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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my situation. My common law wife and I have been together for 8 years now. We are both 50 years old. When we first got together, the physical part of our relationship was awesome. We would often hug, kiss, hold hands, and had sex. We are older people and have our own kids from prior marriages.
My wife has Multiple Sclerosis, and has had it for close to 20 years. She has a neurologist that she sees when she feels necessary, which is when she senses she is having an exasperation, or flair-up.
In the beginning of our relationship, she would kiss me good bye in the morning. Now she just opens the bedroom door and says, “I’m leaving”. We both get home in the evening and seldom talk. I sit in my chair, she sits on the couch. She works in a Cath lab on a Cardiology unit. She has been at that job for 30+ years. I am a financial aid counselor at a college for the past 7 years. When we get home, I ask her how her day was and she says, “busy”. She asks me how my day was and I say, “good”. That is the extent of our communication for the rest of the evening. We go to bed, usually at different times. We don’t touch each other anymore, not even by accident. She refuses to kiss me, turning her face so I end up kissing her on the cheek. Yet when we argue she points out that I don’t even kiss her anymore. Our relationship is going south in a hurry. It is a miserable and UNHEALTHY situation for both of us. It has become a very dysfunctional relationship.
Given her employment in a hospital, she has many Doctors that she is acquainted with and has known for years. Due to her MS, she takes a subcutaneous injection daily. In addition to the injection, she experiences pain, around the clock. She usually only gets about 4 hours of sleep a night. She takes pain pills and switches those up with muscle relaxers so as not to take too much of one or the other. She has built up a tolerance to the pain meds and muscle relaxers. She will often take pain pills or muscle relaxers at work to be able to get through the day. When she gets home, she may take pain pills or muscle relaxers, but will also either drink a couple glasses of wine or 2-5 beers. This happens on a nightly basis. She has finished a whole bottle of wine by herself on more than one occasion. I am afraid she will not wake up one morning.
She was previously twice married; both of her exs had substance abuse issues. One, a serious alcoholic, the other an alcoholic and coke user. During those respective marriages, those husbands would even not come home for days as they were out abusing substances. Both cheated on her as well. She has taken them to treatment centers for alcohol and drugs, only to have them return home and reabuse. One has died due to an auto accident in which alcohol was involved. She has even gone to counseling with them to try to help them. She can be a very supportive woman. She is extremely well versed in AA counseling and has little patience for substance abusers. She is also not honest with herself about her own substance abuse issues. She doesn’t see what she is doing as herself having a substance abuse problem.
She recently had an MRI done, as she experienced exasperation with her MS. She has no problem discussing her MS with her Neurologist, but will not mention depression to her Neurologist. She has any number of Doctors that are willing to write her scripts for pain or muscle relaxers. She basically has an endless supply of medications.
Recently, she said that her day sucked, her home life sucks, our relationship sucks, our relationship is no fun, and we have no fun. When I asked her to tell me what she was expecting or what she thought we should be doing that was fun, she said she couldn’t tell me, said she didn’t know. I believe she didn’t want to say anything in an attempt to avoid a argument with me. However, I get the strong impression that she blames me for her situation. I believe she blames me for her not having any fun. While at present, our relationship sucks, I love her very much and don’t want to see her hurt herself or worse, die from an overdose. She blames me for her not being able to sleep. I use a CPAP machine to help my sleep apnea, which does make some noise. I recently had a deviated septum repaired, to also help with my breathing and snoring. I sound like a train, and I do admit that my situation does impact her and her sleep. However, I am not the cause of her problems. No one else is responsible for one’s own happiness, or fun, or entertainment, other than oneself. Happiness comes from within and we all must learn to find it in ourselves, and not depend on someone else for it. I believe that she feels like things suck due to her depression. But, I cannot get her to see that, admit that, or get the help I think she needs.
I have a degree in Psychology and have previously worked as a caseworker for an on-going adolescent unit with Department of Social Services. My case load was made up of juvenile delinquents, mostly on their way to Division of Youth Corrections. I spent 13 years working in that field until I got burned out myself. I am not a Psychologist nor a Psychiatrist, so I don’t claim to be able to diagnose. That being said, my unprofessional opinion is my wife is clinically depressed. She has MS, is in pain on a daily basis, only gets 4 hours of sleep a night, has a flat affect around the house, has lost interest in kissing me, or at least consciously refuses to kiss me, combines an amount of alcohol that would make the average man buzzed in conjunction with heavy medications, is easily irritable, we argue often. Her diet consists mostly of peanut butter, hard cheeses and water crackers or Melba toast. She is a vegetarian, but my point is that her diet sucks. She weighs approximately 130 lbs. Do you see where I am going with this, a 130 lb woman, 4 hours of sleep a night, taking excessive amounts of alcohol and medications, and then add depression to the mix. Where do you think this is heading?
I am concerned that she will succumb to the same fate that many people come to when mixing alcohol and prescription medications. Since they are prescribed, she doesn’t want to admit that they can be abused. But they are being abused. Only a few days ago, for her MRI, she was given some meds to relax her, as she is claustrophobic. Later that night, she was drinking gin and tonic. When she went to bed, I checked up on her and kissed her. She then began telling me that she was seeing faces on the ceiling. I couldn’t believe it, but, she was actually hallucinating. She was talking incoherently and hallucinating. Do I dismiss this event as being caused by the medications she was given? Or do I recognize this event as a symptom of a large problem. And, the next day, she had no recollection of the events the night before. The combination of the pains meds, alcohol, and depression scare me that she will end up dying from an overdose.
When she sees her Neurologist, she talks a good game, she is well polished, she does not allude to depression no way, no how. She knows how to talk in a way that would not lead a Doctor to think she has a problem. She is very upbeat, enthusiastic, and is sure to not display any signs of depression. She is also very good looking and very well respected, so who could say no to her. She only addresses the symptoms of MS and does not say anything about depression. She refuses to think that she may be depressed. Therefore she doesn’t say anything to her Doctor. She is very skilled at diverting the attention to other things besides what may be going on with depression. Remember that she has a more than average relationship with Doctors, is surrounded by them all day, and well respected by those same Doctors.
Given that MS and exasperations are the deterioration of the Millen sheath around our nerves, is it impossible to believe that the nerves in ones brain that are responsible for mood, affect, and depression could also be impacted by her MS, causing depression as a symptom of her MS? What do I do? How do I get the attention of her Doctors regarding her depression? I don’t know what to do anymore. My thoughts have gone to ending the relationship. I need to be in a healthier relationship or not in a relationship at all. While I love my wife, I also need to know when our dysfunctional relationship has reached the end and accept that. I will never get her to see or admit that she needs help to deal with her depression. She will never admit she has depression, nor will she stop combining medications with alcohol. What do I do? How do I get the attention of the Doctors? I don’t know what to do anymore.
I love my wife and I care about her safety and welfare. I am tired of sitting back, listening to her place blame with everyone else for her problems, not taking ownership for her part in our dysfunctional relationship, hating her job, the people she works with, me, herself. I believe she is burned out from her 30+ years in her job. I also believe she struggles internally with not liking herself. I believe she is depressed, and I am at a loss as to how to get her help.
 

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One thing is very clear, she's not much interested in what you have to say about it. Which tells us the same thing as her refusal to make it: she's lost her attraction to you. You may ask why that is, and here are some answers and what to do about it.

Partially, it's the 7 year itch and the other part is most likely your physical condition. Women tend to lose attraction to their mates in the 4-7 year zone of the relationship, which leads to a slow down or end to sex. Eventually, you get the ILYBINILWY. What keeps this from happening, in those relatively few cases where the woman stays sexually attracted to the same man beyond 7 years, the man has a very high SMV rank and the woman sees this confirmed pretty much constantly by other women. Women take their attraction cues from other women and if she begins to perceive subconsciously or otherwise that you don't have a female fan club, her attraction to you will wane.

If you can get the attraction back, she will be more amenable to your suggestions.

Unless you had the "Golden Ratio" physique that psychologists claim is essential a universal attractor to the female limbic when you met, your CLW pretty much made a cortex driven decision to "settle" for you. That wears out at about 7 years and the limbic drive reasserts itself. Notice her previous involvement with "bad boys."

Do women hit on you?

If not, you've got gym work to do.

OT: the myelin sheath requires fat, including saturated fat, to maintain and regenerate itself. Tough to do that on a veg diet.
 

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OT: the myelin sheath requires fat, including saturated fat, to maintain and regenerate itself. Tough to do that on a veg diet.
Coconut oil or milk,chocolate,avocados ,and nuts .

E.T.A if she includes dairy ?cheese /whole milk
 

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She sounds like an addict. I'd encourage you to seek out an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting to first learn to take care of yourself so you can best set the limits that can help her see what's going on. She might never see them, but if you change how you do things, the relationship *will* change.

You may find some helpful suggestions on my article about recognizing prescription pill addiction and what to do: http://jellygator.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Recognize-an-Addiction-to-Prescription-Pill-Medication

Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you to those that responded. I think I may have given the impression that I am concerned about the lack of sex. That is not the case. I am at my wits end to know how to get her to tell her Neurologist that she may be depressed. She is in denial about the possibility she may be depressed. I believe addressing our issues related to the lack of intimacy should be done after issues of personal safety are addressed. Kissing my wife would be great, but that can only be done only if she doesn't die from an overdose of perscription drugs and alcohol. I think I will look for a Multiple Sclerosis forum to post. Anyway, thanks again for replying to my post, I appreciate your time in reading my very long story.
 

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atwitsend2

I presume given your original post, that you have the intelligence to ignore comments like: "Which tells us the same thing as her refusal to make it: she's lost her attraction to you" as there appears to be so much going on in her life that she appears to have lost attraction for everything to do with life.

It is difficult when you are standing on the outside and it is clear to you that your partner's quality of life would be so much better simply by taking small steps.

It is also damaging to your mental health (as it must feel like you are living in an alternate universe). Try to find ways to step back a few times a day - do something that you enjoy, see friends as often as possible, etc. If you find that you are becoming unable to do this, then it "has got to you" and you need to take care of that first.

My opinion: there is no way to deal with issues like this without ensuring that you have emotionally detached yourself. If you don't, then your partner will threat your efforts as part of an ongoing relationship issue, instead of a once in a life time crisis.

I feel for you, it is a tragic story (and it is endemic in our current medical system - where each treatment is given individually so that the whole person is ignored, so that you end up with the treatments destroying the quality of life), but you need to look out for yourself first or you will be dragged down with it.

Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, Splarty. I understand your message to me. I did dismiss comments in an earlier reply post. I know what the issues are, I just don't know how to proceed without causing her to hate me. I need to realize that I would be a better person if she avoided an accidental death and hated me for years, versus not doing anything at all because I was afraid she might hate me. I couldn't live with myself if I did nothing at all and she did have an accidental death.

I know I need to take care of myself first, in order to best help her. I have to step outside of myself and my feelings and ego, which is not easy for a man to do.

She and I have isolated ourselves from our friends, alieniated them. We knew each other in high school, went down our seperate paths, previous marriages, children, then became reacquainted about 8 years ago. She had long time childhood friends, which I also knew from high school. Those friends no longer come around because she has identified behaviiors of theirs she doesn't like. She is using that to justify her discontinuing their relationships. She has alientated them. She does not have any outside friends that she is willing to go out to dinner with or just utilize for support. Yes, I realize that is part of the dynamic for a person that may be depressed, isolation and alienation.

We argued last night, again. When I asked her if I could go to her next doctors appointment, which is in February, she asked what I was going to say to her doctor. She said I could go as long as I didn't say anything. That just made me feel sad, that she was afraid I was going to tell her doctor about the extent of her mixing perscription drugs with alcohol. It is sad because she wants me to enable her addictions, and I don't want to do that. Then she trys the "guilt" approach, asking me why now I want to go to see her doctor, why now am I suddenly interested in her health. I told her I wasn't as concerned as her self distructive behavior, that I was concerned about other things, like depression.

What is sad about that, is we have never felt like we needed to go be apart of the others' doctors appointment. So she has never been to my doctor appointments, and it wouldn't bother me if she came to mine. I could model some positive behaviorI thought we were responsible adults that took ownership of telling our doctos anything we needed to about our health, including depression. I became depressed after my divorce, I sought counseling for myself and included Paxil. As time progressed and I worked my way through my depression, I had my Psychiatrist ween me off the Paxil. I think is is hard to admit you may be depressed and seek appropriate help. I think it is easier to be in denial and keep the secret to ourselves.

I have mentioned she has MS. She thinks I don't care about her health as it relates to MS. However, before we got together, and about 20 years ago, I did participate in an MS ski-athon to raise money for MS. In additiona to that I have also participated in 2 Bike for MS rides. I was not the rider, I went along to support my roommate at the time, who was the rider. When we moved in together, she was not participating in MS walks, but I convinced her to do so, and I raised money for the cause. Since then we have participated in MS walks annually. Her daughter who is 26, previously did not participate in MS walks, but since my first walk with her mother, she now heads up a MS walk team of her own to raise funds for MS. So Even though she accuses me of not being interested in her health until now, she seems to be forgetting about the fact that she herself never did anything MS fundraising related until I came into her life.

At any rate, I do want to say thank you, to you. I think you were able to take from my initial post my concern for her welfare and her depression. Therefore, I don't feel like my posting was n vain. By the way, This is the first time I have ever posted anything in my life. So I tried to keep an open mind about the replys I was going to receive.

I am going to reach out to my friends, not to tell them of our woes, but to reconnect with them as I need an outlet. Besides, I call them my friends for a reason.

Thanks, again.
 

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AWE, I hate to tell you this, but it's common for people to be diagnosed with one thing when something else is the real underlying cause. If your wife is using a significant amount of painkillers and other drugs, it's more likely that what you're seeing is drug dependency that coexists with depression, but not depression by itself.
 
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