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Old 02-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
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Wife's constant pain and sickness a strain on relationship

Hi all, I'm new here to this forum. I felt I had to do something, talk to someone about the problems my wife and I are having. We have not been married even a year, but we are already having some minor emotional problems. She has been for about a year or so in constant pain. She hurts in her lower left quadrant of her abdomen. This unfortunately has left her unable to get out of bed or off the couch for periods of several days and sometimes even weeks. It is undiagnosed pain, but she takes all kinds of pain meds and other meds to treat whatever else it is she has come down with that month. Her immune system is obviously very weak, because in addition to her pain in her abdomen she is constantly catching whatever virus is going around. Anyway, our problem is this: I am in great shape 99% of the time while at least 75% of them time she is enduring some major pain or sickness. Because of this, I have an incredibly hard time trying not to resent the fact that I take care of just about everything around the house most of the time, and also I work full time and go to school. When I bring up this fact in conversation (or argument), I am met with a wide range of emotions, mostly negative. This leads me to believe that she might be suffering from some depression due to her illness. I am worried that, because I have no idea how to understand her pain or to prevent resentment, our relationship will deteriorate. Please help.

 
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: Wife's constant pain and sickness a strain on relationship

Hi There. I wanted to first say I think it is good you are reaching out for help. That, to me, shows you care a great deal about your wife and want to make your situation better.

Illness is tremendously hard to deal with. I know people with chronic issues that run the course of their marriage and certainly resentments can build up, hurt feelings, guilt, etc - on both peoples part.

I think your first step needs to be to get your wife to a doctor ASAP. Abdominal pain, especially for a woman, can be extremely serious. Certainly to the OB/GYN. If you cannot convince her to go get a checkup, I might suggest you ask someone in her family to talk with her and encourage her to go. Pain is the body's way of telling us something is wrong and ignoring it won't make whatever is wrong go away. I'm sure you know this already, but these are things you can tell her.

As for the emotional aspect of this, sounds like you may benefit from counseling. For yourself and for her. Maybe even together as well at some point. In fact, I think it would be great for you regardless of whether or not she agrees to go together, or seeks it on her own (also a good idea since you mentioned she might be depressed). If you go see someone, they can help you with tools you can use to cope with her illness and inactivity, and also help with communication.

You haven't been married long, and honestly, marriage is tough work. It isn't always what you think it was going to be. I think many of us have this idea of what we expect based on our relationship with our partner before we got married, what we've observed from other people's relationships in our lives, etc. And honestly, I don't think it ever really is what we thought it would be. I think sometimes just that can be discouraging. Esp. if you are facing something so early in your marriage, you know? It is important to remind yourself why you fell in love with each other in the first place. Maybe take some time and go through some old photographs together, reminisce about good times you had and talk about what you love and admire about each other. This can be a really good exercise to alleviate stress, bring you closer together and spend positive time together.

As for the illness, The best thing you can do is make sure she gets medical attention first, then make sure you are supporting her emotionally as much as you can, while still taking care of yourself. I know you are shouldering a lot right now, but when someone is in pain, it is so hard just to get out of bed, let alone going to work, cleaning the house, etc. I have had chronic back pain for over 3 years now, something I never thought would happen to me, and there have been times when the pain is bad and I have a hard time being myself. I try not to rely on my husband too much, but sometimes we need our spouses to help us. Sounds like she needs you now. You sound like you are incredibly busy and I'm sure not always being able to lean on her to help with things is hard. But until she is feeling better physically, try and not focus on all that too much. So the house is a little messy and the dishes don't get washed right away, in the long run, that isn't what is important. At the end of the day what matters is the both of you and your relationship.

I hope something in all that rambling helps. I wish the best for both of you and please take care of yourself. Let us know how you are doing.

 
Old 02-17-2011, 04:36 AM   #3
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Re: Wife's constant pain and sickness a strain on relationship

Of course you need a doctor and probably a naturopath would be better - and I guess she is already under medical supervision - but you may also need a therapist or even a psychoanalist to address the emotional or hidden causes of her constant pain and illness. Did something happen and seriously affect her emotionally before the pain and illness set in? I know how you feel and how draining it is for you, but the task of making her feel better is perhaps beyond your scope: you are not a superman! You certainly need the guidance and support of an expert. And yes, keep looking after yourself and don't feel guilty for doing so. Also don't make her feel guilty for her condition, for she may not be aware of what is really going on.

 
Old 02-17-2011, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: Wife's constant pain and sickness a strain on relationship

hi onlyindrms19, I can completely relate to your situation. I mer my current wife on August 9th. 1977 we were married August 23rd. 1980. to this day I have never ever heard her one time say she felt good! she had to have a total historectomy at age 27 2 years before I met her due to female problems, during our now going on 31 year marriage she has had 9 back surgeries, and at least 3o operations on her stomach. each surgery causes more adhesions "scar tissure" to form in her stomach, requiring another surgery to clean them out, which only causes more new ones to grow. it's a never ending cycle. but she's a trooper and hits the floor every day and goes about living in pain. I've cared for her afrwe everyone of these surgeries with compassion and support, she is the woman I married and I love. through sickness and health. I'm sure she gets depressed? but she seldon complains, even on the days or weeks she can't do much of anything. barely walk. I do my best to help her out around the house as much as I can and I have never resented her in any way because of the pain she has. I give her the space and time she needs for herself, if it's a day to rest? a weekend to get away or even a week? she has no controll over how she feels, she has taken very good care of me too all these years, the best she can. in fact, almost 18 1/2 years ago I sufferd a massive stroke leaving me completely paralyzed on my entire left side she has been my soul caregiver in all that time. which can not have been easy for either of us. the first two years after my stroke I could't even wipe my own butt or get myself in or out of bed! she has never ever complained, she has picked me up when I've fell, helped me with every showe I've taken since leaving the hospital niether of us show our frustration to one another though we both know there has to be some. there isn't much I can do for her now in my condition except love her, support her and have compassion for her, and we do for each other.

you've been married less than a year but her pains began about a year ago? so you knew beforehand of the situation and accepted it as it was/is! I'm not sure a counceler/therapist of any kind can lead you to the direction you need to be going? that is LOVING HER AS SHE IS! sure they may help you both with the depression that comes along with pain constantly.

my suggestion is, to love her and care for her, remember who she is and why you married her in the first place.

my signature says "happiness is a way of life not a goal in life" there is a double meaning to that.#1 I got out of bed today feeling as I do, but tomorrow will be the best day of my life. and #2- if you're not happy with what you have? you won't be happy if you get what you think you want!

have a great day and good luck and god bless

Larry/coupe
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happiness is a way of life, not a goal in life, success comes in cans not can'ts

 
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