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I am just looking for some advice or insight if there is anyone else on this board in a marriage where one partner has a chronic health issue that affects their daily life.

I am only 28 years old and I suffer from numerous health problems that have popped up over the last two years, since I had our two kids. They affect my daily life and make it so I am barely able to live a normal life. It affects my mental health - battling constant anxiety and depression, my mood - get frustrated easily and lose patience easily because I feel like sh!t all the time, my sex life - hard to have decent sex when you can barely get yourself through daily activities, my ability to engage fully with my kids and my husband - simple things like cooking a meal, reading a book to my kids, going on a date with my husband, running errands are huge undertakings for me.

My H has been so patient with me, but I do feel like he doesn't fully understand the level of pain and discomfort that I live with on a daily basis. I admit that I don't always share my troubles with him, because I find it hard to talk about, and I have been lacking the courage to seek medical help until recently. So he has a right to be frustrated with me and to largely ignore my pain/suffering.

I think the absolute worst thing about my condition is - 1) So far no doctor has any idea what is wrong with me, and it makes me feel like I am crazy. and 2) I LOOK normal on the outside. It's not like I am in a wheelchair, or obviously ill in some way...I appear to be a perfectly normal 28 year old woman and no one expects someone of my age to be so sick, so they usually discount the extent of my suffering.

Anyway - I am concerned about how this is affecting my marriage. I am finally seeking the medical treatment that I should have sought out a long time ago (I am the one who admitted to having a phobia of doctors, so this was a big step for me). My H is finally coming around in the last few days about how serious my medical problems are, when I woke up in the middle of the night two days ago in a full blown panic, then dropped to the floor and had a seizure in front of him. I spent a day in the hospital, but was released when they still couldn't find anything wrong with me to explain why it happened. Witnessing my seizure gave him a small insight into the fact that something is definitely wrong with me.

I think he gets frustrated that he cant just "fix" me. As a man, he wants to find solutions to my problems, but this isn't something he can do. I dont even know what to tell him to do for me, to be honest. I still work full time, bring home a paycheck, and do my best to keep up with my other demands in life like the chores, cooking, cleaning and our social life but I am getting to the point where I am barely able to do those things. I am missing so much time from work that I worry about losing my job, and I fear he thinks I am staying home or leaving early because I am just tired or lazy or something. For the record - he has never once said that - I just worry that is what he thinks of me. He gets frustrated with me on weekends when I cannot spend the whole day running around and I can only do things little by little, like doing the dishes is enough to wipe me out and I have to sit down and take a break for 30 mins afterwards. I deal with near-constant migraines and nausea and it makes it so I don't always want to eat normally, and sometimes spend my days on the bathroom floor waiting for it to pass. He always tells me to get up and get on with my life, and if I keep moving I'll feel better, but it just doesn't work that way. Sometimes he has to handle more of the childcare than I do because I am too ill to deal with my very active kids.

Anyway - if you suffer from the health problem or if your spouse does, I'd be interested to know how you handle it, how it affects the dynamic you have and how you work around it. I feel like this is causing a major rift between us at the moment, as my health worsens he is drifting farther away from me, I can't tell if he's frustrated by me or the situation or just feels helpless and doesn't know what to do. I don't know what to do either at this point, but keep plugging away at my doctors appts and various testing they are putting me through and pray for an answer and cure. My doctors said I can expect it to be a long road before they find an answer for me because all of the standard tests I have taken so far have produced no answers.
 

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I have Anyklosing Spondilitis, about 3 years ago it took over my life. Pain, fatigue and pretty much everything else. I have my fair share of hatred for doctors (I am struggling with finding a new one now..) It took 9 months for a diagnosis because my blood tests where abnormally normal too. I was labeled a drug seeker by too many doctors who simply did not want to take the effort to help me.

Before I could get proper treatment I went to work, came home and sat in my chair praying to sleep because i don't at night or to simply find a way to sit where I did not hurt. I stopped doing all chores, cooking and everything else I did because I just could not. My husband picked it up and did it, thought not exactly happily, but did not complain.

When I was finally diagnosed and treated my pain has gone down some, but there are still days. I do much more now that I have a balance, but it takes all of Sat do do them because I have to take breaks.

My advice to you is to tell him about ALL your pain. I instituted the pain scale where I wrote down the numbers 1-10, 10 being the worst, and wrote a description on how I felt at that number. So now he asks me and instead of saying that I am in pain, I say I am at 6 and he knows what that means. I have been closed mouth too long about my pain, and our relationship suffered for it. I justified it as not complaining or sucking it up. Who wants to be around a complainer? I had to learn that me telling him what my condition that day is is NOT complaining, but sharing my life with him, and regrettably my life has a lot of pain.

Also take him to all of your appointments, or as many as he can go to. This illness that you have will affect the both of you, especially hard while you have no diagnosis.

My husband had to learn that I can only do things in small quantities (that is for everything from recreation to going to the grocery store) and after we started communicating about my pain he did begin to understand of what I was going through. Look up "The Spoon Theory" Good way to explain your limitations to others. Just walking up the stairs with my laundry basket tires me out completely, I have to rest before I put away the clothes. I hate having to ask my 15 yr old daughter to carry my laundry for me.

Sex has been an issue, mainly because I say I am hurting and he thinks that is me saying that I don't want him. Communication has helped in leaps and bounds. I tell him the exact reason and we work through it. He does still get grumpy from time to time, who wouldn't? And usually he does not notice it until I gently point it out and he is sorry. He has told me that he is angry about the disease and how much it has taken away from us and feels out of control.

Likely your husband can not stand to see you in so much pain, and he wishes that there was something he could do for you, and gets frustrated when he can't. When I am particularly suffering, and he has been able to see it written on my face, he will ask me what he can do for me, I will give him something to do even if it is trivial "can you heat up my hot pack?" or most of the time it is "can you hold me?" It gives him something to do to help. He appreciates it because there are too many times where there is nothing to do and he feels helpless.

At work, check with HR and your leave options, most companies offer something called an intermittent leave, meaning that can miss a few days and go back to work. It will protect your job.

Hold in there. It is a long road, and the best way of dealing with this in your marriage is communication...the whole knity gritty...even the stuff that you would usually consider embarrassing to tell him.
 

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Also take him to all of your appointments, or as many as he can go to. This illness that you have will affect the both of you, especially hard while you have no diagnosis.

Likely your husband can not stand to see you in so much pain, and he wishes that there was something he could do for you, and gets frustrated when he can't. When I am particularly suffering, and he has been able to see it written on my face, he will ask me what he can do for me, I will give him something to do even if it is trivial "can you heat up my hot pack?" or most of the time it is "can you hold me?" It gives him something to do to help. He appreciates it because there are too many times where there is nothing to do and he feels helpless.

At work, check with HR and your leave options, most companies offer something called an intermittent leave, meaning that can miss a few days and go back to work. It will protect your job.

Hang in there. It is a long road, and the best way of dealing with this in your marriage is communication...the whole knity gritty...even the stuff that you would usually consider embarrassing to tell him.
:iagree:

I was born with my medical issues, so my husband knew about it since we began dating. Previously, I had been dumped when guys found out about it as it wasn't something many people wanted to deal with, not really knowing what my medical condition is(it's very rare) and not knowing what my future will be like. I told my husband about it all on our 5th date, because I'd rather end the relationship early than be dumped again later by someone who couldn't handle it. I almost cried the next time I saw him, after borrowing his phone, and noticing that he had done his own research on my condition. He wanted to know more about it and what I have gone through/may go through in the future. He has been absolutely amazing through everything.

The big thing for us is to always talk about what ever is going on. If I am having problems with pain or something else, I'll let him know. Sometimes it may feel like you are 'bugging' him, but it's better for him to know than try to guess what is going on with you.
 
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