Husband w/IBS and arguements. I just don't know what to do!

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Peachlove
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/30/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,
     I am posting because my husband has IBS. Things are rough because I am the only one earning money. While he stays at home with our 3 yr old little girl. No doubt that he is working by taking care of her. Here is the thing he says that he can't clean much because of his stomach pains. I am tring to understand all of this but I work 8 hours a day and then I go home and have to clean. I clean at work as well because I am a housekeeper and a front desk clerk (I work at a hotel and I am trying to become manager). I am cleaning what I asked him to do before I go to work. He isn't doing the normal duties around the house and he is saying that its his stomach. Often I have heard him tell me that he has this IBS because I argue with him. Lately everything is my fault and he don't wanna admit that he blames me.
     This morning I got up late and had to be to work. Our daughter went to wake him and she jumpped on his back. He got really pissed and said that the next time he was going to throw her off him. She is only 3 and thought it was a fun way to wake dad! So I say to him that was uncalled for. As the morn goes on he went to walk to dog and I was telling my daughter that dad would have to help her this morning because mom is going to be late and that if people wouldn't keep me up at night I would not be late in the morning. I guess the window was open to our room because he came in and said what are you *****ing about. I say nothing. Because I wasn't. Eventually I had to give in and say I was then he said but you just said you weren't! It progressed to worse than that. He said I am ready for you to leave and go to work! I said oh really so are you ready for me to come home then? No answer! So I just proceeded to get ready. I ride a bike to work because we have no car. I am starting to feel like he just don't respect me anymore. The fact I ride my bike to work everyday (or walk depending on the weather) and I have only missed 1 day of work in the whole year I have been at this company. He kept telling me that he wasn't going to keep doing and he would leave. I just looked at him and said don't take our daughter, because you don't have a way to support her. Truth, YES and rude maybe. I wasn't trying to make matters worse but it didn't seem like it mattered to him I was going to work. But now because of all this I will hear that its my fault that he had to go to the bathroom soooo many times today! I just don't know what to do!
Anyone with some friendly advice?
Peachlove 

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 12/30/2007 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with IBS last Feb.I was using the bathroom 6 8 times a day & worde depends just in case.I now don't need to wear them take Pamine & when i need, I to take Imodium.Sounds like he's using the IBS as an excuse not to do anything.I'm doing good once again.......
SnowyLynne


Peachlove
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/30/2007 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
That is what I am thinking to. Using it as an excuse. But he gets angry when I even try to tell him that he needs to work harder! He isn't the one trying to get him self help its me! I make the doc appts and get his meds. I researched his symptoms and came up with celiac disease at the beginning of the year. He does have IBS I just don't understand why he isn't taking a more proactive approach to finding a way to make him self feel better?
Peach

Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 12/30/2007 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
You are enabling him to stay in his present state. He sounds like he is depressed and often antidepressants can help IBS as there is seratonin in the stomach. If I remember right he is severely overweight and you are both very young. Honestly, you both need counseling to make this work. He needs to deal with his weight issue as I doubt that anything is going to change otherwise. He must have very poor self esteem to allow his weight to get to this and with all the other problems. As I remember many different drugs have been tried and you are waiting for the Lotranex. In the meantime is he taking anything to help. He should not be in that much pain all the time, something is wrong other than the IBS, wrong food, weight, depression, back problems. If he won't see a counselor then I think you should on your own(though who knows when you would do it) but you can't continue like this the rest of your life. Not good for any of you including your child. YOu are just young people with more to life than what you have.

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/31/2007 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that this does not sound healthy and you need a relationship counselor. The only argument of his I give merit is that arguing upsets the IBS. But that is not YOUR fault if he is doing dumb stuff to make you upset. I just know that stress makes my crohns act up bad. My husband will get annoyed because we will be having a legitimate healthy argument about something and I will get upset and have to run to the bathroom. Then he feels bad and tries to make me feel better and Im like NOOOOO lets keep getting through this I dont care if it makes me poop lol. But, there is no excuse for doing absolutely nothing all day. I can see him maybe not cleaning the whole house top to bottom but there are definatly thing he could do over 8 hours... especially if he is "healthy" enough to watch a 3 year old by himself.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/2/2008 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Men don't make very good sick patients. Just ask any other wife!

When I get an upset stomach and have to go to the bathroom a lot, I usually feel very drained and I'm not up to doing a lot of physical labor. I will make myself do some, but I would imagine that, for your husband, your daughter is a lot of physical labor. And yes, it is very depressing to be stuck in the house pooping all day. And being afraid to go anywhere or eat out because you're terrified you're going to be sick. Men don't adjust very well to that kind of constant fear.

In terms of importance, your daughter is most important. So long as he feeds her, gets her dressed, keeps her clean and out of trouble, then I'd call it a decent job done. If he also does some dishes or makes supper, then so much the better. But I'd let the housework thing go until he gets to feeling better. And sit down and tell him that yes, you've been a little too hung up over the house cleaning bit (I'm here to tell you, the vast majority of men don't see the need for a clean house; my own husband says he doesn't see a problem with throwing stuff in the floor), but you would like to see him try to feel better because you don't like to see him down all the time.

The anti-depressants are one thing that sometimes helps people with IBS. Has he been to a GI and done a breathalyzer to look for bad bacteria? If he has diarrhea, has he tried modifying his diet and/or taking calcium supplements? Has he been tested for food allergies? Many men do have to be lead by the hand when it comes to their health; I've known way too many who stick their heads in the sand and ignore their health problems. In fact, it's a documented fact that men are less likely to seek treatment for any medical problem than a woman. So, yes, you will have to do a lot of the legwork for him if you want to see him get better. If you could get him to talk openly about what problems he has and when, and convey that to us here, we might be able to suggest tests he should get or even medicines that might make him better.

One thing you should know and come to terms with: IBS has no cure. Even people who find a medicine that works for them, they have to stay on that medicine in order to maintain good bowel function, and there is always a chance that the medicine will stop working one day. Many people do not find a magic bullet, but are able to improve their lives *some* with various remedies, which they sometimes have to change up because they too stop working as well. And an IBSer, no matter how well their medicine is working, will always have to be a bit careful about what they eat; there will always be things they can't have. It's like having diabetes; it's something you always have to be mindful of as you eat and as you make plans. So don't expect to restore him to 100% functionality and have it last.

Is there any way possible to hire someone to come clean your house every week or two weeks or even just once a month? Since you work in a hotel, I know you know housekeepers; I'm sure one of them would be interested in cleaning your house for a little money on the side. At least get the housekeeper to do the vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms, dusting once a month and just leave you and hubby the laundry and dishes to do regularly.

Look into www.Flylady.net. She's a woman who overcame her tedency to do nothing because she couldn't do it perfectly (you have to be careful that when your husband does something, you praise him like a child, even if he did a half-arsed job of it; people--and especially men--who feel like they are not meeting someone else's expectations will very quickly give up and refuse to do anything at all; I know, because my mother was a drill-sergeant of a house cleaner and she could always do it better than me and would tell me so, even as she made me do it myself). Your husband may not have any use for FlyLady, since she's oriented towards women, but she does have a male following if he was willing to be open-minded about her.

Even so, you can read some of her stuff and get an idea on how to organize yourself, your hubby and your house so that both your and your hubby have less work to do. One thing I think is really useful that she teaches is "You can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes!" That's how she breaks down her cleaning: clean for 15 minutes and see what all you can accomplish. It works! She has some people write in to her who have serious health problems and they might have to limit themselves to 10 minutes or even just 5 minutes at a time before they sit and have an equally long break, but they find that chunking work up into small portions and resting in between allows them to get stuff done without laying them up in bed for weeks with exhaustion. FlyLady also teaches "A job done incorrectly still blesses your family." This is how she overcame her perfectionism that crippled her before she even got started. Or, as I like to paraphrase it, "A half-arsed job is better than none at all." And that's the tack you have to take with your hubby. If he attempts to do something--even if he doesn't finish, even if it's not a great job--it's still something; less you have to do to finish up (although be careful about redoing things he thinks are done; he will see that as your disapproval and will not want to do that chore again because he feels like he will automatically fail).

Does this sound like a lot of work? Yes. Which is why women are the ones who tend to stay home and keep house. :-P Obviously you can't have that traditional role, so both of you will have to bend and make concessions to keep the peace.

Also, if he will do it and you can afford it, try and find him a therapist or even a group (hospitals organize these, also you can look in your local paper for meetings around town of various groups); talking about your problems with people who understand make them so much lighter. Why do you think we're all here?

Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 1/2/2008 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I think the idea about the 15 minutes is good. Maybe it is just too overwhelming and he really doesn't know how to go about it. Maybe come up with a list, today vacuum, tomorrow dust ,etc. He can do that a little at a time and then let him know how much you appreciate it. I do think that counseling is in order though. You can't work all these jobs and take care of the house, him and the baby. No one can.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/3/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Something else FlyLady points out, when it comes to children, is that many parents say "clean your room" but they've never shown a child how to clean it up, so they have no idea of where to start or how to do it. Men are not usually taught how to clean house either, so part of your husband's problem might be that he doesn't know where to start, so he just gives up before he tries (mine seems to have a bit of this problem). FlyLady can help; she has on her website an example of how she cleans house step-by-step.

I tackle a messy room like this: bring in garbage bag and pick up all the trash I can find and empty any trashcans in the room (leave the bag in there in case you find some more). Locate any dishes and take them to the kitchen. Return to the room and locate any dirty clothes and toss them in the nearest hamper. Then get a laundry basket and toss everything into it that doesn't belong in that room. Straighten up and replace those things that belong in that room and, voila! you will find that room is tidy (even if it's not clean, per say). Tidy counts for a lot visually.

Then take your trash bag and laundry basket to the next room. Repeat as above, except that you also take anything out of the basket that belongs in that room and you replace it. At the end of the tidying (and you shouldn't need more than 15 minutes per room to do all of this in most cases), take whatever's in the basket that belongs in the first room and put it away. That has the entire house tidy. Cleaning can then be broken up by day: Mop on Monday, Dust on Tuesday, Vacuum on Wednesday, Clean the bathrooms on Thursday, Laundry on Friday, Errands on Saturday, Rest on Sunday (or however you want to structure it). Dishes get done as you dirty them, basically.

One thing I've seen that's handy is to get a small laundry basket for each person--each in a different color so you know which basket is yours--and place them in the living room or wherever you spend most of your time as a family (and the room that gets messiest first). Then, every evening, you play the tidying game. Pick up everything that doesn't belong in that room and deposit it into the basket of the person whose possession it is, or who brought it into the room. Your three year old can even pick stuff up and help sort it. Then each person has to empty their basket (by putting things where they go) before bed. If that's done, then no one person gets saddled with too much tidying and that room won't need any attention except cleaning.

The other thing I read in a FlyLady e-mail was that some things are easier said than done. A mom kept nagging her child to pick up his room. One day, she decided she wasn't going to be a nag anymore and just clean up his room since it meant more to her than to him. She said she spent all day in there and still didn't have it completely tidy. She realized there was just too much stuff and not enough room--and the four or five different types of Lego-like blocks didn't help matters any either. So she and her son spent time getting rid of stuff he no longer wanted and she put up some shelves and bought some storage contianers and made it so that every item had a home: it lived in this bucket on this shelf, etc. And, after that, her son was able to keep his room picked up easily because he knew where things belonged and there was room enough for everything.

So never underestimate the power of a good clutter-clearing to make housekeeping easier. I recommend "Clear Your Clutter With Fung Shui" by Karen Kingston to really help anyone get started on getting rid of stuff. Also, if you believe in Fung Shui, or just believe that yes, your environment can have an impact on your health (mental and physical)--after all, who feels good when they are surrounded by junk and trash?--then you can actually feel a bit better for having cleaned up your posessions. I got into clutter-clearing when I was in college and when I was done, I found that I was less depressed and less lonely (I lived by myself off-campus) and generally felt a lot better about life. I definitely recommend it for anyone who has long-term health problems which can really depress you. A tidy, clutter-free living space is so peaceful. There were times when I was pacing in my living room in the middle of a painful gall bladder attack thinking "it looks nice in here"!
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