hubbie's "embarrassed" to have handicapped wife

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fullarmor, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. fullarmor

    fullarmor New Member

    My husband and I had a really good heart to heart talk a few nights ago. I told him that I was thinking about asking the MD to assist me in getting a handicapped hang tag for my car, to use only when the pain is severe. My husband says he doesn't want me to get one. I asked why, he wouldn't answer, I asked again, please tell me what you're feeling. He said he's embarrassed to have a handicapped wife. He says we're so young (29 and 32) and I don't "look" disabled. He said it scares him to think of me as handicapped and is scared of how bad it will be in the future. I was so devastated by the word "embarrassed" but I tried not to let it show. He was so open with me, and he usually never is. I did my best to validate his feelings, but reminded him that my pain is severe and I need help. I'm so sad and angry to think that I would be an embarrassment to my husband! But at the same time, I do understand how he must feel. He's the typical proud male who wants to protect his wife, and he can't and that bothers him. But gosh i wish he could understand better and be more supportive. I've decided that the best thing for me to do is just pray that the Lord will open his eyes and heart to being more understanding about my illness. Has anyone else dealt with someone saying something like this?
  2. kgg

    kgg New Member

    If this was reversed would you be embarrassed of him? I don't think so! I appreciate his honesty but at what price? I'm so sorry that he hurt you like that. Emotional pain on top of physical pain. IMHO, you need to go and get the tag and use it when you need to.

    I will be praying that the Lord soften his heart and give him understanding. And grace for you! -Karen
  3. lovabuga

    lovabuga New Member


  4. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi Nay~~So many of us have mates that lack understanding, empathy, and compassion. It was good that your husband opened up to you, but his words were extremely ego-oriented and self-centered. It doesn't matter that a handicapped sign would benefit you when you are in severe pain--only that it would embarrass HIM. Very inconsiderate.

    I can understand his being scared/concerned about your ailments getting worse in the future, but it sounds more that he is afraid for HIMSELF--being relatively young with fears of being stuck with an invalid for a wife. He seems more concerned about how your illness "reflects" on him than how your illness affects you.

    And, I know how devastated and hurt you must feel when what you need is support, understanding, love, and accommodation. How would HE feel if the shoe were on the other foot? How would He feel if he wanted a simple accommodation like a handicap sign to make life easier for him--and you told him NO--It would embarrass me to have a handicapped husband. That you were more concerned about how it would "reflect" on you than you were about his needs.

    If it were me, I would share with him how hurt I was that he was more concered about his self-image than he was about me. And I would ask him how he would feel if someday he is sick or becomes incapacitated, and my response was that he was an embarrassment to me. Give him something to think about.

    In the meantime, I would go ahead and get the handicapp sign for myself. You're the one that has to live in your body--not him. Then if he says it would embarrass him to have a handicapped wife--give him a paperbag with eye slots cut out and put it over his head! Blessings, Carol....
  5. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Hi Nay,

    Go get that Tag for yourself and don't pay any attention to him. My husband has been in denial about my fibro for years. He won't even say the word "Fibromyalgia". He is in his own little world of work, fishing, guns and airplanes.

    Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.

    Best wishes,
  6. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member

    I have a handicap tag on 2 vehicles and a placard
    My ole man takes advantage of the parking spot when I am with him (he does not abuse it as it is only parked there when I am with him) The stores are so difficult to navigate through when you are in pain and may fall or just get exhausted and can not go any farther.
    Now my brother on the other hand who does not even live in the same state does not "see" anything wrong and refused to ride if he came home to visit if I park in handicapped space. He said it is for people with "real" disabilities.
    that he wouldn't be caught dead in the car with the tag let alone park in the "spot"
    I just explained to him that it is extreemley painful to walk sometimes and if he was there to carry me when I needed it or get a motorized wheelchair for me when I could walk no farther he agreed and after a few times of having to run get one( the embarrasment of his ignorance) he decided it was best to do it the other way. He does love me and does not want to see me flopping in the parking lot (much much more embarrasing)I don't know how you can work around your hubby's feelings but he will come around and if not, do it anyway You have to take care of yourself and the stress does not help this DD a bit. Just get one and use it when he is not with you for a little while. He WILL see the difference it makes on you getting out more and socializing.
    Ralph had an excellent idea of support groups if you can get him to go or maybe a sympathetic family member closer to him can really "talk" with him. Sometimes they will let more feelings out and he can then begin to deal with things more
    love and hugs
    Hope you get through to him
  7. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    I believe that all of the above responses have important and valid information to help give you food for thought.

    It is usually very healing to tell anyone, you care about or love, that you're feelings are hurt. Be calm and rational when discussing and make sure you each have time, with the one spouse staying quiet until the other spouse is finished talking, to talk about your feelings regarding this.

    Little 'fuzzy brain' going on. Hope this makes sense!

    My thoughts are with you.....

  8. jadibeler

    jadibeler New Member

    of the license tag. Use the placard when you are driving yourself and make your husband let you off in front of the store when he is driving. Another word of advice that no one has thought of. Carry a cane with you and use it when you get out of the car in a handicapped spot. There is so much flack now about people abusing the handicapped parking spaces, using fake placards, etc., that people who don't look handicapped are often accosted by passersby or even policemen who happen to see them.

    As for your insensitive husband, I agree that he is thinking of himself and how things reflect on him. Although, for the life of me I don't understand how his wife's illness can be an embarrassment.

    I'll never forget my father telling friends, family and anyone who would listen how Mom "held him back" because she couldn't go out and socialize as he social-climbed up the ladder. (She had FM, too). And this was in front of her.
    He'd lament how far he could have gone if it hadn't been for her. That was years ago, before I found the tongue in my head and the courage to use it. I still feel guilty for sitting there fuming and not putting him in his place right in front of those people he was trying so hard to impress.

  9. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Wow, Nay, I really reacted to your story! I think your husband is acting in a very selfish and immature way. How dare he say he is embarrassed by your disability? He should be the one to go get the plackard for you, put it up and lovingly help you in and out of the car. He should proudly push you in a wheelchair, if need be. What does it matter what ignorant people think? Many people with disabilities look just fine. Those who judge them are mistaken, and need to get a life.
    You know. I taught for over 42 years, and it was consistent, that those parents who were not able to separate their identity from that of their child would be very embarrassed and defensive when a teacher spoke of any imperfection in their child. This is a sign of immaturity. Your husband needs to grow up and develop his own sense of identity.
    You are a child of God who has a hard row to hoe right now, and no one has the right to increase your pain in any way. I am so sorry he said what he said. You need to gather your own power and do what you need to do. As he matures, maybe he will follow your lead. I wish you luck and will send up a little prayer for you, so that you will feel cherished and loved, as you are. Hugs, Terry
    [This Message was Edited on 09/04/2003]
  10. LaurieEm

    LaurieEm New Member

    I agree he was being male-and-honest, and I am too embarrassed to get a handicapped placard myself. Not because I think there's any shame in being handicapped per se, but because (1) I look healthy as a horse - well, actually, I look like someone who would be that healthy if she got a lot more exercise and (2) I don't want to attract attention to myself and have to answer any questions. I have seen and heard about people who run up to healthy-looking people who get out of cars in handicapped spaces and chew them out. The adrenaline from an encounter like that would put me down for a week. No thank you. I drive around until there's a nearby parking space, or I just walk too far and suffer for it!

    Years ago there was a frank and helpful book published by Maggie Strong, called "Mainstay: For the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill" that deals with the very difficult reality. It is so hard for a guy to have to stand by helplessly as his wife suffers. I think it could feel like a mark of failure.

    We have to support each other and understand the hurts that can happen to us, and this is a great place to give and receive deserved sympathy. And, I want to point out that it is good we are talking about a current husband, not an ex-husband.

    Blessings to all of the spouses who are sticking with us!
    [This Message was Edited on 09/05/2003]
  11. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Things that go BUMP in the day!!!!!!!! Kim
  12. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I agree 100% with Catgal. I found myself in the same situation about 13 years ago. I had the opportunity to get a handicapped placard, and my husband threw a FIT. He didn't care at all that the placard would make my life easier, he was just embarrassed for HIMSELF. He made some snide remarks about how I didn't "deserve" the placard, and said that he "wouldn't be caught dead" parking in a handicapped space when he was with me. I stuck to my guns and got the placard. He treated me with total contempt and disrespect. He finally left me in 2002, and filed divorce proceedings. I still have the placard. One of the few perks of divorce is that I can now park in the handicapped spaces without being yelled at.

  13. kerrymygirl

    kerrymygirl New Member

    It was hard and sometimes still is except

    Now I look at it diff. most days, if I get 1 dang thing out of all this, when I go somewhere where parking is diff. I can use my card. There are no real bene`s in this DD at all.

    So when you go somehwere and he is driving around looking for a spot, maybe you can have in purse and bring it out. He may appreciate the 1 and only thing we can use to our benefit.

    I many times do not use in case someone is worse off. But if I am not sure if I can make it back that day I will use it. There are times you think your ok, but pushed too far and cannot make it back to car. Have had that happen too many times before card.

    Just go get it, worry about the rest later.
  14. Ellie

    Ellie New Member

    Is the parking spots are bigger so you don't have to turn you body in all directions to get in and out. I got one and at first was sad about it now everyone wants to go xmas shopping with me because of the sticker. LOL It does save you some energy and pain. ALoha Ellie
  15. p1pew01

    p1pew01 New Member

    This is truly amazing. I just experienced something similar on Labor Day. I was moving much slower than others. I didn't use my cane because my husband "would prefer I didn't use it" because of how I look. Anyway, I sat down in a lawn chair and when it was time to go - I needed help getting up. At first my husband just let me fend for myself trying to get up. I huffed and I puffed but was finally able to get up when he attempted to help. I said to a friend, it's not fun getting old while you are still young. My husand said, 'yeah I didn't know when I got married I'd have to push you around in a wheelchair or help you along this soon.' I said "when you married me it was better or worst, sickness and in health." He said "yes, but I sure didn't think you'd be incapacitated within three years." I was hurt so I told him about the couple who just was in a car accident coming from the honeymoon - you just have to take the bitter with the sweet and go on. You have to find out the real meaning of "love." You can't love God nor yourself if you treat the disabled in such a way! I know that I would never treat him in such a way but I guess you find out who knows the true meaning of love!

  16. Does he think WE enjoy this DD ! It's like living in hell most days. I say go get the hangtag if you can get one. I wish my dr. would give me one, but he says we are not really qualified for one. Go figure. My husband lets me off at the door and I walk when I feel up to it, otherwise I am happy to be let off at the door.
  17. fullarmor

    fullarmor New Member

    First I want to say thank you for all your wonderful replies. They both opened my eyes to my husbands experience and made me feel empowered to not put up with it. But I went to the doctor today and he said no to the hangtag, that here in NJ fibro doesn't qualify someone for a handicapped tag. Oh well. But he did prescribe me oxycontin, and he was very informative on how to use it. I'm only going to be using it when i really need it, like now when a flare is horrendous. Well, I brought it home and my husband was not happy. He said it's dangerous, that i'm going to be high all the time, and turn into a drug addict. I said, so what am i supposed to do with this pain??? Of course he didn't have an answer. I started crying, saying i don't want this drug either but i cant take the pain, and he just looked at me like i had 6 heads. He didn't comfort me or anything. He has never ever been like that. He's gone to work, and i'm just in shock. I'm going to sit down with him tonight and have a long talk. I'm not going to be treated like some kind of freak for taking meds for a valid problem. Any thoughts?
  18. Dinee

    Dinee New Member

    Hi Nay,
    I've been ill 10 yrs., and God has surely done a marvelous work of sanctifying grace in both my husband and me. At first, he would hardly talk to me when I was sick. Now he is my best caretaken. The fruit of the Spirit is evident in him - love, joy [some], patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Like all of us, the self-control was the hardest. He would get angry and yell at me for not paying attention to him, etc. Now we live at peace with one another. He is proud of my faith, and doesn't care about my handicapped tag. After a 6-yr. period since I originally filed, I'm now on disability.

    Two things that have helped me are:
    Prolotherapy a.k.a. Restorative Injection Therapy
    Sleep Study
    I had Prolotherapy[.com]injections in all my joints 2 yrs. ago and I'm still free of tender point pain. I just had the sleep study, where we learned that I stop breathing about every 2 minutes [Sleep Apnea]. I start sleeping with a breathing machine in about 2 wks. We are praying that as my restorative sleep returns, it will boost my energy and give me back some of the life I've lost. If not, we pray that we will remain faithful to the One who holds us in His hands.
    I hope this helps. God bless you, diana
  19. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I think your doctor's an idiot and your husband is an insensitive jerk. They all SAY in sickness and in health, but they never think you're really going to be disabled. My husband started treating me like pondscum when I got sick in 1983. He tried to stop me from getting medical help, he tried to stop me from getting the placard, and finally divorced me in disgust. His parting shot was to claim, through his lawyer and in the court papers, that I can still work full-time and is asking the court to cut off my spousal support. Nice guy.

    I don't know how to say this to you in a nice way; you are a lot younger than I am and maybe you are like I used to be, hopeful and expecting the best from a husband. I learned the hard way that a lot of them are fair-weather friends, and when you are sick long-term, they will leave skid marks getting away from you, or at least make your life hell with cruel remarks, or through trying to prevent you from taking meds, seeing doctors, or getting the handicapped placard which you NEED and DESERVE. I encourage you to stick up for yourself. Please don't let your childish, self-centered husband prevent you from taking care of yourself. PLEASE. Take it from an old crone who has been there.

  20. Pindooca

    Pindooca New Member

    Even if it was the truth, what a hurtful thing to have to hear. :(