When Your Husband Is Exhausted

Let’s say your husband is exhausted after a brutal day at work but you would like to spend time together. It’s 3 hours before his normal bedtime and he says he’s heading to bed.

A Few Questions to Consider

  1. What approaches do you think might be a blessing to him, reminding him how glad he is to be married to you?
  2. And what approaches could you take that would honor the Lord with your attitude and heart?
  3. Which approaches would you appreciate if the situation were reversed?

A Wife’s Options in Response to a Tired Husband

1. She could focus on what she wants without any empathy or concern for him:

  • What do you mean you’re tired?! I want to spend time with you!!! How could you be so selfish and want to go to bed instead of spending time with me?
  • Oh, no! You owe me! We didn’t spend time together last night so I don’t care how exhausted you are.
  • We’re doing what I want to do tonight. You’re staying up three more hours and you’re going to enjoy it and make me feel loved.
  • If I’m not happy, you have to do what I say.
  • It’s your job to make me happy, whatever it takes. I don’t care that you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck.

2. She could say nothing but silently resent him and think bitter or accusatory thoughts in her heart:

  • If he loved me, he would stay up longer.
  • It’s ridiculous for him to want to go to bed so early.
  • This isn’t fair. I want his attention.
  • I need time to connect and my needs are legitimate.
  • He needs to sacrifice for me.
  • I don’t care how he is feeling. What about my feelings?
  • I want emotional connection.
  • I want physical intimacy.
  • I want to cuddle.
  • I want to feel loved.
  • Why doesn’t he love me?
  • Why would he abandon me like this?

3. She could potentially address her needs/feelings a bit while being sensitive to his:

  • Maybe I’ll head for bed early, too, and we could cuddle for a few minutes while you fall asleep.
  • Would you like a back massage while you drift off to sleep? (Then she may pray over him while rubbing his back.)
  • I understand you’re tired. I’m sad that we won’t get to spend time together, but I know you need to rest. It’s okay.

4. She could choose to be selfless, giving, and loving — showing concern for his needs:

  • What can I do to help? Is there anything I can take off of your shoulders?
  • It’s fine if you need to go to bed. Get some rest. I love you.
  • I totally understand. Love you, Babe. I’ll give you some space.
  • I’ll keep the kids occupied downstairs so you can sleep.
  • Thanks for working so hard to provide for us. Love you. Sweet dreams. (Kiss and hug)

5. She can find other healthy outlets for herself:

  • I can get some extra time with God tonight. It will be great!
  • I’ll make some extra special time for the kids.
  • This would be the perfect time to catch up on calling extended family or friends.
  • I could go for a long walk and enjoy the sunset and pray.
  • I could bake brownies for the new neighbors and surprise them.
  • I could work on finishing a baby blanket for the pregnancy crisis center.
  • I’ve been wanting some time to read a new book.
  • I could take a relaxing bath in another area of the house and listen to music.
  • I could work on that short story I have wanted to finish.
  • I could write some emails to extended family or lonely friends.
  • I could see if the young wife across the street would like to go for a walk with me.
  • I will write my husband a sweet short note for later, telling him how much I appreciate him.
  • I’ll add to my gratitude journal.


Which options sound best to you?

Any other suggestions you’d like to share?

Much love! ❤️


  1. Honestly after 30 years of marriage, I have a respect for how hard he works for us while I stay home even though our children are grown. I just grab a book and read. When we were younger, I did get snippy and complaining. I have learned that just works as an Impediment to the marriage. When the time is right, have an honest conversation as there may be other concerns making him so tired.

    1. This is not what April wrote about, but some men have low testosterone. Mine does and he likes sleep and coffee more than anything. 🙂 I know how to help him with this when it gets so bad he can’t get out of bed. And when he gets sick I know how to take care of him, too. I love doing that! I used to be terrible when he got sick – something I learned from my mom I’m sad to say, but I have the know-how to treat our entire family when they get sick and I love doing it!

  2. Or HE could acknowledge the fact that she worked just at hard and has no set work hours. Then he would be mindful of all she does to love and cherish him.

    1. Ida,

      Very true.

      However… why either or? Why not both? Ideally, and this is what is awesome about being believers in Christ, BOTH spouses would be giving, selfless, kind, thoughtful, compassionate, respectful, and love each other with the divine love of Christ like we see in I Corinthians 13:4-8.

      What I discovered about 14 years into my marriage, after trying to focus on what my husband should do and trying to make him change on his end, is that I have a whole lot more power over what I do. And when I began to invite God to work in me and transform my heart, thinking, motives, and attitudes, He began to heal me and change me. And then, in time, He healed and changed my husband and marriage, too. I’d love for everyone to get to experience that blessing.

      So on my blog, I focus on what wives can do on our end. But of course, all spouses have the invitation to come to Christ and be transformed and to love with His love and to be the godly example to the other. Then we can demonstrate the gospel to the world and all those around us and our witness draws many to Jesus.


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