husband has never had any energy. It's an ongoing battle. And I do mean battle. Anything that is done for me or for our home is only done if I hound him every single moment of the task. No task is ever completed. No task is ever undertaken unless I thoroughly plan and schedule it. It has been this way for 20 years. I didn't mind it so much when he was working long hours and overtime, but that's just not the case anymore. Over the last 5 years we have tried to deal with his fatigue. Every spring it becomes more of an issue. There are things that need to be done. Period. If we didn't own a house we would still have things that needed to be done more than having him play World of Warcraft and ignoring me, so we won't even pretend to suggest that scaling down on our house is an answer to our problems. He has had corrective surgery twice for snoring. No help. He's on a C-Pap machine. No help. He's on anti-depressants. No help. Four years of therapy. No help. Last weekend was especially bad. He took Thursday and Friday off, so with the 4th being a holiday, he only worked 2 days last week. No big projects. I had him run some soaker hoses out to the veggie garden. This in addition to his mowing the lawn. I have a new client and had to spend the weekend doing work at home. The entire time he was in drooling in front of his computer. I had to try to get a year's worth of bookkeeping in order all the while keeping an eye on the dogs and saying "Honey would you please let the dogs out?" His big contribution was to have me sort the laundry and oversee what he could and could not put into the dryer. For a grand finale, he moved out to the back yard and ignored the dogs tearing things up outside while reading. The weekend before he didn't say two words to me, because he "just didn't have anything to say." In addition to my regular job and the new client, my friend N has gone out of town and asked me to look in on her cat and hang out at her lovely pool. So Sunday I bust my azz and get through the books and take a couple of friends up to sit at the pool for a bit in the afternoon. We get to talking about how stressed I am that I have to choose to either get nothing at all from husband - or be on constant watch to get him to do even the littlest thing for us. C asks if it is depression, I explain that it is not and why. K is not contributing to the conversation much. K leaves her watch at the pool and comes by on Wednesday to pick it up. K tells me on Wed. that she took the liberty of telling her husband K that husband is having troubles and needs to get out of the house, so Mr. K is going to "help us out" by having husband come over on Saturday to "help him build his deck." I'm dumbfounded. Mind you, husband helped K build frame, skin, and roof his outbuilding over a course of several weekends last summer and fall. K came over one day this spring and helped us move wood for about 1.5 hours, then husband was wiped out for the weekend. K does not need help for his projects. WE need help for life. I told Mrs. K that if husband helped K with his project, I wouldn't get anything out of husband, and it would not help us. She was shocked! "Well, I can tell K not to ask..." in that sing songie voice like I'm such a flake/witch for not realizing that all husband needs is some fresh air and male companionship. I told her that I would talk to husband, but that husband needed to understand that he could say no, and that this would be an opportunity for husband to commit to me first. But I would prefer it if he did not do this because he is ill and I am ill and it would put a strain on our marriage. So, before I can talk to husband about it, Mr. K calls. I'm shaking my head "No no no no no!" Whispering "You have to ask me!" "We have plans!" "No! No! No!" husband is stupefied. "Sure, K, thanks for thinking of me! Uh, I might not have time this weekend. Oh, for the next four or six weeks? Sure! Oh, uh, but only a little bit. I might not be able to come for more than an hour or so. Do you have the design already? Sure I can help demo it! Uh, I don't know when..." He tells me he thinks he owes Mr. K because of the 1.5 hours of help that he gave us one day. Bull pucky! Mr. K is WAY into debt to us for all of the hours husband spent working on his outbuilding! WT....? I'm lucky if I can get him to roll his lard belly out of bed by noon. Then there must be a second breakfast because he's already gotten up in the early hours to feed the dogs and eaten then but how can he possibly get by on that? So, after second breakfast and I clean up that, I have to remind him of what he needs to do. Mow the lawn? What an idea! It's Oregon, grass never grows here! Funny I should ask him to do it once or twice a week each summer. Then he needs lunch, because how can you get by for two hours after two breakfasts? All the while I have been keeping up tit for tat with him on nothing more than a cup of coffee because otherwise he'd be back at his computer. If I get far enough into the yard he'll go inside and get himself some lunch - I don't eat, right? - and "check his e-mail." What's this? I wanted you to actually go into the garage an hour once a week to clear it out like you agreed to do last month so we could be sure that there are no rat infestations? Why would I expect that to come automatically? Does he still have to mow the lawn? Well, he can't mow the front today because the neighbor is having a party and he can't get the last strip next to the curb so he'll leave all of his tools laying around the back yard until tomorrow afternoon. Believe me, husband and I have had these conversations very specifically about not volunteering to do anything outside of the home until he gets to the point that he can actually stay on task and do something around here without hurting his back or his calf or being so tired that he has to sit in his dungeon of a world or warcraft room for the next six days. That his primary focus right now must be his health. Getting enough sleep. Losing some weight. Being fit enough to do two tasks without it wiping him out for a month. He's at the doctor all of the time. We're making payments on the sleep studies, and the result is that it was of no help because he won't change his lifestyle. Did you ever watch a man eat a full bag of tater tots then complain because he didn't have enough energy? If he wants to get himself into shape, then he can volunteer all he wants. But so long as I have to hound every little thing out of him, helping friends and neighbors who aren't in dire straits has to wait. What is so hard about that? Of course, now I'm the witch. He has to tell our friends that he can't help because I said no. Or he has to help our friends and then spend every other waking moment trying to do something for me that he's too tired or injured to do. Why can't they carry a thought in their head for one moment? Why can't they apply abstract thought to a concept? "She doesn't want me to volunteer to be the President of the Rotary because she can't get five minutes work out of me and says I should take care of myself and my issues and then decide whether I'm able to volunteer." Great. Now apply that to "Neighbor wants me to devote six weekends to building his deck." If I could walk out on him right now I would.