Spouse Doesn't Understand

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by KittyCat, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

    I was diagnosed with FMS in February 2004. I was thankful to know what was wrong with me, as I had not felt well off and on since my 20's. I'm 46 now. Anyway, my husband gets so upset with me whenever I have a flare. You all know it's not something you can 'control.' But for some reason it's as though he thinks I 'fake it' to get out of doing certain things. I'm at my wits end. No matter what I say or how I try to explain this condition, he just does not understand. He tries to be compassionate sometimes, but I can tell his heart is not there. Do you all have any suggestions? I just don't know what to do, and I'm so tired of the bickering.

    Thank you!
  2. pepper

    pepper New Member

    what we live with day in and day out. I don't think they can ever fully understand but they can at least learn about our DD's and appreciate that it is very real.

    Have you shown him the "Letter to Normals" on this site?

    Would he read some of the threads here if you were to show them to him?

    Would he attend a support group meeting with you? This is what convinced my husband at the beginning of these DD's that I/we were not the only ones going through this and that it is very real.

    Sometimes I get so frustrated with people who do not understand these DD's. Then I realize that on my better days even I forget how bad it can be! So if those of us who have experienced it find it difficult to imagine how hard it is for us, imagine how hard it is for someone who has never experienced it.

    I still sometimes email relevant threads to my husband, just to remind him that the weird experiences that I/we have are shared by many others in the same boat.

    Good luck, KittyCat.
    Pepper
  3. hehmommy

    hehmommy New Member

    How long have you been married? Some people just have a hard time understanding or having sympathy unless they have experienced pain themselves. For many years my husband couldn't understand and was not kind about it at all thhen he got diagnosed with Depression and started to have someback problems. He apologized up and down and said now he understand better what it is like to be in pain. I guess all you can do is just let him know and let it go. I stopped complaining at all because I knew it would just upset him. I would just say I am having a bad pain day and leave it at that and move at my own pace regardless. I am sorry that he can't understand. Is he even interested in reading about it? Maybe he would understand more that way. I really don't have any solutions except to hang in there and try to live life the best you can. You have to think about yourself.

    Trish :)
  4. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

    We've been married for 21 years and I guess that's what really hurts. After all these years I thought he would be a bit more compassionate. I will try you all's suggestions. I appreciate you all so much!
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    KittyCat,

    I really don't think anybody can understand what we go through except another person with fibro--that is why this board gives us all someplace to go when we need to talk!

    I have been married nearly 35 years and have been sick (with everything!) since we've been married. My husband gets tired of me saying how badly I feel, so I do like "heymommey" does, I just say I am having a bad day and leave it at that and move at my own pace regardless. That's about all you can do.

    I feel like he thinks that I am lazy and can do more than I let on, but I have had to come to the place that I just don't care what he thinks anymore. That sounds bad, but I have come to face the fact that nobody cares more about me than me!!! So I have to take care of myself and work at my own pace--and some days, that's pretty darn slow!!! LOL

    My husband did make a good point one time when we were talking about this -- I have never smoked and I would like for him to quit, and have probably said at some time "that it couldn't be THAT hard to quit." He told me that "there was no way possible that I could understand how hard it was to quit smoking." That is true--I've never been in those shoes. So, I figure it works 2 ways -- I know there is no way possible that he could know how great my pain and fatigue is, because he has never been in MY shoes.

    So, I understand that he can't comprehend, and "most" guys are not that compassoniate unless they have been through, or have, a chronic illness, too.

    We just have to love them for who they are, I guess!!

    (((Hugs)))
    Janet
  6. backporchrags

    backporchrags New Member

    My husband married me knowing of the FMS. AH, but that does not change the way my illness makes him feel. For years he did not think there was anything seriously wrong with me. He even accused me of faking to get out of work.
    I finally took him to a docs appointment with me. Hearing my complaints being validated by a doctor helped a lot. It made me mad but at least he started to "get it." Letter to the Normals helped with other family members.
    Think also that he may be upset about your illness and unable to cope with not being able to help you. Guys like to be able to fix anything that might need it. Mabey???

    I have seen posts by a few spouses here on the board. Most were surprised how caring and understanding everyone was to their questions and complaints. Mabey hubby would like to vent a little. If so he needs a better outlet than complaining and yelling at you. Suggest he feel free to read some posts for better understanding of FMS. Encourage him to post when he feels the need to be heard.
    I hope he will be willing to try to change his attitude twords your FMS. It's hard but if my hubby can "get it" so can he.
    Best of luck!
    A
  7. mhammie

    mhammie New Member

    My husband trys to be compassionate, although sometimes he misses the mark.

    It BackPorchRags made a good point about husbands wanting to fix things. Only thing is if the doctor can't fix us, how can our husbands fix us?

    Sometimes I can barely keep everything straight myself if someone wants me to explain FM. So I certainly can't expect my husband to fully understand this if I can't understand it myself.

    I guess remembering the marriage vows come to be important. You know they took us for better or worse, and in sickness or in health. I guess if my husband really got after me, and didn't at least try to understand, I would just ask him if he were in my shoes with a chronic debiliatating illness how would he want me to treat him? With compassion & understanding, or with impatience and be unwilling to help him with anything I could do to make things easier for him?

    Mhammie
  8. lilbird

    lilbird New Member

    I think it is very hard for people to understand what it is like for us. My daughter is bipolor and I have been hard on her at times, because I just could not understand why a person did not have more control over there mental well being. I would get mad at her also.

    Sense I have been sick I have developed allot more compassion for other people.

    Maybe some cancelling may help.

    Cathy
  9. nozomi

    nozomi New Member

    that no one can truly understand unless they experience

    it. I believe this dd was a large part of what ended my

    marriage for my ex. He thought I never wanted to do

    anything, my sex drive was lower, I couldn't keep up with

    the four kids, let alone him. There were other factors,

    but I still think he couldn't deal with the illness and

    depression. It hurts like heck, but I am glad I know what

    he is and that he is gone now. I could not imagine having

    cancer and then having a spouse leave, and this is what I

    would expect he would do if we had stayed together and I

    had developed a deadly disease.

    SOMEDAY when he is not feeling too well he will get it!

    I am sorry your husband is not more compassionate. Men

    need "word pictures". You have to relate it to

    something they can grasp. Maybe the next time he is ill

    you could do this. My word picture for my husband was

    that I felt like I was drowning and I could see him above

    me with the life saver and he would not throw it to me! I

    don't know what would be a good substitute for you, I

    would have to think about it. Just a suggestion.

    *I* know how you feel and I am sorry you are so frustrated.
  10. nanna4550

    nanna4550 New Member

    Others can't possibly know how we feel. Yes, there are some good posts that you can show him, I hope he will read them??
    I know my husband feels "cheated" somehow because I can't go with him on all of his many outings. He has boundless energy and I am thankful because he gets so much done around here and doesn't mind doing it. I think he thinks if he does alot of the chores that I will then be able to go on bike rides and play golf with him. I did go golfing on Saturday and it was too hot and even though I rode a cart I got overworked. Now I'm still paying with my back hurting so bad.
    I think it's just worth it to say "sorry- I have to take care of myself, you are welcome to spend time with me relaxing or you can go do whatever you want".
    I need to attend more to myself and stop worrying about him. We used to ride our bikes 3 times a week and we were always on the go. I used to be self employed, too and had a high stress career. I've had fibro for 4.5 years. It has taken so much from me and from my husband. It sucks.
    I know it's hard, and I have to work at not dwelling on it.
    Just try not to bicker (even that will cause a flare).
    Hugs, Nanna