A husband's viewpoint of wife with FMS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Starla, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. Starla

    Starla New Member

    I read this post on another Fibromyalgia Message Board and I was so touched. If all husbands were like him, what a blessing it would be. I printed it out for mine to read to let him know how other husbands feel the same. .....Here it is.....
    From a spouse's point of view Posted 7-24-2001 15:40

    This is from a spouse's point of view, they may vary, but this is mine.

    And for you Ladies going through this on your own this may
    help your family and or friends understand.

    When the wife started with the I don't feel good, and my shoulder hurts, and my knees hurt, and my back hurts. I was a little skeptical at first and also noticed that I was starting to take on more of the every day chores. Trips to the store, taxing the kids here and there, ect, ect. I did this extra work no problem, I could see that she didn't feel good but did she really feel that bad. I kept saying this was all going to pass because all the test were showing that nothing serious was going on with her and there was no large growth on the side of her face that we could see.

    Well of course it didn't stop and now she is starting to miss work and when her RN hours started to drop (well you know). At this point I am still keeping it together but becoming very frustrated. And now I am thinking to myself when is she going to start doing what she use to.

    But it just gets worse and now she is missing out on a lot more of the kid's daily activities. What is going on, nothing is what it used to be and everything is becoming more stressfull and is really starting to wear me out.

    I love my wife! And just want it all to be the way it was, why cant she do what she did the day before!!! Why cant she remember anything, she forgets to mail the bills and forgets to pick up the kids would go to the store and not even bring back what she went for. Well now its time for me to take over everything all the bills and shopping everything. As a man I will say that my wife has always taken care of our finances for the last 19 years and did a very fine job, better than I am. Now I have to stress over all of are finance too and every time the kids need anything, she always says go talk to your dad, I cant make that desition, I don't feel good leave me alone.... Ok this is it, she has never did that to the kids before. We are now on a very fast down hill slide, I never know what is going to happen from one day to the next.

    OK, does any of this sound familiar? It's now time to think back to when every thing was just the way we wanted it; what has changed and why.

    I stop and do some real soul searching, thinking and a lot of praying.

    I think that some how over the years I had let are marriage turn into a routine, you know what I mean, every one has there own part and that was just the way it was. (Remember the daily goodbye and how was your day kiss's are they still the same).

    The good old routine and when the wife became ill it changed that routine. When this all started I had ask my self did she really feel that bad. I don't know I was not sick, I was not in her shoes. Was I more worried about the changes in our life style and ignoring the health changes in my wife? I am truly ashamed of my self, the answer was (YES). Is she still the beautiful, caring, and loving woman that I married, the same woman that had given birth to three beautiful baby girls and one very handsome son (YES). Is this the same wife and loving mother that would spend every extra bit of her time with our kids and that loved her job and gardening and o yes shopping with the kids and walking the mall for hours (NO). This is not like the women I fell in Love with and she really is getting sicker by the day.

    Now what should I do?
    Do I continue to blindly ignore my wife's illness, all the pain and depression? Please don't get me wrong I Love my wife and have been helping her a lot, but my stress and aggravation at times was very noticeable. I can only imagine what she was going through, not only was she getting sicker, but I know that my frustration with her at times would make her feel like she was a burden. How is it that sometimes we can be so cold and heartless and not realize it.

    Or should I just walk away from every thing that I Love so much because its just to much to deal with. Well I don't believe that running away is even an option. But if I am not welling to make a lot of changes, then I should just leave. There is no need in making her more miserable.

    And Ladies, when it comes to a man trying to keep up with these rapid change's in health and lifestyle's, well its not easy. And I can honestly tell you that it can be very, very frustrating. Just too many changes, I can never plan to do anything like I use to. Life is becoming just a day by day thing, and I just never know what to expect.

    And I think that with all said, this is the true test for the relation ship.
    So what's it going to be!! It boils down to only two choices!

    1. Give up and walk away, just try to forget every thing. All the good times all the memories and what it was that drew us together. And what if the rolls where reversed and I was the one being slowly eaten up with this invisible and very debilitating illness.

    2. Well I have chosen to take care of the one that has given me so many happy memories. And I will be the first to say that this is not at all easy and has required me to make a lot of changes.

    And there is no grey area here it is all or none! Stress plays a very big Part in these illnesses and I do not need to be adding to the stress that this invisible and very real illness puts her through on a daily bases.

    What are the things That I can do to help with her stress, I think that the first thing is to lose the attitude and then focus on complete and total understanding of what my loved one is going through.

    The attitude; They notice it and we know it, and do any of you think that if we are under standing only part of the time, that this should be enough. Ok lets think about this and say that we are very supporting for a few days here and there. You know what I mean, a smile instead of a frown, a do you need anything while I'm up, no problem I'll make supper tonight do you need any thing while I am at the store and I will go ahead and pick up the kids while I'm out. While this is happening it is obvious that she is very thankful of the support and help, she is looking a little bet happier (you know, there that smile is that I so rarely see anymore).

    But then for some unexplainable reason we start with the attitude again and I am not going to talk about that, we already know exactly what it is. What do you think that this emotional roller coaster ride is doing to our very sick loved ones? Remember there is no grey area here, it is all or none. And once again, what if the rolls where reversed and I was the one being slowly eaten up with this invisible and very debilitating illness.

    This is how I am trying to help my wife or should I say help myself to help my wife. I put my self in her shoes, I listen when she says that she is hurting and when a new symptom starts in, I will find out as much info as I can about it. It is so very obvious that she is going through a lot of health changes. Is this her fault, did she ask for it, does she deserve to have every thing taking away from her?

    Like I had said earlier I have taken over the entire household from A to Z. The only way that she is going to get better is to get the rest she needs and no stress.

    Lets see should I go ahead and go to the car show today. I know that one of the kids' needs to be picked up while I'll be gone and the wife does not look like she needs to try to drive across town. I will never again put such a material thing before a loved one. Did I have to sale our dirt bikes and trailer yep, so what, that's just a material thing. The same as hunting trips, fishing trips, the boat, the cars. These things can be replaced however, my wife cannot. I would much rather have the memories of the joy, happiness and love that only a family can give.

    We are now going to separate the men that are willing to make the changes for their loved ones, from the ones that are unwilling to break the routine or have just given up and I will stop at that.

    Ok we already know what changes we need to make, Never act like she is a burden, Never expect her to be able to do the things she use to not until she feels that she is ready. If you get up to get something for yourself ask her if she would like anything and stop on your way to give her a kiss. Always let her know that you love her. I do not believe that you could ever say "I love you" to a women to many times. And I know that we have all been through the cry spells, never just walk away, ask her if she needs anything. And if she says that she doesn't know what she needs then just go over to her and tell her how much you love her, rub her shoulders or knees, what ever it takes to make her feel a little better.

    And you know what! We can also do this even if are Loved ones are not sick.

    Do I get the feelings of being completely overwhelmed at times O you bet, who wouldn't, we are all human. Sometimes we may need to get some extra help to get through it. Mine is God and my love for my wife and kids. I also go to speak with a counselor or are minister, just whatever it takes to be strong for the whole family. Remember Pray and Love can conquer all.

    There are days that I get up and I just don't feel right and no matter what I do, my wife is going to notice this and she is going to think its all her fault.

    The first thing you need to do is "and trust me on this one" go to your wife and just be honest. Tell her that you just don't feel right today you just feel a little down. So if I seem frustrated and distance at times today PLEASE forgive me, its not you love, I know that you didn't ask for this illness and we will get through it.

    They will be a little more understanding then you may think because they go through these differnt feelings on an hourly basis.

    I am so glad that I made all these changes early on in the illness. There have been so many changes sence then and every one of them have acually brought our family so much closer then I could of ever hope for. Between my wife and son's illness and all the added stress for my daughters and I, with all things that we are now doing without. There is more love in this house then there has ever been and I am happy to say that the love is so strong there's no way it can be missed, a smile can say so much.

    I could go on and on about the little things that we can do to show that we Love our wifes. I could even make a list, but I would have to always be adding to it. Every day is a learning experiance and with every day our love should grow. I look at it as never let your love stop growing and the relationship keep going. You can't have one with out the other they must grow together.

    And ladies I would like to thank you all for the many years that you have spent taking care of us and our family and our homes. And I promise you that every time I here another man say that all his wife does is take care of the house and kids, I will let them know what I think.

    One more thing I don't know where I heard this but at some point I was told that moms can always do it all and if they got sick it was no big deal because they could still keep going. They are all SUPERMOMS! Does anyone know how this got started who said it? I hope this is not in the male genes because I can not remember where this memory came from.

    My wife was misdiagnosed with Fibromyalgia and then as she continued to deteriorate she was given anouther misdiagnosis of CFS. What she acually had was Lyme Disease and Babesios, at this time our 11 year son was showing the same symptoms so we had him tested he also has it but we caught his in the very early stages. The symptoms of all three of these illness are very much the same. Please go read on all three, getting involved and leaning about these illness will help us understand.
    If anyone would like to read all the info that I have on my wifes illness and the info that I have on Fibro and CFS, let me know. But it is very long with lots of links and it will take up 4 e-mails.

    Thank you for your time
    Sincerely Mike Hysom MyFamily1st@aol.com

    I can relate... Posted 7-29-2001 04:26


    I can definitely sympathize with the position that you are in, as I am in a nearly identical situation myself.

    My wife has just recently been diagnosed with Fibro Myalgia, the start of which stems from silicon poisoning. She had Dow Corning silicone breast implants put in probably 15 years before I met her. They are both ruptured and have been for at least 4-5 years. (Also a little before I met her.) Her body has totally absorbed one of the bags that the silicone was in, and the silicone is wrapped around the muscles quite akin to striations. (Think zebra here.) Her Doctor says there is no such thing as silicone poisoning, but by that same logic I can munch on several dozen lead sinkers and think that it won't have any effect on me. The world is full of professional idiots.

    Funny how she started feeling ill 4 years ago in exactly the same timeframe her Doctor tells her that the implants ruptured.

    First it started out with her neck, then her knee, and then her wrist. She never had this "full body pain" until a few months ago.

    After the neck surgery to replace a ruptured disk there (auto accident) we thought that everything would be fixed. Nope.

    After the first knee surgery (there were 2 `scopes done, then the wrist surgery for carpal tunnel, followed later by a half knee replacement) we thought that everything would be fixed. Nope.

    Now everything that was originally wrong has been fixed and she should be in minimal to no pain.

    That is not the case.

    She is now on Paxil, Zanaflex, and 6 or so other medications, half of which have the effect of turning her into mental jello when they are in effect, and one that causes her to have low blood pressure and just collapse like a rag doll if she doesn't sit down immediately when she becomes light headed.

    As such, I have refused to let her drive when she is on this medication due to the fact that if she were to pass out in traffic she could kill herself, not to mention anyone else that happened to be around her.

    Needless to say, she can no longer hold a job. She quit the last job she was at because they were making her work 12-hour days, and her condition was just getting worse.

    So now we only have one income, which is mine of course. She used to make about $37,000 a year and now we don't have that income. OUCH! If I didn't have a decent job working in the IT industry, you can bet your favorite hat that we'd be screwed financially.

    You spoke of taking over the household. I work 12-hour days, have an hour and 20 minute commute EACH way to my work here in Denver. When I come home I am just ready to crawl in bed and die for 7 hours before I have to get up and do it again. Thank God I only work 4 days a week.

    I still find time to come home and do the dishes, and clean up the house.

    My wife tries to do what she can, but it is getting to the point where even seemingly minor things exhaust her. Just doing the laundry for instance, is an all day affair. Hanging it out on the clothesline to dry is like climbing up a mountain for her sometimes. She does what she is able to do, and I appreciate the effort that she puts forth to do so.

    On my days off I clean the house, vacuum, and take care of the yardwork. (She mows the little lawn though. I think she enjoys the accomplishment it brings, and she has always liked doing yardwork, so as long as she wants to do it, more power to her.)
    What we all must remember is that it is the little things that speak a thousand words. An example of this is that I was coming home from work the other day and I stopped and picked up a rose for her on the way home. I was tired, exhausted, had nearly the most crappy day at work ever, and yet I was able to reach beyond all of that to stop and bring her a flower. That little act in selflessness made her day.

    Concerned Husband

    Dear Mike,
    You made me cry when I read your story. I suffer from FMS and my husband and I are going through one of those times all married couples face, but when you have fibromyalgia it seems even worse. My husband refuses to recognize he is dealing with a lot of anger and it is making my condition worse. I am glad to know there is a least one husband out there that loves his wife enough to keep plugging away. I feel God is the only way to get through things, but this time I don't know what to do. Do I stay in a relationship that is becoming abusive. Not physical, but verbally. It is wearing me down to the point that my health is failing faster. Thank you for showing me how much you love God, your wife and children. I pray that there is hope for me and my husband. I do not want to walk away from 22 years of marriage. Thank you for showing me how it can be.
    God bless you and yours

    I want to congratulate all the family members, especially spouses who are so supportive of their husbands and wives with FMS. My fiance has been very supportive.My one suggestion for spouses of women who have fms is to

    1. be compassionate
    2. be patient
    3. be informed (find out new information, or alternative treatments, and encourage them to try it. Or be aware of the medication their taking, encourage them to talk about how their feeling, or to try new things and then talk about how it worked. Be proactive in your approach, if they're feeling sad, have them say three positive things for every bad statement they make such as , "my feet hurt today" try to encourage positive thinking like, "My legs didn't hurt today."
    4. Express your feelings. Don't be afraid to say that its frustrating being the sole breadwinner, or that your afraid of the outcome of their illness, or sometimes you can't pick up the slack. There are several factors that may be co-contributing, but they still may be capable of doing little tasks everyday.
    5. Ask them to write in a journal, anything concerning fms. A place to write their ups and downs, pain & emotions to that pain. If they can't write get a tape recorder, or a digital recorder. Then at the end of the week, go over the journal with them and together, find ways to counteract their pain responses. An example: If they have morning stifness, offer to do stretches with them in the morning. Or if it was too stressful to go to the large grocery store, suggest having them go to a smaller one for immediet needs, while you go to the bigger store for heavier items.

    These are tools that my fiance uses to help motivate me towards a more healthful life. I have my "flares" and he has his "frustrations" but they are few and far between, and we have both learned to recognize them for what they hare, which is one of the first steps to healing.

    Please be there for your spouse, mother, sister or whoever it may be.....my mom had fibro severly and was
    very depressed. She couldn't take the pain anymore and
    ended her life on April 11,2000. Even if I knew what
    she was going to do, I don't think I would have stopped
    her. She was in to much pain and only 57 and could not
    live the rest of her life like that. It would have only been selfish of me. I miss her so much but knowing that she is pain free and is now an angel comforts me tremendously. Please understand, be sympathetic and give alot of support..even if your loved one does not look sick they are suffering.

    Dear Friend, My wife has fybromyalgia to. I can know how your husband feels as I too did not want to reconize my wifes sickness. but after doing research and going to a support group where their were other ladies with this , It helped me to understand where she was comming from. and now instead of getting mad and frustrated I pray and pray for her and my kids. She home schools the girls and I help with that as well as work a full time job. She dose not work and we live on just my income yes it can be done but it takes a lot of sacrfice and hard work,and communication. something you could do maybe to help him is. have him read about this sickness once he understand how sick folks are with this will help him understand. Yes I am a Christian and I also am a pastor , yes I have gotten very angry aat my Lord for allowing this to affect my familly but once I realized that it is in Gods plan and hands and that he knew all along that this was going to be it made it a lot easier to accept. Let me tell you my wife did everthing for me and now I have to do the house work help with school work and get the meals at times . our girls are a big help but their still kids and they need to have some time where they can be just kids. so. life goes on .Bill

    I almost cried reading those mens' stories too. I have never been married, but lived with the same man, and was also engaged to him, for almost 8 years. I became more ill as time went on, until I was pretty much useless. When I started missing work, I knew we were going to have to make a major change. He had been verbally abusive about my fibromyalgia for about 4 years. I finally told him I would have to move into my parents' house with our two year old son. I couldn't work anymore and couldn't help him with any bills, and all we ever did was argue about that or about my fibromyalgia. He never did come to understand how sick I really am. I stayed with him much longer than I should have. Do not throw away 22 years of marriage, try to help him understand, but if it comes to a point where you realize he is just not going to understand that you are really ill, and do not deserve to be abused, even if it's just verbally, then please, don't stay any longer after that. You will know if and when it is time to leave. I finally got the courage up to leave. It's a lot less stressfull when you don't have someone around telling you that it's all in your head, or that you're faking it, or that your using the illness to get out of doing things you don't want to do, I get that enough from other people, including doctors. Now all that stress from him is gone. I still have to deal with my illness and the stresses that go along with it, raising a two year old, and stresses of daily life, but I don't have to deal with the verbal abuse and all the stress it put on me anymore. I tried and tried to make him understand, but finally realized it wasn't ever going to change how he felt about it. I know he loved me very much, and I loved him very much, but life could not go on that way! By all means, try as hard as you can to make him see your pain, do as much as you can. But when you've had enough, you've had enough. Know that you are worth more than being belittled every day.....

  2. murillomod

    murillomod New Member

    Thank you for a beautiful letter, it made my day. My husband has fibro, and it has taken a toll on him, I can really relate to that letter, I will never give up, I will not let this DD destroy our life!!!
  3. Starla

    Starla New Member

    Long, but really worth reading. Inspirational.
  4. griswoldgirl

    griswoldgirl New Member

    I cried when i read this and it is very inspirational and the reality that we face as a family and marriage and what we go through.

    thank you men!

  5. tandy

    tandy New Member

    This disease has taken so much from people all over the world,myself included.The familys that have to deal with all this I give a big thumbs up!!
    I'm all to familiar with the pain from fibromyalgia,I live it everyday.Why is it that such a painful condition as this-truly debilitating in every way,is'nt noticed by many?? I mean I run into people all too often that don't even know what it is!!Surely when you mention cancer or diabetes,everyone knows what they are!! I have tried to learn all I can of this DD and its just amazing that it still is'nt heard of much by the overall population.
    so glad to read of the support these men give!
  6. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    My reaction was different from previous posters though...I got angry. Why is it that the medical profession still refuses to call this a "disease"? Why do they still say things like "it's just Fibromyalgia; keep it in perspective"? If I hear another medical person use the adjective "just" in front of FMS, I am going to punch their lights out!
    (having a high pain day today, can you tell?)