Is He Just Lazy?

Dear Courage,

My BF works at a 40 hour a week job. He’s an assistant manager for a restaurant. I know that  can be demanding, and you run around all day. My problem though, is that is all he does. He works. When he comes home, he sleeps. He doesn’t help around the house. He doesn’t spend much time with me or the kids, because all he does is sleep. He gets home between midnight and 2 a.m. every night. Then he sleeps until noon most days, but sometimes until 3 or 4 pm.

I wish I could get that kind of sleep! I go to bed around midnight, so I can at least see him before I go to sleep, but I have to be awake by 7:30 with the children. I don’t ever get a break.

So am I wrong to think that my BF should spend more time awake? Or is it enough that he works hard and is a good provider? I feel so lonely, and sometimes resentful. Or is it me that needs to change?


Dear Confused,

No healthy adult needs to get ten hours of sleep on a regular basis. That’s just nuts! First, you need to encourage your BF to see his doctor to rule out any health issues. If his physical health is normal, then suspect emotional health. It is not uncommon for someone who is depressed to sleep a lot.

If he is depressed, then counseling and medication can help. Nagging won’t help. But you can talk to him and let him know how you feel, as long as you remember to use “I” statements and not “You” statements. You can say how you feel, and ask him for suggestions on how the two of you can work things out. For example:

“Darling, I feel lonely. I don’t get to see you much, between the long hours you work and sleep. How can we adjust our schedules so we spend more time together?”

In the example I presented, you have not accused your BF of anything. You haven’t blamed him which would only put him on the defensive. Instead, you’ve simply stated a problem and asked for his input on how to solve it.

You have to then be prepared for creative solutions. While you want him to sleep less – so he could spend time with you, he might just come up with an alternative solution. Maybe he’ll set aside one afternoon a week for a date night. Or maybe he’ll cut back on hours at work. Or maybe he’ll suggest that you need a hobby or a girlfriend, so you aren’t so lonely. Whatever he comes up with, it’s a step. This type of communication takes time to develop, but the results can be fantastic!

The real reason for his sleeping so much may take time to uncover. If he is depressed, it could be something at work or about his job. It’s possible he may need to find a new career. However, before you start clipping the want ads, make sure that he sees his doctor.


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