how can i help my boyfriend?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by girlfriend_2006, May 15, 2006.

  1. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    I'm new to this board and relatively new to the world of this terrible, terrible DD. I myself am not a sufferer but my boyfriend is.

    We are totally in love with each other but this awful DD is trying its best to come between us! Two months into our relationship he suffered a relapse and he continues to be bedridden and in terrible pain and agony.

    I want to help him and be supportive in any way I can. He however, is afraid to let me see him suffering. He won't let me or his family or friends see him. I feel so helpless. I want to be able to help by doing just basic stuff even like cleaning his house or doing errands for him or even just holding his hand. He is trying to protect me from this - he doesn't want me to see him weak and I am finding this so frustrating.

    Is there anything I can do? How can I let him know I care and want to be there for him and that this DD won't drive me away? He will only chat online to me now or via text (we do so throughout the day, everyday) - I haven't seen him in three weeks yet he lives 15 mins from my house. When we talk I just briefly ask him how he is doing because I sort of think well if we talk about other things mostly then its a way of letting in some 'normalcy' to his life. But I feel like there's an elephant in the room so to speak!

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I would also like to say to any of you who might read this post who have this DD that I have such a huge amount of respect for you - I think to endure this you have to be among the strongest people in the world! As if the symptoms of this disease are not enough to suffer with, the lack of medical understanding and attention around this is just appalling. I wish you all the best!

  2. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    you said for the rest of us. Do you have a key to his place? I think that maybe if you show up with your cleaning products or ready to make a list of what he needs at the store, you may be able to break through to him. He feels he has lost his manhood along with his health. You will hear from others here who are living alone. They will be able to help more.

    My husband is the only one who truly understands what I go through each day. he picks up bread and milk and things we need from the store. I try to do heavy grocery shopping at least once every 2 wks. Its very hard to do even then and one day I had to ask help at the store to get my groceries on the line. It embarrassed me sooo much but they didnt think a thing about it.

    He is embarrassed about this DD that he has no control over. Does he have a good primary care dr. and a good Rheumotologist? That is important. May God bless you for caring that much about him. I hope he realizes what he has in you!!!!!!

  3. gamecockfan04

    gamecockfan04 New Member

    I am kind of in the same boat as you are, being that my wife has Fibro. However, it took me a long time(almost 6 years) before I actually read up on, and realized that its not a made up disease, but that its something she cant control. Its definately hard on the spouse/gf/bf of the sufferer, because I know that I feel totally helpless and it pisses me off to see my wife in constane pain for days, knowing that I cant help her. I do clean, shop, cook, take care of the kids,..etc. and yes I feel left out sometimes, because I know she cant thank me, the way I would like to be thanked(if ya know what I mean), much of the time. But I Love her so...much and I feel good, just knowing Im doing what I can to help in the situation. My advice to you is to let him know that you understand that he feels helpless and depressed, but that all you want to do is help him in any way that you can, so that together yall can get through this Disease. You sound like a great gal and Im sure he knows that, but it may take time for him to open up and ask for a helping hand.
  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I suggest you respect his boundaries. Email him or even write him letters where you can tell him that you're there for him if he needs you. (Of course he needs you, but he has to come to that realization on his own. You can't force him.)

    Also, I know that I have many days that I just can't be social, even with those I love. It's a Catch-22 because the less I'm with people, the less I can be with people. Let's hope this is "just" a flare and that, in time and with a lot of rest and good food (there's a thought for you, take him freshly made juice; tell him you'll set it outside his door) he'll feel more like being with people soon.

    I'm so sorry that you're feeling so helpless. As bad as it is for those of us with these illnesses, we must remember that's it's bad in its own way for our loved ones too.

  5. jenni4736

    jenni4736 New Member

    I think the fact that you are here seeking help and answers speaks volumes to the kind of exceptional person you must be.

    I think the hardest thing about this DD is the impact on the ones we love. It is hard enough for it to take ahold of our lives...we don't want anyone else to suffer too.

    You already know it isn't easy. What you might not know-
    is the divorce rate of those with chronic illness is STAGGERING. I seriously doubt your boyfriend is deliberatly testing you, but on some level I would bet he believes that you will eventually get tired of hearing about it or caring for him and that you will leave. He may be pushing you away because of this.

    Guys are MACHO. They don't like to be ill. They HATE to go to the doctor. This illness doesn't allow for that. You can't help but show your vulnerable side when you can't get out of bed. Even if the two of you REALLY love each other his primary goal needs to be getting well.

    If you really want to be by him FOREVER....then standing by him will prove your love with time. I suggest reading everything you can get your hands on. Knowledge of the illness will help you both know what you are in for.

    Take things slow with him. Take time to enjoy the simple things. If he can't get out, bring him a midnight picnic under the stars (if he's like me he's up then!) at his place. Open the windows on a pretty day and let fresh air in his house. Run bath water and add Epson Salts to the water (it helps the pain).

    Life with us REALLY is about enjoying the SIMPLEST things in life. Good luck.

  6. mrstyedawg

    mrstyedawg Member

    I have had this terrible disease for 22 years. I had to divorce my husband of 14 years 8 years ago. When I began dating my now current husband, I would try so hard to hide my disease. It was very hard to try and act normal when I wasn't but I was afraid that he would leave me if he knew how really sick I am.

    The longer we stayed together and the more I began to trust him, I eventually let my guard down. By him not leaving me and showing how concerned he was about me and showing me how much he cared and loved me, I was able to just be me.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. If you are going to be in it for the long haul, just be there everyday for him. If it is even just to talk. He will probably eventually see that you plan to be there and not going anywhere.

    He is very lucky to have you.

  7. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your kind comments and suggestions. I am determined to hang in there! I will respect his boundaries however and just let him come to me when he is ready. He is in terrible pain this last couple of days....he can't function and naturally we are out of touch as a result. It hurts so much to know that someone you love is in so much pain, and that little or nothing can be done for them.

    I plan to stay on the board- I find all of your posts are really helping understand this DD. I have been doing loads of research but as you well know, a lot of that stuff doesn't even scratch the surface!

    I hope better times come to all of you soon!
  8. shelbo

    shelbo New Member

    I think you should have a heart-to-heart with him. He needs to know that he can trust you completely. That you love him as he is...he doesn't need to hide away from you. It's hard, I think, especially for a man, to feel so helpless and if he's the traditional sort he probably thinks he should be the one caring for need him to know that his vulnerability does not put you off. That you don't want to do things for him because you 'feel sorry for him' etc
    Good luck...I think he's blessed to have you.
    Love Shelbo
  9. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    He has been diagnosed with M.E. but as far as I can tell he is getting no treatment whatsoever....his doc just gave him reading material and didn't talk any options with him. He suffered for three years with this about a year ago and I dont think we was giving any suggestions at that point in time either.
    As for the poisoning-- the main thing he says about how he feels is just wretched...and a shell. He seems to eat everything though (eat very healthy generally though) but he does drink wine when he is feeling ok (and I know the effects that alcohol can have which are worrisome).
    thanks again!
  10. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    Thanks you for your kind words! Means a lot! You sound like a very kind and loving person and your boyfriend is lucky to have you too! I'm in Dublin by the only across the pond!!!

  11. shelbo

    shelbo New Member

    It is a beautiful city - it has so much character! I think my dad (sadly, no longer with us) particularly loved the experience of drinking guinness on its home territory...although he pretty much liked to drink the stuff anywhere, bless him! :) U2 were amazing!
    Well, I really do hope that your boyfriend can begin to let you in a bit obviously love eachother a great deal! Love Shelbo :)
  12. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    Sorry to hear you are feeling the same way as my BF.....if it's any comfort, i'm sure you're in every waking thought of those who love you.....
  13. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    Hi everyone...
    I just want to give you a brief update...
    My boyfriend started to make some progress in letting me in. He actually had a good day last week and we saw each other for a couple of hours and it was fantastic. But now he is such a bad bad way--very ill, in a lot of pain, barely functioning and severely depressed and in his words 'confused'. We had a disagreement over the smallest thing and now things are over between us. The way he did it was so uncharacteristic of him too- so hurtful. Reading the posts on here about the mental flares though makes me understand his behaviour a lot better though. Can I ask, does anyone with CFS/ME ever feel slightly paranoid with the mental flares? Someone had just mentioned that to me in passing and I was just wondering if any of you had experience with this? I know that sometimes this accompanies general depression.
    Thanks again! All tbe best!!
  14. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Bless you

    You are already helping him by trying to understand this DD.

    That is alot more than most significant others try to do.

    I'd say as long as you can research info for him, read it to him, help him find good doctors

    Sit with him and watch a movie

    You are so kind
  15. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    First if I drink wine it causes my symptoms to get worse .
    I also think when we close ourselves off from our loved ones its because we are not coping and after time you can develop a phobia about being around people.Its just easier to push them away, but not really mentally healthy to do this over a period of time.

    I agree you should show up with cleaning stuff and maybe something to eat like a picnic lunch or dinner.Tell him YOU need to do something for him and you need to spend a meal with him.Just to reassure yourself hes ok.Maybe share with him he can get information that may help at this site.Offer to show him on his computer and make it a sharing of ideas.
    It also sounds like you are at a point in your relationship that you need to tell him YOUR needs and that one of those needs is to be aloud into his life ,The Good ,Bad and The Ugly.That's how you build a relationship.
    Even if he is sick ,life can not be all about him.You have the right to your feelings and needs and it sounds to me like you aren't asking for much.Just to be able to be part of his life and not pushed away.
    The only other thing is Does he live alone?If he is not working I'm concerned about how he will meet his bills if he doesn't get back on his feet soon.These are things he needs to talk to someone about so he doesn't get emotionally overloaded .Its better to plan ahead then get caught with the reality of not knowing what to do.
  16. girlfriend_2006

    girlfriend_2006 New Member

    Once again, thanks everyone!
    Thank you Wakemeup in particular. Oh and he's 43.

    After reading through the posts I think a lot of it has to do with the irritability (which is COMPLETELY understandable given what he suffers with everyday).

    I believe I have no choice however but to respect his decision and move on and hope that he contacts me when he feels better.

    Best Wishes,