Trapped in marriage because of FM, MCS, etc.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Pandia, May 28, 2013.

  1. Pandia

    Pandia Member


    I'm looking for some support and hope I've come to the right place. Wasn't really sure where to post this.

    Anyway, I'm in my late 30s and have had debilitating Fibromyalgia for nearly 13 years. I've been suffering from extreme MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) for about 5 years now.

    The bottom line is this: I want to leave my marriage, but feel completely trapped due to not being able to work and needing help because of my overwhelmingly serious health problems.

    My husband and I have been together for 10 years (no children) and it's a very unworkable relationship. We argue constantly. Of course this is a source of extreme stress and is terrible for my mental and physical health.

    He's not physically abusive, doesn't drink or do drugs, doesn't have any addictions whatsoever, is faithful to me, and deep down I think he's a decent person. However, he's exceedingly immature (despite being more than ten years older than I am!) and incredibly difficult to deal with. Most of the time I feel like I'm his mother instead of his wife.

    He's beyond sloppy and disorganized (the antithesis of who I am) and it drives me nuts! I'm in so much pain & exhausted, and I have to do everything except for the grocery shopping...all because he won't do a good job (his cleaning is subpar at best) and he refuses to work with me. It's a constant power struggle.

    I know living with someone who has FM is hard. Really, really hard. I know my MCS makes our lives horribly complicated and difficult. I understand that all of this is an enormous burden and I do my utmost to make as few demands on him as possible. Still, he doesn't have to make my life even worse by turning everything into a fight/debate. He knows how draining this is for me, but won't stop.

    I don't have any family I can count on nor do I have any close friends.

    My MCS is so severe that I can not be near any scented products or chemicals. NONE. My husband and I do not use any scented products in our home and we have to use an ozone generator to get rid of any scents, chemicals, etc. that are brought in from other environments. It's a nightmare!!!

    I feel as though I have no options. Like I'm an animal trapped in a cage. Being in such an unworkable marriage is detrimental to me on so many levels, but I need my husband's help to survive on a daily basis.

    We've talked about marriage counseling and I'm all for that, but we tried it years ago and my husband lied to the therapist. He admits that he lied before and has said he'll be honest with a new therapist if we go again. I don't believe him and I don't want to waste money we don't have on counseling that will be a waste of time. I don't know what to do anymore.

    Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation?

    Thanks for letting me vent and taking the time to read/listen.
  2. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    I'm really sorry that FM and MCS is taking such a toll on you. I just put the link to what I wrote previously on my passive aggressive husband (45 years of marriage) and there was quite a lot of replies. You might want to start reading the archived post, then get the book on Passive Aggressive husbands that I mentioned. For me it was an eye opener. My husband is still going for counseling for all his problems. He's different when he comes home from a session for a couple of days, then he reverts back.

    You're so young to waste your life. Do you have some understanding friends who could help you?

    Here's the link on the archived board.
  3. Pandia

    Pandia Member

    Thank you for you caring response, sunflowergirl! I really appreciate it! :) I used to visit the old message board from time to time (never posted, just read other people's posts), but now have to learn to navigate this new one - something I find rather challenging.

    I'll definitely read your archived thread and perhaps find the book you mentioned. I don't have any close friends at the moment. FM & MCS have completely ruined my life and I'm stuck in our apartment most of the time. We're renting and are going to have to move within the next few months. That coupled with the stress of my marriage is pushing me over the edge.

    These illnesses steal EVERYTHING! :mad:

    Thanks again for your kindness! :)
  4. Summer123

    Summer123 Member

    I have a very similar situation with slightly different circumstances...I met my husband in 2002, married in 2004 and got very ill six months later. I went from doctor to doctor, only to be told there was nothing wrong with me and I was nothing more than a pill seeker.

    Finally, in late 2005, I found a compassionate doctor who finally opened me up. After three back to back major surgeries, never feeling like I was recovering, an eventual diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and laundry list of other syndromes/medical problems, I could no longer work outside of the home and my "new" husband was saddled with taking care of me.

    I knew he wanted to out, but he knew he didn't want to be a man that would leave his new (very sick) bride. Instead, he became resentful, passive aggressive and a “right fighter”. Additionally, he decided he knew more than my doctors and started to make my life stressful and miserable. In turn, I reciprocated by making his life miserable...

    Over the years, I realized there are only two ways to look at the situation...Either I could plan an escape route or I could work on the relationship. As I attempted to work on the relationship, I realized it was going to take non-stop education, because my husband is a "know it all". As for me, I knew I wasn't going to survive unless I lowered my “Type A” personality standards. In the end, the both of us have had to do a whole lot of compromising, and every day is a constant struggle...

    I've include some ideas below. Some are things that I have done and others are ideas:

    Disability: Pull together all of your medical records, and file a claim for SSDI or SSI immediately. Even though you are married, you may be entitled to some type of assistance from Social Security. If you are approved, consult an accountant to find out whether or not you need to claim this as income on your tax return. If you don't need to claim the money, don’t tell your husband and save every penny.

    Welfare: If you are not eligible for Social Security benefits, you will be eligible for welfare and free medical, if you leave your husband. Do some research and find out what types of programs are available in your state. More importantly, don't be embarrassed or afraid to ask for help. This was the hardest lesson I had to learn…

    Help at Home: In the meantime, scrimp, save or eliminate something from your budget, and get a cleaning lady ASAP. If you cannot afford to have someone come every other week, then have someone come once a month or once every two months to do the heavy cleaning, i.e., scrubbing floors, tile, etc. This will help eliminate some of the stress from your life. Then, you will need to lower your standards ~ this is going to be difficult to do, but extremely rewarding once you do it. Just let go and look past his messiness. Nowadays, if one of my husband’s messes bothers me, I just leave the room…

    Find the BEST Rheumatologist or Fibromyalgia Specialist in your City: If you have health insurance, find a Rheumatologist that primarily specializes in Fibromyalgia. After you get to know the doctor, drag your husband to as many appointments as possible. Or, tell your Rheumatologist that your husband lacks education and ask the doctor to meet w/ your husband face to face without you. I've taken great pleasure in watching my doctor(s) humble my know it all husband. As a matter of fact, he just sits there completely intimidated by my doctor and he does not utter one word.

    Attend a Fibromyalgia or Chronic Pain Clinic: After you've found your Fibro Rheumatologist, ask him/her for a referral to an outpatient or inpatient Fibromyalgia Rehabilitation Center or Chronic Pain Clinic. Take the husband with you and make him sit through at least one or more of the sessions. If his behavior/attitude does not improve, forgo one of your sessions and send your husband in your place. Be sure to tell your therapist(s) what you are doing ahead of time. I've done this on numerous occasions and my husband never says one word or asks a question. He’s as quiet as a church mouse.

    Counseling: Now, you need to find a therapist that specializes in chronic illness, not marriage counseling. After you are familiar with the therapist, ask your husband to drive you to an appointment and make him come inside. When the receptionist or doctor calls you in, make sure they use both of your names. Hopefully, he won't feel the need to lie, because he’s not going to a “marriage counselor”.

    Generating Income: I lost a six figure job in 2009, suffered a severe car accident, and I spent almost two years recovering. I am still not able to work outside of the home. Since I've never been financially dependent on a man, I started looking around the house for items to sell on eBay to generate some start-up capital. I made $2600, found a niche and I turned a small eBay business into a profitable ecommerce site, in under a year. I now run my own luxury handbag business from home. I work when I feel good, and I never feel guilty anymore.

    My point is...I can tell by your posting that you are highly intelligent and I am guessing that you had career success prior to getting sick. Think about all of things things that you are good at and then try to figure out a way to do them from home. Since you are organized, and I am guessing you are very detailed oriented, there are tons of small business folks out there dying for someone to help them with their paperwork, payroll, expenses, etc. It's lucrative and most small business people will pay you cash.

    In closing, it sounds like your husband really doesn't understand what you are going through. Maybe, a small dose of education will help to enlighten him…Good luck and I hope some of my suggestions are useful!
    stick2013 likes this.
  5. Pandia

    Pandia Member

    Thank you so much for responding, Summer123! I really appreciate your encouragement and the time & energy it must have taken to give me all those tips. You're very generous! :)

    I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to respond to what you wrote in a private message (if I can figure out how to do it on this board). Thanks again! :)
  6. laroc19

    laroc19 Member

    My situation is similar to yours too. I'm from UK and married my second husband in 2007, he was from Morocco so we had to go through the whole immigration route (which cost the earth) then after being married for 16 months I was able to bring into the country. Just a few months later I fell ill and after a scan it was revealed that I had a massive gall stone then the following year I had my gall bladder removed. The pain returned and intensified. Had loads of checks to make sure nothing was left behind, had blood tests, scans, cameras, MRI's, nothing turned up but by now the pain was widespread. Dr's were baffled and kept fobbing me off with pain killers which did nothing. Paid to see a private rheumatologist who diagnosed Fibro.

    I did loads of research about it and printed stuff off for my husband to try and understand but I don't think he really wanted to know. My husband (even though Muslim) started drinking heavily a few months after arriving here then when he was drunk he hit me. I stayed with him making excuses like it must have been so hard for him to leave his family etc. Of course it never got any better. The drinking got worse, he also gambled most days (scratch card, lottery tickets), would spend all his wages then nag me for money putting me into debt. He hit me a second time when he was drunk, he admitted he had a drink problem but didn't want help for it, later of course he would say he didn't have a problem. The amount of stress and unhappiness was unbearable, then last year I was diagnosed with Diabetes which had gone undetected for so long it was through the roof. So coupled alongside Fibro I was extremely ill.

    In the end I threw him out last year after he was drunk yet again and threatening my son, I got a non molestation order against him the next day and filed for divorce. When he went I found out that he's been chatting up other women on the internet, telling them he's only half married and that his wife doesn't need a man as she has fibromyalgia. That's the most painful for me knowing that he's been laughing with other women about my illness.

    Yes it's been hard but then again he never did anything for me in the house and I can manage to do things myself even though I'm in pain most days. I just took on a new job working 4 days a week, I'm hoping I can cope. But at least I don't have the everyday stress that he gave me and no more walking on egg shells :)