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Jude's avatar

Have you ever been tapped out emotionally (with say, a family member), that you had a hard time giving anymore of yourself to your partner?

Asked by Jude (32131points) March 7th, 2010

I’ve got a heavy duty family issue going on. It’s been like this for the past three days. I find that I’m kind of shut off emotionally elsewhere. Like I can’t give anymore of myself. Have you ever been there? How did you deal with it?

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17 Answers

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I know exactly how you feel. I have family issues of my own.

snowberry's avatar

Sure. In my case, it happened when I had newborn twins and 3 other children 9 and under. Yep. You simply do the best you can, take offers of help from every corner, apologize to whoever needs it, eat right and get as much sleep as you can, and pray.

phillis's avatar

Yes, I have felt this way before. It was situational, not a reflection on the relationship as a whole. It is very normal to feel this way from time to time. I hope you know that and don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty for it. Give yourself the time you need, but DO communicate to your partner what you are doing, because otherwise, it could look like game-playing. You guys don’t need extra problems right now.

Jewel's avatar

Yes. You may need to make choices. But if you aren’t to the point of needing to stop giving to something/someone, then you juggle, cry and as @snowberry said, appoligize a lot.
Don’t forget to pay attention to you! This is what most of us forget as we try to cargive to everyone else. If you collapse, none of them will get your attention.

prolificus's avatar

Yes. I have no more energy to give to this answer.

janbb's avatar

Ask your partner for understanding and tell her what is going on with you. Most lovers will cut you some slack when they know you are tapped out. If you can identify something she can do to help you, let her know. Most of all, just reassure her that your feelings haven’t diminished, you are just “running on empty” right now.

liminal's avatar

Yes, I have. Exhaustion feels like an understatement. I think it is natural and most likely a place she may find herself in some day.

Receiving care is just as intimate as giving care. Simply acknowledging, together, what is going on can be restoring and take the relationship deeper.

Jude's avatar

Thanks for your responses, guys.

@prolificus Yeah, and I have barely enough energy to type up this response. Fuck off.

prolificus's avatar

@jjmah – I was being a smart ass. You’re funny, though.

In all seriousness, I have been there. My habit had been to retreat into my own world, ignore my partner when I’m asked to engage in conversation, and snipe in a grouchy manner when feeling pressured. ¬†After several episodes of hurt feelings, arguments, and lengthy processing conversations, I have learned that my first responsibility is to respond respectfully – even if it is to say kindly that I am not able to respond and need space.

I’ve learned it is important to not shut out my partner when I’m going through something.

In my relationship with my partner, there is lots of room to figure out how to be and deal with personal stuff. I’ve never been punished or given an ultimatum for the times I’ve been unavailable emotionally, etc. And the process of allowing things to unfold over time has made me feel more confident and comfortable with dealing with my stuff while in a partnered relationship.

My family of origin has many dysfunctional issues, so my energy is easily zapped. Over the past several months I’ve learned when to shut the noise off, walk away from those issues, and make my home my functional family. The dysfunction will always be available when I choose to engage with it. Taking care of myself must come first – and this includes not shutting out my partner.

Jude's avatar

@prolificus I wasn’t in the mood to deal with an asshole, so, I got a bit feisty. Sorry about that.

prolificus's avatar

@jjmah – like I said, I thought your response was funny. No sorries :-)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.It’s good to step back,take a break from it all. I take little road trips and they work well for me :)

figbash's avatar

Oh, this definitely happens to me.

I find that not only is it friends and family, but also my job. Sometimes at the end of the day, I can just wind up drained and unable to solve any more problems, give any more advice or give anything to someone who needs or wants something from me. I find that if I don’t have time to recharge with no stimulus, I’m just kind of useless. It’s hard, but the only thing I can really do is establish boundaries and stop responding to everything like it’s a crisis. I also try and make very specific time with some friends who need a lot of attention. I’ll meet them for coffee or a walk. That way, there’s a start and stop point to how much focus I give to their issues. That may sound cold, but they get one hour of my completely undivided attention and then, I have to move on. Otherwise, it simply affects me too much.

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m tapped out with everyone of my family members.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, and my husband is always quick to help with the burden as much as he can.

Siren's avatar

Yes, been there, done that. Wish I hadn’t.

Family problems are tough to ignore when it’s your family. Sometimes your SO suffers from neglect, or they get tired of hearing about your family’s problems, which are taking center stage in your life, instead of nurturing your relationship. Family can suck the energy right out of you if you let it. I am still learning on how to let my family deal with their own problems, since I realize (1) I can’t do anything to help them except advise and (2) Sometimes they don’t take my advice, but enjoy griping and complaining, which takes up my time.

Lately, I have been the one complaining and griping to them about my problems, so I guess payback is a bitch. :)

SeventhSense's avatar

I think I may need some happy pills to forget about my family. They rent far too much rent free space in my head.

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