Divorce because of Lupus?

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Jenny S.
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 8/27/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone gone through a divorce as an indirect result of Lupus? 
I was diagnosed with Lupus after getting married.  As you all know, Lupus is a process of being 'reborn'.  It seems as though everything has changed, even my marriage.  I feel really terrible, like it's my fault or something.  The things I use to be able to do are not longer feasible.  I'm often holding my hubby back from things in life because I'm too tired any more.  He tells me that he's not doing everything he'd like, which makes me feel terrible.  
I feel like we should part ways so he can live the life he's longing for.  Does that seem crazy?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  


I have Lupus ... Lupus doesn't have me. 

Dx: Raynaud's(2000)·Lupus(2001)

Rx: Pletal 100mg·Norvasc 10mg·Prednisone 5mg·Plaquenil 400mg


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 8/27/2008 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm sorry Jenny but love doesn't work that way. For your husband to say somthing like that is incredibly selfish! My husband and I had 14 years together before he passed away in 2000. I was in my 30's when he became disabled. Life wasn't always peaches and cream but I wouldn't trade the time we had together for anything. In fact I would do it all over again if given half a chance. There are no quarentees in life. What if he go in an accident was a quadropolegic? You gonna leave him? If he wants out because you are sick than he ain't worth it! Tell him to hit the road. Don't get me started! nono

hugs carol

Possible scleroderma.  stage 4 COPD,  Osteoporosis,osteoarthritis
Prednisone,plaquanil400mg,azythromyacin,vicodin 4x5mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg,Xanax 1.0 x3,Singular,nitro spray, spirivia,aciphex,lasix,inderal,pot.chlor.,B12 
I will never leave you nor forsake you!

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 8/27/2008 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jenny,
Carol nailed it.  I couldn't agree more.  His love sounds conditional, and that isn't what a loving, compassionate marriage is all about. When I got married, I had lupus for 2 years. I was in a remission, so my hubby didn't really know how bad things could get.  Now he knows.  I've been having issue upon issue for a couple of years now.  He tells me all the time that he wouldn't even dream of being with anyone else.  He never makes me feel like a burden and he says he's with me to the end!!
Like Carol said, if it was him who had the disability, would you leave him? No, of course not.  Gee, I could quote every single sentence that Carol wrote, LOL.  He needs a wakeup call, big time.
You also need to be kinder to yourself. Don't blame yourself for this disease Jenny. It's life. Life goes through changes all the time.  We have to find ways to accommodate our new lifestyle and ways to cope with the changes. You both need to find ways to cope, manage and embrace the changes. Encourage your hubby to go and do the things he wants to do.  Don't let lupus hold either of you back from making plans and having goals. 
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, Cozaar, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 8/27/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenny, I've tried to understand why so many folks who become chronically ill feel guilty for the effect their illness has on the people they love. I think it's ok to feel sorry for changing their lives, but not guilty. Your illness was not a choice, and somehow your husband needs a wake-up call. Have you thought about marriage counseling? It sounds as if he and you are both putting him first. He's thinking about himself and his losses and you're thinking about separating so he can have the life he wants. Think about that for a minute.

I love what Carol said and agree that we married couples should take care of each other should something happen to our health. But I wouldn't give up easily. Marriage is worth fighting for.

If he won't go to counseling, I hope you will. Don't take his problems on as yours. You have enough to deal with on your own.

I've learned that if I can separate my physical difficulties from my mental health, I can stay strong and have a good and happy life. You said it so well, "I have lupus, lupus doesn't have me." Stay empowered, Jenny, and your husband can whine all he wants, but that won't be your problem.

Your marriage may be worth fighting for, but you are definitely worth fighting for.

I'm glad you're here. And we're here for you. Hang in there.


Lupus, osteoarthritis, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.
cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, tramadol, actonel, tri-est, imitrex, cymbalta, tricor, acifex, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 8/27/2008 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   

I think you've received some great advice above. What a great place this is to come and and share our burdens and our experience.

I am blessed with an incredibly understanding husband. This came gradually . . . but it developed consistently over the years.

Be very careful how YOU view yourself and your situation. It can be rather contagious if you give off negative vibes. Also, people don't, in general, enjoy being around a "victim". I really don't think that you have a "victim" mentality, but it would certainly be a common side affect of chronic illness. One can be incredibly ill and still give off the vibes of independence and high self esteem, which really help those around us have a positive attitude. Not to say that we need to pretend to be better off than we are . . . I hope this makes a bit of sense.

He also needs to know how important he is to you and he needs to know when he's doing things right. If he feels like he can't win, he will be unhappy.

The best bit of advice I even received regarding men is this: "Its not how the man feels about the woman . . . its how he feels about 'himself' when he is with the woman" Ha ha !!! That little nougat will carry you a very long way.

I'm sorry you are in such a rough spot right now. Thanks for sharing . . . I have a feeling you are not alone.


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 8/27/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
  I'm sorry this is happening to you....((Hugs)). The others had some wonderful advice and I agree with them all. It's not your fault you are sick, so please don't feel guilty.
  I think communication plays a big role when one spouse is chronically ill. I hope you both can talk openly about your feelings and reason with each other. Don't give in to this and let your marriage collapse. Hang in there and let us know how things go.
  You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Dx: Lupus,RLS,RA,Asthma,Fibro,Sjogren's,Raynaud's,Divertic, Stroke,Atherosclerosis,Seizures,Neuropathy,CAD
JOB 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 8/27/2008 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Lupus is tough and it is life changing...not only your life but for all those around you.  A good marriage will struggle through the changes and adjust.  I know that is difficult particularly for younger people.  Those of us who are old already know that life and marriage in particular are dynamic and require adjustments to succeed.  None of us know what lies ahead for us or our marriage or life.
If you are having difficulties try and find a good counselor to help your dialog. 
Keep in mind that ALL of us who are married go through this to some degree and some have to make tremendous adjustments.  I was totally crippled just 33 months ago and it looked hopeless.  Not a great deal for my wife and certainly not what we had hoped in our "golden years".  Fortunately I have recovered substantially and life is good again...but not the same.  Our long marriage came out of this stronger than ever but it has not been easy.
Many spouses go through denial.  They need time and help even though they are not the ones sick.  I have talked to others who have gotten divorced due to illness or have poor relationships with their spouses.  Maybe some of those marriages were not that good to begin???  Maybe that is your situation and it is best to move on.  Whoever you are with needs to accept you as you are....period.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 8/27/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with the others. That is not what marriage is about. It's a two way street and it's all about love and support. Would you say the same thing to him if the roles were reversed? I would be very upset if my spouse was ill and feeling discomfort but not in the way that he expressed.
If he is not willing to love you unconditionally then maybe divorce is an option but not because of Lupus.
Just my two cents. I feel for you though. My husband had a really, really hard time understanding me when I was first diagnosed and he was a complete *** sometimes but he stuck around and learned more about it. It's not enjoyable for either party but having the support of your spouse is an absolute must.
Diagnosed with Lupus in January 2008.
Currently taking Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquinel), Lisinopril and Hydrochlorothiazide.

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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 8/28/2008 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenny, you received some wonderful wonderful advice and words of wisdom.  I don't have much to add to what others have said.  Living with a chronic illness does affect everyone around you - spouse, kids, close friends, etc.  There is grieving and anger and sadness for everyone involved, but the key is to realize that you can work through it and everyone can adjust and figure out a new way to be together that works for everyone.  It's not easy at times, but it can work and work well if both people are committed to it.  I was worried about how lupus would affect my marriage, so we went to counseling for a while to help us talk about how my illness affected each one of us and how it affected us as a couple and then we began to focus on how to make things as good as possible. 
Did you ever read the Spoon Theory at http://butyoudontlooksick.com.  It would be a great thing for your husband to read.  It helps others around you understand what living with lupus is like.
I hope you and your husband can find a way to work through this.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; UC 2008; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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