Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum! I can empathize with you in many ways, You have had a rough road, Chronic Pain and medical problems can play havoc with our lives! Loss of work, and the ability to do some of the simplest things of daily life! The effect it has on relationships of friends and spouse and even the possible distruction of the marriage its self! Allot of these things I have also experienced first hand! So first thing I want to tell tell you as several of the members here have already said, You are not alone when you come to this forum! We can and do listen, and share in your frustrations and grief! This of course can do nothing to fix you, but as the saying goes "misery loves company" well at least here you have allot of company! We can and do understand what you are going through! I do have some questions, have they done everything they can do medically and surgically to help you? Or is that still a work in progress? Are you under the constant care of a pain management doctor? And have you ever been to counseling? You know I have been on disability since 2002 and was unable to work for several years befor that because of my back. I was fortunate that I still had my military retirement! But it is still difficult having to give up being the main bread winner, of the house hold. I know exactly what you mean when you said ("Thats just the way I was brought up. You do whatever it takes to take care of your family") After I retired from the Air Force I went back to school and became a Registered Nurse, I had only been working as an RN 5 years before I became disabled! It rips you completely apart! And the pain of it all goes right down to the core of your being! For me I did not seek counseling till my marriage started really failing, ( that was a mistake on my part) anyway, when the marriage started goig south I sought marriage counseling, unfortunately my spouse would not go. So for close to a year I went by my self, every week! It really helped me, but unfortunately the marriage could not be saved, ( it takes two to make a marriage and it takes two save it! and only one can not do it!) So I strongly encourage you to seek marriage counseling BOTH of you! but if nothing else go by yourself if need be! I was much stronger and capable of dealing with not just the divorce, but also the loss of my job and adjusting to my new life, of being on disability and also being alone and divorced. I will tell you something though, it was just not counseling that got me through all of that! It was also the fine compassionate and caring folks right here on this forum, that helped me through every step of this terrible painful process. My divorce was long and drawn out, and extremely painful, and all during that time I was also having major spinal problems, and a year ago in the middle of the divorce I had to have a cervical spinal fusion. Between professional counselling and the friendship and caring support and advice from my family right here on this chronic pain forum, I made it through all of it!
You to will make it through these seemingly impossible times, and hopefully your marriage will even be stronger having gone through it all! But it does mean allot of work for both of you, so I can not stress this enough, seek counseling, don't give up your marriage with out at least trying! Even if she won't ! But ask her, 20 years is a long time! I know, my divorce was finalized 15 days after our 35the wedding anniversary! and that was just this past February!! I can at least hold my head high and say I tried and did everything possible to save it! So Please at least try to avoid getting a divorce! Don't let that happen to you with out at least trying to save and salvage your marriage! Talk to you wife about counseling, hopefully it is not to late for you guys!
I do wish you well! And I am glad you found us here!
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!