Too sick to be in a relationship?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JamieBeth, May 16, 2003.

  1. JamieBeth

    JamieBeth Member

    I think I'm too sick to be in a relationship. Can't handle being touched because of the pain half the time, can only leave the house every three-four days, stuck in bed on the other days...

    I have a new boyfriend who I've been seeing for a month, and he wants me to come over for dinner on Sunday, but I know I'll have to cancel. How long before the axe falls and he gets fed up?



  2. jamedw1

    jamedw1 New Member

    age is a factor...
    maturity is a factor...
    understanding is a factor...
    pain is an ever presest factor...
    truth is a BIG factor...

    "communication" is a huge key...
    never assume what another person is thinking... there are no mindreaders...

    if you talk, you might be surprised at what may come...

    then let the "axe" fall where it may...
    in the end, you know what's best for "you"...
    ed
  3. sofy

    sofy New Member

    I am in the same boat as you but have a very healthy libido and sense of humor. Those two things are the only things not broken. How the heck did you get a new boyfriend cuz I cant meet anyone in this isolation. Please tell me your secret. The isolation is so bad for my mental state.
    He must know you are sick. Be who you are. If it is easier for your energy resources for him to bring pizza to your place or cook at your place tell him so. It does no good to fake who you are. Save your energy for being with him not getting to him.
  4. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    I haven't had a relationship in 7 years! You know what, I am so sick and so exhausted from working, that it doesn't even bother me.
    Besides, I have to put on a happy face at work everyday and don't want to have to do the same at home.
    I don't need one more person acting like I can do better than I am !
    Good luck
  5. bwoodruff

    bwoodruff New Member

    Jaimebeth,
    I don't mean any of this to sound critical - it's hard to portray inflection in the written word - but, I don't think you're giving him a fair chance. Obviously he likes you enough to want to spend time with you - you've been seeing him for a month and he want's to see you on Sunday, I think that's a pretty good sign he enjoys your company. :)

    IMHO I think you might like him too but are afraid of getting hurt - I'm sure you have your reasons, please don't think I mean that as anything but an observation. Here it is Friday, but you've already determined that you won't feel well enough to have dinner with him on Sunday and will have to cancel. Who's to say you won't have a good day and feel like going? You've also determined that he's going to get fed up with this and leave - you never know, it just might take a little more than this DD to get rid of him.

    I speak from experience on this - 5 years ago I met a guy I really liked. He was smart, funny, charming, outgoing, interesting, the list goes on. We started dating and inevitably I sat him down and told him about my fibro - he started to see the day to day struggles, the good, the bad and the ugly, and believe me, it got ugly. He'd always been a very physical person - wanting to go out and chase down the world - we'd been together for a few months and I admitted to him that I was concerned that my physical limitations were going to affect our relationship. He looked at me like I was speaking a language from another planet - he looked me dead in the eye and said "Honey, I don't care of you're sick - it's part of you. Now it's part of me. If you think I love you less because you're sick, you're nuts. It's going to take a lot more than that to get rid of me."

    We've been married for 6 months and are as crazy about each other as we were 5 years ago. He still goes out and chases down the world, but he takes me with him and sits me down in a chair with a book ;) He's learned everything there is to know about my illness and can spot a flare coming on before I know it's coming. We celebrate the good days together and he holds me when I cry because it hurts so bad on the bad ones. He loves me because of my faults, not in spite of them.

    My hubby makes my life worth the battle, so don't be so quick to dismiss this guy because of the past or what you are afraid might happen - you could miss out on the best thing in the world. Talk to him, give him a chance - he might just surprise you.

    Good luck to you!
  6. JamieBeth

    JamieBeth Member

    Sofy, I belong to a few social groups and when I feel well enough to go out, I try to make myself look as good as I possibly can, put on the "happy face" like PrincessRaye does, and attend functions. There are eligible men my age (mid-30's) who attend also. I try to stay up-to-date in what's happening in the world so I'll have plenty to talk about. I also read quite a bit, which gives me even more topics to discuss with these guys. So that's my strategy for meeting men. As far as making friends and maintaining friendships, my best advice to you is, always ask the person how they're doing...what's going on in their world, no matter how sick you are, even if you have to feign interest.

    BWoodruff, you're right--I should let him decide, but it's so scary to make myself vulnerable by showing this weakness. I've got a pretty bad case of CFIDS, and am almost completely bedridden most of the time. I only see him on days I can leave the house, so he doesn't get a clear picture of how severe my illness is. My husband left me five years ago because of the CFIDS (I was much worse then). I'm afraid of getting emotionally invested again just to see the let-down in my significant other's eyes. (It's happened many times since my divorce with my other boyfriends.) But your story gives me hope that there are men out there who see past the illness.

    Jamie
  7. bwoodruff

    bwoodruff New Member

    Jamie,
    We are in our 30's as well - I suppose our relationship developed differently because I already had the DD when we met - he didn't know me any other way.

    I'm so sorry to hear you've had a rough time in your past - I was seeing someone when I was diagnosed that wasn't the most supportive person (ok, my family actually called him The Dark One, but that's a story for another day - ha ha) He wasn't abusive, just indifferent and couldn't commit so when I got sick and needed help, he was nowhere to be found.

    It's great that you are involved in groups when you are able to get out and about - I think it's really important to keep yourself socialized, if for no other reason than to just be out of the house for a few hours. I go bananas if I stay at home for too long.

    Relationships and marriage are tough enough without the added stress of a chronic illness on top of it, but I believe if you approach it honestly and as a part of you and therefore a part of your relationship and part of your life, you can make it work. Don't get me wrong, there are days my hubby wants to lock me in a closet and throw away the key (bless his heart) but he's a trooper and he never lets on (a wise choice on his part - ha!)

    We know two women who have have similar chronic illnesses, and they have husbands that are lacking in the support department, and my hubby just says "What's the big deal? You can't help it, why wouldn't I support you and help you feel better?"

    Good luck - I hope you feel well enough that maybe you can go to dinner on Sunday - if not, maybe you can have him bring dinner to you!

    Have a great weekend!
  8. desperation

    desperation New Member

    Jamie Beth,
    I met my boyfriend the month this illness robbed me. We have had an extremely difficult realtionship because of it but if you feel he is right for you DO NOT let this bloody illness take him away from you.
    Best of luck to you,
    love lu
  9. Sissy123

    Sissy123 New Member

    There is Some very good advise posted here for you. Dont deprive yourself of the chance of a relationship. Maybe you will feel better on that day, maybe not. If you feel bad just tell him as soon as you know and he just might surprise you by wanting to order out and staying in at your place. I had a boyfriend and I let him know, being fair to him, that I have had chronic pain, fibro/cfs for a very long time. That was 8 years ago and we were married last April. He tells me everyday he loves me more and more everyday, and I just cant beleive the wealth of kindness he gives me. He takes care of my baby grandchildren, I am only 40, when I cant and he enjoys it more than I do. I am planning on doing something special for him soon for being such a wonderful man to my 4 kids and my grandkids. When I dont feel well he knows it already and tells me to go lay down, or when on a good day I feel like doing things he is close by to tell me to slow down or stop for awhile, because we all know what happens when we over do things. Please dont let this DD keep you from this man who must care about you already. You deserve to be happy, and as you know being alone doesnt help anything. If anything it makes us worse and more depressed. Do you have medication that will help you? I know this DD can feel like it has taken your life from you, but it has only altered it. There are many great men out there who understand that your disorder is not who you are. It is just something that happens to you. Hang in there and dont let go. You just have to make the best of what you have and who knows...He could be the one who is there for you when you need help...for the rest of your life. Sincerely, Sis
  10. Fibrolady37

    Fibrolady37 New Member

    Hi jamiebeth,
    I met a wonderful man about 4 years ago & we clicked as soon as we met.
    We were friends first then mutually decided that we wanted to be more than just friends.
    It was really hard for both of us because i used to think he wouldnt want me because of my illnesses.
    He used to wonder why i kept pushing him away & finishing things.
    We talked & i am so lucky to have him,he loves me & my daughter so much & we him.
    Never assume what your boyfriends thinking,talk to him & tell him how you feel,if he"s genuine he will understand.
    Hope things work out for you both.
    God bless you
    sharon d(uk)
  11. marta

    marta New Member

    Thank you for all the heartwarming stories about finding - and keeping - people in our lives who love us in spite of our limitations. You've given me renewed hope.

    Jamiebeth, the person who said to wait and see how you feel, that you're afraid of getting hurt, is right on. And I can relate to that.

    Marta

  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I am headed toward 60 and have dated a lot of really nice men since my divorce 17 years ago. I haven't met anyone I would want to be around 24/7 even though they were all nice. I haven't been in a relationship in about the last three years when my illness forced me to quit working. I was too sick for a long time to even care. Then, I was busy trying to use what energy I had to find treatments. As my health improves, I consider the possibility of more of a social life, but I'm in no hurry.

    If I were younger and hadn't had the chance to be in relationships, I would feel as though I had missed something. As it is, if I meet someone, fine; if I don't, fine too. I may look for a singles group just to get out and find a group who does things together. It's hard when one cannot make plans because health may interfere.

    Love, Mikie
  13. julie4

    julie4 New Member

    Dear Jamiebeth

    I am really pleased to hear about your new relationship and I really feel you must give him a chance, and like the previous post says if you are not well enough to go Sunday invite him round and tell him to bring pizza on the way!

    I was 31 when my husband left me because he said I wasn't the same any more - no well, I did have cancer and FM, funny that!, and I Was pretty much bedbound and I had a five year old daughter to look after. Well, I had an awful winter some of it snowed in and nearly did something very silly to me and my daughter but pulled though spring came and I forced myself out into the world. Anyway I met a great guy and we have been together for 12 years and got married last year and we are really happy. He just accepts me and this DD for who I am. Times have been very tough especially lately as he had a heart attack in Feb this year and a major op but please G-d he is on the mend.

    My fingers are crossed for your date and a big hug and kisses all the way from England!

    lotslove JULIE
  14. Bacci

    Bacci New Member

    Only people on this website really know what this is like!! Even today I was telling a few friends that I met this guy and really like him but am so worried that he won't be interested because of the constant illness etc. Their reaction is always the same, "That's ridiculous". And that's the end of it. Nobody will even concede that this may be a problem for a prospecive mate. I was dating someone for three years and we were talking about getting married soon. Then I got sick and after dealing with it for half a year, he broke it off without any warning. I pressed him for an answer and he finally said that it was depressing to be with me now because I couldn't keep up with his active lifestyle--fitness, work, etc. It is something that has stuck with me, and once someone tells you that, you realize that many people will feel the same way. So, I can see why anyone would be nervous about a partner leaving when it gets hard. However! I really think that you should never give up on finding someone who is sympathetic and supportive and loving and I truly believe that there are many people out there like that. It's better to stay away from the selfish ones and find a generous hearted person wholoves you for who you are in spite of your illness.

    REading these notes made me realize that I need to give this new guy a chance to get to know me even though I am afraid of him rejecting me. I may save "face" by not trying to get to know him, but I lose the opportunity to find someone really great to share my life with. I was especially touched by bwoodruff (if I recall the name correctly) and all that she said about her husband and how it really can be that beautiful and that someone may be out there who is willing to love you for all that you are. Thanks all so much for the little boost I needed today. I will try to be more optimistic about my future andwhat others may think of me.

    Bacci
  15. AmyKaiser

    AmyKaiser New Member

    i so long for a partner in many parts of my life, but truly sickness scares them and subsequently makes me feel more pathetic..
    "why dont u do anything" , "i cant help you, u are a mess"
    i dont even want to open up to anyone to show it all to begin with at this point...
    not to mention the fact that i cant muster up the energy to make a commitment to a time or date...
    i never know how or when the brain fog will be to the point i cant shower etc etc...
    the last man i dated thought i was standing him up all of the time..
    must be nice to be a chiropractor who can make a schedule and live up to it..
    must also be nice to be a doctor who changes the subject everytime i talk about my illness or questions i have...
    imagine that, a freaking doctor who cant be bothered to work on solutions with me, yet wants to sleep with me...
    And he wonders why i dont get 'excited' by him...
    LOL
    for women it starts in the brain and feeling liked and desired on a complete level right!!??
    Ya think after 12 years of school this particular one might be a little more aware of these things...

    i even have done the internet relationships, heck they cant see that i am constantly in my pajamas or sweats...LOL
    well the toss up is that i am lonely and isolated, but i also realise i need to save the energy i DO have for myself..
    or maybe thats a subsequent learned behavior and self preservation post experiences with CFS
  16. woppini

    woppini New Member

    I too (from a guy's perspectve), feel very awkward when meeting someone new. First initial conversation is more or less easy. You dont really have to put yourself out there at that point. But then what? When they express an intrest i feel as if i put up this wall. I know its not a healthy thing to do. Its like the wall pops up automatically. They ask, "what do you do for fun?" Telling them, "looking at the ceiling for needed paint work while in bed" isnt necessarly something thats going to keep a conversation going. If i talk to them more, and they tell me they had breast cancer, or uterin cancer, etc, I feel maybe that is a good time to tell them about my cfs. It surely couldnt hurt to tell at that point. When you have this syndrome that has "unexplainable funky symptoms that feel serious", its hard to expect someone to understand something YOU dont even understand. I dont want to feel that hurt inside when they leave because of it, but maybe i would have been better off anyways. If a woman approaches me, i have feelings in stages. 1- i feel good inside, someone is intrested, that maybe i have something to offer her. 2- curious,- what is she like? what sort of vibe to i feel? 3- then if things click, i feel very angry and dissapointed with myself. I have something that sticks with me every day of my life. How can i be worthy of someone that is healthy?
    Especially starting a new relationship. If i met someone and finally told her what i have, and she says "oh, i have the same thing, i know exactly what your going through" I would need CPR. I would be too stunned..lol... Maybe i should get a t-shirt that says, "I have cfs. Still intrested?" At least it breaks the ice
    Take good care everyone
    Stephen
  17. JamieBeth

    JamieBeth Member

    Well, I survived going over to my new boyfriend's house tonight and lasted an entire 4 1/2 hours, including the drive there and back. I'm exhausted now, but I wanted to let you guys know that I suceeded. I also had a long talk with him the other day about my needs. He understands now that I'll have to take breaks and go lay down with a pillow over my head in a dark room. He knows that I need a minimum 12 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, and that I take a two hour nap in the early afternoon. I also told him about flares, that I can't go out every day, and that I get overwhelmed by external stimuli.

    You know what he said? "I haven't run away yet. Stop worrying."

    Whew.

    There's still a lot of ground to cover with him, and my fears of putting myself in a situation where I might overdo it need to be conquered. But I'm happy about how tonight turned out. We even had a really nice time! So thanks again, guys, for your encouragement and commiseration.

    Woppini--from the standpoint of a woman with CFIDS, I'd be thrilled to meet a man with CFIDS! You need to go to a CFIDS support group in your area. You'll find tons of wonderful women there who'd like you just the way you are.

    Jamie

  18. mitch123

    mitch123 New Member

    I wish you some more energy, so you can have some great times in your new relationship.
    Good luck and take care
    mitch
  19. bwoodruff

    bwoodruff New Member

    Jamie,
    I'm so happy for and proud of you!! It took a lot of strength for you to talk about your illness and address your limitations with your boyfriend. There is nothing more difficult than exposing our own weaknesses, but it sounds like you handled it like a champ - you did a great job!

    I hope you had fun - it sound like he's a very kind, understanding guy who is not going to let you push him away easily. He sounds a LOT like my hubby:) If you really like him and feel comfortable with him, don't be afraid to let this go where it will - life has a funny way of drawing you together like magnets if you are meant to be with someone.

    I just had to come see if you were able to go over there last night - I'm so happy you did! Got to get back to work now (sometimes work really get's in the way of my posting messages - ha ha) it's supposed to rain today and boy am I feeling it in my hands and back today. Hope you are well!
  20. southstars_tat2s

    southstars_tat2s New Member

    I am recently separated..and have a "friend" who lives about an hour away from me. He keeps wanting to come visit..but I keep declining saying I "am not up to it". In reality...I'm not sure I could have a relationship with this person. He's understanding,even reading up on fibro so he will know what I am going thru(gosh..my husband NEVER did that!). I guess I am scared I will "conk out" during a visit he drove an hour to see me..and I will need a napLOL.Not to mention the physical stuff that may happen...never had to worry bout that w/hubby..he was a cold fish who didn't touch me or try to cuddle or anything. This dude may try to do that and I may need a napLOL...or I may say "ouch!". I dunno..I recon we will see,but for now I have been declining visits:eek:)