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Old 11-28-2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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How do I help my husband understand?

My Husband & I have been together 4 yrs. I've had problems for 12 yrs. The last year has been the worst. I believe I had CFS until a few months ago. I think it has turned into FM.
I hurt my back 5 yrs ago but dealt with it. Earlier this yr it got so bad I had to see what was going on. I'm limited because of it. So, he's been more understanding. Then I've had the fog, fatigue, ect for a long time. It keeps getting worst the last few months. So, my Rhumetologist thinks it's FM. Because the problems & pain keeps getting worst, I agree.
I am a very hard headed person, very stubborn. But I'm learning to not push myself & rest. My husband is more understanding now that I have a diagnosis. But, still doesn't understand. He still expects more out of me than I can do. He's not understanding. No matter how much I hurt, I don't say anything to him. If I get "that headache" I say I have a headache & leave it at that. But, I still have 4 kids to take care of. I've cut back on our farm Allot. So, I don't have as much work. Even what I do still has become to much. But if I say anything, I feel like I'm whining. He makes me feel like I'm exaggerating. Yet, I rarely say anything & just deal with it.
He's always been playful. Sometimes he smacks me on the butt & it hurts. But if I say anything, he thinks I'm just being a grump.
Sometimes when he's playful, he hurts me & I don't say anything because I don't know how to explain it to him. He hardly has to touch me. I have never been a drama queen or someone to whine. I've always had a high pain tolerance. These days I feel so weak. I feel useless. Nothing I do is good enough. Even when it was just CFS, I still pushed myself. No matter how exhausted I am, I still did when I needed to do. But, I think pushing myself has gotten me to where I am now. Cymbolta has helped with my anxiety. But sometimes I'm so depressed. I think it's because my husband is not supportive. He has a friend that was recently diagnosed with MS, CFS, & FM. The friend isn't working but still does what he needs to do. My husband seems to understand how hard it is for him, but not for me. He still expects so much out of me. I can only do so much. I feel like I don't have his support. When he's tired or sick I hear about it. I never complain. It's like he thinks I'm just making this up or something. But he should know me better than that.
Black Friday I went shopping with him. I got maybe 2 hours sleep. I then managed to get what I needed done Friday, over did it. So, yesterday my neck was more sore & I had that awful headache. I made dinner, cleaned, ect. My husband wanted me to watch a show with him. I was all for it. But, I had to change the baby, get him dressed for bed. I then tucked the others in. I then was cleaning up toys & stuff because I have a hard time stepping over them. He then got upset, turned off the tv & went to bed. I don't understand it. He could help me with this stuff. Heck, I could be lazy & do nothing. I feel like I can't win. If I rested as much as I should, he would gripe for being lazy. Why can't he appreciate everything I do? I work hard to take care of my family. It's not easy. Between myself & kids, I have atleast 1 Dr appt per week. One kid doing vision therapy 2 hrs daily. I then drive 5 hours each month to get him to his therapy Dr. One of my children is 14 months old. Sometimes I just need to lay my head down & rest. But I can't because I have to get him or he's up & down on my lap. With 4 kids, there is always something.
Anyhow, maybe I just needed to vent. I am feeling depressed right now. I need my husbands support & understanding...

 
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:44 AM   #2
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

Oh, boy, can I relate to you! First, let me say, I am so sorry that you have to go through so much. Secondly, let me say that I have been married 20 years and am going through a divorce, so my slant on things may be a bit jaded.

You have your hands full with the children plus the added stress of a chronic illness! Your husband can definitely help you with chores around the house. It sounds as if you are like me and take on everything yourself. Marriage is a team effort, and when you're sick, your copilot needs to be able to take over.

Your husband may be feeling overwhelmed with working on the farm and having you sick. Or, he could be like my husband and think that since he works all day, he doesn't have to lift a finger to help out around the house. Don't wait, like me, until this behavior becomes a habit for both of you.

I would suggest counseling. It would hopefully help both of you to accept the limitations this illness imposes on you, and would help your husband to understand his role in helping you to get better, like helping out and decreasing stress. Support from your spouse is essential.

It's much too late for my marriage. It's been over for a long time. But, you are just beginning. Know that you can always vent away.
Best Regards,

 
Old 11-29-2010, 06:51 AM   #3
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

hi,
i will share with you what i have learned. no one can make you feel anything, that's up to you. if you feel it, it's yours, so own it.
men need lists and direct requests. hints don't work. hiding how you feel when something hurts, not smart. if it hurts say so and say it with gentle words. if he doesn't like it, tough. he will get over it.
learn to say no kindly. learn to say no. just no. wait to see if a why is requested. if asked, say not up to it today, you cover it please. statement tone not asking tone.
hiding who you are at this time of your life will only cause more confusion and make you feel like compost.
contrary to what so many of us women are taught, men are stronger than we give them credit for and they can learn new things. i learned this valuable lesson with my brother. he can cook now! and clean house! and garden! all my chores he now does. we save my energy for fun things and important things. like kids and grandkids!
you have to be strong for your kids, not your husband. if you hide who you are now it will bite you in the fanny. a shrink helps alot. tho being on a farm, town may be a long drive.
it is okay not to feel good. you are allowed.
your husband, your friends, your family will never understand how you feel. they can howerver, learn compassion, show compassion, and take up the slack when you cannot do it yourself. you must ask for the help tho. you are not weak or letting anyone down when you are not able to perform, do that chore, whatever. life happens and not always the way we think it will.
peace,
blue

 
Old 11-29-2010, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

Thank You
Yes, I'm used to doing it all. Even with the farm & when I was bringing in income. He thinks that everything here is "my job". Seems like even when I did it all, still was never good enough. There is always something... He's a great guy. But when he is hurt or doesn't feel well, I take care of him. I'm used to feeling awful. Learned to live with it. I just feel so alone. I think the big one these days is that I'm not outgoing anymore. I used to help him with anything he needed help with. He would sit & rest & I'd still be running around catching up on stuff. I have pushed myself for sooo long. Then he feels "neglected". I do what I can. But most of the time I hurt one way or another. Yesterday was tough. Very sore. Rather than being affectionate, he tries to be playful. Usually hurts. But if I say ouch he doesn't understand how it could possibly hurt & I can't explain it. So then I'm just being a grouch. He is giving me the cold shoulder now. It's always my fault...
When he makes comments I tell him he doesn't have to stick around, always divorce.
I just don't feel good enough for him anymore. He wants someone outgoing. I can't be that anymore. I love my husband & would never want to part from him. But I think he'd be happier without me.

 
Old 11-29-2010, 09:57 AM   #5
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

not good enough for him, interesting. i think that may be a two way street girlfriend. has it ocurred to you that you may be dealing with an emotional abuser? if it was going on before you got sick i would say so. if it started after you got sick i still say so.

who decides what hurts you? you do.

i could bash that mentality for days but i won't. suffice to say i have been abused emotionally due to my health and i know it when i see it. that man is gone and so is the one that followed him. i'd rather be alone, than alone in love.
only you can decide what you are willing to live with in order to feel loved. only you. i am not there, it is not my heart. it's yours and it's up to you to decide. not anyone else, including hubby.
one suggestion, don't throw divorce at him. if you feel that way just do it. being abused i know waiting for them to leave is not the answer that is healthy. they don't leave.
peace,
bluelakelady
ps. i sense a part of you will recoil at the thought of what i have said. let it sink in. i may be wrong. i was in shock the first time it was said to me. i never thought it would happen to me. wrong.

 
Old 11-29-2010, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

Something else to add in to the mix - if he took on more of the chores that would leave you with more energy/more vitality and you would then recapture more of who you were (and still are)

How we choose to respond to others is our choice (I know it may not feel that way - but nervertheless it is!) - He is an adult who is more than capable of sorting things out around the house/looking after kids too - be honest with him and then if he doesn't help clear up/tidy up don't you do it (on a practical note could you afford a cleaner to help?)
Life is there for us to enjoy no matter what it throws at us - we need to find ways of doing that and that requires adaptation and flexibility......you CAN do it - you just need to start taking small steps
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

I have a wonderful husband who helps tremendously. However, in our earlier marriage years with all the kids at home, I did most all of it. I was a very active person, runner and kick boxer. When I began to get sick 4 years ago and had to take a leave from my job, my husband was beside himself because he couldn't fix me and make me better. That's what guys tend to do. He was also afraid that I had cancer or something because I was in such pain and the tests didn't show anything. I think he was relieved that it wasn't fatal.

Fast forward to today and after diagnosis, he stepped up and helps with everything. He also knows that if I feel better, we can be a couple and do more fun things. If your husband understands this, he may be willing to help. Be honest with him about how you are feeling and that will help him understand. I would give him things to read on Fibro and CFS, counseling is not a bad idea and let him be a part of your life in everything, after all you two married for sickness and health.

 
Old 12-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

Thank You everyone
Sorry it took so long to reply.
I had a very depressing day on Monday, hormones on the rise & couldn't stop crying. But as usually I kept it from him.
Tuesday I was stronger & tired of bottling it up. I was angry & told him so. I'm terrible at keeping stuff bottled up till I explode. He doesn't know when I hurt or anything because I go on with my life & don't say anything. That's my fault, not his. I finally took your advice & talked to him I will do my best to let him know for now on. I can't expect him to know what's going on unless I say so. I think it's hard for him to understand because I've worked so hard to have a normal life for so long... I've pushed myself for so long... I always put on a face. I look normal. I don't look sick. I don't complain when I'm in pain.
Yesterday was a good day & I told him. I think I overdid it... But so far so good...
Anyhow, I have a great husband & I'm lucky. I just need to open up more. I've just always been a strong person, I hate feeling weak.
I don't want to live life without him. I guess I just felt like atleast if I was alone, I didn't have to feel like a disappointment. I can't pretend to be the person I'm not anymore. I'm so used to smiling even when I'm sad. I have done my best to be social, it's exhausting. I guess I mourn the person I was, the person I want to be. I'm a new person & have to except it. Others will have to except it also.
Anyhow, enough of my rambling, lol. I guess it just feels good to talk about this stuff.
Thank You again. I have taken all of your words into consideration & it has helped allot

 
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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Re: How do I help my husband understand?

I am so glad you opened up to your husband. I can totally relate to your story. I pushed myself for so long. I just thought I was tired like most other working moms with a house full of children. I would go to the doctor now and then and my tests were always negative and normal. I thought it was just me. You and your husband may become even closer through this ordeal and that will be a blessing.

And we have all grieved over the person we use to be. I hope you have many good days ahead,

Pam

 
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