For many years now my partner has insisted he needs to rest a lot. He rests for hours after coming home from work and spends all afternoon on the couch sleeping on the weekends. Yet he is not distressed by this and he doesn’t ask his doctor to fully investigate this or continue going back saying I’m still tired. And when he’s been offered referrals to suitable specialists refuses to go. Hence I’m wondering if this is a red flag in a relationship. In the past I’ve raised this issue asking him to get his fatigue fully investigated and to take up any referral offers advising of it’s impact on our relationship (limited activities together, no kids as I felt he wouldn’t cope with active kids plus being unfair on kids to be cooped up due to their father being too tired to be active with them) as well as saying it can’t be very pleasant for you to feel like this and wouldn’t it be better to feel less tired and have the energy to do things. I’ve also suggested sedentary activities but he’s not interested. He also doesn’t want to take any medication not even vitamins or trial antidepressants. It is hard on the partner as the partner starts off feeling sorry for the fatigued person and accommodates their need to rest to find several years down the track they’ve spent their life sitting on the couch rather than living life. And I’m thinking it’s just not normal to have this excessive need for rest yet not be distressed by this. I could understand more if he had health problems that couldn’t be treated but he tests as being very healthy and somehow has a high level of fitness. A bit of context – he does appear to have OCPD but many people with OCPD aren’t chronically fatigued. I’ve extensively tried to get out on my own to build my own life and am now in the process of preparing to leave. I’d like to have the opinion of psych central as we hear a lot about red flags but I’ve not read much about this one which can be used as another way to control someone. (From Australia)
Yes, it is a red flag. He doesn’t seem to be interested in a real partnership, is unwilling to change, get a professional opinion, or take care of himself better. This, combined with the fact he has obsessive compulsive personality disorder would indicate that he is not likely to change without some outside intervention, which he doesn’t seem to want.
Don’t expect things would get better or be better as you go forward. If you can accept things the way they are and find a way to cope — then you may be able to stay. If you are not having the relationship you want now — then you may want to move on. Dr. Dan Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral
Is Partner’s Need to Rest a Red Flag?
Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Is Partner’s Need to Rest a Red Flag?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 14, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/12/19/is-partners-need-to-rest-a-red-flag/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.