I am a man who does not have fibro but my wife does. She is 40 and we have 2 boys, 8 and 5. We are currently separated due to financial reasons. That gets complicated. I am looking for some honest opinions of our situation. I have an online Ebay business. It used to pay better than now and we really need more money. I have been hinting to my wife for the last few years that I need her help to do something to bring in more money. She has not worked for 8 years. She just learned about a year ago about her fibro.
Now, my business takes so much of my time that I have virtually no life. I could work slightly more hours and make a lot more money with help. I understand about fibro and its many potential symptoms. I am not a skeptic. Having said that, I really do not understand why my wife feels like she is unable to commit to helping me even 2-3 hours per day if we get back together, something I would really like to do.
Let me explain to you what I am asking from her and you tell me if I am being unreasonable. I sell shoes on Ebay. I bring in the shoes and they need to be: sorted and photographed. This could be done sitting down though I have always done it standing up. They (pictures) need to be uploaded to computer, cropped and uploaded to a website. They need to be described for Ebay. When they sell, there is the matter of copying and pasting the addresses into Wordpad and handling email questions. The hardest, physical part of the job is simply dropping the shoes into boxes and taping the boxes shut and taping the labels on. This is a part that I would help her with. There might be 75-90 boxes a week. I have lower back issues so it is probably harder on me than her when she is feeling good.
That is it. I am asking if she can do 2-3 hours per day roughly 6 days a week. I can handle the rest. I realize that she will have good days and bad days. We do homeschool the children but computer teaching CDs does most of that work. We can eat out, eat pizza, spaghetti, leftovers, etc. and I know how to cook so I don't care if she makes a king's meal every night.
If there are days when she does not feel good at all, she does not have to do anything, even though sitting at a computer (half of the work) is not much more work than lying in bed. She or I could make it up the next day. I am flexible. She can do this work any hours of the day she feels good. Yes, I said any. There has never been a day her fibro was so bad she could not get out of bed. I have questioned her self-motivation throughout our 18 year marriage. I feel that what I am asking her to commit to is not that much. Please give me your opinion and keep this in mind. I cannot keep this family afloat doing it all myself. That is why we separated. We are in emergency mode. This is not so I can buy a new set of golf clubs. This is so we can buy health insurance, car repairs, fibro treatment and pay the basic bills. We have no social life and have not in awhile. I don't want her to work. I need her to. What do you think? Be as harsh as you like. I can take it.
I am also with Ivy and Sherrine on this one. Your wife has a very full plate that your living apart is just adding to. She is very much aware that she is unable to contribute financially, and the added stress of that alone can make her fibro flare at unpredictable times. You are frustrated as well, and i would imagine that perhaps the way you approach her would make all the difference. Let her try if she has the time, (which I doubt with all you have said that she is already doing). Try to resist reminding her of it all the time, she knows..believe me...she knows.
Not all fibro sufferers sleep all day. Being a single mother, home schooling, and her relentless pain, your wife is exhausted by days end. I have a very soft spot in my heart for all the mothers out there still raising their little ones...plus dealing with this terrible illness. I was fortunate enough to have finished raising my 5 boys before I was diagnosed.
I hope you will read the Fibro 101. Once you truly understand your wife's world, then maybe you can go back to her and be the partner who vowed to love her in sickness and in health.
Good Luck to you both and your precious children
I hope things work out for you. My husband and I have gone through something similiar. He just didn't get what this does to me. I am afraid to commit to anything because I never know how I am going to feel and the more pressure I feel from my husband the worse I feel. It may not be that your wife doesn't want to help but she may be afraid to commit to it. Fibro does nasty things to your mind and body. I have three children, 15,13 and 10, and let me tell you they completely exhaust me and they are old enough to help out. I can't keep up with my house and that stresses me out. I love to cook but don't have the energy some days and all of this adds to the stress of fibro and that depresses me and I feel less of a person. Has your wife always been like this? If she was once this bubbly, energetic person, I guess I would have to believe that your wife does not want to be this way. There is a letter that was posted resently that I think you should read, it's a letter from Fibro, I wanted to cry as I read it because it says it all. The letter is an eye opener for people who are not experiencing the fibro. Search for the letter, I think you need to read it. Also, can you find it in yourself not to feel taken advantage of, this could make all the difference in the world. Your wife may be feeling defensive because she knows how you feel and cannot fix it. I was ready to call it quits myself because I just couldn't handle the stress of my husbands feelings. Luckily he has come around and that has given me the incentive to go the extra mile. He doesn't make me feel guilty for sitting on the couch all day because I cannot find the energy to do anything. It really does happen, that's how zapped you can feel. I really hope that you can work things out with your wife and for your family. Keep this in mind, stress is not good for FMS!
All the best!
I've noticed with my fibro that each "day" is different- I think it would be hard for your wife to commit to even the 2-3 hours a day when she never knows what she is going to feel like when she wakes up in the morning. Also she is 40- not 25 and has enough on her plate from what you have explained. Having fibro is a plateful and just making it through one day sometimes is too much for us. Throw in two young children, a husband, a house and homeschooling- yikes!
Let her shop how she wants to. Maybe that is her therapy and if it makes her feel better just thinking she saved the family $5, let her. She probably feels bad enough that she cannot contribute to the family financially?
You mentioned you feel like you are battling just to have a "normal" life- "Normal" is not a word in our vocubulary living with FM. Maybe redefining the word "normal" for you and your family would help.
This is just my opinion Brett. I truly wish you and your family the best and hope you can work things out!
I'm truely sorry that you and my husband have to deal with all this stress. What I'm hearing from you is resentment though, resentment that you have to manage alone. It doesn't seem fair does it? It's not! But you want to know what is really unfair, having fibro. You really need to educate yourself, the more you understand about fibro the easier it will be. Stop looking at what your wife can do and wanting more from her, yes she will have days when she can do more. Try accepting things as they are and if you can not then you need move on. Have you thought about getting a different job, one that would take away some of the financial burden you are feeling. If you truely love your wife, you will find a way to make things work. It's not easy and your life will never be what it was but that doesn't mean you won't be able to have a good life again, it's just gonna take some work and understanding. This is a disability even if it doesn't LOOK like one. I hope things work out for you!!!
First of all, I should let you know that I have never been married, and I don't have kids. But I am a 36 year old woman with fibro. Recently, I had to move back home to SC and live with my parents because of financial issues and my illness. Not only is it humiliating, at times I think it makes my fibro worse. But, that's another topic.
Just a question, but do you ever ask your wife what you can do for her? I don't mean physical things. If my parents would just take the time to ask me things and talk to me (in a non sarcastic way), it would help me a lot. This is just my opinion, but if y'all make a point to sit down and talk calmly, maybe she would tell you what she needed from you. Like Sherrine said, everyone deals with fibro in their own way. People have varying degrees of pain, and just because she doesn't talk about it doesn't mean she doesn't have it. Personally, I've just kept quiet about my pain (which is excruciating at times) because I feel like no one really hears me. And, my parents are the type of people who say things like "get over it," or "suck it up." That just makes me feel worse. Also, having fibro isn't a matter of just "being tired." It's being fatigued. Your wife could sleep 24/7 and still feel fatigued. BTW-she may have sleep problems, so she may be staying up late watching TV because she can't sleep. I'm sure she feels burdened with a tremendous amount of guilt, because her body has betrayed her. And, she also may be depressed. I'm sure I would be if I were in her situation. Again, this is just my opinion.
Has your wife tried to apply for any kind of assistance? I don't know what state you live in, but I think she could at least try and get Medicaid. This would help with paying for medical things. And, depending on your income, you could get food stamps. I just moved from CA, and they have their own state disability. Unfortunately, only a few states have this, so when I moved home to SC, I had to apply for Medicaid, SSDI, and SSI. I know it takes a long time to get SSDI & SSI, and she'll probably be denied the first time she applies. I just applied, so I'm assuming that I'll get denied. But, it's always a good idea to try to get assistance. And, who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky and get it on my first try.
Anyway, my main advice is communication. Keep talking without being condescending or sarcastic (I'm not saying that you are talking to her this way, but if you are, believe me, it doesn't help). Be honest and tell her how you are feeling and listen to her when she talks to you. I think it's easy to assume things about people, but imagine trying to walk a day in her shoes (LOL-no pun intended about the shoes). I don't know how painful she is, but for me, I try to explain my pain by saying that I feel like I'm bruised all over. Really think about what your wife does and what she has to deal with on a daily basis. It isn't about cooking or taking pictures or selling stuff on ebay. It's so much more than that. I can't speak for your wife, but I think she might agree.
Or, I could be totally wrong about everything. But, like I said, this is all just my opinion. I really hope things work out for you, and you can always come here for advice. BTW-please tell your wife that we are here for her, too. This site has literally been a lifesaver for me at certain times. We are a real family here, and maybe your wife needs someone to talk to who knows what she's going through. LOL-as you may have guessed, I'm a big talker. I'd be happy to be her fibro friend.
Good luck to all of you!
I am so glad that you are going to try make things work. I don't think you will be sorry. You should not feel like you are disappointing anyone either, you are doing your best under some pretty difficult circumstances. You do need to take care of yourself during all of this too, stress is not good for anyone. Take some time for yourself, it doesn't need to cost money, visit a friend or take a walk, do something you enjoy. I would also suggest that you and your wife get out together, without the kids and away from responsibilities. Maybe take that walk together or have a picnic, something just for the two of you. I hope you understand that we all just want things to work for you because we understand all to well what this horrible illness does to the lives of those we love. Remember, this won't be easy but it will be worth it.
We will be here for you and your wife.
From a man's point of view, one with Fibro, I see your frustration. We men are wired differently than our loved woman counter parts. I too would be frustrated with her lack of motivation. I think that she needs to try and do as much as possible and scale down until she finds the most she can do comfortably. I encourage you to push her into being more involved on a daily basis. I always feel worse on the days that I have less to do. If I keep busy mentally and physically I tend to feel better overall.
If she has always been a bit lazy, she will ony use her FM to justify her lack of interest in doing anything.
Her pain and exhaustion is real. Sometimes it is difficult for me to do as much as I would like to.....But I always try......
Better to try and fail than to quit and fail.
Hang in there Brett and keep pushing her without pushing too far......her pain and exhaustion is real, but it is not dibilitating.