Monday, June 1, 2015

Understanding your Energy Compromised Partner

Does your partner suffer from fatigue due to a autoimmune disease like Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis? Or maybe they have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Parkinsons or MS?

There are lots of diseases and conditions which can comprise a persons energy level. Not only do these people find they have less energy, they also usually find it takes more of their energy to do the same physical tasks.

When you are in a relationship with an energy compromised partner it is easy to become resentful because they can no longer contribute the same amount of working effort into the relationship that you do.

But what if you looked at it in a different way.

A energy compromised person experiences approximately about 2/3rds of the energy than of a healthy person. And that is on good days.

So that means instead of the 105hrs of energy an average person has a week to spend, (I.e 15hrs awake time per day). A energy compromised person would only have about 70hrs. Yes that's right. About 35hrs of their week is lost and used on resting or sleeping, because their body needs it.

But that means they should still be able to work about 25hrs a week, (i.e 2/3rds of 40hrs), right?

Not necessarily. The answer depends on who does the stuff around the house, looks after the children; or if you wanted your partner to have quality time with you and the family, at any time.

If you want to spend your quality or free time with your partner, (eg eating together & watching TV of an evening, and going on outings on the weekend), that would take an average minimum of 30hrs /week. (i.e. 2hrs/weekday and 20hrs on the weekend).

So first off, take the 30hrs of quality time from the 70hrs/week. That leaves 40 hours.
(Now if you believe your partner deserves less free/quality time then yourself, because they can't work as many hours as you, then book yourself into counselling now)

Does your partner do part or all of the household chores?

Calculating that the average household chores, (listed below), as taking about 30hrs/week. If your partner does all of the housework, take the 30hrs a week off the remaining 40hrs.

  Estimation of time spent on average household chores in a week:-

  • Washing dishes - 7hrs
  • Washing & folding clothes - 5hrs
  • Cleaning - 4hrs
  • Vacuuming & mopping - 2hrs
  • Preparing & cooking meals - 7hrs
  • Shopping - 2hrs
  • Ironing - 3hrs

If your partner does all of the household chores, plus looks after school age kids (Incl. school pickup/drop off and homework), they really wouldn't have any hours left to be able to work.

If you don't have any kids, and your partner does all, or some of household chores, yes they maybe able to work. Depending on their limitations though. But your partner still needs your help and understanding on the days they do work. Because a 4hr work day may mean they need 5hrs rest time that day (or need to crash completely on another day).

If your partner is at home with infant/s, forget about the housework.. they would be using all their energy on the child, before you even get home from work. Spending 10hrs/day looking after young children, is 100% of their 70hr quoter per week. That's way more then 25hrs/week of work. If you don't want your partner to have a physical or mental breakdown, then don't bat an eyelid when they ask you to look after the baby in the evening and cook dinner, as well as ask you to help with majority of chores on weekend. When your partner is energy compromised and you both have the added responsibility of young children, sacrificing part of your free time is necessary to give your partner back some of their time, for recuperation & quality time with you and the family.

If your energy compromised partner works full time (i.e 38-40hrs) per week, they are doing more then what their body is really able to do per day; and would most likely be comatose everynight. They would struggle contributing to any household, yard or family chores even on the weekend, without compromising their health and  time with their partner & family.

Remember these are good days too. Bad days can mean 1/3 of a normal persons energy. This is about the equivalent energy that you would feel when you are experiencing a bad flu.

Other things that should also be taken into consideration when you are thinking about your partner, are: physical limitations; medication side effects; and time required to attend physicians, specialists and physical therapy sessions.

Your partner is probably already experiencing guilt or frustration not having the normal energy levels anymore. Please don't be angry or resent them for something that is beyond their control. And for the sake of your relationship don't be afraid to see a counsellor, if you need help to get your head around what they are going through.

Remember why you chose this person to be your partner in the first place. I am sure it wasn't for their work capacity.