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    Old 03-30-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
    Brnt2acrisp
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    Question Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Hi ,I'm new to the board and really hoping to find some answers. I'm not sure how to put this, but I do need some help- I have suffered from severe neck and back pain caused by herniated disc's, arthritis, DDD - for close to 5 years now. My condition is worsening and I'm finding now that it is almost impossible to continue having a relationship with someone who doesn't understand that I'm in pain 24/7. I can't have sex without it causing more intense pain, flaring my injuries for 3-5 days after. Am I being unreasonable about this? I find it hard to even consider intimacy- as my pain is constant, and with the pain meds I take daily- I've totally lost interest in it. I understand that my other half has needs, but- does he need to have it 2-3 times a week? I feel that he's being selfish in regard to my condition. I just don't get it. If you love someone, why would you expect them to pleasure you at the cost of them being in more pain. We are not 20 years old, and have spent the better part of our lives together- I would think that he of all people would understand me best ( guess I was wrong there ). - Any advise on this would be greatly appreciated.

     
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    Old 03-30-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Chris P.
    I do understand where you coming from. I have had lumbar DDD for years and recently had 2 level lumbar fusion surgery 11 weeks ago today. My husband and I have dealt with this issue as well. I too have lost total interest in sex. And, it truly bothers me but, I do try to reassure my husband that he is still attractive and that this problem is not his fault. I also try to be intimate with him at least once a week. He seems to be supportive but, he would be happy to have sex every night of the week if I said yes. We are both in our early 40's and been married for 12 years with two boys aged 9 and 11. Between my full time job, being a mom and a wife, he is lucky to get it once a week. I am so tired and hurt so bad that I feel like I am cheating him of the woman he married. But, he does love me and we are open about this issue. Don't let it fester and then blow up at each other. Talk to him about it and be sincere and maybe he will appreciate the honesty. And do other things to make him happy and secure. That is all I know to do in my situation. Hope this helps.

     
    Old 03-30-2011, 02:25 PM   #3
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Hi Musiccitygirl,
    Thank you for your response, your situation sounds so familiar. I've tried explaining it to him- but he brushes it off. He too would like it everyday- and that was the norm- when my body was "unbroken". We can discuss this one day, and then the next day- and everyday following he will continuously ask for it. It matters not to him that I will be in pain- more severe than normal for the following days. And when I say I'm in pain, or I'm just to busy with the ice/ heat and resting because I'm so tired from the meds- he makes snide comments in reference to sex. Like " you knew before you moved in, that I wanted it everyday! Or now I'm just skating through , avoiding sex- when I'm actually trying my best to find some form of relieve from a really bad flare up. He'll almost always assumes that we are to have a moment every Sunday - or a Friday evening- when ever- that in his eyes is the only thing that will make all the negative go away. So every time he has a bad day, it's expected of me to be able to fix it. I can't do it, his happiness should not revolve around weather or not he has sex.
    Yes I will try to accommodate him- so to speak. But the stress alone that he puts on me regarding this issue- I know causes me more pain/and bad flare ups. And it has taken it's toll on the whole relationship. This has always been a sore subject with us, as no matter how many times it happens- it is never enough. Sorry to ramble- just so frustrated with this.
    And , your not cheating your husband out of anything-" in sickness and in health" that's part of the vows he took. Yes - your lives are different now, b/c of your back, but that doesn't change the love you have for him. I just wish men were more like women, in regard to sex. I wouldn't treat him like this if the tables were turned- Well , thanks again- hope your recovery from surgery is fast and without much pain.

     
    Old 03-30-2011, 04:03 PM   #4
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    I think part of the issue could be that he just doesn't understand pain. Anyone that's not suffered from chronic pain can't understand what it's like to live with it every day. I'm not married and I've often wondered how other people that are always in pain manage to have an intimate life. I personally cannot even fathom it. I'm always in pain, though it's not always severe, may days vary, but I cannot even imagine being with someone anymore. There is no way that I physically could be and well, I have no more interest in it either. That's another reason why I just don't even bother.

    "Normal" people just don't have any idea what it's like and just how much someone in pain has to change their life around and have to think about everything they do or might do. Friends and family don't understand either. People can't relate to it unless they actually go through it. I guess the same could be said for many other issues. So many times I have to turn down things to do because I might have to park too far away, or I know I can't walk around somewhere or might not find somewhere to sit or sitting somewhere might be too uncomfortable. I don't know if there is a way to make normal people understand. Over the years, I've just accepted this and just live my life every day the best I can and don't dwell on it. Of course, it's easy for me to say since I don't have a significant other. I think if I did, I would feel quite guilty.

     
    Old 03-30-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Hi Baybreeze,
    Thanks for responding, I totally get where you're at. I was alone for a few yrs ,when I was injured-and only dated him again ( 2nd time around), till about 7 months ago- when we moved in together. I just don't have the strength that it takes to be fighting with someone over this. It truly is taking it's toll on me- I've had more flare ups in 7 months than I've had in yrs. I thought that he understood, but as soon as I got here-he turned into sex maniac that he's always been- LOL. I know this is trivial to some ppl, but I really don't see a happy medium with it. I wish I did feel better, but the more he pushes- the more frustrated I become. Stress is like our worst enemy, it will destroy us if we're not careful.
    I think you may be right though, I know when he wants to run around from place to place, I'm like you .... wondering if I'll be able to sit, or rest, or if I will be miserable because my pain is worse. This life sucks , and believe me I do have a better appreciation for the disabled in the world. Not that I would have ever been disrespectful to them- But I truly didn't realize what I had until it was taken from me. I do more for ppl now, since I have been made aware of how difficult it is to get through a day( just doing everyday things ) .
    I've accepted this, but I don't believe he has, or will. He is always looking back and saying things like " see that girl in the picture ? I want her back !!!" Doesn't he think for one second that I would give anything to feel the way I did 5 yrs ago? I hate drugs, and now I have to live on them- taking them like candy.
    I hope you have many friends that you may turn to if need be, If I can be of any help- please don't hesitate to message me. This site is far better than the one I was on for the past 2 months- people respond..... in a short time here. Sometimes we just need someone to chat with, that knows first hand how we feel.
    Gotta run - take care - ty again.

     
    Old 03-31-2011, 05:58 AM   #6
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    My comments are probably not going to be particularly helpful, and for that, I apologize. But, your comments really upset me. Your guy sounds very selfish to me, and it is obvious that he is only compounding your stress and pain.

    I fully agree with everyone's comments. None of us know what it is like to walk in someone else's shoes, and people with chronic pain from spine issues have it doubly bad because for the most part, we do not "look" sick. It is a double whammy because most adults have had some "back pain" at some point in their lives, so they THINK they are relating. I can't count the number of times a well-meaning individual has told me a story of his/her experience with back pain...and it usually resolved with them taking a couple Advils and lying down for two hours. That was to show their empathy with my ability to stand for about a minute or walk half a block, max...or having had 3 major spine surgeries!

    I guess I really lucked out in that my husband had a ruptured L5-S1 disc many years ago, and to this day, remembers vividly the incredible pain he was in. I hope I was as kind to him back then, as he has been to me these past six years!!

    I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for you. I just know that your feelings are very common among women who suffer from spine problems...the combination of guilt, frustration and annoyance...the desire to be a good partner, but the pain that just doesn't make it possible....

    I hope you can find a way to resolve your differences.

    Last edited by teteri66; 03-31-2011 at 05:59 AM.

     
    Old 03-31-2011, 03:19 PM   #7
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Hi Tetonteri66,
    Thank you for responding-it's a tough subject to inquire/respond to. Thanks for your understanding, sometimes I feel like I'm all alone with this- in a way,it's good to know others know where I'm at. IDK if there will be an easy answer for our problems- but I do know I won't be able to tolerate this much longer as is. Lately I've been doing so much research for my conditions- as we all know we are our best advocates so we need to be on top of it. This bothers him, as it takes time away from him.... I get it , I'm to satisfy him and his needs -before I take care of me. I don't spend much time on the comp. when he is around for the reason that he will make my life a living hell- you know if your feeling well enough to sit at the comp. then you should be able to do other things too.
    You are so lucky to have a good man, one that truly understands what your going through. I'm sure you took care of him, just as kindly when he was hurting.
    I used to feel guilty, now it seems to be more anger- I know that's not good, but why should I (or anyone) feel guilt for something we have no control over. I would give anything to not have my pain- I know that will never be ( we will always have some degree of pain - for the rest of our lives). I do feel guilt for my kids, cause I don't always have the strength, or the patients that I used. But they seem to understand better than him- he will even be jealous if I spend time with them- I think there is more to all of this, but I'm not a medical professional- and I don't have that much time on my hands to look into " why" he acts the way he does. I will do what it takes to get by for now, not sure how... I need to take care of me though, because obviously he won't. We discussed one day, what would he do if I were to become paralyzed from all of this- and he didn't miss a beat with his response.... " I'd put you in a Nursing Home". He thought that was a good answer, I didn't . Thanks again, your response was better than you think
    Chris

     
    Old 03-31-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Your response made me laugh -- I guess in a black humor type of way! At least your guy isn't going to surprise you! It sounds like you know exactly how he feels, even though you don't much care that this is his response.

    I didn't want to add any more misery to your life, but he sounds rather immature, at least from my perspective...very self-centered and selfish, like he's doing you a favor living with you.

    I've had a rough time for the past six years and I know how hard it is to keep it together and not let the pain just make a person cranky and short-tempered. I had trouble holding my tongue sometimes when my husband was being kind! I can only imagine how difficult your situation is.

    At least you can come here and let off some steam. To varying degrees, we can all relate.

     
    Old 04-01-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    tetonteri66
    Thanks again- believe me sometimes I wonder how I would be without my twisted humor. I know it has helped me get through alot in life. And he still surprises me, with the childish .. almost pouting attitude he gets,which turns to sarcastic insults to me - like that will change my pain level to the positive, and work in his favor. And lets not forget how grateful I should feel for him allowing me to live with him- I thought he had changed. People do sometimes, but he only did till I moved back in- then it was like flipping a switch on. I changed, I no longer hold my tongue- which just adds fuel to the fire now LOL- but one can only take so much before they crack.
    We know how hard it is to try to be a happy go lucky person, once we have been on a roller-coaster of pain 24/7- and meds that barely take the edge off of the pain- watching our lives crumble before our own eyes. Even the strongest of ppl can lose control sometimes- I never thought I would be living to take meds, only to make it possible- to get through another day- to say our quality of live has been changed is an understatement. I've been there before, trying to hold back the anger from inside, as it has nothing to do with the other person- we are frustrated, and the ppl closest to us will sometimes be our unintentional targets. We have so much to deal with on a daily basis, sometimes we speak without thinking- but we are always the first to apologize - it's the pain, and meds that make us like that ( that is not who we really are inside ). We don't blame ppl for having outburst of anger, when we know their fighting a terminal disease-we know it's the disease and meds controlling them- we unfortunately are fighting something that is permanent (yes I know it's not terminal)- but the pain is severe and exhausting at times, and the meds play tricks on our minds and bodies - and Dr.'s, family and friends alike need to know , just because you can't see our conditions when looking at us- doesn't mean we are not truly suffering inside.
    You have definitely found yourself a keeper , make sure he knows that everyday. Good men(and women), are hard to come by in this world - don't let him out of your site. I do gain some strength from just knowing that I'm not alone in this- knowing that what I feel is normal for the cards that have been dealt to me. Thanks again my friend. Have a great day !!!

     
    Old 04-04-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
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    Red face Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Well another great weekend has passed, and you guessed it... I'm still a B%#*h- or at least I've been told- LOL. I'm sorry if my back pain is causing me to be negative about rolling around with you - when all I want is to find some pain relief. I've spent the weekend in unbearable pain in the lower lumbar area- ice packs , heating pads, tens unit- just trying to stretch a bit so I don't tense up anywhere else- and resting- oh yea b/c I'm in unbelievable pain !!!! And you want me to [B]WHAT ???[/B] I was told this morning that he has pain, and he gets up everyday and goes to work......... Oh so let me jump right up an start my 10 mile run right this minute- so that I may be just like you ! I'm not in my 20's , and when I'm in pain like this- I[U] COULD CARE LESS IF I EVER HAD SEX AGAIN !!!!!!! [/U] But just keep pushing the issue, and trying to make me feel like - this is somehow my fault- and I should still make sure you have that hour of pleasure - as I try to smile and act like I'm enjoying myself- b/c that is what you want. Thank god I still have some humor left in me- or I might actually blame myself for all this pain that I suffer from- that is messing with his life, not mine....... I want to believe that the good lord put me here for something other than making sure someone else was satisfied 24/7- I truly believe that he has a bigger plan for my life than just that. Sorry folks, just needed to vent
    Hope everyones w/e was great- have a good one
    Chris

     
    Old 04-04-2011, 08:33 AM   #11
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    I wonder if men who have the same type of pain and injury lose interest in sex?

     
    Old 04-04-2011, 09:02 AM   #12
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    Question Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    I know if he so much as has the sniffles, he is complaining -he does see a chiro once a month.... ( to my 3x a wk) and - if he gets a cold- he will work through the week, but believe me when he comes home- or on a weekend- he will lay in bed all day and complain like a baby !!!

    That is a great question, does back pain in a man- change their need and desire and or ability to have sex- any male takers to this question???? I really need some advise on that - male input is definitely welcomed here.

    Last edited by Brnt2acrisp; 04-04-2011 at 09:02 AM.

     
    Old 04-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #13
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Ohhh, let me tell you....just from my experience anyway, not to generalize all men here.....for the most part, men cannot handle pain the way women can. And I highly doubt if he had that much pain in his lumbar spine, he wouldn't want to be intimate either, or at least for him, to not to have to do any work at all. Then again, anyone, male or female, that hasn't experienced chronic severe pain just cannot fathom what it's like everyday.

    I know for myself, before my problems started, I was in shape, slim, extremely active and when I was younger I could never understand why older people couldn't move or why they didn't want to. I always thought if they just exercised daily, they would be fine. I guess all those thoughts came back to bite me in the you know what. I could have never imagined how much my life was going to change and it started in my 30's with my spine. Of course for minor issues, regular exercise might help. In my case now, my pain gets so severe there are times my nerve pain is so bad I can hardly walk. I was barely able to walk or stand before my spine surgery. I do have to say, though, that when I was like 19 or 20, I did experience a flare up of joint pains and other symptoms, severe fatigue, that knocked me off my feet (which I now know is lupus), but the flares came and went. Once the flare went away my body felt fine again and I went on with life. It wasn't constant. Now with my spine problems, it never goes away. I feel bad of the way I thought when I was young & active with no problems.....I surely couldn't fathom chronic pain and what life could be like living like that.

     
    Old 04-05-2011, 01:26 AM   #14
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Chris,

    I'm so sorry your partner is being such a jerk!

    I can completely relate to your situation. I was already living with my partner when I hurt my back, and he basically behaved the same as yours is now.

    He even went so far as to behave as if I deliberately hurt my back to make his life worse and "get out of having sex" with him.

    In all honesty if he isn't willing to sit down and actually properly listen and make some attempt at empathy and understanding, you're better off without him. Harsh words, I know.

    Don't let him make you miserable by adding more stress.

    I kicked mine out the door after 3 months of his behaving like a tool. You don't deserve the crap he's pulling. You deserve to be supported and helped through this injury and pain, not made to feel guilty because you're too sore to have sex, or spend all day running around.

    Last edited by Kazearymir; 04-05-2011 at 01:26 AM.

     
    Old 04-05-2011, 02:31 PM   #15
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    Re: Chronic pain-and intimacy

    Hi Baybreeze,
    I agree with you on that one, MOST men, there are a few good ones left that don't fall into that category. If it's pain in the spine, they would be just as bad off as us, or worse.
    God. I know what your saying about being in shape-I was int the best shape I had been in years- my life was looking up- was about to buy a new home for my children and myself- went through my divorce and survived it . Like I said in an earlier post- I never judged a disabled person, but I never really looked twice- and I can remember in particular this one guy I had dated - he had a back injury- in just a few years from the initial injury he was walking like he had something stuck up his butt ( all crooked- like pushing the pelvis forward and tucking in the rear end ) not funny- cause I do the same now when my back is like it's been the past week- and my friends would say I don't know what you saw in him. I looked past the disability, he was a nice guy at the time- unfortunately he became mean - know I know why.We were young, and now that we have matured a "little" we notice these things- I'm sure you weren't mean, just miss informed is all- now we know better
    I went to the doc today, and they think I may have an infection in my spine ?? They are trying to get me into the new PM doc asap. I have lost count as to what # flare up this is since I had the injection- but I have been on anti-biotic's a few times for my asthma - so that may have been hiding it ( my back always felt better when I took them).
    What is Lupus ? I hear so many ppl have it now a days- pretty scary.
    Have a good nite
    Chris

    Hi Kazearymir,
    Thanks so much for reading and replying to my post. And yes I too agree he is being a jerk LOL-It's truly amazing at times when I think about it. Last nite he came home an asked if my back still hurt/ [B]YES[/B], are you in a good mood ?[B] NOT really[/B]- this is how he aproaches the sex part- so he proceeded to say, and these are his exact words- " [U]I still care about you, but I didn't realize how broken you were before you moved back in with me"[/U] [B]WTH does that mean !!!! [/B]So you know now.... but I'm just too broken for you to care ???!!! Basically, I told him that when we had gotten back together " he had apologized to me for always having to have sex-daily.... he said that the ex-girlfriend was a nimfo and now he had realized what he had put me through for years. He sat in front of me, and denied having said that he has always had issues- we even went to counseling years ago- but a leppard will always spots- it will never change. But I had truly thought that he had grown with that one comment- so here I am. Well I did go looking at place today- it will never change, and I will never be enough- and it's just a waste of time to think anything could work. Remember I"M BROKEN - LOL geez- thanks for the highly qualified opinion dr jerk !
    Kudos to you, for having the sense to get rid of him- with him I've always have been made to be a bit like the cowardly lion- but that is changed. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement- I needed that, they will get me through all of this
    Hope you had a good day !
    Chris

     
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