How do you stop your dx from killing your marriage?

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lost in philly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 4/14/2009 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been pretty severely sick for the past year+ and on disability insurance through work (waiting for final SSD approval this month) for the past 3 months.
Finances are super tight, stress is super high, the future is uncertain and scary (I know I am preaching to the choir here!) But what really gets me down is how this is affecting my 8 year old marriage. Romance with the S.O. has been (not for my lack of trying) on the major back burner. So...you guessed it, this adds to my depression big time and fear of the future.
Adding to this mess, our 19 year old is coming home from college for the summer and the two of them fight like cats and dogs. So I am really worried about my marriage, my health and how I/ we are going to get through this.
We cant afford couple's counseling. Is there anything that helped other couples get through the beginning?? I would really appreciate it.
I feel like the crux of the problem is the money stress but also that I am not not just a woman/ wife anymore its like I am seen as an illness? Does that make sense? Like when we get pregnant and suddenly our bodies arent just sexy but motherly? Has anyone else gone through this??
Thank you!
lost in philly

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fibro, Endo, Migraines, Asthma, CFS

Topamax, Morphine, Cymbalta, Crestor, Resoril, Loestrin, Treximet

B12, Magnesium, Melatonin, Omega3


southerndiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 4/14/2009 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Philly,
Wow, can I relate. The only thing that I didn't have to worry about was the work thing when I developed Lupus this last month. I feel so bad for my husband because I have had no desire in the last 4 months to even cuddle with the poor man because all I can do is think that when I get into bed it's to sleep and rejuvenate my energy for the next day. He has been very good through it all, but I'm beginning to wonder myself how long an individual can last through something like this before you lose all romantic ties with your spouse. My husband has a very stressful job as a general manager of a packaging plant and has recently had to let several salaried individuals go so therefore he is doing 4 people's jobs. Not to mention, like you said, I also have a 19 year old that is up a school and has recently decided that he doesn't want to go back and will probably move back home and this has become a very stressful thing as well because he wants to have the freedom to come and go, do as he pleases, and come in all hours of the night, which I can't take because I need my sleep. We just recently had our 20th wedding anniversary on April 1st and we couldn't even go anywhere to celebrate because I was so sick. I cried the whole day feeling like the most inadequate, disabled human being that couldn't even get to the store to buy him a card. He keeps telling me that we will take it one day at a time and try not to look at the whole picture right now and we will get through this, but like you said it's the fear of what the future has in store for me and how it will affect our marriage in the long run. I feel like sometimes I talk about it too much and he is tired of hearing about it as well. You are not alone, by all means. I guess communication is the key to letting your husband know that it's not you that doesn't want to be with him, but the disease taking it's toll and that hopefully your doctor will get you to a point in your illness that you will be able to live a somewhat normal life like before. Hang in there!!

Suffering in the south,
Lynnette

DX - lupus, carpal tunnel syndrome
meds-methotrexate, plaquenil, prednisone, darvocet, naproxen, relafan, folic acid

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/14/2009 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Philly and Lynnette, try not to have the fear.  That is wasting energy and no one knows the future.  If your marriage was solid before the illness, it will remain solid.  You need to MAKE time for your husbands...even just simple things like leaving a note in his briefcase to let him know you love him and are thinking of him.  I used to do that with my husband and he really loved that.
 
about the time I came down with fibromyalgia, I had severe Crohn's disease and had to have my colon removed.  Talk about poor body image!  smhair    I was married 20 years at the time, too.  But, we took vows to love each other in sickness and in health.  If  your husbands got terribly sick, would you consider leaving them and breaking up the marriage?  Of course you wouldn't!  So have some faith in the love your husbands have for you. 
 
Lynnette, your husband gave you great advice.  Don't look at the whole picture.  Take it one day at a time.  You have to do that with these illnesses.  You will have crummy days and you will have good days, too.  But, you guys are in the marriage together and I truly believe with a little effort you will be celebrating your 50th anniversary!  True love always wins over adversity.
 
Sherrine 


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Post Edited (Sherrine) : 4/14/2009 1:38:17 PM (GMT-6)


Piercings
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 4/14/2009 12:41 PM (GMT -7)   
This is something that I'm struggling with right now myself too. We are at 5+ years and he's had a bad couple of last years. After he lost his job December before last he's not been employed since. So not only does he not have much for skills, and a 7th grade education, but he's also trying to fight 12% unemployment that we have here.

Right now I am the breadwinner and I'm falling down on my job. I've not been into work for the last two days and missed the majority of last week. Right now I have no paid time off left as I was out with a major illness in January which took up all my paid time for the year.

I'm in the position right now if having to tell him to get through his anxieties and get out there and try to get a job instead of hiding behind the computer and only doing online applications. It's a tough balance of having to push him and trying to save the relationship. There's a ton of resentment on both sides right now, him for not doing more financially and me for falling down on the job lately.

It's a tough balance but I think we'll get through it. I'm having to swallow some of my pride and ask for help for us to be able to keep our apartment cause I just simply am not making enough with having been out of work so much this pay period. But, tonight, I am going to take the Ambien so that I can actually sleep and get my butt to work tomorrow. I feel that not only do I need to for the financial side of this, but I also need to lead by example. I don't feel that I have any right to demand that he gets out of the house to look for work if I'm not going out there and putting myself on the line too. Maybe then we'll have more respect for each other and some of the resentment will dissipate.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks for the letting of the vent.

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 4/14/2009 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Piercings, that is really tough.  I think I'd encourage him to get his GED and maybe some online classes to learn a skill.  If he becomes more "marketable" he will be able to find a job in the future.  I know unemployment these days is high but it won't be like this forever.  He needs to prepare himself so he can find a job...especially something he would love doing.  He's pretty much an open book right now so he should take advantage of this time to get his diploma and some job skills.
 
When he has that I think life will be easier for both of you.  He will have more confidence and that does show in interviews.  I wish both of you the best of luck.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 4/14/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Sherrine,

I think you are the greatest. Your advice is very good and to the point. I do admire you.

Philly and Lynnette, hang in there with your relationships. Like Sherrine said, have faith in those you are married to. Also, look into your church for counseling. There are usually counselors that will provide couples counseling within your community. I once went to a Catholic counselor when my marriage was suffering and I was really in the throws of my depression. He really got me to see a lot of the things I was doing and I credit him to this day for helping me save my marriage. Look into it.

I will pray for both of you and by the way, I welcome you to the forum.

God bless and gentle hugs.

Lindaloo
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


Agmaar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 4/14/2009 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
This topic really hits home for me cause we're also struggling with all the uncertainties.
 
But a few comments.  As far as the counseling goes - maybe the way to look at it is that you can't afford not to do it.  Maybe it has to be a priority and bump some other things.  Are depression and anxiety under control?   As we deal with depression we tend to isolate less and become more intimate.  Also, there are a couple of meds that may be able to help with your energy level (Provigil, adderall). 
 
At some point there's a "hard times call for hard measures" thing we have to do.  There's only so much money to go around.  If there's no way to increase income, then expenses have to be cut.  I know we don't want to make really basic changes to our lifestyle, but if it's hard times ..  I know all the problems - maybe you like the house, location, school districts and all that - but something has to give.  Only you guys - working together - can decide how to adjust to the new reality of your situation.  A therapist would be a big help in doing this - because you and your husband will be at different stages of acceptance of your condition. 
 
I think at some point we have to turn all this into a positive statement - and look on it as a challenge to reinvent ourselves to best use the abilities we have now.
 
25 yrs. ago I spent a huge amount of time in NICUs, pediatric hospital wings, etc.  I came away with a new perspective on life - and certain convictions.  I've seen some hard things with those little kids ....
 
Anyways -
 
Life isn't "fair". 
 
Life doesn't come with guarantees.
 
All we can ever do in life is recognize change, adapt, and go on.
 
And so that's our challenge - how do we adapt and go on?  I can only speak from my personal experience - but a therapist is a big help in dealing with these things.
 
I so hear you about the 19 yr old - we have one too (my step daughter) - but it is my wife that's having the difficult time when she's home.  It's probably time to have "the talk" with your son.  With all that's going on - there's probably no way around it.  He's going to have to function on a more adult level.  Can he get some low cost housing for the summer where he goes to school - get a job to help meet expenses?   I'm not sure where we headed with this either - but it's probably not going to work out to have her live at home anymore.
 
Anyways - you're not alone in the journey you're making.  Before it's over I expect we're going to have to make some really difficult decisions about where we live and what I can do for work in the long term.
 
Sorry to run like this - but it's obviously done me a lot of good to "talk" about this stuff too.
 
 
 
Rich
 
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
 
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
 
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)
 
 


purplerose652
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 4/14/2009 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
My health has taken a terrible toll on my marriage. My husband doesn't deal well with illness and sometimes I almost feel like he doesn't believe I am really sick. He has made comments that if he ever gets really sick he doesn't want me to take care of him. He says he would want me to leave and still have a life. I would never do that! When I said in sickness and in health I meant it with all my heart. But it makes me think does he want to leave me? I know I am not the same woman he married. This dd sometimes consumes everything.
Take Care,
 
Renee
 
"Grace by which I stand."
 
Fibromyalgia, IBS,Gerd, Scoliosis, & Costochondritis, Lupus
 
 


Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 4/14/2009 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi lost!

I do understand about the 'S' word being on the back burner...like BIG time. Fibro, and many other disorders/diseases can make or break a marriage. One thing I think you should consider is finding counseling...for free. It's out there if you are willing to look. Do you attend a church? There's one option. Also, give the Red Cross a call and see what suggestions they can offer....really! Also, call a crisis line for help. They have list upon list of resources in your area, including those that would be free or very low cost on a sliding scale. Then talk to your doctor. He/she might be qualified to do it and it would possibly be paid for by insurance. Most insurance plans allow for some counseling therapy. If you don't have insurance the see above..Call the Red Cross for help.

Your hubby and daughter can not carry on like that in your home! I've been there but it was with my daughter and her father. I had to pull him off of her before he choked her. She was nearing 16 and at that point when she asked if she could live with her boyfriend's family and I let her go. I feared for her safety. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. What I Should have done was kick HIM out but I was in a bad situation...another story. But please do something before life becomes intolerable. No one needs to live that way....no one!

Please feel free to email me if you'd like to just vent or talk. Just click that little blue envelope under my name over there <---.

Hugs,
Chutzie
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
***************
Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."
(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


lost in philly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 4/15/2009 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone for your valuable suggestions! (There really should be a book about how to save your marriage during a dx...) When I can stop crying I will give those agencies a call. Thanks for the idea.
lost in philly

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fibro, Endo, Migraines, Asthma, CFS

Topamax, Morphine, Cymbalta, Crestor, Resoril, Loestrin, Treximet

B12, Magnesium, Melatonin, Omega3


southerndiva
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 4/16/2009 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone,
Sorry it has taken so long to respond. I do really appreciate all of your advice and will take it to heart. I'm feeling a little better these days since they started me on prednisone last week and getting a little more energy each day. As far as my husband goes, I couldn't ask for a better one and I know it. I think I'm the one who puts more pressure on myself about what the future has in store and how it will affect our relationship. He, himself, is constantly researching for helpful advice and articles for me to read to help me feel like I'm not alone in this and to be more educated about the disease. Last night he came home from a business trip and handed me an article from USA today that he read on the plane about Baby Boomers and how they fight arthritic conditions of all kinds. I know he is concerned for me as he should be. I have a wonderful extended family as well and great neighbors and friends who check on me all the time and this, of course, is a great comfort. I know with everyone's support and the love of my family I will get through this and be a stronger person than I already am. Persons living with chronic illness are some of the bravest people ever. For those of you who have your health, treasure it everyday. On another note, I just found out yesterday that one of my son's classmates who graduated with him last year passed away Monday suddenly from leukemia. He was just 18 years old. He got ill his senior year, but they thought he was getting better and last week went down hill extremely fast. So, once again, I realize that life is so fragile. So when my son comes home from college to stay, I will embrace and love him all the more, regardless of all the stress and problems that may come with it. Hug your children today everyone and know that God is good in every sense!

Hugs and Angels,
Lynnette
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