Dealing with Laziness

My wife often uses laziness as a reason for not doing something.  It might be something she agreed to do by a certain day/time.  Or it may be something we more generally agreed to do, such as not leave things on the kitchen table.

When I tell her it bothers me that she didn't put something away or didn't get something done, she'll respond "I know. I was too lazy."  Or "I just didn't feel like getting up to do it." 

Sometimes she'll leave something one place, instead of putting it away in a place that would require her to take maybe 5 extra steps, and she will say the same thing "I was too lazy to put it away."

The fact is, my wife almost always seems to be just sitting around the house feeling lazy.  And it's hard for me to accept that as a reason.

I have checked to make sure that it's not that she just didn't think of it, which I understand to be an ADHD behavior that is often confused with laziness.  But that doesn't seem to be the case.  She'll say "I thought of it.  I was just too lazy to do it."

Another example of her telling me she is "too lazy" happened the other night when I came home to her sitting in the dark playing a game on her iPhone.  This frequently happens, so this time I asked her, "Do you like sitting in the dark?  Is it more calming in some way?'"  She said it wasn't.  I asked "Does it just not occur to you to turn on the lights?"  She said "It occurs to me.  I'm just too lazy to get up an do it."

My sense it that she really is very tired a lot of the time.  She doesn't often get a lot of sleep.  She works very hard at her job.  And so when she is home at night or on the weekends she often just "sits around" playing games on her iPhone, reading email and blogs, listening to podcasts, etc. 

So my sense is she's not really lazy, but rather "just" tired.  And that accounts for some of the things she doesn't do.  But putting something on the table because she "is too lazy" to take 3 more steps to put it in the desk just doesn't make sense to me.  Does it really take that much more effort to take 3 more steps, open a drawer, and put something there rather than just drop it on the table?

I am not sure if she really is so bone tired that she can't make the effort to take three extra steps, or if she just doesn't feel like doing it and tells me it is because she is too lazy.  (Is there really a difference?)

I am thinking that if taking a couple of extra steps to put something away really is too much effort, then something is really wrong.  If getting up off the couch to turn on a light really is too much effort, then something is wrong.

If she is working so hard that she has nothing left when she comes home, something is really wrong.  And if it really is the reason she is crashing when she comes home, then that is a problem, because it's not a temporary situation.  As long as I have known her (except when she was in hyperfocus mode) she is always saying how demanding her work is.

I know this is MY problem.  I am the one who has a problem with her just crashing when she gets home and just sitting around all day on Saturday and Sunday.  I am the one who has a problem with her saying she is "too lazy" to put something away or do a chore that she agreed to do.  I am the one who has a problem that she doesn't have any energy to do anything.

But I have no idea how to address it.

One thing I can think of is to say "Honey, I know you work very hard are are often very tired after work.  But when you say you didn't do something because you were 'too lazy' is sounds to me like you are saying that you just didn't feel like doing it."

Because truth is, if it is that she just doesn't feel like it, I do have a problem.  I don't really feel like cooking every night when I come home from work.  But I do it.  I think maybe once or twice in two years I have said after work "I don't really feel like cooking tonight.  How about we order delivery?"

OK.  I feel like I am about to get into venting mode, so I will stop.

So . . . any suggestions?