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Chronic pain and your spouse

wbaileywwbailey Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Chronic Pain
Does anyone happen to have any good articles or tips re: chronic pain and the family?

My spouse isn't able to understand what I'm going through and has gotten to the point where she thinks I'm a hypochondriac.

I've been through 3 surgeries on my lower back in the last 18 months, the last being a fusion procedure.

I am still in pain post surgery and she doesn't understand. She thinks I don't need medication and has been really kind of rude about it.

I wish I didn't have to be in pain, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.


  • Is she generally an insensitive person or is this new behavior? Would she be open to going to counseling with you?

    I am sorry you have to go through this.

    I hate to admit this, but I have to watch myself when DH is injured--I tend to be less nice than I should be. In my case, it's driven by my fears. It scares me when he is less than 100% capable.

    It's my issue & I know I need to work on it.
  • Thanks for the note.. she's never been much for coddling so to speak..

    I'm facing another surgery to get the hardware out of my back, because it's causing me a lot of pain on that side.

    I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm imagining the pain (or at least that's how I am perceiving it).

    I work at a desk job well over 40 hours a week and I've been forced to take pain meds, just so I can sit and do my job.

    The longer I sit, the worse it hurts.

    I'm pretty much the sole supporter of our household.

    I've worked for the past 15 years and I'm really worried about the what if's.. i.e. What if I can't do my job any more.

    Maybe she'll go to counseling.. I'm scared to death my back will get worse and having my spouse behave this way makes me feel so alone and isolated..

    I'm extremely diligent about how much I take and I NEVER exceed my prescribed dosages.

    My last refill, which was supposed to be for 30 days, lasted nearly 90.

    Unfortunately, at this point.. No meds= no work = no $$, it's as simple as that.

    Getting kicked right now, isn't what I need.
  • If you search something like "Letter to a normal" in the search box at the top of the page, you will get results showing a couple of versions of letters which were written (and have been floating around in the forum) by someone with chronic pain trying to explain what it's like to a "normal".

    I don't know if anyone without chronic pain can understand what it's really like to have it. They just can't understand why we don't "heal" - remember when you would get tired/have a little back pain after a hard day, but then you'd get a good nights rest and you'd feel better the next day. This doesn't happen to us, or only happens to a small degree. I think my husband only understands my pain, firstly because he's seen me when I'm in great agony, and he is also chronically ill - so we understand each other. But only very few of the people I know truly understand - how's your back? they ask - Well, it never changes, I'm always in pain, and that's the nature of the beast.

    I think the other thing is, our disability is invisible, and we have good days and bad. We only see people on our "good days" so very few realise the pain we experience ALL THE TIME - because most of the time we "hide" it.

    There are so few resources for people with CP, there are even fewer it seems to me, for their family/spouses. This forum is the best resource I've found (after 3 1/2 years with chronic pain). Give your wife the letter, show her the threads on here, where lots of people with CP say how much they relate to the letter. Tell her to register, and she can read all the stories - all different, but all the same as you in a way - the pain just won't go away.

    Does she go to appointments with you? Maybe you both could get some counselling together - IT IS A BIG ADJUSTMENT FOR BOTH OF YOU - Especially if you were the "doer/bread winner" in the relationship. It's hard for our spouses to see us in pain, and she may be in denial about the whole thing.

    All the best. She'll learn one way or another - take care of yourself. Pushing yourself too much to please her will probably only lead to more pain, and possibly more damage to your spine. We always have to pay for our activities with pain.
  • I hope you will look into this whether your wife will come along or not. I think you could benefit from some support right now.

    It sounds as if your strength sort of works against you. I totally get how you are forcing yourself to work everyday & fighting the pain. This is possibly why nobody around you can grasp how much pain you're in.

    I think, tho, at some point all of this mind over matter is going to take its toll & our bodies eventually make their needs known louder & clearer until we finally get it.

    I wouldn't let your wife's unwillingness (if she is indeed unwilling) to go to counseling deter you.

    I think it's pretty clear you are in need of some understanding & if she doesn't have it to give, I hope you will still reach out & get that support via counseling & support groups like this one.
  • Thanks.. is there some kind of resource that can help me find counseling in my area for this particular issue?

  • I don't know where you live, but maybe your Dr.,surgeon (or one of the nurses) can help direct you in that area.

    My significant other does not understand my CP either in my opinion. He is supportive, but that is different than understanding. Many times he will suggest we go hiking or some other type of activity that, on a good day I can't do. He knows this so it can be hurtful whenever he brings something like this up. Actually it makes me feel like I am a constant disappointment to him, and that wears me down emotionally.
    Others have given you some very good advise and I agree. Taking your wife with you to one of your Dr. appts. might open her eyes, but a lot of what she is doing might be based on her own fears.
    Welcome to Spine-health.
  • Bailey,

    Howdy, been reading with much interest. Lots of great advice has been given so far. My hubby is very good on understanding. When family wants to do something, he is the first one to defend me if I wake and it's a bad day.

    I saw others already told you of the "Letter to Normals." Another that might make her understand a bit more? Do a search for "The Spoon Story." The author had Lupus, and explained to her dear friend (insert spouse) how one this day should could do "this" but not the next day because... via using spoons! I know for my hubby, that made more understanding to him. I hope that suggestion helps.

    I hate when our loved other halves don't get it. Please let us know how it goes. Take care. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hello,
    It is rare that both individuals in a partnership have pain, so it is reliant on the other to understand and try to support the individual with pain, as my doctor said, my wife did not ask for this change of life style and the impact on all those near to me has been dramatic. Research mentions the loss of what you had together and then the anger of having to adapt to these mandated changes and the indecision of how things are going to be in the future.

    In our PM residential all the partners came and expressed how pain and impacted on each relationship is was sad and traumatic to hear what fears they had and how little at times we could influence that change. The best people to help me were the PM team who were not in pain and some individuals feel challenged that supporting us should seem natural it is not and easy progressive for some. Pain is a team event and feeling isolated is part of those feelings, I know some partner ran in the other direction on mentioning how they could help us more, and if they were being judged. It is a delicate process to work together, helping other in order to help ourselves when in constant pain is difficult and a skill it takes time, patience and perseverance.

    We understand that it is hard when you feel isolated some PM centres support partners as well, I am not a devotee that expect others to understand pain, people can be compassionate without the need to feel or get it, did we understand it prior to having pain, who did we help then.

    We all fear the future when in chronic pain and those imposed changes, the key is to take one day at a time and you can do no more than that, you cannot change the impossible. Together you are taking those small steps to improvement of difficult and challenging circumstance.

    Over the past 20 years I have learned to be more assertive to my needs and say no more and perhaps feel comfortable to give a reason, pick those people who can and do support me and try to do those things that make the pain feel less even if that is not the reality. We had three young children at the time I lost my job, income, status and my house came under question a few times, it has been a long and eventful experience, throughout it all my beautiful wife has support encouraged and chided me where necessary, helped me help myself and our family, I thank her for sharing those gifts.

    Good luck in working together things will improve over time.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I think most of us can relate to your problem with family and understanding chronic pain. One of the problems I think that causes a lot of this is that non-spineys don't understand that spine problems are different than any other problems. In other words, you break your arm, it's operated on, set, then fixed six weeks later. Not so with spine problems.

    Many of us suffer with ongoing problems once the first one sets it as the spine tends to degenerate when you have issues and especially surgery. Some are lucky to have just one problem then be just fine for years, but as you've probably seen on this forum, many continue to have problems throughout the rest of their life in one form or another with their spines.

    My hubby has learned this after about two years. At first, he was very understanding because I was having surgery and I wasn't acting like the person he married, so he felt that I must be in pain or else I'd be on the golf course like I was every weekend. Or I'd be bubbly and happy all the time like usual.

    Then came the frustrating stage - "When is this going to be over? "When am I going to have you back?" "When are you going to be fixed?"

    So, I took him to talk to my surgeon after my TLIF and he's a whole new man. Having a spine surgeon tell him about my spine and my pain, having new procedures planned in the future for my additional cervical problems, and being continued to be prescribed pain medications have all pointed to my having serious problems in his mind. (The doctor wouldn't plan these procedures if she was fine, they wouldn't prescribe all these medications if she was fine, and mostly she wouldn't be down and out for the count some days if she was fine.)

    He has his days of frustration, but sees me try my best daily and even got a new job recently and am back in the workforce. He was the one that warned me that I'd most likely be in additional pain the first few weeks after I started, so he "gets" it.

    I wish you the best in getting your wife to understand. Having her talk to your surgeon or PA might give her the little spur she needs to understand that spine problems are unlike any other.

    Take care,
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    If you can find a pain management Dr. He would surely be able to give a recommendation to a good one. I see one. But have never had to take my wife. She has a huge degree of understanding of this subject.
    In 2003 the divorce rate was 60% for spine surgery patients. I don't know what it is now. And as for chronic pain, I'm sure it's higher.
    So it's imperative that you find one and get the counseling you and your wife need. I can't stress the importance of the specialized pain management Psychologist enough.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I just read an article about this today, so had to respond. I usually lurk, and have long forgotten my old login, lol.

    It's such a vital thing, to have empathy and support from our partners! Here is the article address that I was reading today.


    And earlier upthread, someone mentioned "The Spoon Theory". It was written by Christine Miserandino, and is a very, very good way to introduce friends and family to the world of living with a chronic illness or disability. Her website--But You Don't Look Sick" is a good resource all around...

    Best of luck to you both. It truly does take take a meeting of the minds to adjust to a chronic condition that is semi new in your lives. It's rather like a grieving process since, essentially, you have "lost" a part of yourself.

    Edited to add... Here is a copy of The Spoon Theory :)

  • Bailey,
    It may be that as pain patients we have to be more vocal and specific in our needs and say directly what we want, rather than surmise that others know automatically. My wife over the years has learned to read those signals I try to hide even for her of how much it is hurting and she probably knows when the pain has increased through my nature and mannerisms.

    Knowing what to say differs for us all, when to say it and when to say nothing only words of compassion and support, encouragement and empathy. People are not normally thinking what we think they are and we have a responsibility to ourselves and those around us to communicate our needs. I am fortunate that my integrity is not question and if I say I have more pain then those additional skills and extra support is given, even though I know not of this is of my making I do feel some guilt in asking others to do simple or even more complex things, that I could once do independently. A disproportionate level of responsibility for our children and the home has been placed towards my wife and it is not easy watching others struggle in my name.

    Just as we are fearful of the road ahead into the unknown so are our partners, what will happen in our relationship, how will this impact on our home and working environment, will they get better or could it be a lifetime of pain, all these and more question are challenging, and only time will tell. Our partners see us day to day and it is harder to hide the reality of what living in CP can be like, and many times that knowledge is used as evidence to support our plight and give others to insight to those daily and hourly challenges.

    Most of my achievement could not have been completed without my wifes support and encouragement she has taken most of the responsibility at times and given all of herself to my circumstance, sacrificed some of her hopes and dreams, in supporting myself and our family, I thank her for those gifts, of time patience and understanding. This was not the future she hoped at the age of 21 and all those things we never shared.

    The key is for a partnership to enhance our opportunities and I have been encouraged to be positive and try new things where possible, it is sometime easy to get into bad habits through learned behaviour and discouraged from doing and setting attainable goals for the fear of the what ifs or yes but, we should be stronger as a team rather than individuals.

    I have researched academic spousal support for 10 years and know how influential that relationship can be on chronic pain, support and nurturing can be developed, maybe unless you are in CP nobody is going to get it and those best placed to help us may have the skills to support us. I now decide who can help me and ignore those who cannot, given time and skills thing will get better and together a challenging journey begins.

    Take care. John.

  • To think that CP does not affect the ongoing relationship, is to not understand how linked we are in life. For many years, I lived with someone who had no understanding of the pain I endured. I did not have the coping tools nor the plain Medications, that affected and reduced the pain to a manageable level. She distanced herself, in the relationship, and eventually moved out, into her new life.

    Fast forward 10 years - I still try to hide from my sweetheart, how bad it is, but I cannot hide it. She sees my eyes and she knows that I am having a rough day. She listens to my voice and can hear the pain, she sees me move, walk, lift my body and can see which muscle group as locked.

    At times, she allows me to think that I have sheltered her from my pain. I don't want it to interfere with how I am relating to her today, but she also will stop me, when she thinks that I am overdoing it.

    We moved in the last month and she had aching muscles for the first time in a decade. She also pulled a muscle in her back. She never told me, I was looking at her back and recognized that a muscle group was not working. I watched her stretch out, and saw that it again was not working. I then spent some time, working it over, doing deep massage, and tickling the whole group. I then asked why she never told me about it. She said that she felt that it was insignificant, she had this pain, it hurt and she ached, but she was watching me, with worst stuff and even taking the pile of meds that I do on a daily basis and still only able to do certain things.

    To think that we can do this alone, is the point. We cannot, we must build a team, and to me that team has always included my spouse. Communication is the key, and multiple contacts each day, is how I have lived through this all these years.

  • was unable to cope with me as an ill person and this put a strain on our 12 year relationship {we are the best of friends now} so sadly we divorced.she is not a bad person but some people cant understand and they feel like that's it!!! do i have to live with this for the rest of my life !!!...but she is in the minority many people adapt to caring for a sick person {i was only 30 when i had my crash and my life changed} but my wife of 12 years is a different story {she is a nurse} she is very caring but even our relationship has changed as i have got ill and we have both come to terms with my limitations ..maybe you and your wife need to have a long talk and try to explain things from your point of view {if you have done this ....do it again ...} its not easy to live someone that ill and in pain all the time... i know that i my case our sex life is none existent any more and that's due to me being in pain but just because that's gone its not the end ..you don't stop loving someone just because your physical limitations have been reached .i would say that our relationship is now one of deep friendship rather than a passionate one ..i dont know if i have been helpful and all i can do is give you my experience .the letter to a normal and the spoons analogy are both very good posts to let a{ healthy} person read .they explain what its like from a poorly person point of view ..maybe your wife could understand just what you are going through every day and maybe she will be a little more sympathetic ?
    good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    Chronic Pain impacts so many different people.

    - Those that are living through it
    - Those that are living with the person who has chronic pain
    - Family members
    - Friends
    - Workers
    - Doctors and other Medical professionals

    But I believe the biggest impacts come between the person who is living in chronic pain (especially those dealing with it for many many years) and their spouse.


    Other posters identified this. The person who is dealing with the pain, understands whats going on,
    the spouse may not be able to identify with whats going on.

    They can view it as
    - Partner being depressed
    - Partner living on narcotic medications
    - Partner not working or contributing
    - Additional financial costs and social burdens
    - etc, etc

    They key to working on all of this is open communications. That means for both parties to make sure the other knows exactly how they feel, their fears, their worries, their doubts, etc

    Way too often couples clam up and dont talk about these situations. Instead, they allow those feelings to fester inside only to come out and potentially blow out at another time.

    I sometimes use a simple example on how one partner does not know how another partner feels.

    Childbirth.. Ok, women know exactly what they go through, the discomfort of being pregnant and then the childbirth. Men can not completely understand this. Sure, we can think and imagine what it feels like, but since we actually do not experience it, we can not say how the women is feeling, the pain she is going through both physically and emotionally.

    I can see all the videos and read about all the pain that goes along with childbirth, but I will never really experience it.

    Some of this applies to people dealing with chronic pain. You know what you have to go through, but does your spouse really know?

    Others have pointed to many good reading materials

    - The Spoon Theory
    - Letters to Normal

    I have one more, definitely not as elegant as the others, but it gripes to the bone:
    A day living in Chronic Pain

    Communications is always the key
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • This is a heartbreaking thread for me. I have on several occasions, asked my SO if he wanted to move on or seperate, that I would understand. I've tried so hard to keep up with him physically, and though I did fairly decent in the beginning years, the past for to five years it has been impossible. Now I see him slipping into my lifestyle and this is unacceptable. He is already younger than I am and has no children of his own. I know these are his decisions to make, but I cannot help but think about these things and I do think about them almost every single day.
    We rarely argue, but when we do things come out and I have the memory of an elephant, so it's impossible for me to let it go and put in Gods hands or not wonder what he is thinking. My worst fear is that resentment and/or disgust with me is building, and I would be sick to think this were fact.

    I doubt very much if I am alone in thinking this way. Perhaps a lot have better communication, but I am very open and honest in my relationships, though I can't say that he is as open because I don't think he ever wants to inflict pain, so he keeps a lot to himself.

    Every night I go to bed and I think to myself that tomorrow when I wake up I will not moan or make a single reference to pain. Sometimes I am successful, but I am awake before him. When he gets up I say the same thing every day,"hey darlin', how are you", and he always says "ok, but my back hurts", or "ok but my stomach hurts", and I feel like that is my que to end the discussion. We are best friends and use to talk about everything, but I feel a change even though he disagrees with me on this.
  • Hah Evidently, DH thinks that his job is to "protect" me from bad things that happen. In this case, there are some big issues with one of our properties that he "thought" he could handle on his own.

    I found out through a 3d party, which is not the ideal way to get info about this kind of thing.

    His defense? He felt he shouldn't lay bad news on me when I'm in "screamin pain" so much of the time.

    How does he get the right to decide what I can handle? I HATE when he makes decisions based on what he thinks I need or want.

    In reality, he just doesn't want to deal with the fall out, so he makes himself the martyr.


    He does not get that this does a lot of damage to trust in a relationship & is really offensive to me. I have spine injuries, I'm not an imbecile.
  • It is pain. In its mildest form, it warns us that something is not quite true that we must take medication or see a doctor. At worst, if painful deprive us of our productivity, our well-being, and for many of us suffer from prolonged illness, our lives. Pain is a complex perception that there are large differences between patients, even those who appear to have identical injuries or illnesses.
  • You're not alone. I deal with that crap too. Kick them to the curb I say!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Unless they've walked a mile in your shoes. I've been fortunate that my wife wanted to go to every appointment with me. The surgeon, and Pain management Dr.For every procedure that I've had. so she would have as much knowledge as possible.
    My brother is also a spiney. She has a very good relationship with him. So when someone else that my wife trusts. Gives her a complete rundown of degenerative disk disease. Surgery and long term chronic pain. That has the same problems that I do. It helps her to understand because it is coming from someone else, who she trusts. And after my first surgery a friend that I had worked with for 15 yr. and had had the same surgery as I. About 4 mo. before mine. And his wife wanted to have a sit down to compare notes. We all 4 talked, then we talked with everyone talking 1 on one. Me with his wife. Him with my wife. And then switched to the 2 women and 2 men. Then closed the conversation with all 4 of us discussing what we got out of it.
    In addition my wife may not have walked a mile in my shoes. But with 2 shoulder surgeries. Arthritis, and some more minor problems with her back. I would say she has maybe walked at least some distance in my shoes.
    So it all helps. But I often worry, Has she just about had enough?
    This has been going on since 1989 to some extent. And since 2000 has been very serious.
    If the shoe were on the other foot and we traded places. I don't think I would have the strength. I thank God that I have a wife and best friend like that!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Thanks for the support folks.

    Just got back in town, out last week travelling for work.

    Unfortunately, I brought a cold home with me..

    The minute my wife found out, she had me sleep on the couch, so I
    Wouldn't get her or the baby sick.

    I suppose it makes sense, don't want our baby sick.

    I may just get a hotel room, sleeping on the couch with a fused back is miserable.

    I'll chalk it up on the list of health problems that annoy my wife..

    This is really a new low and im not sure where it is going to end.
  • I'm sorry you are going thru this.

    Just a thought on the hotel--maybe that is a good option. Your health is important. I don't recall which chain it is, but at least one of them offers Sleep Number beds in some of their rooms.

    Maybe that would be a good option for you right now & you could post a review for us as to how you liked the bed!

    I do hope you can get some good, recuperative rest.
  • Woah now. Do you guys have a second bedroom, because going to a hotel could put a deeper wedge between the two of you. It could be a good idea, I do not know.. but please think it through. If you do decide on the hotel, the sleep number is at least a good idea of something to do it for, a reason. Just be careful putting up more distance at this fragile time in the relationship, as it could be seen as an ultimatum.

    I'm really sorry this is happening and will say a prayer for your family.
  • I’m reading these posts and this one in particular strikes a chord with me. I am not married but I have lost many relationships (and currently struggling with one) with people (in this case women) who just don’t understand. I don’t blame them for not understanding. Ron made a good point about child birth. I can watch all the movies and read all the articles, books and clips I want about childbirth but I will never understand the pain that is involved in it. I may understand it more by learning as much as I can about this issue, the fact remains I just don’t know. Regarding this issue I will never know. I give women who go through childbirth much respect. Just as I give you Bailey, just as I do to everyone else on this site. I really don’t know how you all do it. I thought that I was a pro at chronic pain being that I dealt with it for 5 years. After all pain is considered chronic after just 6 months. Most people I know do not have chronic pain or do have it but it does not negatively affect their lives. Being on this site I am learning that I am not a pro when it comes to dealing with chronic pain. Most of you have death with it for way longer then I have. I am still a baby when it comes to this. I still don’t know how you all do it. With that being said I wish I could offer some words of wisdom for you. Some proven method or way of doing things. I can not do those things. There is way more in life that I do not know then what I do know. The only thing I have been learning in my life is that I am inexperienced and that there are people a lot more experienced than me. I am learning to trust them. I’ve had a hard time with this all of my life. The people on here are experienced. You are not alone. Many people have walked down this path and are walking down the same path you are. They are not you and you are not them, but the experiences/pains we experience are very similar. I suggest leaning on people who have been there and also leaning on the professionals. I hope the communication and acceptance of your wife improves indefinitely over time. Like a lot of experienced people on this site have said those reading materials (spoon theory, letter to normal’s) may be a good start. Getting into see a counselor or having your wife attend your appointments may be a good idea too. Like I said I don’t know the answers. I am just trying to make my way through this life too. The important thing to remember is that even though you are feeling alone and misunderstood, there are people who are going through things that are very similar. People that are willing to be open and are willing to help.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Baily, this could be a good test for you wife and you. I suggest you tell her that the couch is just to painful for you. And to add that to the chronic pain you're already enduring is too much for you.
    Ask her if she would consider taking the couch and letting you have the bed. The couch shouldn't cause HER any pain if she's in good spine health.
    If she says no. That should signal the end of your relationship. Sorry to be so blunt.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • We don't live in a universe where all of the answers are so black & white. It may be your opinion that this is the signal, but it may not be what the wife means at all. I'm sure there are many many underlying things that we are unaware of here, and have no idea as to what their "signals" are or what they mean.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    But in reading his posts. I don't see a lot of compassion here. Maybe I'm to blunt. I do hope I'm wrong.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • No, you are allowed your thoughts & opinions. I just think perhaps there is a lot more to the story. I sleep on the couch .. scratch that, I have slept (past tense) on the couch many times in my life, but it was always my choice. I'll admit there were times when I was laying there and thinking,'I should not be the one laying here', but I didn't want to be next to him , so I chose the couch. I just hope things work out that's all, and believe we should try try try, but in reality I know that at the end of the day..it is really none of my business. I just don't want to be a negative influence.
  • It's hard to say what she is thinking. Maybe as someone wrote earlier she is just scared that the way of life she was expecting isn't gelling. Maybe she feels the extra load of not having the kind of help she wants with day to day chores and is frustrated. My own DH is prone to get a bit grumpy on days when I just can't get my end of the housework done, although he is exceptionally supportive most of the time. But he has his days...

    I always find written communication works better when we really have a problem or issue. And when writing him, I consciously restrain myself from using sentences that are accusatory or anything that might sound like a pity party.

    You might just want to ask her for her honesty because you are confused. Ask if she is feeling overwhelmed or scared, because once she opens up, then you can actually deal with issues. Maybe she needs a babysitter a few days a week. Perhaps she needs you to take over some chore that isn't psyical like the bills so she can have some down time.

    You need to express yourself though, or resentment will build. You certainly shouldn't be treated like a second class citizen in your own home, but from what I've read, you really don't know WHERE her head is right now. If it were me, I'd do everything possible to find out.

    I have hit a hotel before. It wasn't a pretty time in our marriage. But even then, I knew we'd discuss it later.
  • I think there is another point here. Of course, there are issues in OP's relationship with his wife.

    But, if I read the original posting correctly, his immediate concern is finding a place to sleep that will not cause enormous discomfort and/or damage to a very fragile spine.

    I think taking care of the physical health comes first. If Bailey's wife is amenable to sleeping on the couch for his benefit, so be it.

    But if not, what is Bailey supposed to do? Suffer on the sofa or make temporary sleeping arrangements elsewhere?

    The relationship issues can be dealth with. IMO, the urgent issue right now is Bailey's health & need for a good night's sleep.

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