Author Topic: Effects on Marriage  (Read 10241 times)

laurajohn

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Effects on Marriage
« on: January 26, 2011, 06:24:51 AM »
Does anyone else find that this is a strain on their marriage?  I have a husband who literally will not talk about this, or read about it.  His response, "Since I've known you  there has always been something wrong with you."  I have asked him to go to dr's appt's with me for emotional support, and he replies, "I have to work to support you financially."  I have no one to talk to, and I just feel so alone.  Waiting to get a diagnosis is so hard when you feel so bad.  For a year now I have done nothing but see specialists.  All my hubby sees is "normal" blood work.  "Normal" test results.  The rheumy is my last hope--although my OB truly thinks Sjogren's.  My tongue is so red, dry and raw....Sores in my nose, itchy, semi red eyes.  Tingling fingers...Tendinitis or something in my shoulder and heel.  And so tired and depressed....But I'm "normal" and so is my marriage. 

kellijo73

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 07:24:20 AM »
I'm sorry you are dealing with this alone.  My diagnosis came along with news that I did not have cancer, as previously thought, so the diagnosis was much more welcome than a cancer one.  My husband has several health issues of his own, chronic back/leg pain, spinal fusion, chronic fatigue, epstein barr virus, etc.  So, he is down and out often.  I try to be really sympathetic with him, but he feel that I have no sympathy. (I'm a nurse and he thinks that I am very unsympathetic because I deal with patients and sickness all day.)  The problem I have is that I feel super miserable all the time, but still have to cook, and clean and take care of the kids when I am home.  He gets to rest if he needs to.  Now, he tells me to rest, but I feel too guilty because all this "other" stuff needs to get done.  He keeps encouraging me to get to the doctor and such, but I feel guilty because of the cost...we have so many medical bills already!

I think that all in all, any type of chronic illness affects a relationship and a family.  Just try to make sure that he is well informed of your diagnosis and symptoms, etc.  Will pray that he has a little compassion and can see you are suffering......

karleesgranny

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 08:06:10 AM »
My husband has some arthritis and diverticulitis and a neck injury that he got a couple of  years ago from a bad fall.   These are the things that he reminds me of everytime I say something about being in pain.... he says he has all this and still works every day.... which makes me feel bad since I don't work anymore...  I mean he loves me and all but he tells me that he hurts way more than me. And when I try to tell him that he could not possibly know how much pain I'm in he just says whatever....   I think that guys have to always be better hurt worse play better etc.... it just their nature I guess...

shortstuff

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 08:37:15 AM »
Yes, absolutely.  My husband, like yours, doesn't want to read about it or hear about it much.  We always have a fight when we do talk about it so lately I keep it to myself.  He has also said that since he's known me I've had every health issue on earth.  I've even tried to explain if you consider I've probably had SjS for the past 7-8 years and it's just been getting worse and that contributed to the earlier health issues he won't throw me a bone.  I am too depressing and always think about the worst case scenario.  But he refuses to acknowledge I can get worse and that the worst case scenario does happen to some people!  Luckily I see a therapist to deal with the stress, etc.

Anyway, I understand completely.  I wish it wasn't this way!  And I am also SSB+ but he says "You have a little bit of something."  Just because my test result was 1.1 and 1.0 dictates a positive.  But everything I've read says the number has nothing to do with severity of symptoms nor can it predict your outcome.  BLAH!  :(

dbab

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 08:53:27 AM »
For me, its very similar.  My husband doesn't "see" my invisible illness.  He refuses to believe its there.  I used to try and talk to him about it, I don't anymore.  I know its going to turn around and bite me later but I can't stand him viewing me as a whiner or a downer (EVEN though I know I'm not and I SHOULD be able to talk to him about it). 

I used to ask him to go with me to my appointments and he would say he would but then when it got down to it I would tell him I made the appointment, he would then say that he couldn't get out of work that day.  For my husband though, I think it's denial more than anything.  He doesn't want to face this... he wants to pretend its not there.  I don't think its so much he doesn't care, I just don't think he wants to believe that I'm THAT sick (knowing deep down that it's possible).  Men are funny, if they can't FIX something then it's a difficult situation sometimes something they can't handle.  They will retract and pretend it doesn't exist.

susan

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 09:34:14 AM »
Yes, this can absolutely impact a marriage negatively. I have been married 42 years (to the same man:) ), and although he is intelligent, kind, great father & grandfather, etc. etc., he is a jerk when it comes to living with a chronically ill partner!!!
although my diagnosis came years ago, in 1994, he STILL does not believe that I am "as sick as I think I am".
He is willing to provide a ride to the dr. or hospital, pick up prescriptions. Emotionally, he is unwilling or unable to be anything but angry about the illnesses. Bad enough for me to consider divorce at one point.
Needless to say, I quit expecting emotional support about the medical stuff a long time ago. However, I feel that he has let me down badly in that way, and I do not feel the same about him.
I understand your isolated feeling. What has worked for me is obtaining emotional support elsewhere----friends, adult daughters have all been wonderful.
You are not alone----I think this happens to many couples coping with chronic illness.

CAT1962

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 09:38:12 AM »
How weird. I just posted about this yesterday.

OK, left to think...I know how you feel...well, from my perspective...

My husband is getting VERY tired of my "issues". Like I said I have a post similar to this on the other board. I have 4 kids who won't help me either. Can't see beyond their own selfish noses. My husband works the graveyard shift and is always tired. I think his brain fog is as bad as mine most of the time. Joe sugested a family meeting. I have thought about that but never followed through, so this Sunday it is! And, you are not alone.

XOXOXO, CAT
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 10:10:54 AM by CAT1962 »

Meld256

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 10:07:12 AM »
laurajohn,

I'm sorry to hear you feel so alone in this. Yes, chronic illness can definately affect anyone's marriage, as well as all our relationships.  I think it's one of the hardest things we deal with. Of course, we expect our spouses to be understanding and compassionate, and when they aren't it hurts so badly.

Last winter, when I was still dragging myself to work, my husband would get annoyed with me when I could not make it.  To the point of being angry because some days when I would get up, try my best to get ready and just flop down exhausted and in pain. He'd come in and say "I thought you were going to work" which made me feel defensive. I'd try to explain the pain and exhaustion. It took several heated discussions before he realized what I was talking about, and how I felt, and also how this made him feel.

I think for men, especially, they feel the need to "fix" things. That's just their nature-they are "fixers". When something (or someone) can't be fixed, it is frustrating.  If he says you've been ill since you've known him, and that is true, it's certainly not your fault! Maybe somehow he will talk to you about how this makes him feel. Just because he seems to not want to hear about it, doesn't mean it's not affecting him, too. Just a thought...I would say some counseling either for both of you or yourself could be very helpful. I think we can all use some of that in this journey.
Take care,

Melinda

nancylee

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 10:22:19 AM »
well... since you brought it up. I am almost 100% sure I hate my husband. He loves to act like the wonderful attentive care giver in front of people but there is a huge part of me that thinks hes excited hes going to be cashing in on insurance soon. He doesnt go on appts with me. He doesnt really do anything for me excpet walk by the bedroom and ask if there is anything I need. When he comes down to that part of the house. Monday night I was burning up with fever. Chills. This is the day of the chemo.  I asked him to find me a thermonator. He felt my head and said you are really hot. He brings me the theromotor ( 101.9) and I didnt see him again for 2 hours. Now, wouldnt you come back and check on someone that sick? maybe bring a wet rag? something?

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. Remember that raging thing!

Who started this conversation??

shortstuff

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 10:39:29 AM »
OMG, Nancylee.  I am sending you a BIG BIG hug.  That stinks.  Don't you just want to punch him in the face?

I think another difficult thing for those of us who don't get the support we need from our spouse and give up fighting for it is the resentment builds and I can't recall who posted it above, but YOUR FEELINGS CHANGE.  So they move forward with their denial pretending you're fine or ignoring the fact that you feel like doodoo as if things are the same as they were, but you start to actually dislike or maybe hate them for not being understanding.  That makes me sad, but at times I feel like that is starting to happen with me.  I couldn't get across what I needed from him in a way that understands, or maybe he's just not able to provide what I need but I definitely gave up trying because I was sick of the blowups.  The board is the only place I can truly vent now.

laurajohn

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 11:04:47 AM »
Nancy, I AM SO SORRY!  I can't imagine!  Do you have lymphoma from the Sjogren's????????

And thanks for the posts, guys.  I too have grown to resent my spouse.  To top it off he stays mad because we aren't "intimate".  Give me a break!  I told my father that I wish I could just pack up and come HOME, but I have four kids (ages 3 to 12) so I guess isn't very practical!  lol

My aunt is an RN and she has RA and inherited COPD.  She told me last year that she gave up with her spouse too.  She said if you want emotional support, don't turn to a man because they just can't give it. (She had to spend some time in the hospital and when she got home her husband had done the laundry for them and their son's and left it on their bed.  She had to clean it off!!!)  Sad. Very sad.  But my father was so good with my mom.  He waited on her hand and foot --apparently that doesn't happen much. 

Thanks for letting me vent! 

quietdynamics

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 11:14:41 AM »
I believe that this condition is hard to understand for everyone...myself included.

My Rheumy suggested that I go to a .org to learn about this condition. That is how I found all of you.

When I first read some of the post HERE. I was so upset I was literally shaking.

My husband is an organic scientist and having worked in pharma research, understands how the body intricately works. He is highly supportive, and concerned as he has gone to Dr. with me and HE can't believe the ineptitude. He can look at me and see when my body is in distress...yes, it really does show. The saying "But, you don't look sick" is highly inaccurate, as we CAN"T go out when we are in the throes of physically, mental exhaustion.

Up until this board I haven't talked to my family about how I feel. But, in ready I think that may have been unfair to them. What I have learned since opening up to them.
Do you miss me? My husband admitted that he does. We would go out on adventures, stopping at fairs,dinner. I had him get a motorcycle and I have yet to take a ride.
To my teenage daughter: I love you  Mom if your body is attacking itself (she has been googling) is it cancer? Mom, I am afraid you are going to forget my name. You are worse than you were three years ago.

I learned a long time ago before this manifested to always say 3 good things, before a negative. it is my mindset. This is a condition I have. It is one facet of who I am. I am still a composite of wonderful experiences. And I refuse to let this one condition redefine my totality.
Sjogrens ANA 1:640; SS-A/B+; Fibro; IBS; Neuro symptoms,Thyroid Anti-bodies; Ocular Rosacea, Livedo reticularis,

"You can't have a positive life with a  negative mind"

nancylee

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2011, 11:30:39 AM »
Dear Quiet, tell me, why did the topic upset you so much?  Was it sadness for the women who dont have the same support as you? Was it because I was slamming my husband? PS I really did want to punch him in the face!) Why were you so upset? People have different relationships with their spouse.  I do want to say congradulations on your life choices.

I thought about what you said about saying nice things. I do have 3 nice things I can say about my husband. He doesnt have a beer belly. He has great hair. And he love to fix things around the house. Its taken me thing long to think of three things. You really are lucky!

laurajohn

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 11:38:43 AM »
Quietdynamics,

You are so fortunate to have a husband who understands!  My husband doesn't think I look sick, therefore I "couldn't feel that bad."  His favorite questions/statements are, "So which dr or dr's are you seeing this week?";  "You have so many I can't keep up." ; "Whatever you have is nothing since your blood work has been normal." ; "The dr's may never figure out what is wrong with you.  You may just have to live with not knowing." My family (Dad, kids, aunts, etc) are really great.  They let me talk....But I try not to burden them too much with it.

My hubby won't take off work to go with me.  He won't take off work to watch our three year old--like when I had an MRI.  We just moved to a new state so I don't know too many people yet.  The people I do know work so they can't babysit.  I have to pull my 12 year old out of school to help. Yep.  Now my in laws are coming in town in March and my husband is going to use his PTO time for that---but he won't use a couple of hours of PTO to go with me.  It is sad.  So yes, I have a therapist who is great and actually is the one who recommended the Rheumy I will see in March.  


nancylee

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Re: Effects on Marriage
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 11:40:15 AM »
LauraJohn. I have TTP from Sjogrens. Its a blood disorder that happens with severe Sjogrens. It eats your platlets and you bleed. From every orfice. Its fatal if not caught in time ( hours) and you have to have all the blood drained from your body daily, cleaned and have all your plasma replaced. DAILY.  Its called plasmapherisi. I was in the hospital and hooked up to this machine for months. I get daily blood test. Every day its an adventure to see if I have to stay that day.

Oh.. and intamacy? I could care less if I ever have sex again for as long as I live. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN???

Look what that raging post started. I have been venting all day.