My husband has REALLY hurt me this time

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by EllenComstock, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Everyone:

    I will try to make this as short as possible. Over the weekend, my husband suddenly got angry with me (not the first time this has happened) and said I talk too much! Most of my life, I was quiet and shy. He says my illness has changed me. I have become more outgoing and assertive, but I think that's a good thing!

    He says that he doesn't want me to talk about my job, my brother, Jim (he is mentally ill and I used to be his guardian-long story), or my illness. I acknowledge that I used to talk about my illness all the time, but I have worked on not doing that. It's just that when I was first diagnosed, I was feeling so bad then (I'm better now) and I was so scared. I will now sometimes mention if I am having a flareup so he knows I won't be up to doing much that day. I know that in the seven years we have been married, we have weathered a lot of storms together (not just my health situation) and I know it's been hard for him.

    He later apologized for the way he talked to me after I pointed out that there is a right and a wrong way to talk to your spouse so you don't hurt their feelings. He got out his book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". He read parts of the book that he thinks applies to either him or me. He acknowledges that he has some problems that need to be worked on. He read in the book that men should be willing to listen to their wives talk about their jobs and other things in their lives. But I want him to want to listen to me-to be interested! Not to do it just because the book tells him he should. But I am grateful that at least he does read about relationships and tries to understand how men and women are different.

    My husband is a lot like his dad, but fortunately he is willing to work on our marriage when we hit these rough spots (unlike his father). But this Jekyl and Hyde personality sometimes is hard for me to deal with. It sends my pain level really high. He acknowledges that his parents have never had a good marriage, but doesn't think he's like his dad. His mom and I think they are alike.

    He also said he wants to take his dad to Kansas to see Dodge City just before Christmas. I reminded him that my ear surgery is mid-December. He said he didn't understand why he needed to be home after my surgery. He said there isn't that much to be done at home. That really hurt me.

    He later apologized about this and agreed to put the trip on hold until after the holidays. Besides, I think him being gone until almost Christmas day is kind of a strange time to be gone.

    We were in therapy a couple of years ago on dealing with my health and how it has affected our marriage and I think we need to get back into therapy again. He has always been open about doing this, but he doesn't think we need to it this time. He thinks if we just keep reading the book and try to follow it, we will be okay. At least he is willing to work with me on this.

    I guess I just need some support and hugs today! Thanks for listening.

  2. wish_to_be_healthy

    wish_to_be_healthy New Member

    Whether he agrees to go or not, therapy would be good for you, so you can deal with your feelings about what is going on in your life.

    While it's always nice to have your spouse, significant other, partner, whoever you are having the relationship issue with...sometimes that person isn't willing to go there with you...Then it's important to take care of yourself.

    Personally, I think it IS good that you are talking more...but I don't live with you...and I'm sure it hurts to have your husband not validate that for you, as well as not getting why you would want him threr after your surgury in December.

    It would be nice if we could all go to a book, and have it anwser all of our concerns...but life isn't so black and white, and marrage is a partneship where the two of you decide together what the rules are not the author of Men are from Mars...(although I am sure he has good ideas)

    That is where therapy is good as a couple to work these things out, having someone there to reframe for your husband and for you what works, waht dosent' each of you undrestand where the other is coming from...and help make a plan for the to use when problems arise, so you BOTH can be on the same page.

    It's hard to change if you don't see what needs to be has to be acknowledeged...that is where therapy is helpful, to help us see when we have blinders.

    I hope you understand what I wrote...we all have pieces to work on, and if he won't work on his, you can work on yours...and be able to have a more sane life.


    [This Message was Edited on 11/17/2006]
  3. horselover2

    horselover2 New Member

    sorry to hear you are so upset. yes, it is difficult to have a spoue with a serious illness. my husband is really pretty good about it, but he doen't really get it. i think it's hard for anyone who doesn't have this strange illness to understand what we go through. how we can feel good for awhile and then crash.
    anyway, it's good that your husband apologized and wants to work on the marriage. i have been married for 20yrs now, wow! i can't believe it. we had some very bad times, were seperated and going toward divorce, but we worked it out. if you can get him to a marriage counselor, it may be a good idea. it's usually helpful to have a someone who can help you both deal with things.
    so good luck, take care-
    hugs :)
  4. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    Hi Ellen - Just wanted to send hugs your way!

    I was very depressed yesterday about this DD - I want my darn life back!! I was in tears as I was takign my meds and I said .. flat out... to my hubby that was on the computer that I was so down and sad. He sat there for a moment and said "Oh the Caps (hockey team) blah blah blah" as he rattled off the socre of the game. I was so hurt. I do not cry very often and he did not seem to pay any attention. I know he deals with this ilness in silence, but my goodness... atleast give me a hug or say something (other than what he said)!

    He told me later that I seemed "miserable"... I said - yes I am today... hurting, down, depressed, etc... and he said "Why?" I guess he really does not listen! We have been thru alot together too - but I need a hug when I need a hug or some sort of validation.

    If I could afford therapy... I woudl go in a minute. I, like you I'm sure, know he loves me, but his family never showed emotion and it kills me sometimes!

    Sorry to rant back to you, not what you needed I'm sure.... I just want you to know I understand and feel bad.

    I will say "I" hear you and "I" am sorry - you are not getting what you need right now! Geez, he wonders why I am looking at this site all of the time. Noone here usually ignores me!

    Big Hugs to You and I hope they learn to listen one day... because they want to!

  5. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    You guys never let me down. Always sending hugs and words of wisdom even in the midst of your own problems. My husband said there is nothing we can do about my health situation so there's no reason to talk about it. He used to say "We'll get you fixed up!" when I was not feeling well. I know he meant well, but it used to frustrate me. It seemed to minimize an illness that so much more research is needed and no cure in site. Don't we wish it was that easy!

    I remind him that I am not as bad off as others here. I am not homebound, I still work part-time and I do most of the chores at home. Most nights I put a decent dinner on the table. He has no idea how bad it could be.

    My husband grew up in a family where no one expressed their feelings. His sisters are both in unhappy relationships. My husband realizes this is not good-so that's an important first step!

    For the lady whose husband ignored her while she was feeling so bad (too busy watching sports), I am so sorry! I try to look at all of this from their point of view, and I think most of us try not to talk about our health constantly, but sometimes a hug or an encouraging word is needed! (as well as help around the house).

    My husband says that the book says that if a woman wants a man to do something for her, she should say it in as few words as possible, and not use the words "could" or "can". We should say "would" or "will". So don't say "Could you take out the trash?" say "Will (or would) you take out the trash?" He said the book says that the "can" or "could" words sound like you are asking the man if they are capable to doing it and that turns them off from actually doing it. It sounds crazy to me, but I will try it. We've been married over seven years-why am I just now finding out about the "magic" words to get him to help more?

    Sorry this is so long. Oops-maybe I am too talkative?

  6. wish_to_be_healthy

    wish_to_be_healthy New Member

    Maybe you can copy that an have him read it?

    No guarantees...I sent my sis a letter to normals and spoon theory...and she didn't read it...But hey, maybe he would?

    [This Message was Edited on 11/13/2006]
  7. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    I am sorry your husband acted as he did. I am sure it wounded you to the core and maybe made you question yourself. It isn't you!

    It sounds as if you have made many positive changes. Your talking, is one of them. My mouth is always going. It's just the two of us, who else am I to 'converse' with? No matter the subject. LOL

    My DH went on a very unexpected rant, about my illness, before he left for his business trip. He said many things, that cut through my heart, about these DD's. Never has he done this. He is usually my biggest supporter. He's been told my deepest concerns and worries. What I won't share with 'normals'.

    He apologized the next day, but it will take time for me to talk about how I am feeling, etc. I told him for the time being, he is not a 'safe' person for me. Everything else is an open subject. Not my health, for now.

    You provide so much for your family, Ellen. I have admired you since we 'met'. I believe you are the strong one, with no offense to your husband. I am sure he has been frustrated with employment, etc, which can get to a man. I know. However, it does not make it 'okay'. There are other ways to handle anger.

    If he doesn't want to try counseling again, go for yourself. I have many a time.

    My DH was brought up to not show emotion. He did open up, in our first years of marriage. As time, and everyday problems, came into our lives, the more he retreated. I love him so very much, he is a good man. It does incense me when I see him shut down. His parents did DH and his brother, no favors. Again, he is old enough and needs to take responsibility for his own actions.

    I believe you are a remarkable woman, Ellen. Truly. You have inspired me many a day. Please be yourself, and know in your heart, how much you have grown. In very positive ways.

    God bless and be with you and your DH, as you walk through this 'bend' in the road.

    Many gentle hugs,


    P.S. gee, can you see who is the 'talky' one in our family!? LOL

  8. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    You might know part of my story, as I have posted about it a few times.

    My husband and I got divorced over the FM/CFS.

    I can understand how you feel. It is just so depressing. Luckily you have a man who is willing to work things through.

    Yes, it is such a rough road, but it sounds to me like your husband is a really good man.

    Hopefully you will be OK after this incident (or a series of them).

    Hang in there, Ellen! From what I have read from your posts you seem to be a strong person who is not letting the disease rule your life. You always find solutions.

    I admire you because of those things.

  9. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Wish to be healthy: Yes, I would love to receive the letter you mention! I may have read something like that on here once. It can't hurt. He has read some books and brochures on the FMS and other health issues I have so that is encouraging. So sorry your sister and others didn't even read it. That must have been so devastating to you.

    Kim: I felt like crying when I read your response-you are such a sweet person! Thanks for all your compliments. I have to admit, I am letting his words get to me. Now I am wondering if everyone at work thinks I'm a chatterbox, too!

    Thanks again, everyone.

  10. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    You must have posted at the same time I posted my latest message. Thanks for your support. I am so sorry you have divorced over your health, but some people don't take the "for better for for worse" marriage vows seriously as you have found out. I know there are lots of other people here in the same boat.

    Yes, I feel that my husband is basically a good person-just a confused and frustrated one at times! He never got a good example growing up, but that's no reason why he can't learn.

  11. patches25

    patches25 New Member

    So sorry. Men sure don't usually like the talking about anything--except sports--sure seemed that way to me when I was married.

    However one thing I did notice about myself a couple years ago when I was on Vicodin for an accident--broken bones and injured legs--I was really talkative. I am sure if I had been married then I would have been told the accident had changed me when in fact it really was the drug. Could that be making a difference for you? Good luck and hugs, E.
  12. puffy1

    puffy1 New Member

    So sorry aboutyour problem with your spouce.

    I know how it is my husband still acts sometimes like it is just old age and I should just except it he does not realize how long this has been going on now.

    But he has been alot more supportive lately. But he has not always been this way he still does not acknowledge soemtime when I am hurting.

    For instance it is really hard for me to scoop ice cream it hurts too much and I don't have the strenth even when I put it in the micro for 10 sec. Its like I just got done telling him how much my arm hurts or my hand and he is asking me to scoop him some ice cream.

    LIke I should just deal with it. But then he can be really supportive and understanding too ??? I guess he just forgets I have this thing becuse I well have a few really good days.

    So I understand how you feel its like they just don't get it and sometimes they just don't want to get it they just want things to be the same. I too use to be a really shy person I rarely spoke to people I didn't know really well.

    But I have become more outgoing too and I think that is a good thing maybe its the illness maybe its just that we are not going to take **** anymore. Whatever the reason I think in a strange way maybe the illness has made us stonger in other areas.

    I well pray for your marriage and you to be strong.

  13. wish_to_be_healthy

    wish_to_be_healthy New Member


    A Partner's Thoughts on Dealing With A Loved One's Fibro 03/08/06 11:49 AM

    DJ posted a question about how to deal with a partner's fibro pain. I thought I'd ask my husband and see what he said. I am very lucky - he is really supportive and a serious lifeline for me. He used it as an opportunity to take some healing time for himself, to think about how this is affecting him. He wrote a really long response, which I've posted below. I'm blown away by his honesty and sensitivity. I hope someone out there finds this helpful.


    Dear Partner,

    I've been asked by my wife to share my thoughts about dealing with a loved one's Fibro, so here they are.

    When I first met my wife, she was lively, effusive, and when she entered a room everyone noticed. When I proposed to her, it was clear to me that there was something on the horizon, although neither of us knew what it was. Nonetheless, my love for her was such that it didn't matter what those distant rumblings were, because I knew that not only did I want to be there for her when whatever it was came, but that of anyone else in the world, I knew she would need me when it happened.

    Lo and behold, it was Fibro and a severe case of IBS to boot. By the time we were married, already her mood and demeanour were changing, and already our relationship was strained. But when I married her, I did so in the knowledge that life throws really hard and fast curveballs, and that marriage isn't some romanticised ideal wherein neither partner suffers or struggles with life. I married her because we both needed to be together - she needed me, and I needed her, and again, I knew that of the billions of people on the planet, she needed only me.

    We're still married, but sometimes it gets very tough indeed. She is a shell of the person I first fell in love with, she slinks into rooms, tries not to talk to people, forgets important conversations from only a day ago, she cries constantly and she would often rather stay in bed
    and sleep than spend time doing fun things with me. It's tough from a selfish and a selfless perspective. Selfishly, at first, as she well knows, I really really struggled. "Is this what I got myself in for?" I asked constantly, and when we argued sometimes rings would temporarily come off fingers. It was very very bad. Selflessly, though, it's hard because watching someone you love go downhill so quickly is emotionally very difficult, especially when you know there's little you can do.

    So how did I cope? Because of her studies she spends a few days away from home, and I began to realise how that time was used to recharge my batteries for when she came home. And it was then that I realised, and discussed with her, the importance of ME-time. My job involves looking after people, and to come home to look after my wife was completely drianing me. Because most of the Fibro information says that the Fibro sufferer should go to bed at regular times, she often goes to bed at 10pm and then I find ME-time. That's possibly the first thing that keeps our marriage going - knowing that I have to maintain my sense of self and not be drawn entirely into the role of carer. She knows that the carer-patient relationship that we had for a while was unsustainable, so I'll always tuck her in, hold her and chat for a while, then she normally says, "You go do your thing" and I do while she sleeps.

    Carrying on that thought, it's essential to have your own hobbies. Mine is writing a book, and playing Dungeons & Dragons (when I can get people together). Again, it's a way of ensuring that you maintain a sense of self, and that your whole life doesn't get subsumed by Fibro.

    Physical intimacy needs to be mentioned. As with most couples, before we were married there was much more, but now she has Fibro it sometimes even hurts her to give me a hug. That's perhaps one of the hardest things for me. But then it's a matter of perspective - less physical contact means that I treasure what contact we do have much more, and really makes me appreciate it. So in some bizarre sense, while I miss not having as much physical contact with my wife, her Fibro has meant that I really treasure the contact we do have, and I think that's an important lesson too.

    And it's the same with many other things like that. Instead of thinking about what once was, think about what you've got now. You have a partner whom you love and who loves you. It needs to be a Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) relationship - capture every wonderful moment the two of you have together and really treasure it. Don't look back and say, "Life was better then," but come to appreciate that "life is still good now, just in a different way." Every smile, every touch, every conversation, every time your S.O. (Significant Other) remembers something important, every time he/she buys you a tiny treat to say "Thank you, it means a lot to me that you're still with me" - those are such holy, blessed moments that frankly, it doesn't really matter how healthy either of you are because you're living in the now.

    So there really are two questions in one: How to deal with your S.O.'s pain when you can do nothing about it but sit there and wait it out.

    Firstly, you can't deal with their pain - in my experience you can help them with a Hot Water bottle, back rubs and the like, but that's something only they're going through. But you can help deal with some of the causes. For example, my wife has IBS and Fibro, and IBS comes from stress. It gets her very stressed when the house is a mess, so I really try to keep it as tidy as possible, even if that means tidying up her mess too. Similarly, my long working hours upset her and disturb her equilibrium, so I have tried (and am still trying) to reduce my hours as much as possible while still making my job tenable. (And yes, if you're not careful, the stress of looking after your SO will significantly affect your job, so watch out for that!).

    Secondly, though, you don't have to just sit there and wait it out. I hope my wife gets better but I have found it helpful to assume that she's now going to stay like this for the rest of her life. Why? Because it forces me to be realistic with what we have. If I look forward to some idyllic time when we're better, I'm not going to enjoy the present and its difficulties as much - I'll disassociate myself from it and just look past it. But by assuming that your SO will always be like this, even if you truly hope they aren't, you get real with what they're going through and you enjoy life as much as possible with them. The question that you have to ask yourself is, Do I love my S.O. any less with the knowledge that this may never change? Does that affect our relationship? If the answer to either of those questions is "yes," then you have a lot of hard thinking to do about the relationship, and you probably need to talk to your S.O. very honestly about what you're feeling. If the answer to both questions is "no" then you should be fine.

    One final thing - my wife constantly berates herself for "being a bad wife" because she has a stereotype in her mind. I have found it essential to remind her that such romanticised ideals are nonsense. She is a great wife because, and here's the rub, she does the best she can, and that's all a person can ask.

    So, hints that I have found helpful....
    1) Don't look back to the past, but be real with the present.
    2) Enjoy what you can, instead of considering what you lack.
    3) Remember that your S.O. needs you, and only you, and that's why they chose to be with you - you have a special and unique bond and you are the best medicine they can have.
    4) Get real with life and drop all romanticised ideals. Life is hard, people get ill all the time, and it's how we deal with it in others that defines us.
    5) While obviously making sure that you're as present as you can be for your S.O., make clearly defined time for yourself, pursue your own interests, and make sure the Fibro doesn't consume you too. If it does, you can't help anyone.
    6) Remember that a true relationship is one where the partners grow together. If you find you're growing from the experience, you're in a good relationship. If you find yourself going backwards, either asses the relationship or, more realistically, assess yourself.
    7) Don't let your S.O.'s depression-filled comments go unanswered. Sometimes, obviously, they need to just be heard, but sometimes they need to be really challenged. If they say they're feeling down, hear it...if they say they're a bad partner because they have Fibro, challenge it.
    8) Don't take it personally (unless you have actually done something wrong).
    9) Read up on Fibro and on Depression.
    10) Find out what your S.O.'s needs are, and see what you can do to help them. Constantly find out what they need, and try to (a) fulfil those needs yourself and (b) motivate your S.O. to fulfil them too.

    I hope that helps.


  14. ksp56

    ksp56 Member


    I can assure you that your coworkers don't think you are 'overly' talkative. You would have picked up some 'cues' from them! Please don't question yourself about this. I am sure they adore and respect you, just as we all do!

  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi, Ellen, I've been wondering how you're doing and I guess not so good, huh?

    Of course, I speak from a place of no man at all in my life now so I maybe I'm more tolerent, but it sounds as if you're husband is trying. That is not to say that your feelings aren't valid. I like how you express yourself to him and how he responds -

    I don't know about you but my feelings get hurt very easily. I've had to change a lot of things in my life and can resent one more expectation. I do think that if I had marriage to do over again I would buy ear plugs and overlook a lot more. Of course, this is a lot of years later.

    At your age it seems so important to be understood but when you get older, it's important just to have a caring hand to hold. I say hang in there. Leave a lot of room and, like we must do with kids, find him doing something right. I bet that some day you'll be glad you did.

  16. monkeykat

    monkeykat Member

    Hi Ellen,
    I'm really sorry that you are having a rough patch.

    My husband is extremely understanding and empathetic most of the time so I'm just unbelieveably fortunate.

    However, we are both seeing a counselor b/c I know that my health issues and poor function affect him a lot. I know it has to be really tough for spouses to deal with all the losses that they have too b/c we are ill. So couple's counseling may be a good idea again:)

    I hope communication and coping improves for both of you...

    Keep hope alive...Monkeykat
  17. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Obviously, I don't know anything about your relationship with your husband, or about your husband, or about you, except insofar as the bit you've mentioned here.

    I only will tell you what my husband (of 16 years) told me for years and years and years before I finally "got it."

    What he said was merely:

    "Lower your expectations."

    It took me a long time to realize how many expectations I actually had for my spouse, especially with regard to his capacity to be loving and giving and nurturing and supportive to me. And I don't think I was out of the ordinary in terms of what I expected---I think that pretty much most women expect what I did from my husband.

    What I realized after a long time is that just as I have my limitations, he has his own. And I can hardly expect him to put up with my limitations (which, since I have CFS, are particularly high) if I'm not going to put up with his.

    I am lucky to have my husband as my partner in life. I cannot imagine being married to anyone else or wanting to be married to anyone else. I'm happy just to have him here in my life. He has never been anything but good to me, and has a wide variety of good-adjective qualities that I could list besides.

    That being said, expecting him to always be loving/giving/caring/nurturing/supportive/attentive/considerate/etc. seems to me (now) to be ridiculous. No one can be those things, all the time. And I'm not married to him because I want him to give me emotional support all the time. I'm married to him because I want to be with him so that we can enjoy being together.

    Life is hard. Life is especially hard when particular problems (like CFS) interferes.

    No matter how good their intentions, people have limitations. It's now my belief that if I'm in a relationship with someone that I love and enjoy (whether it be friends or relatives or my husband) and they give me anything beyond the pleasure of their company, it's a bonus. The rest of the time, I try to take care of my own emotions. And I let them take care of their own emotions.

    The funny thing about this approach is that, as a result of simply making the effort to enjoy the time that I have with people (rather than going in with the expectation that they "support" me in some way), I actually get lots of these bonuses. And the ones that I do get seem a lot more real than the times that I demand them.

    I also feel more free not to be strong myself, not to do as much for other people. I'm not able to be supportive all the time either. If I felt like my husband were doing that for me, I would feel enormously guilty that he couldn't do it for me.

    Again, it took me 16 years (plus three years of dating) to get to where I am now about this. (Actually about 10 years's not like this is a sudden realization I had yesterday.) And it may not work for everyone. It may not be right for you.

    All I know is that my marriage is much happier than it used to be, and that I actually love my husband _more_ now that I have accepted that he can't give me everything that I might want, and that I am sure we are going to be able to go on with our marriage (regardless of what happens to us) in a way that feels good for both of us until one of us dies.

    Maybe other people need more from their spouses than I do. I'm not going to tell them that they're wrong. I just know that this is more than enough for me.
  18. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Wish to be healthy: Thanks so much for printing off the letter for me! I will print if off today and show it to my husband.

    Thanks, too, for all the other thoughtful, caring responses. I agree that sometimes those of us here can be extra sensitive because of not feeling well. Everything is not about us.

    My husband and I had a long, calm conversation last night. We both get so upset during these times. We really hate these times of discord in our marriage (but I'm sure everyone does). Neither one of us had slept well for two nights and it was hard to focus at work.

    One thing I didn't mention is that both my husband and his dad suffer from depression. My husband has not been regularly taking his meds. One reason is because he didn't have prescription insurance for a month (he changed jobs) and sometimes he forgets. He also takes Lipitor for his blood pressure and he doesn't take that regularly, too. Sometimes he forgets. So I've taken his bottles from the cupboard to the counter near the coffee maker (he has coffee every morning-he never forgets that! lol). He finally has agreed that not being on the anti-depressant every day could be affecting his mood and he knows he has to take it regularly. He has seen how his father gets when he's off his meds.

    I know that living with me is not always easy, either. As hard as it's been the past ten years with all my surgeries and many health problems for me, I know that most of the time he has been there for me. He's never going to be as nurturing as I am, but he does care in his own way.

    So I am going to see how things go in the next few weeks with his med changes and I will try to lower my expectations of him. He knows that he has a problem with communicating in a less hurtful way and he said he would work on this.

    If this doesn't improve, I will call the therapist. I called her the last time when I first was diagnosed so he knows I will do it again, if necessary.

    Thanks again for all of your help. I really appreciate everyone here.

  19. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    hugs your way hon, i hope you can both work through this xx
  20. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I'd answer but everyone else stole my reply!! LOL

    so I just thought I'd post a quick one and say,...
    Even the most perfect relationships go thru trying times,..and times of arguing~
    Things will work out~

    I think just the fact that your hubby will pick quotes out of that book says alot! (he cares)
    sending a huge hug today~

    Tandy :)