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Frustrated

My husband's chronic pain started 6 months into our marriage.

April marks our 5 yr anniversary.

His coping skills are better now than they were in the first few years, and so are mine.

But still--some days, his body hates him so much more than others, and he can't help but project.

I know it's not intentional; I understand that he is in discomfort, which makes it easier to get upset over little things, and make mountains out of mole hills.

I try to be as understanding as I can...but sometimes...it's so difficult and I'm so tired.

The kicker--when your partner is ill-natured because of his discomfort, you can't just leave him. It's not like he's an abusive addict that I need to get away from.

If anything, I become the monster, for abandoning someone who is already hurting so much.

So i refocus my energies; stay really active outside of the home, and do my best to take care of myself.

The lack of intimacy is really wearing on me. I didn't ever expect to end up in what feels like a platonic marriage. It's because of how crappy he feels, there's no desire in him, sex is the last thing on his mind. And then I feel bad, for wanting something he can't give because he doesn't feel well, even though I know it's just human.

So many people don't even know who my husband is, because they've never met him, because he so rarely gets out, b.c he doesn't know when he'll get a headache, or his back will start hurting, or something will go wrong...so I understand why he prefers to stay home.

I didn't know I was getting married to be alone so much.

I have spent so much of my life alone. I wanted a partner so I wouldn't be so alone--otherwise why even get into a relationship?

And I wonder sometime, is this just my lot? Am I experiencing this in life to learn and grow? Am I supposed to learn to nurture myself and fulfill myself on my own, on every level, instead of getting that from another? I miss affection.

And sometimes, when I'm really frustrated, I wish I could just leave him. but I love him so much. and I know it's not on purpose. He's suffers so frequently. And then I feel like such a terrible person for wanting to leave, even though I know that's human, too.

Catch-22. there's no way out.
monquimonkee monquimonkee 31-35, F 2 Responses Feb 9, 2013

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Thank you so much for your post, I am going through exactly the same situtation as you and I've been feeling alone in all this - I cant really talk to anyone about it because they dont understand, nor do i want to make them feel uncomfortable, or let this define my husband who they barely see or do not know at all!

Been together for 9 yrs, of the 5 yrs long distance, and finally married for 1.5 yrs. my husband has been suffering from a herniated disc for the last 6 months. At times I dont know if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Baby plans are put on hold - I'm terrified of having to be a single mother.

Sometimes I want to pull my hair out because all we talk about it the pain, what could of caused it, what treatments to explore etc (surgery is last resort for us). Same as you, many of my friends don't know him as he can never go out as it's hard to predict when the back will flare up. I feel lonely a lot of the times despite living in an extremely busy & bustling cosmopolitan city. On the upside, he is an extremely positive person and but of course it's only natural to project at times because of the severe pain.

What has been helping us is listening to the meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief) it's all about making the pain manageable, rather than taking the pain away. We see alternative therapists (chinese docs, acupuncture, accupressure) to get a holistic understanding of the issue, and emotions play a huge part in the healing process. I do the meditation with him as well from time to time, as i feel stressed & resentful often - which only amplifies his pain. Taking it day by day to be a better & stronger person.

Stay strong, and positive. Wishing you & your husband all the love to get through this difficult time. Even the strongest couples can be broken by a chronic illness in a relationship, but I'm determined to let this unfortunate experience only strengthen our bond.

Thank you so much for you story.
Listen, I know what you are going through. My husband has been in chronic pain for almost the last two years - you can read in detail what it is in this group. Suffice it to say, it has impacted our marriage, and like you, there is little intimacy and there are days I feel alone. My husband is suppose to be my best friend, but because of the illness I can't talk about certain things because it will only stress him out and the stress triggers the pain/tingling attacks.

I also thought this, "What have I gotten myself into. Am I willing to live like this for life?" But because of my Christian faith, I realize that I can't abandon him - I wouldn't want him to do that to me if it were reversed -- and that this is a growing experience for me. A big thing this experience is doing -- and I'm only just beginning to understand this -- is it's revealing my own selfishness. It's a test to strengthen my love - am I willing to love my husband even if I don't get everything I want, even if I don't get the great sex life I want, or the spontaineity I want. Like you I am tired of it, I have days where I"m frustrated with the condition, but then it forces me to ask myself " could i have done this differently?" I also am realizing my husband hates this as much as I do. He wants to be there for me and be a great lover, and so on. so maybe it means finding different ways to enjoy each other, it means adjusting how I speak, and believe me I suck at it! God has to work on me. So no, don't feel alone. If anything, I'm glad you shared this story because I thought I was the only one.
Hang in there, love him.. it know it's tough, but this is a change to solidify your love together.