Wife Of A Husband Who Has Chronic Pain...is Anyone Out There Still???

I am looking for support from other spouses in my situation and this was the only group I could find but it looks like the latest posts on here were from last year :( Is anyone still on here?????????
PittMom PittMom
31-35, F
73 Responses Dec 25, 2010

Yes my wife broke her back 3 years ago and is handicapped now and in pain daily.

Add a response...my husband suffers from chronic back pain today is been four years now since he has been at home. We have two small children all of his family has passed away. My family don't seem to care because of his attitude,anger and aggression. It was easy for me at first I thought that we could move mountains together. Now he hates himself,hates and blames god. Has nothing nice to say to anyone about anything. I seem to be his problem now because he hurts and I have gotten to where I don't care to be around his mouth and attitude. I love him with all of my heart but I feel like I have lost the love of my life. I'm so tired of the constant cussing and negativity it drags me down in depression with him. Life is just so hard

Oh you're story sounds just like mine. Are u still out there?

my husband has chronice pain from multiple illness and surgeries,, ,, its been 13 years of him going thru this, and I feel like it is ruining us,,,
I don't know how to help him anymore,, and im losing myself in the process,, im sorry ur going thru this as well, I understand completely,,,

I am there with you sister, am able to cope but it is very difficult.

My 53 husband had his spinal neck surgery 8 weeks ago. He is still walking with the walker and still experiencing a lot of pain in his legs. He waited 2 years before he dealt with this condition. Due to him waiting so long, I believe that he may have some permenant nerve damage. Especially from the waste down and his hands just don't feel the same to me. I believe this is really starting to dperess him, he is crying all the time. We have not had sex for about 5 months and I don't anticipate it ever happening again. He is not interesting in doing anything or going anywhere. It is so sad to watch, I am encouraging him to find joy where we are. I am praying that he will get better, but the Physical Therapist said that because he waited so long he may never be the same again. He is crying and I don't let him see me but I am crying too. I feel so lonely and isolatated no one seems to understand what he or I are going through. It is breaking my heart.

Such a similar story my husband has had numerous back surgeries and the last one in 2013 they cut his dura. He's been in such pain and mad all the time but has improved still complains a lot and never wants to go anywhere. He brings me down I'm 43 he's 49 I want to go places but he seldom let's me. Just wanted to talk to someone.

I love you so much Barb and I'm so sorry that you have to go through my life being in pain. There are times when I wish you never met me because you don't deserve this I know. I love you and wish I never injured myself. May God bless you as you try to stay by my side. DC

This is sweet. Thank you, from all us wives I'm sure.

In the same boat. I understand the pain he's in but can't get over the constant negative disconnection he offers. I'm trying to stay positive but he's so angry

I feel your pain. I am too in the same boat. I don't know what to do. I have read a couple of things that help to understand and know why he does what he does, but how do I broach the subject with him about his anger without him getting angry? I have found lots of things he could read that have great advice for people in his situation who deal with so much anger and what to do instead of lashing out on me. Do I just send him the links, let him be angry for a while, and hope that he reads them later?

Hey I just found this site. It sounds cliche but I thought I was alone. My man has 5 discs out had surgery and was paralyzed for three months after. We have only been together for two years I love him so much in the beginning he was worried that I would leave him as that's what his first wife did when he got hurt I erasures him by telling him that if he ended up in a wheel chair he wouldn't see me anymore as I would be behind him pushing his chair. He still works full time and goes thru pain killers like candy and has become an alcoholic. We have 5 kids between us so child support on his end is crazy high and I don't recieve any from my ex. But that part is the least of my concern my biggest concern is our sex life our romance and talking and cuddling we don't even hold hands I can't touch him he barely gives me a peck on his way out to go to work we don't hug nothing. I take it personally i told him I can't handle this rejection and that I feel repulsive towards him he has no sex drive and had tests done and he now has low testosterone to the point he may need injections. I don't think this would be so hard for me to take in but before we met before his bad back he was a **** star so I just feel so unwanted when sex was such a major part of his life and we don't do anything unless he is drunker than hell or high on street drugs. I told him many times we don't have to have sex sex if it hurts his back too much but that we still both have hands and mouths and he couldn't careless. Not only that he has skin issues that he is trying to figure out with a specialist and the dr said he may be allergic to my bodily fluids as he breaks out in rashes on his penis after sex or he may be allergic to his own fluids. On top of that he is misserable towards me and only me I feel resented 90% of the time but then I think to myself is he just putting on a show for everyone else and with me he is comfortable enough to show his pain to feel what he is going thru but at the sametime I wish he would just put on a show for me every once in while just so we can enjoy our time together. I won't give up on him but it feels like he is giving up on me he tells me he loves me but some days there just isn't any emotion coming out it's more like its a habit of saying it like he doesn't even know I feel awful I feel selfish I feel guilty I feel ashamed of my own feelings.it seems as though we have become room mates and I'm also his servant girl. I had a disc out before I know what it's like to have a bad back but I don't remember treating people badly for it.I'm 30 years old he is 34 and I feel like all the fun people are meant to have everything that you should enjoy and be happy about as live in the moment has been taken away and what we had in the beginning of our relationship was just a tease. He did tell me everything about his history and his back all that so it wasn't like he hid any of it I just didn't think it was going to get worse and tear us apart. We barely talk and f we do it's about his back and his pain he is in or about the wars and how he wishes he can push the button and watch the world blow up. He has tried to kill himself he has a massive scar on his wrist and he cut thru his tendon and luckily for his family (I didn't know him at that time) some called 911 and saved his life and he still wishes no one saw. It hurts so bad to know he wishes he was dead to know that no matter how much you try to improve their life they seem to hate you for it but when you are gone for one day they miss you so much they won't leave you alone they call and text and talk nonstop just can't seem to show that in person. I'm at my breaking point but won't leave him I know somehow some way we will get thru this we aren't married but there is no one else in this world I would rather be with it's crazy how some one can make you feel so lonely yet so loved is a vicious clycle almost. Not only that his kids love me and my daughter just started to call him dad this month and he is amazing with the kids which almost makes it hurt that much more as he will play with them and cuddle them and hug and kiss them tickle them do all that stuff with them but not me it breaks my heart I feel so unloved and left out but then I think no he's saving everything he has inside to be their dad and so I'm greatful for it too I'm just lost in so many contradicting emotions I don't have a clue what to do or think anymore.

Please PLease Please try to life life especially kind, nice, caring helpful toward him and I really think he will think about his situation and what a great girl he has in you. I really belive he will make the effort to love you and return the kindness you show toward him.

He does show it sometimes it just sucks being the punching bag all the time and he chooses when he wants to show it it's not freely shown like I show mine

Right here shug.

Add a response...

I have also been looking for a group. I have been dating and living with my partner with chronic pain for 8 years now. Things have been bad lately, and I don't know what to do but be there for her. I work from home and do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. Lately she has hit a wall with her doctors and it seems no one wants to prescribe her the meds she has been on for over 10 years. She was diagnosed with chronic pain at the age of 12, and then at 18 diagnosed with a heart condition(Inappropriate sinus tachycardia) She has had to deal with withdraw a lot in the past 2 years and she just wants to give up on us and herself. I love her so very much, Im not sure she does anymore. She says the words and when she speaks of me to others Im the best thing that ever happened to her, but when she is around me its like she hates the fact that Im around all the time. What do I do? what do I say? I think I just need to talk to people that understand what its like to date someone with chronic pain. She is 26 I am 30

My partner also has chronic pain for the past year. She has a herniated disc that is compressing her nerves. She gets muscle tightness and spasms daily. She had a positive outlook but slowly she is losing hope. We have a one year old son. He was born around the time the pain started. It has been hard on us. I know she is in pain and tries to stay strong and do things around the house but for the past month everything has been on me. She still goes to work and I stay at home with our son and dogs. I do the cleaning and cooking too. I feel awful and selfish for writing on this site. I feel like I shouldn't complain but it is hard to hold it in. Lately we have been arguing. About anything... I have been so tired from housework, walking the dogs and taking care of our son. But I feel like work never ends for me (our son still wakes up in the middle of the night). She gets pain at 24hrs and even at night. I know it's hard for her to sleep too. I just don't know what to do anymore.. I don't know why we are argue so much and I don't know my I feel so angry and alone. None of our friends or family really know about the pain or how our relationship is going. It is quite the ride

I just keep going, I work 2 jobs as well as the cooking and cleaning. I guess it's easier for me because she has been disabled the whole time I've known her, it wasn't sprung on me. All I can say is that this will make you strong! Your kid will thank you for the strength you teach him/her to have when the chips are down. While things suck for us relationship wise at least I can take pride in knowing that I'm doing something good. Everyday I prove to her my love, and having her appreciate it would be nice, but I've learned to just be ok that she is kind of in her own world. At the end of the day you have to have the only respect that really matters in life; self respect. Very few people get tested the way we do. This is a chance for you to find out what kind of person you are! I think you will surprise yourself! Good luck! I'm here if you want to talk more!

I can totally relate except that I am the one working. I understand being tired and not being able to go go go anymore.

Having pain In a relationship is stressful her having to work while in pain adds to the stress. You feeling like many responsibilities are on your shoulders adds to it. If she is the only one that works she could feel an equal stressful load as well. The work will never end you have to come to terms with that. Once you accept that you can start to lean to live with it. Even if she didn't have pain you have a kid that is a 24 hour a day job that last for several decades lol. It's ok. The stress your feeling is natural and healthy. So at least don't beat up yourself for feeling it. When the conditions of a relationship change so Must we as well. I have let go of my old life, I'm building a new one because I want to be with my wife always. Once the kid is a little older it will get easier. Just try to see your hard-work as an affirmation of love and commitment. And be proud of the tiredness and stress you feel at the end if each day. Your fighting an uphill battle but your still in the game. The moment you start to feel change and not just act it. Things will get better. Your doing fine bro. When pain enters a relationship and doesn't leave it changes everything. Change isn't bad though. It can be awesome ! But change is also destructive but only to the status quo.

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Hello, it's just nice to know that other people out there are going through the same things my husband and I are. It's so hard to live a "normal" life when your partner is almost totally incapacitated. He's only 37, we've been married for 4 years now, when I married him he was playing disc-golf and roller-blading and now he is bed-ridden almost all the time. It feels like we are an elderly couple and I am the live-in nurse/house cleaner/bread-winner/driver etc... it's so much for me to do by myself and I feel like I'm trapped. I love my husband very much but living is really hard to do right now. Thanks for listening.

Hello there,
My husband is in pain, I can appreciate you writing in. Just so you know that you are not alone.
I am here and I am more than happy to correspond. I am really crazy about my husband.
It's heart breaking to see him suffer. He is a really intelligent man. You know men don't feel like they are men if the aren't able to do the things that they use to. nevertheless I let my love know that I am here anyway!
hugs and my thoughts and prayers are with you!

Wife of a husband in chronic pain...just signed on for the first time...hope someone is still on this site...just looking for some support. thanks :)

I need someone to talk to!!! My husbands pain and medication are ruining our marriage. He's like an emotionally void shell, of the man he once was. Is anyone else going through this. I'm on the verge of walking out. I need some support! Thank you all.

Hi SocalM ammax3,
I do understan d that its hard to go through this. I often put myself in my husbands shoes and say what if it was me?
He says he would take care of me.
Can you get yourself interested in hobbies? I realize that it is your husband that you are wanting to be with. However if my body was wrecked with pain, I wouldn't feel like I would be very good company.
I read alot, kick it with my daughters, crochet, work, and take time for myself. I know we wives have needs, but at the moment our husbands need us.
I hope this helps.
You can write me anytime!

I am in the same boat with a husband and his bad back for 5 years now. We have been married 20 years sex used to be so important. Now it is all him and me nothing but a vibrator. I am so depressed that he won't do anything for me. Always an excuse. If not his back his hands he won't even try other positions. He is retired and gets lazier by the day.

I'm in a relationship with this amazing man. we have been dating since Summer of 2011 and we're both 22. he's got chronic back pain thats only gotten worse. its hard sometimes but he is so ******* determined to stay sweet and stay talking that most days are great. he feels suicidal on days we cant get drugs, we have to get them off the street because his doctors probably think he's a pill popper so they won't prescribe pain meds!! so ******* frustrating!! in these couple years we've been together we have smoked weed, which he says helps a little, he has tried kratom from our local headshop which helped, pills obviously like pain killers, and even robotussin tripping because it is a dissociative drug. finally, this past couple months after going thru hoops for different doctors and continuing care with his primary care physician, he has found that laser heat therapy is helping a little. before, he would buy massages which lasted an hour and it helped but as soon as he left, his back would gradually go back to searing pain. I massage him less than every day but as much as I remember to. usually we're in bed falling asleep and I have to rub his whole back, his thighs, groin, butt, backs of the legs, and I can literally feel these super tight tendons stretching through his legs as if his muscles are too short for his tall body!! I don't know, but we keep praying every day and we are thankful because years ago he just dealt with it every day and now we are lucky to have jobs and connects to be able to buy drugs or weed whatever, but there's never enough for him to be pain free for an entire week. its very sad. it kills me. he says the only reason he won't off himself is because he knows me and his family would be completely devastated. I reinforce this all the time. we all need and love him, because he is so smart and interesting, he's polite, and funny. he's SUCH a gentleman. even in his pain, he will pop some extra pills just so we can make love. it is truly amazing. only recently our sex life is iffy because my poor love is so depressed and discouraged. he has terrible days where everything goes wrong just from losing money, getting bad deals, to having to say no to hanging out with friends because of pain, to little things like traffic being ridiculous, and his constant need to be around a bathroom. he is very prone to getting sick when his pain is excruciating. honestly I read about 8 stories. everyone says their sex life is down, they feel alone, and they have to complete a lonely life of responsibilities all while waiting to see the man they have been missing because he is clouded by his pain. KEEP IT UP! He appreciates it so much! he needs you! don't give up! he would do this for you, and maybe (you never know) you will receive a solution, and the tables will turn and you will need him. and he would be so happy to be there for you. my boyfriend has always been there for me with advice, love, care, understanding, a listening ear, hugs, kisses, sympathy, and any chance he gets we try to catch a movie in the comfort of our home, or go get dinner out, once in a blue moon. we love eachother so much, and he's always been here for me, so I'm here for him best I know how to be. the only thing I can't stand is cleaning up for him. he's always been really messy and it drives me up a ******* wall. it doesn't matter how much I clean he can dirty it all in a couple of days. so I don't clean any more. I don't know if I'm being cruel or if I'm just realizing that he'll learn to do it himself if I stop doing it for him. I want the best for him. I just don't want him in terrible pain either. it drives me nuts. anyways, I'm sure it will get harder the longer we're together but also, he's my best friend in the entire world. we're each other's soul mates. so I can't give up on him. He was there for me at the worst time in my life, so I'll be here for him in his terrible times. I just want to encourage everyone here to keepby their spouse's side. they don't have to say it and it could hurt their ego or pride so much just understand, they are so grateful but also feeling like a burden. do your best to prevent them from feeling like a burden. that makes someone want to remove themselves completely. so keep on keepin' on, feel free to chat. most of all, have patience and try to bring the light from the end of the tunnel a little bit closer for your disabled and crippled and hurting lovers. care for them. they are injured.

I am very sorry you are going through this. You both are so young. Does he have a diagnosis with his back? The tight thigh muscles are usually something with spondylolisthesis. Yes marijuana helps but I worry about getting pills off the street because of criminal element and you can't trust those kind. Try and get him to another doctor and try to get him some counseling. Is he on anti depressants? My husband takes nothing. No opiates just Meloxicam once a day. I wish he would take something. If weed were legal I would try it for him.

I am in almost your same situation and it's making life so difficult when it should be a fun experience. Getting doctors to respond enough and having to resort ro buyinf off the street is eliminating any hope of a financial future.

Glad to have found this group! My wife has had chronic pain for our entire marriage. She is a very strong person and has worked through the pain for well over a decade. She doesnt give herself any down time, fearing that if she stops moving the pain will get worse. She has taken to drinking and has gotten very bad - accusatory, attacking, abusive. I want to be supportive and help her through all of this, but also need to protect myself and my health. It's been going on for more than a decade. I love my wife and want to be here for her but don't know how to cope. Any experiences you want to share will be most helpful!

Yes. Just joined this group. My wife has been in chronic pain since a botched knee replaceable surgery 2 1/2 years ago. Other painful problems. Difficult to find a way to support and wish we could talkl about something else (fortunately we do sometimes but her pain mostly)

Wow, I just stumbled upon this page, as I am looking for support. My husband suffers from AS (arthristis). It wasn't too bad (or at least I didn't think so) when we first started dating, it's been 5 years now, and it is worse now, and it isn't going to get better. I think maybe we are still in the begginning stages? He does not talk about his pain much, unless I pry, then he seems to get frustrated with me when I feel like I am only trying to understand... It is really hard to watch someone you love go through chronic pain. I think with my husband, he is struggling because he is still so young, and he WANTS to do things that his body is not allowing. I don't know what that does to his ego and pride... I understand it is a struggle. On the other hand, I have been feeling like I am crazy, or like I am a horrible mean and selfish person, that he is the one going through daily pain, and I'm feeling hurt, unappreciated and rejected.... sometimes I sleep in the other room because I don't want to distrub him, and honeslty, it hurts wanting to be intimate with him, and getting rejected. He says it is not personal, and that he thinks I am beautiful, but after awhile, it is hard to believe when you just don't feel it. I give credit to all these people on here who are sticking with the people they care about, even though it hurts us as well, emotionally. Someone mentioned balance, and that is what I am working on right now. Trying to make time for myself, and not feel guilty. I guess I am struggling with outside realtionships.... I don't want to become isolated, and I am trying to find friends that I can spend time with while NOT feeling guilty about going out. Iwork full time, and we have two young children. He is staying home with them and is an amazing Dad. Right now, it is more of a issue between him and I on a personal level as spouses... I just don't know what the right thing is. I feel bad when I work all week then come home and feel like I need a break! Very stressful and overwhelming. I am just trying to deal with all the guilt issues, and now the feelings of resentment. Sometimes I feel like, I didn't sign up for this! Then I remind myself, I did, through sickness and in health.... I try and remember that if roles were reversed, i'd want him to be with me, but on the other hand, I wouldn't want HIM to feel isolated and trapped. So, I guess my mantra for now is balance balance balance. Just trying to find a way to love and support him, but love and support myself as well! Good luck everybody.

i read ur post and it moved me to tears. im in the same situation. his pain is bad at times, we havent had a strong sex life. although, like u, i understand, but after a while, it wears u down. my husband still works full time. i feel unwanted. its about ruined our marriage. we didnt have sex on my wedding nite. all i could think was wow this is the memory ill remember forever. i love him and i feel so bad for having these feelings. i accused him of an affair. he never told me he was hurting that bad, we just stop having sex. by the time he told me the damage was done. i hope ur situation has improved and all is going good for you. thank you.

I sure hope you all have had time to talk things out! I know you have probably already know this but...reassuring him helps!
As time goes on, I see many of the people that are writing and feeling the same way.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning

I think you are doing and awesome job! I know how you feel (totally) what I have done is take up time for myself, meditating, reading, making dolls, Call someone
or I write my feelings out on paper!
I also kiss my husbands check often. I love him to pieces!
I work in a hospital, I have seen many situations. There is nothing like watching a husband dote over his wife...she may be very well be taking her last breath. With tears in his eyes his whispers.....I love you honey and I'll see you in the morning!
If he's not much for conversation, find a good time when he is up to talking to you!
God Bless!

Wow, I'm so glad I found this story, it's nice just to be able to hear from others in this situation too. My husband (who is only 22) has such constant and severe back and neck pain that at times he can barely move, and he walks with crutches now. It's been heartbreaking to see him go from an extremely athletic, active, fun loving airmen to this miserable shell in only ten months. He's lost 40 pounds from the pain and nausea and weighs less than I do now (160 pounds, and he's 6'6"). To top it off, on top of taking care of him and the house entirely by myself almost 24/7 I've just found out that I'm pregnant. I'm excited but it's also pretty terrifying for an 18 year old, especially one who's living on the opposite coast of all her friends and family (aka support network)! I will be hoping and praying for everyone else who's commented here and I hope we all find some way of coping.

Hi guys I am on same boat as all of you. My husbnd works but is in great deal of pain, from his back to this lower body is all in pain. He has been to many Doctors but unfortunately they all fail to conclude his treatment. He was grumpy but now he is more. We have a 10 year old son I am just worried about him. I have applied for a job to that I can spend some hours outside the house, but I failed to get one.
I cant cope any more with his temper and frustration. I have tried in many ways to comfort him.I just dont know how to deal with this situtation. I feel all my happiness has been sucked out of our lives, no family time, no husband wife romance.
Just praying God to answer our prayers.

I know the feeling trust me,it sucks bad,and women need romance

I understand and feel the same way...men too...

Yes we do! Mine has become a dull boy

I can relate to you. My husband sufferers from pain on a daily basis and has been for over a decade. His pain has progressed with every passing year. My husband's doctor basically told him he was "crazy" as did another doctor for a second opinion after running several tests. I applaud him for making it day by and I'm sad that there is very little I can do to help him. From the time he gets off of work he is stretching until he goes to bed. There are times where he misses several days of work and that takes a financial toll on us. I do my best to be supportive, but I do not always know what to say and do and sometimes I simply don't want to deal with it because it is simply overwhelming. While his chronic pain directly effects him physically, it too affects every aspect of our life together. Pain has taken away experiences we can have together; has taken away many aspirations; and has led to many sacrifices. I am in a position where I must find another job which in itself creates another barrier. With chronic pain, it seems there is no winning. I don't know how to cope with it in generally and most of all with the guilt I feel at times in wanting more in life. So far the only solace has been living day by day because to think of this situation in years to come is devastating.

1 More Response

My husband, too has debilitating back pain after 3 failed surgeries. He's only had a handful of "good days" since Christmas. We have 4 kids and I am just so worn out! This has been our life for so long. We've lost all of our friends, have no social life whatsoever. I am very sad and lonely and would love someone to talk to that understands.

I would love to talk to someone as well,and I do understand

We are also on the way towards losing our social life...i would be open to speaking.

I wish I could help on this. We have no social life except my job is my outlet

Hi, if you get this response, contact me and we can exchange email addresses. I live with the same scenario as you and it has been the hardest thing to live with. Take care.

wow this is a very depressing thread,i'm trying to think of something encouraging to say but i'm so down and need help myself.all 4 years of our marriage were about his pain,doctors 3 manor operations.i love my husband dearly but also have my own emotional pain to deal with as it seems all of you do to.since he's been on the narcotics the pain seems worse and we have no sex life,i lost my job and am wondering whats gonna happen to us .i think about suicide daily.he at least has ssdi coming in if he found a roommate he could survive without me ,this life is just too hard for me i feel like a total looser in life with nothing to ever look forward to except to work till i drop.i'm severely depressed.does anyone have any hope to offer?i feel so guilty for having these feelings it hurts to see my hubby in pain all the time.he was allot more fun to be with before the drugs,his pain seemed less too.but i doubt i'll ever see that man again.

I just stumbled upon your site and am so delighted to have found it. I have been thinking that I am an extraordinarily selfish woman. My husband is recovering from a 4th level fusion and is now 12 weeks post surgery. His pain seems to be getting worse and he is spending more time lying down. His mood is getting darker and it sees that all conversations no matter what the topic eventually include back pain. I am continually trying to encourage him and support him offering him positive ways of looking at things. I do not think he can understand how it feels to be in my shoes and how it feels to come home each day from work to the same gloom and doom. I feel so angry and frustrated and alone. On most days no matter what I do it's not the right thing. He needs me but on his terms. He has been suffering with back issues for 20 years but this most recent bout started last July. I am so frightened and scared about the future. I am hoping I can cope and stay emotionally stable. Spousal back pain is overwhelming. I am so happy to find that my feelings seem to be common amongst those of us caring for loved ones in chronic back pain

You sound like me. My husband "needs me" but I don't know what that means. We have two young children. I do all the caring for them (except for his good days, which are down to about 15% of the time now), and just don't have time to spend with him while he lies flat. That is his only relief when the pain is bad. He is upstairs in bed, alone, feeling resentful and I am downstairs, running the entire household feeling resentful. He mentions suicide and how I would be better off without him. I do not want him to leave, nor do I want to leave him. He is my best friend - well, the old him anyway. I just need helping coping and I don't have anyone who understands in my life.

I understand exactly how u feel...I am in the same spot...

In my opinion, it’s a hard decision and you are still there because you want to be near. So far there are 78 responses on this page and I just read all. I feel like I read about my life 78times; definitely a piece of the puzzle in each response. I too appreciate all who have shared their experience here because it is such a lonely life and unusual to find anyone who can relate to the passive-aggressive, dependent adult whose parents send Band-Aids and turn the other way. Makes me have to shield my resentment of this situation to all. My own family has always loved him but sees what it’s done to me and so they tell me to move on (I have to do everything by myself). We are reaching 20 years of chronic lower back pain marriage and have three teenagers, so I am all in starting from my wedding vow to this moment. (All the time feeling loneliness, terrified, overworked, depressed, confused, tirelessly engaging the kids to make up for the lack of the 2nd parent participation.) We’ve learned a lot about pain killer side effects which seemed to be worse than the pain sometimes leading to suicide desire, extreme depression, nausea, insomnia, etc. To remove the side effects, he’s tried supplementing with acupuncture and heat suction, med marij, different pain meds, antidepressants and sleep aides, yoga/walk/swim/bike, massage, stretching machine, all the various experts reviewing his MRIs. Mostly, he screams in pain whenever moving into different positions (sit/stand). Huge spinal clinics in So.Cal and other doctors in different states have told him that he is a poor candidate for surgical success. He has had twilight exploratories and it was concluded that his pain moves around and the precise nerve not found. I recently checked into oxygen therapy and came across ozone therapy. Hang in there everyone and, although difficult, put pride aside, don’t take it personally and keep trying to initiate the close relationship you want. (I agree with getting angry from him using so much time on the internet and not using it to be productive! But on the other hand, the pain is so overwhelming; sometimes he just needs to catch that break) I do miss him when he is the stranger in our house. I tell him that he is a “time traveler” because he misses so much…responsibility, kids daily deeds. I don’t think he gets it.

What about sex? If he is in too much pain to have sex like every man supposedly wants to, then is THAT perfect??

Hi! I'm not married but I live with my boyfriend and he suffers from chronic pelvic pain. I need support.

I dont know what to say....too busy crying. Went thru a horrible first marriagd have 2 great kids remarried three yrs ago..thot my husband was so much more. Since we married continual bavk pain. He has a hx of seizures. Had some of those..it has been hard. Had great sex life then it stopped...then it really stopped due to his bac. Cant rem last time. I have tried everything yo let him know i need to feel needed and nothing..he never talks about it..i bring it up in despetstion. Je says he will work on it and nothing. I feel hopeless. Should we b married?

Hi! My hub of nearly 10 years was diagnosed with a degenerative disorder and has painful peripheral neuropathy that is debilitating. I work full time and do 90% of the house work and support him the best I can, it is extremely difficult to have to watch him suffer and their is nothing I can do, I try to remain positive but sometimes it's next to impossible. I do not regret marrying him nor would I change it. Is what I am feeling normal? Am I doing enough? Too much?

Once you're doing all the rest of the work there's not much else you can do except take care of yourself. And tell them you're never leaving.

I am also the wife of a wonderful man who is constantly in pain. I'm looking for support from others in this situation. It's awful to watch the one you love in pain all of the time.

Hi I would love the opportunity to connect, I'm living with a spouse who is living with chronic pain, and it has changed our lives in so many ways.

My 23 year relationship is ending due to the effects of my husbands spinal chord injury/failed back surgery 8 years ago. I have been looking for support for years. Many of your stories could be my story, the paing that alters his personality, the dispair, the isolation, the guilt, depression and real medical problems from pain medication that just keeps him comfortable. Does a facebook page really exist? I could not find the one listed here.

I couldnt find the facebook page group?

If anyone is available to chat, I'm in the same situtation. Please contact me!!

well Im new to EP, but Im an pc survivor and we are (me & spouse) are goin thru what every body else are goin thru. diagnosed in 2003 , so we been thru a lot ,so we got other people in to our bedroom , mff & fmm . it really works for us not an everyday thing , once an year is was good ,respectfully bobby rmj1945@y/c

I am here is anybody else?

If you are still here, I am in the same boat! I would love to chat!!

I am new to this and just checking in. I am coming to realize that his is what I may be dealing with and it isn't fun. I have been wondering whey my husband has been so mean lately. He is a really nice guy, but I can tell (and he has told me) that he is in a lot of pain... back pain. I think I need some support here... so I may join your forum.

I am here

Hi there,<br />
I am engaged to a wonderful man who suffers with chronic pain. He had the condition when we started dating 4 and half years ago and it’s always been a part of our relationship. He had a girlfriend when the pain started and their relationship did not cut it because he told her everything and I guess it was too much. When he first told me that he holds back from truly expressing to me how he feels all the time, I was hurt that he didn't think I could take it. But he was right! Our relationship works because I sacrifice as little as possible. It is true that I work to support him financially and I do a great deal for him, but he in turn does everything he can for me. Recently he has become more "house bound" and he has very little interaction with anyone other than me. I have always been a very sociable person but I feel guilty for going out when it means he will be alone (again). Together we have come to terms with the fact that his condition is permanent and that it will most likely get worse over time. This has been hard for us both and some days are worse than others. As much as he tries not to share "too much" his body language is often cold, distant, and sometimes aggressive. It has taken me a long time to lean not to take it personally and to remember that we're on the same team and I do make his life better.<br />
I'll have a look on FB and see if I can find you guys :-)

It sounds like your fiancee is a strong person and loves you a lot to try to keep it from you... but HOW did you 'come to terms' with it? Isn't that like giving up? Aren't you angry that he isn't trying one more thing to get better?

Thanks for your reply! My now husband is defiantly a strong person; I think I would be crazy if I were in his place. Since I last posted things are looking a lot more hopeful…he has had a Spinal Cord Stimulator fitted and although he is still recovering from the opp, and the recovery is going to take a while, it is already looking like he will achieve the target of 40-50% pain reduction. I think it could be really life changing for him and for me by extension. In answer to your question I think perhaps it was me who had given up, probably because it’s easier than being hopeful only to be disappointed again. I am learning that there are always new things to try and although probably most will be unsuccessful there is always something else around the corner (sorry that is kinda cheesy).

Hi,<br />
Im about to marry a man with cp. but im already starting to feel like i have the world on my shoulders. I feel just like u all.......except im not married to him yet. If u could do it all again, knowing what u do, would u still have married ur spouse??

No. I thought that he was so strong that nothing could stop him, but chronic pain has leveled him (for my husband it's lung pain-- you can't do anything when you can't breathe). I am not learning anything from this experience. I would get out if I could.

Having a lousy day. It started 3 years ago my husband and I moved in with our in-laws (200 miles away) due to his unexpected illness that resulted in chronic pain. At this time, I was in college and traveled back and forth for the rest of the semester. After that I worked 1 full time job, 1 part time job and cleaned really nasty apartments on the side to save money to go back to school and make sure I had enough to cover insurance on him so that he would have health coverage and not fall into pre existing. In May, I graduated with a 4.0 (yay!), passed my board examinations, am moving back to the town we had to leave, and have a job waiting for me that will support us. I have waited for 3 years to flee my in-laws ba<x>sement and instead of being happy for the progress, I feel bitter. I am bitter that I am left to pack this ba<x>sement all by myself and I am bitter that my spouse is in too much pain to even go to Lowes to help pick out paint samples and I am bitter the chronic pain has sucked both of us dry. I was supposed to go to the pain doc appointment with my husband today, but I just did not have it in me to go through the fight (husband spent last weekend in the hospital secondary to complications from a facet injection this doc performed). Thankfully, my father-in-law went with him, but I still feel guilt about not being the "solid rock". To top it off last week my 16 year old kitty was diagnosed with bowl cancer (she is in pain and I am undecided whether or not to put her through the move) and this morning I discovered that a mouse has gotten into the house, specifically the cabinets under the kitchen sink, so all of my small appliances have icky feces on them. Like I said, I am having a lousy day. If any of you pray or believe in sending positive thoughts, I sure could use them right now.

Oh boy, I can totally relate to how you feel. My husband had a spinal cord ependimoma removed 5 years ago. It was like a spinal cord injury. That includes the chronic nerve pain, disability, medications, mood swings and the list goes on and on. He is very difficult as he was bipolar before this even happened. His 87 year old father moved in with us last month and he has dementia. So now, I have to take care of my husband, father in law, dogs, chickens, plants, pool, 2800 square foot house and oh, did I mention we own our own business?? Really? Am I just being weak or do I have a right to feel a bit overwhelmed. I really think that if my husband wasn't so miserable and was somewhat supportive, It might be a bit easier. I know he is in pain but I really don't even feel like he has anything left for me. He is either drugged, sleeping or miserable and in a bipolar episode. He scares all the shrinks away and flat out tells them he believes he is perfect. I find it difficult to remember what it feels like to have a normal relationship and be in love. Those days are long gone. I am stuck here for the rest of my life. I wont leave my father in law and I made a commitment to my husband. That said, does that mean I have to sacrifice my life and happiness for his?

Everything you do and every moment is a choice. Fewer plants? Someone to help with the business (intern for no money?) YOU ARE NOT WEAK but it's not the rest of your life, either. You can change your life (you just can't change your husband's pain).

The father of my new baby is in many types of pain due to serious injury and ehlers-danlos syndrome. He is 21 and my baby is 6 months. We have been on this road for about 3 years now and it's getting harder, and very frusterating. Since the baby was born I have been the one to put baby in and out of the crib, changing, playing, basically everything it takes to be a single parent. Dad gets to interact when he feels up to it. Dad also sleeps in until he feels like waking up. I did not expect him to get worse after the baby came. He is not on disability b/c none of the drs around here understand what he has and what he has done to his body over the last 21 years. So, I cannot recieve childcare assistance. He's ruined his joints and muscles. He's lost 120 lbs. Its' very hard to get him to eat....or even leave his room. I feel so alone, I feel like i'm better off living by myself because at least then I'd have one less to care about. It's hard to keep living.

Will be praying for you. Keep appealing the disability and get a lawyer.

It never really occured to me until I started reading everyones posts here, but WE are all in chronic pain too. No it is not the same physical pain that our spouses and partners suffer. But we are in chronic mental and emotional pain. It is incredibly painful to watch the person we love so much be in pain. It is horribly painful to watch our relationship crumble under the pressure and weight of our burdens. The guilt we suffer for being the "healthy" one. Being unable to "fix it" for them. <br />
We feel so selfish if we think about ourselves, but maybe we need to focus on our own chronic pain, and how to deal with it?

I completely agree.

You are absolutely right. My wife has been in great pain now for 5 years due to a botched back surgery.
I'm a "fixer" and I am extremely frustrated because I can't fix her.

YES YES YES. That's why I wanted to join a support group. How can we keep going as the healthy one without going insane?

I'm really not alone! My husband and I will be married 7 years this year. He was injured at work and had a fusion in 3 places. He officially has been diagnosed with failed back surgery syndrome and has a spinal cord stimulator in his back. Life just sucks sometimes. We have one child (partly because of his injury). And I'm the only one working. At one point I had 2 jobs, working 70}+ hours a week. I feel like I can't balance it all without neglecting something. I always feel like I'm failing somewhere. I don't feel like I'm a good wife. or Mom or friend. I look around my house and all I see is things that need to be done that I HAVEN'T done yet. All the while my best friend and soul mate lives in exscruciating pain. Every few months he goes through instances of dispare to where he wishes he wasn't alive. He has told me multiple times over the past few years that he doesn't know how much more he can take. That he feels like he is 80 years old. But that in the end he wouldn't hurt himself because of our son. He's on a cocktail of RX's that help make life "manageable". He doesn't misuse the meds, which I'm thankful for. But I worry about the long term affects. I would love to be a memeber of an active board, on facebook. I don't know if anyone has created a board for spouses but I could really use the support.

I created a FB group under the name "my loved one suffers from chronic pain" if anyone is interested in joining.

I couldn't find it :

I can totally relate to your story. I have been married for nearly 9 years. My husband has 5 discs fused and has had 4 back surgeries. All have failed. He has recently been diagnosed with CRPS/RSD. We have 2 young children. He has not been able to return to work since he was injured.

It is hard to even think about all of our " responsibilities" to keep our households going. It is single parenting, care taking, financial responsibilties, insurance company fighting, and zero emotional support!

Hee hee-- my husband says he won't actually kill himself because then we wouldn't get his life insurance!

I am not able to find your face book page, however it would be a great out reach.

2 More Responses

This sorta my story. Been married 13+years, have an eight yr old. Husb has chrinic back pain since before we met. Hes seen sev drs pain mngmt folks, goes to a chiro, practices yoga and takes meds when he can....he does nt like the pain meds, the ibupr doesnt cut it....so,he self medicates w alc and adm to being an alcoholic. He too when the pain is real bad suggests we just divorce as hell never be other thana disappointment. I dont want to be a pt mom so that does not seem like an option. I believe the pain is real but also feel the addiction to alc is worsening. He stays out late 2_3 timesper week...self medicating and when is home and ober he can e criticaland harsh..due to pain and not drinking. Part of me wants to say enough BUT then hes alone and I face sharing custody w hich is not a great option. I would love to hear from others for support and ideas

This sorta my story. Been married 13+years, have an eight yr old. Husb has chrinic back pain since before we met. Hes seen sev drs pain mngmt folks, goes to a chiro, practices yoga and takes meds when he can....he does nt like the pain meds, the ibupr doesnt cut it....so,he self medicates w alc and adm to being an alcoholic. He too when the pain is real bad suggests we just divorce as hell never be other thana disappointment. I dont want to be a pt mom so that does not seem like an option. I believe the pain is real but also feel the addiction to alc is worsening. He stays out late 2_3 timesper week...self medicating and when is home and ober he can e criticaland harsh..due to pain and not drinking. Part of me wants to say enough BUT then hes alone and I face sharing custody w hich is not a great option. I would love to hear from others for support and ideas

I am 33 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife for 10 years now and we have 3 great little kids. About a year and a half ago she was diagnosed with RA and after a few surgeries she has had such chronic pain in her elbow that she cannot do anything anymore. She is 30 years old and the last year has revolved completely around the pain. I quit my job to work from home and help out more, but I cannot do anything for her and just end up taking care of our children. She is impatient with the children and me, and cries most days and even in her sleep. I am not sure reading these posts have helped much since they only seem to show that it will not get any better, but somehow it still feels better knowing other people are going through this. Thank you for the posts.

I just have to say thank you for all the posts in this forum. I am engaged to someone who has chronic pain not only from failed low back surgery and neuropathy but also severe fibromyalgia, and she has been having new pain in her side that we aren't completely sure what from. To add to the problems I just lost my job, and as badly as I wanted/needed another I was having trouble finding one, but also felt torn about leaving her home alone due to the added pain she is experiencing. We have been having relationship problems as well as individual issues, and the stress is only making it worse. I want so badly to help her and i try in every way that I can, but I know that I can only do so much and it becomes very discouraging. So I get this job offer with a family member, but it was out if state and will last for about a month, and with the stress as high as its been i decide that we could use the time apart to deal with personal issues as well as the money, but I was faced with opposition and she even tried to hurt me so badly that I'd never want to come back. So for the next couple days we fought even more. I left 3 days ago for the job and it almost/ may still cost us our relationship, but this opportunity was an excellent opportunity that would afford us the money that we have been needing so desperately as well as give us the space to deal with our demons in hopes of restoring our relationship. I don't completely understand chronic pain because I haven't ever experienced it, but i see the way it affects her mood and i catch the brunt of it being I was the only one around. Usually I can handle it and just turn the other cheek, but lately my fuse has been unusually short and I've been snapping back. I love her so much and I wish i could take it all away, but I accept that i can't and just continue with what I CAN do for her; and when she gets snappy I just remind myself that i would be ten times worse in her shoes and try to take it with a grain of salt, because I know that when she is feeling well it tends not to go that way, and as her soulmate i can see her love through the pain and the snappiness, but it still hurts sometimes. If anyone has any pointers I would love a reply, as I am trying so hard to strengthen this relationship but also find myself becoming more and more easily overwhelmed.

My husband and I were married in November. He has chronic pain and goes to the VA, which is awful. He tries hard to be "normal." Our sex life is usually good and fairly frequent- it's better for me than for him (pain med side effects). I believe he loves me. When he's in pain that is worse than normal, he withdraws. Other than yes/no conversations, he hasn't spoken to me in 3 days. I'm furious and hurt.

My husband and I are 27 years old and have been married for 4 years. My husband has chronic back pain due to an injury from football while in high school. He is a high achiever graduated Valedictorian in his class and graduated from aTm. He then graduated from PA school all enduring chronic pain. I am a middle school teacher; therefore, we both work. About a year ago we started praying together every morning which has strengthened our marriage even when things get tough due to the pain. My husband is also on pain meds, ices his back daily and suffers from extreme back spasms. Don't give up hope in encouraging your life partner. You never know the many lives you are touching because of your testimony and the love that you are giving to your partner can provide great strength. I too get very discouraged and am fearful of what life may look like several years from now as his back pain is only continually worsening. My hope is knowing how thankful I am everyday for my health and that I have a great purpose on earth to be the joy that he doesn't always feel. There is no greater love than to lay your life down for a friend. It is important also to take time away for yourself to experience joy in the midst of sorrow. Pray for wisdom, strength, and encouragement.

I recently got married and realized that this is tougher than I thought it would be. Sometimes I feel tired. How do you all cope with this. As much as I want to be there for him, I also want to preserve myself.

Hi, Me and my husband have been together for 26 years, we have 3 grown children and out of those years, my husband has been having chronic pain for about 6 years now. I feel your pain. My husband has been throught most of the same thing as people that have chronic pain, mri, scan, specialist after specialist, pain medication, depression..etc...he's even tried to commit suicide because of the pain...right now is not working, he sleeps for sometime 3 to 4 days in a row ...in a few months they will try a surgery, and I sometimes think, what am I gonna do if it doesnt work? I understand what everyone says when they say they feel alone....I also want the husband i had when we got married, the one that use to do the work around the house ( that i do now), that used to love fishing, use to love sports...and now from.the time that i wake up in the morning to the time that i'm able to go to sleep,.I'm worried about him, worried about money because we're struggling, worried about our futur...as I'm writing this i'm crying cause i never let my emotions show, because i'm suppose to be the strong one right now...how long can I be strong?

I understand, my husband and I have been married 13 years. He has been injured for 3. He suffers from chronic back pain and a head injury. He falls down and causes more injury and sometimes I just can't feel anymore sympathy. The first couple years of his injury he was full of rage. Now he is depressed and anxious. I have two young daughters and often try so hard to keep up a 'normal' life.
I am sorry for your pain. I know it is sometimes impossible to be the one to hold it all together. I hope you have some emotional support or have time to do something nice for yourself. Hang in there!

I can’t believe I found this website. I new there had to be other people in the same boat as I am. <br />
<br />
My husband & I have been married for a little over 25 years. Most of the marriage has been with him being sick. First it was his sinuses (chronic sinusitis). He was on narcotics for the pain on of the headaches & such (his pain was so bad he would get-the only way to compare it to is a seizure). From being on the pain meds he hurt his back at work. From there it went down hill. He went in to have a surgery done (this was in the late ‘90’s), to repair his lower back. The doctor nicked his nerve. Our lives-my husband, I, and our two children-have been a living hell. I basically lost my husband-can’t do anything really any more, and our children lost their dad-couldn’t do hardly any thing with them.<br />
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My husband finally got on disability after two years of fighting the government that was in 2002. Things haven’t gotten any better. As of-to-date, my husband has had 7 back surgeries-2 were to install & remove a nerve stimulator that was worthless. He goes to a pain management doctor and all he does is increase the pain medication. He has gone to numerous doctors where we live with no help. He even went to a completely different pain management doctor thinking he would get some different advice-try the nerve burning-read up on that & the negatives out weighed the positives. <br />
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I don’t know what to do any more. Two doctors have suggested a neuro-psychologist and he won’t go. I went to a counselor & he went once & all he did was ??? about it for months. The counselor brought up some points with him, which he didn’t like. I really don’t know what to do any more. He won’t help himself. He told me the other day that he is going to work on finding a doctor-been there & heard that before. I’m not going to be a nagging wife. He is home all day long. What I don’t get is how he can spend hours surfing the internet, yet he can’t find a doctor to help him. He found a really good one up in Seattle but he moved back east. The doctor will see him, but we don’t have the funds to go back east. I suggested getting hold of him & seeing if he can recommend someone in the Northwest area. Hasn’t done it.<br />
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We can’t have a conversation without him complaining to me about his back or the pain. I’ve told him I don’t want to hear about it any more. It’s not that I don’t care=but there is nothing I can do about it. All it does is make me depressed. That is what I get frustrated about. He gets me so depressed at times. He thinks only of himself. I had gall bladder surgery a few years ago. Few months after the surgery, I asked him what his “problem” was. He wasn’t feeling good & didn’t want to take care of me. His son will call him & tell him he is sick. He tunes him out-he doesn’t want to hear about it. ANYONE who gets sick, he doesn’t want to hear about it. If you tell him you cut your finger, he “one ups” you. I never thought when I got married, my marriage would be one sided. <br />
<br />
Does anyone have advice or “been there done that” advice?

Something you wrote really resonated with me:

"We can’t have a conversation without him complaining to me about his back or the pain."

It's the same at my house. I know it is constantly at the top of his mind but I selfishly don't want to hear about it all the time, every day. Each time I ask about his day I get to hear all about how much his back hurts and how miserable he is. I get it, I know he is in constant pain, it's not fair and it sucks. I know this is wrong, but I fantasize that one day when he asks how I am I'll give him the true answer that my day/days have sucked much like his have since the onset of his chronic pain.

I don't know if this happens to you- but often I get embarrassed when he goes into deep detail about his pain and meds when a friend or acquaintance asks an innocuous question like, "how are you doing today?" It's like he forgot that society wants the answer to that to always be fine, unless you know the person really well. I don't think he notices when people get super uncomfortable during his stories of nerve burns and pain Dr visits. I'm not saying hide it, just talk about it in an appropriate venue.

I am happy to see I am not the only one who is in this situation, although I am so sorry everyone who feels a need to look at this group- folks who are suffering in pain and impacted family members. For the husbands and wives off chronic pain sufferes, I believe we all understand our spouse has it worse than we do, but for me it is so hard to be young(ish), healthy, and have needs my husband cannot engage in.<br />
<br />
I have been married for 8 years and we have a 4 year old. My husband’s pain began shortly after our son was born. It kills me that our boy will never know the fun loving active man I fell in love with. I often flirt with the idea of leaving because he can be so mean when his pain flares up. Couple his anger with our lack of intimacy and often I feel like an unfortunate roommate. When leaving enters my mind I always remember a portion of the vows we took- ‘in sickness and in health’. I am not a religious person so I am not staying because of god, I am staying simply because I made a promise to an awesome person I love with all my heart.<br />
<br />
Despite all of the love I have my husband, I am miserable. On top of a sexless marriage my husband is now quick to anger, reclusive, and depressed. Often he does too much because it depresses him to not be able to do things for himself. The result is always pain, accompanied by anger, punctuated with him lashing out at me and our son. Every time this happens it devastates me and our son.<br />
<br />
So the question to my peers in this group is when is enough enough? At what point do I put my son and my happiness above that of my husband? I know the pain is not his fault but I feel the way he is handling it is within his control. I always try to put myself in his shoes, wondering how collected I would be in chronic pain and realizing how much I’d need his support. This is where my philosophical analysis hits a stopping point- there seems to be two right and two wrong answers at all times.<br />
<br />
As an aside- before anyone suggests counseling, we have done it, he was told to ease off and let me do stuff for him. He's a southern gentleman and hasn't been able to take that advice 100% He still works full time, makes dinner a few nights a week (I am a horrid cook), and does stuff around the house. In short- he is trying to keep things "normal" but his efforts to do the right thing lead to poor behavior due to the pain these activities cause.

Wow, a group of people just like me, how cool! I knew I wasn't alone but it feels great to have it confirmed. Misery loves company. Short version, husband had tumor inside of his spinal cord. Removed and so far no cancer. Of course, they had to slice through his spinal cord to get to it. Now we just deal with chronic pain, medication upon medication, nerve pain etc. He has no feeling in his legs but can walk and is really luckier than most that have gone through this. He is miserable most of the time. He is also bipolar. There is no rest for me. He is either really high or low. There really doesn't seem to be any happy times anymore. Seems like we have grown so far apart. I know he can't help being depressed and miserable but what about Me! I am the one who took care of him and is still taking care of him. Sometimes I really thinks he hates me. He is verbally abusive and critical of everything I do. I really don't think I can make him happy. We have been married for 21 years and he has been sick for the last 4 years. I miss him.

Weldome to the ship of miserable souls! I too miss my husband dearly. Although these days I feel like I am the one who's bipolar and miserable...going on 3 years with this misery and we have 1 good day to 2-3 bad days. the good days give me hope. The bad days begs me to ask how much longer? I feel like I am 33 going on 100. I don't have any answers for you or anyone but this sure is a good place to vent to people who understand, people who aren't living this don't have a clue how it feels.

My husband was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy about two years. It is the worst case his doctor has ever seen. He has tried every pain med there is and had no relief. He finally got a pain pump put surgically in his abdomen. We thought that this would be the answer, but it only controls a small amount of the pain. He has become controlling, mean and rude to me and our five children. I think that he is trying to control the things he can because he has no control over his pain. He hasn't worked for almost two years. Living on disability and my part time job just isn't enough. I have tried to find a full time job with benefits and been unsuccessful. Needless to say we are in trouble financially. We almost never have sex anymore. Partly because of his illness and partly because of my feelings toward him when he is rude and controlling. I feel like this illness has destroyed our marriage. I just want things to be the way they used to be. I don't know how to deal with this.

I am so glad i stumbled across this I thought I was alone but it sure looks like I'm not. My husband has bad back and after latest surgery in constant pain. I feel like we are roommates as well and not good ones at times. I hate the low sex life - barely exists - maybe 1-2 month if lucky. I no longer initiate as the fear of rejection is too much - been turned down too many times. I hate the effects of long term pain killer use - he is not abusing them but the side affects are still there. Hazy memory, barely in the coversation. I have never felt so alone. Most of our friends have disapearred. I dont think they could handle his constant pain, his personality change and my attitude change. He is a different person and I too am changing and I do not like the new me. I am jealous of happy couples, people doing things with their lives. I am stuck in a rut and at age 33 feel too young for this sometimes. I love him that's why I'm still with him. But sometimes I selfishly feel what about me - what about my needs? My needs to go out, see the world. To feel sexy and wanted. I don't like this life but have no idea how to change it. I hate going out alone, I call it going out as single but without the benefits. I just want to scream til I have no voice and cr til my body is dry.

I feel the same as most of the posts on this thread.
Guilt - it's my wife in severe constant pain not me. I feel selfish for wanting a normal life.
Inadequate - being a man I want to fix her, relieve her pain. I know I can't possibly relieve her pain but I still feel inadequate.
Loneliness - it seems the only thing we can talk about is the next doctor visit or the newest pain etc. We haven't had sex in four years.
Our stories are amazingly similar. It does help to know that I am not the only person going through this.

I'm turning 48 next week. I've been married 28 years but the past 8 or so we have been like roommates. Actually, he's like the 3rd child because of wht the meds have done to him. I feel like such a loser because I want a whole life while he suffers all this pain. How can I be so selfidh to think about my needs and wants and hopes and dreams. There is nothing between us a couple anymore. Forget sex. He doesn't want it and I don't want to be with someone who's just going thru the motions knowing he doesn't want to. I am vital and ready to live as a woman again now that the kids are grown. But I'm held back because it wasn't his fault this life happened to him

I have to agree and it SUCKS! I feel so selfish for wanting to do simple things like take a walk in the park or just drive around no destination. He says to do with out him - and thats not what I want. I want the man I met 14 years ago. I feel the guilt, its like having survivors guilt. We have our good days just few and far between. And after him being on painkillers for over 2 years his personality is so different, his memory sucks and his temper short. Makes me feel like I'm going insane. It sucks that we are all in the same boat but I feel less crazy knowing I can vent where people understand. Has anyone lost friends because of this? Many so-called firends just aren't around anymore and I feel like I'm punished for something I didn't do.

I haven't lost friends, but "we" have. I don't talk about it with my friends. I don't talk about it with anyone because unless you've lived it you can't understand. We live separate lives. I take care of everything at home, which is fine, but I miss companionship. Everyone always asks how he is doing, but no one ever asks how the kids or me are doing. Some days I'm so angry and frustrated that it takes all of my self control not to snap at him. I'm rambling because if you live it you understand.

And I completely understand. I miss my husband as a friend he was the main person in my life that I did stuff with. Him not going anywhere or doing anythin has put a huge hole in my life. the problem with friends is that they were "opur" friends all of us were just one big group and it seems like i should now try to find a friend for myself and I am lousy at that! Time will only tell I guess.

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There is a lot of alternative treatments (acupuncture, yoga on DVD and nutrition) for fibromayalgia. Maybe your wife can try to feel better and help out. Otherwise, she will only get worse. Good luck.

I am glad I found this thread b/c there really is no one who understands except for those living it. My husband has had chronic kidney/prostate pain for the last 4.5yrs of our 5yr marriage. I get SO frustrated with him b/c he just runs to the hospital as soon as he feels any pain b/c his anxiety gets the best of him and he imagines it to be worse than it is. He's been to TONS of doctors, but no one can find anything wrong except uric acid crystals. He on a boatload of pain meds that he is definitely addicted to, but flips out if I dare say that. This pain and addiction has gone from being a part of his life to consuming his life and I don't think I can take much more. I'm only 33, have 2 kids (3yr and 3mos) and he has no problem leaving me alone with the kids to go into the hospital for 3-5days at a time, about every 3 weeks...including the week I came home from the hospital with the baby. I had just had a C-section and could barely walk, but he's so consumed with his own needs he went anyway. I am looking for divorce lawyers in my area now but we are so broke b/c when he takes off work, he doesn't get paid. I got laid off almost 2yrs ago and have been looking for a new job and want to go back to work, but don't trust him to take care of the kids alone and can't afford daycare. It's so hard to feel sympathy for someone when they don't want to help themselves. I think it's the addiction that makes him not want to do anything, but the nephrologist gave him a diet to follow and he refuses to. I had to dramatically alter my diet due to my baby having a milk protein allergy and just did it. I can't understand why he won't do something simple that might relieve his pain?? He has an appointment with a therapist tomorrow and I'm hopeful she will help, but not too hopeful. He truly is a great husband and father when he's "clicked on," it's just the amount of time that he is "clicked off" that I can't handle anymore. He told me today that he "loved every second that I was in labor" b/c he enjoyed seeing me in pain since I've been so unsympathetic towards him. I'm at the end of my rope, but don't have any family or friends that can help me out to leave him. I hate the idea of breaking up my family and hurting my kids so secretly hope he will OD on his pain meds so I don't have to make the choice. Then I feel like an awful human being. I just want a husband I can rely on, not depend on, just rely on when I need him. And I'm rapidly losing hope that he will ever be that man again. Thanks for letting me vent :) If anyone cares to email, let me know. Thanks

I know your feelings...I feel them on an hourly basis. I go from hopeful to a crashing bottom multiple times a day. The weight is such a catch 22. You know the weight contributes to the pain but how do you lose weight when walking across the room causes you extreme pain or sneezing causes you to lose control of your leg? I too would like to find others who are in this situation to chat with. I don't want to get a divorce but can't continue to be so sad and lost

My husband and I have been married almost 18 years. Eight years ago he had an accident on the job. He has been in chronic, progressive pain since that time. He has also put on a tremendous amount of weight. His depression has worsened despite anti-depressants and therapy. I have tried to be sympathetic, encouraging, loving and just find myself running out of energy. Despite my best efforts I have lost my focus and have moved into the area of anger, frustration and depression. I am so tired of explaining to friends and family. I am tired of being patient and yet feel guilty for not being patient. I am tired of being sympathetic but feel guilty for that. At what point do you say I've done everything I can do. I feel guilty for wanting to take our children and leave..after all he isn't working and isn't able to do so. At what point am I allowed to be happy?

Wow. I thought I was the only person who felt like this! <br />
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Our story is similar to many of the previous posts. My husband of 20yrs. suffers chronic pain due to peripheral nerve tumors. He is on too many medications and narcotics which seem to only take the edge off. The pain management doctor says that there just isn't anything else he can do to help relieve his pain. He is super depressed all the time. He forgets so much that he looses time and sometimes I feel like I'm loosing my mind. He doesn't remember conversations about important topics so accuses me of being dishonest until I prove to him what he said. He has false memories sometimes, those are the scariest. He is irritable all the time so everyone in the house walks on eggshells around him. I'll admit that I placate him just because I don't want to upset him. <br />
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I hate to see my husband in such pain. His quality of life is quite low I think. I know that if it were me I couldn't handle it. He says all the time that he doesn't want to be a burden and asks me if I think that he should just end his own suffering. I honestly don't know how to answer him. How do you tell the person you love that if it were you you'd check out? I just avoid the question all together. I guess that I resigned myself to the fact that he'll die by accidental overdose eventually. With everything that he is on I think it is inevitable, unfortunately. Part of me hopes that it happens before he gets worse, part of me selfishly wants him to just tough it out.<br />
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I love my husband but we don't really have a husband and wife relationship anymore. I can't say anything to him about anything because his hazy mind grabs bits and pieces and concocts wild theories. His libido is nonexistent and I really feel unloved and unappreciated, but I could never tell him for the fear of what he might do or think. I feel so guilty about everything that I'm feeling!

I'm 26 years old married for just over a year with my wonderful wife that i love and adore, and i got into the marriage knowing that she had chronic pain, and is 20 years older then me. Also i moved from the UK to the US to be with her. I guess i sound like a troll making stuff up now but its true. I say i knew what i was signing up for but in reality... i really had no idea. We have no children and can never actually have any which is probably for the best but i feel like i've screwed myself out of something... she has 3 grown up children of her own and grandkids. I tell her its something i'm learning to deal with but i think its the other way round, it eats at me more and more. Her pain completely kills our social life, she barely moves during the day, spending 90% in bed (mostly awake she doesn't get alot of sleep) and im unemployed because i still have no work visa. So we spend pretty much the entire day every day, together. people have told us they are surprised we haven't killed each other yet. Its so hard to talk to her about how i feel, i miss my country, and now i want to go back there and take her with me, i left my entire life behind, family, friends, a job i actually enjoyed for the first time in my life, everything. On days when her pain is worse she apologises in advance for snapping at me for minor things. yesterday i moved a pillow away from my laptops vent because i was worried about overheating and it turned into a huge row. I know i am not paitient enough, on normal days she is the sweetest thing, i love her so much. on bad days, she no paitience, no tolerance at all. she will bark and i'm not supposed to get frustrated or angry or snap back. Its so hard, i don't know what is wrong with me but i just can't help it, i feel like i'm being blamed for everything, and i know its just the pain talking but i just never seem to remember it at the time. its tearing us apart. today she announced shes going to sleep all day instead of fighting with me. I feel blamed again, i feel like a monster she has to sleep to avoid ; ; I just don't know what to do anymore. I find myself imagining i can back in time and end our relationship while i was still in england, before it would destroy us both. It makes me feel so selfish, am i only here because I feel so guilty about hurting us both? I just don't know what to do, i feel helpless and yet unbelievably selfish and evil and guilty. She has a had a life that has been so cruel to her, her father raped her as a child, her first husband and father of 3 children decided he was gay and eventually died of aids. and yet i'm just feeling more selfish, because i feel so horribly bad for her, but i don't know if i can be her one good thing, and i'm not even sure i am a good thing.

Wow. A lot of what's on here sounds very familiar. <br />
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My wife had chronic pain (fibromyalgia) and something new seems to go wrong with her body every month or two. We have a beautiful 18 month old and many days I feel like a single parent. <br />
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My work for the past few years has been freelance, so not only do we deal with the stress of me having to look for new projects constantly; and starting up 4-5 new jobs a year, the stress of keeping up (or not) with medical costs since I have to cover it all by myself, is pretty staggering.<br />
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She can't work, and on any given day is only awake from maybe 10:30am - 3pm, then out from 3-6pm, up from 6-8 or so, then out for the night. And then she complains that we don't have the intimacy and communication of other couples. Seriously? What does she expect when we get maybe 15 minutes a day of time to speak while she's coherent and awake, and not helping with our toddler during those brief 6-7 or hours a day she's awake. <br />
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I take care of pretty much all the household work in addition to trying to keep the household afloat financially. I can't even remember the last time she washed a dish. And to top it off, I get comments like "Why don't we have someone cooking and dropping off meals for us?" Or "can we get a maid?" Or "I need a nanny." We live in an apartment, and as mentioned, finances are always a struggle for us - so what's the point of making these comments other than to make me feel like I'm not doing enough? <br />
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As for physical intimacy? Ha. She complains about us not having enough of it but she's in bed and asleep either before, or immediately after our toddler is in bed. So when exactly am I supposed to be the romantic intimate partner??? It's very disheartening, and I've pretty much given up on that. <br />
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And even though my work comes and goes, I would hope it not unreasonable to maybe be grateful for the extra time I'm home to take care of our little one, and spend with her playing, learning, hugging, changing and feeding etc - but again, that's not what I get from her. Once in a while, I will get a "thanks for doing the dishes," but in my book, gratitude is an attitude, not a statement. <br />
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I feel like I just have to accept that this is the way it will always be, and on the off chance I get a great long-term job, maybe I can get her the nanny and meals and maid, then at least one of us will have our "needs" met; while I feel doomed to just... well, I guess this is what I signed up for. <br />
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I just didn't know it would be this thankless and lonely.<br />
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Anyone who has constructive (preferably non-church ba<x>sed. I grew up there, not a big fan...) advice on how I can better handle/cope with... much appreciated.

For me, maintaing connections and activities outside the house has helped my outlook a lot. I sleep in a different room because spouse has the tv on ALL the time and it disrupts my sleep. Intimacy is a long distant thing of the past, as well as conversation or any physical contact. Chronic pain patients seem to have their focus narrow until it's just about them and their pain, all the time. I found it helpful to be out, doing things outside, spending time with my kids (older ones). Can you take your little one to the park, playdates with other people, or something when you aren't working to support everyone? Sounds to me like you are doing a fabulous job in a difficult situation, and hope you will hang in there. Hugs to you. A website I've found helpful is wellspouse.org. There are a number of support groups, and the site is totally geared toward the well spouse, and sharing all the "stuff" that goes along with it.

I was wondering how to find help with my situation. It is a bit different. I am a single woman, dating a guy. As we were dating, everything seemed to be going so great, we decided to live together. The first day in our new place, he told me he had chronic pain (he says it is getting worse every year, kidney disease). I know this should have been revealed to me earlier, before we had committed to each other. Now, he is a totally different person...somedays.. then other days he's close to the person I dated. He deals with the pain by "ignoring" it, so he doesn't want to talk about it, or even let me know when he has a good day or bad day. He is depressed often, hiding out in a room, watching HOURS of re-runs and old movies, in odd moods, silent, spending days in a dark room. He even changes the way he speaks, focusing on minor details until they are beaten and analyzed to death, speaks in circles. It's frustrating. He has lost his job, and now doesn't even work at all. I believe he is living off his savings, which has to run out. Then what? Do I pick up the tab? He says these are the tools he uses to cope. I wish I had tools to cope. This was thrown at me and I'm clearly not prepared to deal with it. I'm irritable, frustrated, feeling lack of power. And the guilt is tremendous. We aren't married. We are only 6 months into living together. He says that because he now has love, his life is worth living. How could I leave him, or break up? I feel coersed into being in this relationship, now I feel stuck. He in NO WAY showed his chronic pain while dating. Argh. I am looking for ways to deal with this, such that I can enjoy the person I dated. Sometimes I think my stress of not knowing how to communicate with him is making his pain worse. Maybe he would be better off without me. Any suggestions?

Get out while you still can! I've been living this life for years, and it only gets worse.

He manipulated you, dont feel guilty leaving.

Take care of you and get out now. The situation will only worsen as you both get older. I know this sounds harsh and you may feel guilty, but you have one life to live, go live. The flip side is nothing in life is guaranteed. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Hi - I feel similar to some of the other posts here. My husband has suffered from chronic pain for about six years now, is disabled, and takes narcotics (which don't seem to help all that much). I'm pretty sure he is addicted to them at this point, and as a result will not take steps to improve his health so that maybe he could reduce his dosage or even get off of them altogether. I am so frustrated - I am responsible for absolutely everything, I work two jobs to support our family. I feel like he is just a roommate at this point. Our sex life is nonexistant and we do nothing as a couple. He sleeps a lot or lays around. I know that he is in pain and it's not his fault, but I'm tired of feeling alone all the time. I see my friends going out with their husbands or even just spending time with them, and I don't have that - at this point, I don't see anything ever changing, and I'm not ready to go through the rest of my life like this.

Hi there I am not sure if you will get this or not...I have the same exact issues as you. My husband has had chronic pain for 7 years now. Our sex life is non existant and I am terribly lonely also. I am very frustrtated and I watch all of my friends go out and do things also. My husband does work....but he has no interest in me anymore and no cuddling, no ....nothing. If you get this....please reply.

My wife has chronic pain for over five years. I am at the end of the rope. It has destroyed out marriage. We have missed so many social events. We hardly do anything and our sex life is non existent. I know that I am not handeling it well. But the pain consumes our relationship. I am so frustrated.

I totally understand. When the world was supposed to come to an end last month, I was wishing I could just have sex again one more time before I die. It's been 4 years, and there is no physical contact in my life. Married but functionally single is no way to live. I have discovered that going out and trying to build a solitary life and sleeping in a different room has helped my outlook quite a bit. Hang in there, you are not alone, and yes, this life does suck.

It amazes me that there are only 4 posts from spouses with chronic pain when there are so many of us out there - so many view and don't comment. The guilt is powerful. The spouse is the one suffering and somehow it feels like the pain of 'the other' is less valid. But we all know that it isn't. We did not sign up for this and there are bad days for us to but we hate to whine. At least we are not in physical pain. I am thankful that I am very healthy. But I am incredibly lonely - I noted one post with the name lonely girl and it felt like me. My husband and I have been married for 27 years. His pain has all but destroyed our relationship. I am committed to him but might be committed because of him. LOL. He cannot eat, drink, stay awake, take a walk, do anything physical, and is other worldly often. We have 3 children who are old enough to notice it all. Very awkward at times. My dilemma is that I feel so alone and like my marriage is over but I have retained all of the responsibility without the power to do what I want to do. He wants me home with him but he doesn't speak for hours at a time and sometimes I feel like a chattering fool. Sometimes I just put on music and get into my own head. I am rambling. I read the posts and I know that there are others who are in my place. It is comfort; cold comfort but comfort none the less. I am not sure that I can help anyone. I feel like a basket case myself and I try to hide it (exhausting!), but I will read/listen and I would appreciate the same. The pain that we feel counts. It should be relieved as much as physical pain should be relieved. We need a break from time to time. This is a hard time.

It amazes me that there are only 4 posts from spouses with chronic pain when there are so many of us out there - so many view and don't comment. The guilt is powerful. The spouse is the one suffering and somehow it feels like the pain of 'the other' is less valid. But we all know that it isn't. We did not sign up for this and there are bad days for us to but we hate to whine. At least we are not in physical pain. I am thankful that I am very healthy. But I am incredibly lonely - I noted one post with the name lonely girl and it felt like me. My husband and I have been married for 27 years. His pain has all but destroyed our relationship. I am committed to him but might be committed because of him. LOL. He cannot eat, drink, stay awake, take a walk, do anything physical, and is other worldly often. We have 3 children who are old enough to notice it all. Very awkward at times. My dilemma is that I feel so alone and like my marriage is over but I have retained all of the responsibility without the power to do what I want to do. He wants me home with him but he doesn't speak for hours at a time and sometimes I feel like a chattering fool. Sometimes I just put on music and get into my own head. I am rambling. I read the posts and I know that there are others who are in my place. It is comfort; cold comfort but comfort none the less. I am not sure that I can help anyone. I feel like a basket case myself and I try to hide it (exhausting!), but I will read/listen and I would appreciate the same. The pain that we feel counts. It should be relieved as much as physical pain should be relieved. We need a break from time to time. This is a hard time.

I just found your post and this site, and it feels like a breath of fresh air. You clearly outlined all of my exact same feelings and situation. I consider myself "married but functionally single", my relationship with my spouse no longer exists, he wants me in the room but won't make eye contact or interact, yet says he feels "alone and uncared for" even if I've been here all day and brought him food, meds, etc. Arrgh. I love your line about you are committed but might be committed. Good one.

Wow - I could have written this post. My husband doesn't talk to me; criticizes when he does, and then blames it all on "the way he feels." He says if I knew how to help him, he would feel better. When I ask how, he says I should just know. We've been married seven years, and I feel so alone.

I just found this site. Are you still in the same position as in January? Your story sounds so much like mine. There is no one in my life that can relate to this and I would love to talk to someone else who lives this. I've been married 28 years with 2 nearly grown kids. Chronic pain began long ago but really took over about 8 years ago. He's not the same at all due to pain and meds. I'm so frustrated.

Hi Lisa,<br />
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Sorry it has taken me a bit to reply but just wanted to let you know im here. Ive found some support on another website called DailyStrength.com ive joined a group called Chronic Pain but its mainly for the people that actually have pain but ive gone ahead and posted some topics about my situation and how it also affects the person on the other end. You might find it helpful there too.

I can relate. Things were going good for my husband and I up until about 2 years ago. We were very active in our church. We have 2 beautiful little girls. My husband has had many surgeries, but they have not taken the pain away. I work to support our family, because he can't work. I have a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders, and I don't always handle them well. I have noticed there is not a lot of support out there for people who suffer with chronic pain and their spouses. It can be so difficult sometimes. I hope to hear back from you.<br />

Hi lisa, I know exactly what you are going through. My husband and I were so happy before his back injury and and now it seems like we fight all the time. Let me know if you want to talk about it with someone.


I have so say reading your post gave me chills. I felt as though I was reading my own story. My husband also suffers from CP. I too amd the soul bread winner in the family. I am sad we are all expeirencing this, however I'm comforted now knowing that we're not alone.

I would LOVE to talk to someone that is going through what I am. My husband has spinal cord nerve damage pain. We had the PERFECT life up until 2 years ago, now it sucks! Leave a reply and maybe we can swap e-mail and help each other. Thanks!

My name is Sharon Mitri and I am suffering too. I would love to connect to women who understand what I'm going through. Happy to exchange facebook messages, whatever.

Sharon what is your Facebook name. I see two Sharon Mitri's.

My husband has spinal cord damage from a stroke. Leading to lots of daily pain, lots of weight gain and despite he trying to look act normal he's not and I do feel selfish for saying I am not happy... You ladies still exchanging messages.

I am a wife of a husband who suffers from chronic pain. I was just searching the Internet and I found this site. I know how hard it can be.

My name is sharon mitri and I am suffering too. I would love to connect to people who understand what I'm going through. Happy to exchange facebook messages, whatever.

Hi Sharon
If your interested shoot me an email. I am looking for "friends" who can relate, my email is my user name above @hotmail.com