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Delay/Call off a marriage due to chronic pain?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Matters of the Heart
I have been with my finacee for almost 5 years now and we are planning to marry in October. I just recently had a spinal fusion at L4-S1 to alleviate sciatic pain in my hamstring, my knee, and my foot. This was my 3rd surgery after two failed laminectomys.

I was hopeful this would put an end to all the pain and I could get my butt back to work (been unable to work for a yr. now)however, after a week of being pain-free my foot pain has once again reared it's ugly head and I am concerned about dooming my wonderful g/f to a life of heavy narcotics and disability checks. There is a chance that my foot pain resurfacing is totally normal, I haven't heard back from the doc yet, but i suspect it indicates another failed surgery.

Is it right to go through with a wedding when I may never be able to provide for a family? I love my fiancee so much just thinking about losing her makes my eyes well up and my heart ache. I love her with all of my soul which is why I believe letting her go maybe the best thing for her. That would at least give her a chance at a normal life...right? Wouldn't it be selfish of me not to give her that chance?

This would of course destroy me. I know she is the girl for me...I don't believe I could ever love anyone else as much as I love her, but it still isn't fair to her.

Perhaps the doc will call back with good news, but I know that chance is slim and my time to decide grows shorter by the day. I don't want to burden her for the rest of her life with my pain but I can't stand to lose her.

I'm sure that I am not the first person to go through this so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.





  • Try this simple test: close your eyes and imagine if the situation was reversed. What if she was the one in chronic pain, who may become disabled, who may need narcotics meds, and who loves you dearly, with all her soul? Then imagine her telling you that because of what she's going through, she's going to "let you go, because it's the best thing for you, and you being stuck with her would be unfair to you."

    What would you say? That's probably your answer.

    I personally think it would be unfair to not give her the chance to make the choice for herself. My brother had diabetes, back problems, asthma and was generally a sick kinda guy. But his wife married him anyway because he was the one she loved, no matter what. They were married for 22 years before he died.

    Don't you think your fiance deserves to be able to love you for who you are and be with you the rest of your life? I do. (Pun intended)

  • Well of course I see your point...I would never leave her, she is my baby. She is truly my everything. But in giving her the choice you mention I'm really asking her "How deep does your love go? Is it really 'unconditional'?"

    When we met I was not like this, and at this point, I know I am no longer the same person she fell in love with. We have grown together, and have each changed over the course of the relationship, but I have not changed for the better. I have become less than the sum of my broken parts.

    And, is it fair to ask her to change with me? To deal with me? To have to wait two hours before we can get going each day on our honeymoon because I have to wait for my pills to kick in? We just bought a house and now I can't work...may not ever be able to work again, although I maybe getting ahead of myself a bit on that one...but what if i leave her to pay for all our expenses and all i can kick in is my disability check, assuming i can even qualify for that?

    All of my hopes and dreams seem crushed to me right now and I want to protect her from having to be a part of that. More than anything, I just want to be better. I just want to be normal. I want a job and a house, and a beautiful wife but the universe doesn't think i deserve any of it and I have no way to fight back. All I can do is lay on this damned couch all day while she works her ass off to pay for our things...all of our stupid things that we never use anyways.

    i know im getting depressed, so before anyone starts telling me to get some SSRIs and everything will be fine, no thank you. Those are for people who are chemically depressed, usually w/o a motivating event. This is circumstancial depression, if that makes any sense, and the circumstances don't seem to be changing anytime soon, and besides, i'm on enough drugs already.

    So it seems like i've answered my own question after all. I guess I really knew the answer all along too.

  • In my opinion, if neither of you can't stand being without each other, the answer is simple. Health problems can arise at anytime of your life. What if this happened right after the honeymoon? Neither of you would say "let's take a raincheck on our marriage". It's for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health...if one partner goes down, the other will step in and support them as life goes on. I know you love your girlfriend dearly and want nothing but the best for her. Talk to her and see what she has to say. I have a feeling she'll be with you no matter what O:)
  • Talk to her about your fears...

    I suspect when you do she will do the same thing my wife has done when I talk like this....

    She looks at me like I am nuts 8}

    I can tell she honestly never thinks about dumping me just because I am screwed up...The thought never crosses her mind. #:S
  • My hubby has stuck with me since my life changed last year and he's never had any thoughts that he'd want to leave - he's just glad I'm still here in any way, shape or form. He even still says "You're beautiful" when I haven't taken a shower and have been in my recliner all day. Now THAT'S dedication!

    Have you ever talked to her about your fears and about what you've told us? It sounds like you need a heart to heart with her so you can find out how she feels and then you can be comfortable with your final decision.

    Take care of yourself. Please let us know how this works out for you and for your fiance.

  • Don't put the cart before the horse. I know what it feels like to feel guilty that the person I am married to has had to live with and take care of someone who is no longer the person he fell in love with and decided to marry. Although we can't do all of the things we used to and he has to watch me push through the pain so many times, he never complains and says he would never consider leaving. His come back is always "in sickness and in health". He knows that with the way of the world, one small misstep and the roles can very easily be reversed.

    The key is, it's not my decision whether he chooses to stay or go. Not my decision whether he chooses to love me or not. It is his and his alone. It doesn't mean that I don't feel guilty for changing his life along with mine. Respect your fiance enough to let her make her own choices.

    At least this is the way I see this.

  • I understand how you feel but...
    I honestly think that this is her decision. You sound like a wonderfully unselfish person that she doesn't want to lose!!

    I am blessed to be married to my best friend for almost 24 years. I often apologize to him for the past four years of challenges and praise him for his wonderful care. He tells me to stop it and that he loves me so much.

    You deserve to be loved, and she deserves the depth of love that you have for her. Go ahead with your plans unless she changes them. I think that all will go well. Good Luck and God Bless you both !!

  • Josh,

    You sound like a fantastic caring guy, who is deeply in love with his fiancee. You are putting so much pressure on yourself by fretting over this.

    Just talk things through with your fiancee, your thoughts/fears for the future and give her time to respond. Communication is vital in any relationship, and that includes listening as well as talking.

    My husband was born with a muscle wasting condition but wasn't diagnosed til he was 27yrs old. When we decided to get married so many of my mums friends phoned to tell her to persuade me not to go through with the wedding as I would be throwing my life away.

    Well, on June 9th we celebrated 8yrs of wedding bliss (odd rocky patch but nothing that wasn't sorted out)

    In that time I was unwell with various illnesses etc that required hospital stays/surgery etc, and the most trying one for both of us was when my back issues arose. Why? I was independant, strong, I was the do-er, loved helping people and suddendly I was the one needing help and that took a lot of work for me to get my head around.

    My husband hates seeing me in pain, he tells me what frustrates him about my illness (ie going out for the day and me not being able to enjoy a whole day out as pain takes over, or I have tripped and hurt myself etc) but he always assures me that he still loves me as a person.

    I guess what I'm trying to say to you Josh is just talk to your loved one and listen to her thoughts/feelings/concerns, and then you can work out ways to deal with any issues.

    The fact you are so worried about this and how it could possibly impact your life together shows what a sweet caring guy you are, and she obviously knows that. You sound like a lovely guy, and I wish you and your fiancee every happiness together. Life is a journey, sometimes a solo one, but the biggest chunk of your 'trip' is better shared with a loved one - so enjoy your life Josh, with your lovely fiancee.

    All the best

    PS Sorry for such a long post, I knew what I wanted to say but these meds leave me floundering to find the right words, but I hope you were able to understand what I was trying to say:D
  • Hi all,

    Just wanted to give you all a follow-up. I spoke with my fiancee about everything and like many of you have mentioned she thought I was a little crazy.

    We are going ahead with our wedding, but I can hear the trepidation in her voice when we discuss my latest setback. I had a L4-S1 TLIF fusion on 6/1 and was pain free for a little over a week. Since the 10th however, my foot pain has returned. I saw my PM doc today just to get back on my heavy duty meds (I had requested a 50% cutback following my surgery as I was pain free, for the most part) and he managed to get me an appt w/ my surgeon for tomorrow afternoon. There seem to be only a few possibe causes: nerve irritation, scar tissue, or the fairly unlikely possibility that the hardware has moved.

    So I'll see the surgeon tomorrow and get more info then, but when we talk about a possible future that involves my pain, I can hear she is unhappy but not going anywhere.

    more later...
  • randomjosh said:
    Hi all,

    she thought I was a little crazy.
    Now, we told you she would think you are crazy...:D
    randomjosh said:

    We are going ahead with our wedding, but I can hear the trepidation in her voice

    Now stop that!
    You hear the trepidation in her voice because you doubt yourself! If she is anything like my wife she has no doubt at all. The only times my wife has ever doubted "us" was when I said something stupid and scared her!

    Take a deep breath.....let it out slow....

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