irrational behaviour and ME/CFS Help needed

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/8/2006 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Please can you help: My wife has CFS and generally she is a warm, effectionate and loving and fair person but she has just left me and I really could do with understanding if some of her behaviour is linked to CFS. She is 34 and has had CFS since she was 18. for 4 years I have been a tower of strenth for her, but I simply cannot understand some of her behaviour.

We are a blended family, she has two children from her first marriage and so have I. My wife would talk about her illness many times each day, going over symptoms and ailments and other than say I understand how she feels and try to make practicle changes, I was unsure what else to say. If for any reason after listening intently to her many hundreds of times, the one time I was at a loss for words, she would take it that I had no interest and say I did not care or understand her illness.

I also found that when she relayed things that had happened day to day in the house, they were very often excagerated, and nothing i said would relay any of her anxieties about any given events. One of her children who was 9 got up to go to the toilet and left a light on, a few nights in a row, when I simply asked them to turn the lights off when they had finished, my wife, making no comment at the time, now says that becuase of this one comment, she could never sleep properly at night, in case I got annoyed if one of the children left a light on. I said the same thing to my children and she has no issue with that.

We had a joint bank account, her own credit card and I lost count how many times I told her so long as we had money in the account, she could buy whatever she wanted. four years later she now tells me that despite me saying she could do whatever and whenever she wanted, I made her feel guilty and STOPPED her spending ANY money on anything, and if she did I would cause a row. She did howver, actually buy whatever she needed, the only one time we had differing views was when she wanted to get her children new mattresses for the beds, I said I agreed, but could we clear some of the credit card bills first.

I made a great deal of effort with her children and although on occassion I may get a little terse with them over their behaviour and alike, same as I did my own, she now says that everything i did was wrong and that I never showed ANY interest or care for them, even though many many times, she had said to me in the past, I appeared to care more about her children than thier own natrual father.

We had one very minor argument whilst we were married 9 months into our only 12 month marriage), we were then due to go out to celebrate our first anniversay and she said she was not well enough to go. (we had planned this for months and did not go to the cinima very often, she also always seemed well enough to do the things she wanted, just never well enough to do the things I wanted to do. I said that sometimes I wished that she would consider me and my wishes and needs and this caused a row, she then said our marriage was over and has refused to speak to me since. The whole time we were married we had two rows, and the second one she left.(and they were not very big either)

I cannot understand whether its her illness thats causing her to over react to day to day domestic issues or if its something else. Every day she would hug me and hold me and tell me just how happy she was and how in love she was with me, then after the 1 row, she said things were never right and that I never supported her, never cared about her children and was controlling and unreasonable over money, which was a complete contracst to how things were.

I would just appreciate some help to understand this. I was with her when she say a clinical phychologist at the hospital who suggested she may have depression and anxierty complex but she walked out the hospital saying, what do doctors know. although she was not well enough to go out to celebrate our first anniversary, when she came home, she emptied an entire house of all her and the childrens clothes, toys, kitchenware, books, everything, appearing to be as string as an ox.

I think she had a lot of anxiety over her children as she left the childrens father and seemed to resent anything I did. We had spent 1 year thisfully hasppy, I had to tell one of her children off for attempting to punch another child in the face, she left me saying that our relationship was over and that she needed to be on her own with her children, this similar set of circumstance happend 4 times.

I love her so much but just cannot understand the contrast in her behaviour. If you could help me understand I would be very grateful.

thank you

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 12/8/2006 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, that's alot. It's hard to say what is causing her behavior. Some of it might be health related, but it sounds as though there is more going on. People are often not mad for the reasons they say they are, or even think they are. It sounds to me like she is using irrevelent reasons to end the relationship or to find fault in you and avoiding what's really going on. Sometimes, the truth hurts and people tend to know this. Keeping this in mind, she might be using excuses and not being 100% honest with you and possibly herself. There has to be some underlying issue. Maybe she has committment issues, maybe she is feeling guilty because of her illness, maybe she thinks that her having health problems is being a burden on you, maybe she is suffering from something that happened to her in the past, it could be anything.
I would give her some space and some time to figure things out. It's hard because as much as we would like to, we can't control how other people feel.
I know a gal that told me that her antidepressants control how she feels about her husband. One kind makes her madly in love with him, a different kind make her feel indifferent towards him.
I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems. Would she be open to marriage counseling?
Best wishes.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 12/9/2006 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
macattack, first of all let me say that I am very sorry for everything you have been going through. I'm sure this is a very rough time for you, to say the least.

I agree with Jwalter, that there is really no way for us to know exactly what is going on with your wife and what caused her to leave you - it is probably a combination of things, one of them probably being her illness. Chronic illness can take its toll on any marriage. My husband and I went to counseling after I got sick because so much had changed in our relationship. I used to be very active and enjoyed playing sports and many outdoor activities with my husband and children, but all of that changed drastically after I got sick. I barely had the energy to exist let alone have energy for my husband. I knew this had to affect him and even though he was extremely understanding and supportive, I knew there had to be times when he was frustrated that I didn't have energy for him or energy to do anything, so in counseling we were able to address my guilt and his concerns and frustrations. Counseling was very helpful and gave us an opportunity to talk about things we might not have otherwise talked about.

Also, it's not surprising to hear that your wife might have depression and anxiety. It is very common for people with CFS to have depression and anxiety and I hope she follows up with a psychiatrist or at least her family doctor about this. It also sounds like she might still be dealing with some issues about past relationships that could be carrying over into her relationship with you, although there is no way to know this for sure.

Hang in there and I hope that you are able to have the opportunity to talk to your wife and try to work things out. I highly recommend finding a really good marriage counselor or therapist. If your wife won't go with you, you could always go on your own to get some possible insight into what might be going on. Take care and let us know if there is anything else you have questions about.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/10/2006 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
We have been married 12 months and I witnessed some unusual behaviour. She tended to worry a lot, going over minor issues again and again with a constant need for reassurance. If i listen intently to her hundreds of times, the one time I do not show sufficient interest, she accuses me of NEVER listing to her. I actively encouraged her to buy or spend money on whatever we needed, she had her own cards etc. One time I said lets wait on a purchase of some furnature, she accusses me of being controlling over money, despite hundreds of times when she has actually bought major items with me always saying that it was fine for her to do so. In 12 months we had one tiny squable over a real minor issues, and one what I would call a row (controlled rather than abusive), she feels that we argued all the time. There are many frequent times when she was tired or poorly due to her ME/CFS and I accommodated and cooked, cleaned, hoovered etc, One time I said I needed her to understand the effects of her illness on me (I have a condition called RSD- a chronic pain condition) she accuses me of never taking any interest in her illness, and makes out that I am abusive when ever she needs to talk about how she feels, even though this is as far away from the truth as its possible to get.

Mainly she was a calm quiet and loving individual, giving lots of love and attention, the probles occour in that on the surface she was happy and contented, never indicating in the slightest any relationship worries. Then, without warning, I do something that in her eyes is not right, and litterally hundreds of minor day to day things are brought up, almost like a pressure cooker, with all the minor day to day issues being described as enormous even critical issues, which bear no or little resmblance to the actual events.

I am desperately trying to understand whats going on, but coming from a rational fair and level perspective, these behaviours have me totally bewildered.

To give you one indication of what i am talking about. One of our children kept leaving all the lights on at night when they went to the toilet. I said for them to remeber to turn them off when they had finished. six months later my wife says she has never been able to sleep deeply and fully as she is worried in case one of the children leaves the lights on again, even though no issues was ever made about it at the time. She then BLAMES me for her not being able to sleep properly, even though we went to bed every night together and she always seemed to drift of in a lovely sleep, never indicating any sleep problems whatsoever. My wife appears to analys everything and read things into situations, finding fault , when no actual fault or issues is present. If there is fault in her eyes, its always and without exception, MY fault, she also refuses to look for solutions, saying that I just don't understand.

Please can some one help me as I am at my whits end trying to do or say the right thing to ensure my wife does not get into a state about things.

Thank you

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/23/2006 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I know I took a lot out on my wife when I was badly affected by the fatigue. You cant sleep, your muscles are constantly tired and achey and your head is woolley and its hard to think clearly so you get very irritable about things, small tasks can be overwhelming and in your desire to save the little energy you have you can snap at loved ones whom you think arent pulling their share of the extra weight they should be because of your condition.

However, Im afraid that it sounds to me like there was a lot more wrong with your relationship than just this, and in many cases the symptoms of cfs and depression overlap on a number of levels. I think you need to accept that this one just hasnt worked out, people change for this reason or that, and perhaps you need to be a apart. Good luck.
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