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Effect on relationships

Anon_101AAnon_101 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Depression and Coping
Sorry for the length of this post!
My partner & I have been together many years (both in our 30’s now). After a couple of months together he suffered an accident which was the start of his spinal health issue. He has since had a huge number of spinal operations spanning over a decade. He is regularly in pain and has been on pain relief virtually ever since, most recently he is on very heavy medication (Oxy, morphine, valium, seraqual etc)
It has been many years since the accident and I really feel I have tried so hard to be there for him. I know he is the priority in the relationship and he is the one that suffers but I don’t think he has any idea of how all of it affects me too. I just feel that partners often get so overlooked in these situations.
He doesn’t let me get involved in any aspect of his health and he rarely ever takes me to his appointments no matter how much I ask. I feel very much on the outside of his health almost like he doesn’t need me so I end up living a very separate life to him and he probably thinks I don’t care when I do. I find it hard to understand something I am not part of.
I am not his main carer, his parents are. I go to work to try and make something of our future, save for a house etc which causes a lot of resentment despite the fact that he says it’s ok. He does really well on his own considering everything he has been through, he can get in & out of bed, make something to eat, shower without help etc but sometimes he has bad days. In the past couple of years our arguments have increased and although we still love each other we just can’t seem to find a way forward. I just don’t think he has any idea how hard and frustrating it is for me too and that although he is suffering more he is not the only one. I just wish him and the people around him would understand how there are so many things others have in a ‘normal’ relationship that I can’t have because my partner is not well enough. I am not blaming him in any way for the circumstance but I am made to feel like I have no right to feel anything and people think I am selfish if I do. I don’t want to be without out, I don’t want to fight but somehow we end up there.
He now blames me for his addiction to his medication which has left me feeling guilt ridden because I think everyone blames our arguments/me as the cause of his addiction. I don’t know how these medications make people feel-can anyone shed any light on this?
I know it’s very personal but I wondered how other people’s relationship’s fair under such circumstance?


  • Well that is certainly alot to deal with. If I get this right he has shut you out of his life both on a health level(not going to appts or being his health advocate) and a personal level(over a decade and no marriage). Yet it is your fault that he is addicted to meds???

    If I were you I would give him a choice. Either extensive counceling, both individual and together, or send him home to mommy and daddy. Yes his injury is alot to deal with but it sounds like he is not willing to have you help him in any way. And it is not fair to you or to him to continue this way. What you describe is a very unhealthy relationship.

    I'm not sure what you were hoping to find here. I know from personal experience that injury and disability is very hard on a relationship. But a relationship is a two way deal. If he doesn't want to include you in his whole life then he has issues he needs to deal with. And you deserve a life with a partner.
  • Because it's usually the person who is suffering from the injury, that is voicing concerns about not getting the help or understanding needed.

    You also state that dad and mom are his caregiver's, so i wanna ask "was he born with a golden spoon in his mouth"?
    If so you might be fighting a battle you cant win. I think you 2 are way overdue for a 1 on 1 talk, to find out where you stand.

    Good luck, and i hope it all works out for ya.
  • Howdy and Welcome to Spine Health!! Traditionally men are "fixers", and when "they" are the ones that need fixing, they shut down!! I've seen that with my husband when he isn't feeling good. He shuts me out, and stays to himself, conversely, if I am feeling bad, he is the BEST nurse on the planet!!

    What I might suggest? Print out your post to us, and have him read it! Sometimes something so simple is the biggest step. Are you two living together? It sounds like he is living at his parents. If living with you, you guys need to have a sit down and get this all out. He (like my hubby) might be trying to "not burden" you with what he is going through, not realizing it is affecting you. Please keep us posted on how it goes.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • There comes a time when you realize that you are there in a relationship. He can be your project, you can change ways you interact with him, maybe he'll catch on, eventually and maybe not. Just be sure you're honest with yourself as to why you are doing this. It's your choice and by all means get help to keep yourself emotionally strong and healthy. Good luck.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,450
    ...going on in your life.
    You have found a great place for advice..and hopefully encouragement. I can only speak from my experiences..as all people can..so feel free to accept or...delete. :)
    One person's pain does not negate another person's pain. Pain in our lives...physical, emotional.. whatever..is so individual. We can't really say someone is worse off...as there is always someone else who is...but the pain we experience is real and needs to be dealt with, also.
    I have depression and chronic pain, and yet I have no reason to treat others badly. Sadly, I admit that I am guilty of just that, at times in my life.
    No matter the situation of our health, we still have our personalities. My life experience helps me to realize I need to take care of myself..first... as a caregiver or one who loves someone with daily suffering. I've been on both sides.
    Without that, I'm truly no good to anyone else.
    Also, I had someone eventually leave me..out relationship..because it was just too much.. as I was the person in chronic pain..and that's just the start.
    I too tried to handle things alone..not realizing at that time when I tried most to not be a burden..I was, at that time, the heaviest and most difficult burden of all.
    With time and experience under my belt, I so wish my person reached out...as you are now...to take care of themself...to talk to someone.
    I believe my person felt he may have been betraying my confidences...so now, I freely give anyone in my life permission to talk about me..our relationship.. complain..do whatever they need to do to take care of themselves first.
    It was funny when I said it to my oldest child, who responded with, "Yeah..already doing that!"
    Thank you, also, for your post. It was a great reminder to me of how to care for my people who are trying to be there for me. Thanks so much!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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