two of us to finally spend some time together and 'take a much needed break', he is going to step up what he feels 'obligated' to do for the next year. We have been involved in the first org about 8 yrs now, and the other local one about 11 years now. EVERY weekend (nearly) one of these orgs has a function to work, sometimes both. The first org, requires about 3-6 evenings/days per week, and is the one he will be most involved with. In this case, I become 'obligated' to be there by his side and assist in all the things, greet dignitaries, entertain guests, work events...and so on. He has expressly stated that he needs my help and support for this coming year...and I had hoped he would turn down the position...but, no, that didn't happen.

I am tired. Exhausted really. Mentally and physically. It's run, run, run....work, work, work....give and do ALL THE TIME. I am 43, have no kids at home, and used to view all this as my 'church' (they are Christian based focused on children, families, communities and Vets). There is a deep satisfaction in giving and doing...to some degree. But, at what point do you just say enough is enough?

Recently my health has really declined. Stress, chest pains (unexplained at the moment, seeing the doctors for evaluations and tests), tired all the time, prefer to stay home over socializing, and just a general attitude of 'ok, let's get it done'....

My husband and I have not had OUR OWN vacation in almost 10 years now, that wasn't associated with either of these orgs. All vacation time is scheduled to attend the functions....(sigh). I can't just say 'no', because it would be like turning my back on him and the orgs we have worked so long and hard to promote together, with many other people. The general pool of people we work with all put their families and their own activities before the needs of the orgs. We don't. So, I guess I feel frustrated with the lacking enthusiasm & support of others, as well as being overworked, under-appreciated, and being forced to succumb to another year of busting our butts and putting on 'the happy face' for everyone in public. Not to mention that the total time we 'invest' in these things is not truly conducive to my having any opportunity for a career or job that isn't flexible to doing this stuff.

I feel torn. I am stressed out. Husband has basically committed to all this (April to April 2014), and I am part of the 'package deal' for it all. We can't have any time together alone for a vacation, or just enjoy a night without the phone ringing or some temporary 'crisis' to handle. We will be required to attend everything....meetings, functions, events, traveling, greeting/entertaining, and more. (sigh).

Taking a vacation alone to see my family (out of state) is not an option. Saying 'no' is not really an option either. How do you deal with all this when you saw the light at the end of the tunnel just go dark? And the stress levels involved are probably what is causing the health issues anyway? How do you go from being 'Miss Reliable' to 'Don't expect me to do it'?

Any feedback would be appreciated. This is a delicate and complicated situation...and I would appreciate answers that aren't trite in saying 'just say no', 'take your own vacation', or whatever. Please consider the whole picture...and read the whole post before you reply.

Thanks.

Update:

BTW, my husband and I discussed this at length. He knows how I feel about the whole situation. Even though he assures me 'it's just one more year'...I am having issues with feeling cheated out of the necessary R&R I feel we both deserve (and I desperately need).

I am literally feeling at the end of my rope and backed into a corner. I don't really have any very close friends who would understand where I am coming from... the ones I know understand I can't trust to not gossip about what I have to say.

I am looking for ideas of how to honestly cope with all this for another year.

2 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    have sex with a black guy, spice up your life

  • 8 years ago

    wow, I'm sorry but I don't think you should expect a solution from anyone on Y!A. my wife and I also haven't had a vacation in years, however she is pretty good at reminding me not to commit to as many things as I'd like to. I think we - as a society - have confused being "busy" with being "productive". while I commend both of your for your selflessness, you should take some time for yourselves. but from what I read you already know this.

    here is what I would do: learn to trust the other people in the orgs to take up some responsibility. a lot of them probably rely on knowing that you two will take care of things, which means they've gone from seeing you as "dependable" to "suckers" (even if they don't consciously know it). use whatever social media you can to spread the responsibilities out - delegate. the best way to go about this is to look at other members' lives/skills/decisions, figure out what they're good at, and personally put them in charge of that aspect of all these activities. I'm like you in that I figure I'll just do it since I know I'll do it correctly, its tough to let go, but in order for you to grow you need to trust in others' abilities.

    good luck with everything. its great to contribute to society like you do, but if you don't improve your management skills you might find that another part of your life is going to have to give, usually that's not a good thing. i'm sure you'll get it right. if a couple things "fail", don't worry about it, honestly, life is too important to let these orgs control your life like this.

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