what can i do to get my husband to believe i'm sick???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by wen, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. wen

    wen New Member

    i have me/2nd fibro pain 24/7. he's selfish and takes advantage of my time energy and emotions. what can i do?
    i think he is in denial. i'm tired of pretending i'm normal. please help.
  2. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    When I first start having problems, my husband saw I wasn't myself..Well that was an understatement..But he believed me, and did what he could..But I just felt he didn't fully understand, so I gathered up research on the net, got some literature at the rhuemy's office and he sat down and read it all..He always said he knew I didn't feel well half the time, but never realized how sick you actually can be..
    Now he is my #1 supporter!!!!!
    Don't pretend your normal to your hubby, show him your true colors..Maybe he will understand more then..Just my opinion... Take Care.........Donna
  3. amymb74

    amymb74 New Member

    read things & come to doctors with me. He really tries but just doesn't get it. He watched 'I Remember Me' when I got it & that really made things sink in for him. He couldn't believe how much of it I related to - I know that won't solve your problems but if he will, I'd watch that w/him if you haven't already. Amy
  4. Bunnylover

    Bunnylover New Member

    First of all I believe I was in denial myself when this DD hit me. I tried to work and put up a good front but I became worse. My husband would not except it until I excepted and started taking care of me by saying no I'm sick and following Drs orders and finding this support we get here. My husband changed then an is the most loving and supporting man I could ever want. I get up in the morning and he asks me how I feel and when he gets home he asks me how my day was. He has taken on a lot of chores when I'm having a bad day. I couldn't ask for a better partner. I wish there was an award I give him because he puts up with me always with a smile. Lord Bless all men who are like this. Hope it works out for you but begin by taking care of you. Terri
  5. Boysmom1

    Boysmom1 New Member

    or fearful that you really are sick, and how that would affect him/ men don't generally show their emotions like females do. I know I chose not to share alot with my husband, as he is disabled. But I guess Ilet it go too long, I didn't think he would listen, remember or understand. But one day when i was feeling really bad, he called me "lazy". I just lost it and began so really let it all out. I cried and cried and told him everything I felt, told him all that I hadn't told him about all the Dr. visits, etc. When I threw it in his face like that, it got his attention. He actually said he was not aware I felt so bad, etc. Shortly after that, i was diagnosed with CFS and my Dr told me I needed to file for disability. That also got his attention. He is much more supportive now, and I download stuff off the internet for him to read. now I am hearing about this movie "I Rmemeber Me" and I think I will have him watch it with me. Bottom line: we must educate our families and friends about our illness, even though it can be hard to do. I didn't want anyone to know, for some reason. Please hang in there and give him a chance to be supportive.

  6. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi wen~~If you are pretending to be "normal"...I am wondering which one of you is in denial--you or your husband.

    How can he understand the depth and intensity of your pain and illness if you pretend to be healthier than you are?

    Your husband may be in denial, or simply uneducated about your illness, or maybe too self-indulgent to care about anyone else, or maybe he doesn't want to accept living with a chronically ill wife for the rest of his life. You haven't said specifically what he does or doesn't do that makes you feel he is unsympathic.

    I have a middle-of-the-road guy who also has ADHD which makes him hyper all the time and wanting to go, go, go constantly. I work, have FM/CFS, degenerative disc disease, osteo & rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies. I am exhausted much of the time, in pain, and though I try and do things with him as much as I can--sometimes I just cannot go any more. After working during the week, sometimes on weekends I am bedridden. He takes spells of being compassionate & understanding about my chronic illness....and sometimes he gets frustrated, angry, and my sickness is just an inconvenience to him.

    Get your husband some FM information pamphlets (they have some free on this site you can ask for), some books, and download information and see if he is "willing" to learn about your illness. Take him to your next Doctor's appointment and have your physician explain the disease to him. Hearing from someone "official" might make it real to him. If he is not interested in learning about your illness and/or refuses to see your doctor with you--then that should give you an idea of just how "selfish" he is, and how much understanding and consideration you can expect from him.

    My man was willing to read materials and learn about FM/CFS. And sometimes he's very good to me about it. Other times--he is as tired of these illnesses as I am. He isn't as thoughtful as I would like him to be nor as helpful. Even though I work to help support us, he doesn't help me much around the house, offer to do things for me, or lighten my burden. He just doesn't want to have to do the chores. And, then if I'm having a flare, exhausted, and/or bedridden over the weekend and not able to do the housework--he complains because the house isn't cleaned up. I tell him he lives here too--why doesn't he clean it up--he's the one bitching. One time, I even made out a list dividing the household chores, talked it over with him, he agreed to it, I posted it on the fridge, and he never did follow through with his share of the chores. I often feel angry & resentful at him for not being more considerate of me and carrying his own weight with the household chores and life's responsibilities. But, I do what I can, and if it doesn't meet with his approval--then he can do it or wait until I feel like it. You have to be your own advocate and stand up for yourself.

    Give him the opportunity to educate himself about FM and to go to one of your doctor's visits. If he is not willing, then you know the score. You have a genuine disease that causes pain, poor sleep, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, and numerous other symptoms. Stop pretending and be yourself. He needs to see first hand how debilitating this illness is to you.

    And regardless of his attitude, it is essential that you take care of yourself, rest, pace your activities/chores/and responsibilities. If he isn't willing to learn about your illness and isn't willing to help you and lighten your load--then it is going to be totally up to you to take care of yourself.

    If all else fails, see if he would be willing to go to some therapy sessions with you to work this out. If not, set up some therapy sessions for yourself for support, and to help you deal with the grief & loss caused by this disease, and to help you deal with the heartache of having a non-supportive husband.

    Some people on this Board have very supportive mates; some have no mates; some hav "sometimes supportive & sometimes not supportive mates (like me), and some have mates who are not only non-supportive, but emotionally, psychologically, & verbally abusive (such as calling them "lazy").

    You also might have him come and read some of the posts on the Board--if he is willing. There is nothing like reading first-hand stories from a multitude of others....especially ones where their mates are supportive. But, the main thing is to do whatever it takes to take care of YOURSELF. Your pain, discomfort, and disability is REAL, and whether he believes it or not--it is essential that you do.

    Take care, and let us know how you are doing. Carol...
    [This Message was Edited on 12/16/2002]
  7. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I feel for you because it took my husband almost 15 yrs. to understand this complex illness. It is so difficult to understand for a man and they are the first ones who are rather in denial than their wives are which does not help.
    You got a lot of great advices here as I see, and I am sure that you will also find a way to educate your hubby so he better understands to deal with your illness.
    Wish you the best. Lucky
  8. dolsgirl

    dolsgirl New Member

    to tell your family. Do a search right on this site. Also, print out some of the articles within the library to show your family. Good luck. dolsgirl
  9. 1Writer

    1Writer New Member

    that said to give your hubby research material to read, but I also think that if you have a very good doctor who is understand of this dd, then take your hubby w/you to see him and let him talk to him about your illness. Coming from a professional, sometimes sinks in better...sometime, not, but it worked for me...I always take my husband w/me when I have a workup or something changes so he can here it straight from the doc...I have been fortunate that my husband is supportive, but I think he's MORE supportive since I was finally dx and I could put a "name" to this dd and it came from the doc.
    Good luck,
  10. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    One of the hardest but most neccesary things to do with this illness is to pace yourself and manage your time. It is imperative that you learn how to say "no". This can be done in a tactful manner to anyone who is, as you say, taking advantage of your time, energy, and emotions.

    Simply say, I do not feel well enough to do this, and I will feel worse if I do. period

    If your are pretending to be normal....you are doing you both a diservice. How can he be aware of how badly you feel? You, by trying to live life as normal are probably overdoing, making yourself feel worse.

    One must communicate to their spouses--this is the basis for a good relationship. It is even more important when one has a chronic illness. It sounds like it is time you both face this head on, asking one another for support and help---

    Hope this did not come across as too blunt. But I think we must all get "real" with our lives, in the face of these disorders.
    Best wishes, Karen
  11. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    It may be hard to understand for anyone who has any illness but when it comes to FM, I believe that most people think of it as a "non" illness.
    After all, that is what we have heard these last 20 years on FM and related illnesses.
    I confess, I used to be one of them. It's not easy to admit it. No one doubts that I am sick. It's VISABLE! I found myself thinking many times: "Ha! What does she/he have to complain about. He/she looks normal to me".
    FM (I don't know how it's in USA, can only speak for Norway) has been known as the "female complaint illness" around here.
    Having JRA with 45 surgeries, I used to feel proud to walk around in the hospital with a "real" diagnose.
    I apologise for such thoughts now.
    Information, knowledge and understanding has made me realise that ANY diagnose is severe and ANY diagnose needs respect and understanding.
    Wen, I believe your husband was exactly were I used to be. People with FM have for years apologised to ME because "I have no reason to complain when I'm around you".

    Such a comment used to make me feel better.
    Now, it makes me MAD!

    Do not EVER apologise for being sick. Don't you even dare to think about everyone else first and forget yourself in the process. Being apologetic for being ill is the same thing as apologising for "being around" in my opinion.

    What can you do?
    Show him in writing what your diagnose is all about. Then, it's up to him whether he wants to understand or not. It's his choice whether he wants to read or find out more.

    I've read all the answere here and all of you write the same thing, basically. "Printed out things for him to read". Ehh.......should it not be HIS wish to find out more in the first place?

    My boyfriend is not perfect. Haha. Neither am I, for that matter (which is obvious after what I've been writing here) but I told him openly what JRA is and then left it to him whether he wanted to understand more or not. He did.
    I suppose I could say "luckily for me" but I choose not to. It was lucky for him because reading/knowledge created understanding and what I did was to increase my knowledge on how "helpless" our families feel when loved ones are in pain.

  12. twjen

    twjen New Member

    Ive had simular problem with spouse. But at the same time he doesnt push me, does things to contribute to family, and gives me "mysterious" back rubs (like he knows when my back is really hurting, which is always). I was given much of the same advice as above. Amazingly the other day my husband said something that is listed in this advice. He said he didnt like to know about it because there is nothing he can do for me or to fix it. Maybe your husband feels this way also. I smiled and said "I will keep on living" he smiled back and said "I know". I think maybe he needed to know that I wasnt giving up. I have told him that I do what I can and I believe he see's that also.
    Best wishes, Jen
  13. JP

    JP New Member

    I hope I am not repeating what others have said.

    I guess that I would stop trying and use the effort to work toward seeking balance in your own personal daily activites. It is easy to say...I know, and it is also important to turn your honesty inward and let him know what you are able to do with your time and energy if it is not meeting his expectations. By overextending yourself, or pretending to be normal, it may be confusing him to some extent.

    For me, I have not come to terms with my chronic conditions and just how they have affected my life. I can no longer pretend, so I choose to spend a lot of alone time right now and try to reserve myself as much as I can for my relationship. This gives my relationship more normality. I am also lucky to usually have my best hours in the late afternoon. I think my partner understands the condition of my health and limitations better than I at this point in the game.

    Hang in there...I can feel your frustration and I wish it were a simple fix.

  14. Jewelz

    Jewelz New Member

    My husband is disabled from a back injury 2 years ago. He's pressured me into working (but I guess I would do the same with both of us not working at all). But here's the thing, my brother has it and he didnt seem to even care about that. His friend gets fibromyalgia and hes caring and understanding towards me.. I dont know if that might help you get idea's. Perhaps you might know someone that has this disorder that you cant introduce him too.
    I also find printing out the information and making him read it helpful too. He knows Ill nag and nag until he reads it. =)

    Never pretend your normal around those that love you. Express the feelings because if you dont it will only create frustrations inside yourself.


  15. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    just curl up and die....