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Chronic Pain Stressors on Relationshiops

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:28 AM in Matters of the Heart
I think that anyone that has dealt with chronic pain for any length of time can verify that at some point during that time there was additional amount of stress placed on their relationship, be it: spouse, significant other, family or friends.
Dealing with the pain and suffering that goes with it is one thing, and many times only people who live it understand it.

But just think about the additional stress and strain that does place on your relationships. I am not referring to them understanding your pain and what you are going through, but what they have to deal with. I know personally, that any time I have be laid up or semi-laid up due to spinal problems, life still goes on and it is my wife primarily who has to pick up the slack. So besides what she already does in a 60 hour work week, she then has to come home and do the things I cant do.
That is a physical and emotional strain by anyone's standards.

So many times in these forums we read topics about how my wife doesnt understand me, my kids doe support me, etc.... All negative things about the others and what they are NOT doing for us.
Once in a while its good to look at it from the other way.
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I do wonder most times, the impact MY condition has on my family. I KNOW what I feel like I am missing out on; but, what about them? What do THEY feel they are missing out on (if anything) because of my limitations? Has it become such a part of life for them that this is the norm? Do they feel cheated in some way (I am pretty sure they must feel that way at times). That causes additional stress to me - I don't want my family to feel shorted in any way because of me. That's why I push myself. I don't want to look back and feel as though they or I have missed out on anything; or think "I wish it would have gone THIS way instead of THAT way". Know what I mean? I'll have plenty of time one day to rest up and hopefully accept my limits. One day. Not today, though.

  • i usually feel the opposite---i feel as if i am stealing the childhood from my children by asking them to do so much fo me around the house. for asking my 19 year old to help out with the things that i can no longer afford on my own.( such as rent, lights, phone, ect....) the friends and neighbors who take me to the grocery store or to walmart when we need houshold items or food.... i feel like such a burden to those around me, and am very grateful to all for what effort (no matter how small that day) they manage to spare me!

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  • Well,I carried my own weight and never depended on my now x-husband to do things for me or the boys when they were young-just because I had casts on with rods/pins sticking out several times during my marriage was no excuse not to get the housework/laundry/kids baths/dinner/etc. done.When I finally grew a backbone and divorced him I raised the boys myself with little help from him (boys going to dads I mean),for over 7 yrs.During that time I had additional surgeries and my bestfriend & sister helped me out quite a bit.

    So I guess my view is warped on that side..but there are certainly strains on relationships.I try very hard to never depend on a man for the things that I can do for myself.It's taken me years to understand that I don't have to be so hardcore about things-and MUCH patience on Michaels' part (bless him).Even still,he would like us to go hiking and other things that I can't do..and the guilt is bad...I ALWAYS imagine what it must be like to be him-and just have me.

    Maybe what I'm trying to say here is that for me-it would kinda be nice to let go of all of the guilt and NOT look at it from the other side once in a while.
  • I'm always apologizing for not being able to do the things I used to. And I feel like crap when everyone leaves for the day and come home later to find me in the same spot they left me in. My husband is very understanding but I know that my condition stresses him. It's stressful because he feels helpless and can't "fix" me (he's MR HANDYMAN and does it all).

    Dawn, I totally relate to what you wrote- I feel so bad that my teens are having to pick up my slack. My husband works long hours and some weekends and I would like for him to come home and find the house clean and dinner on the table every day. But please understand this isn't your fault- it's the card the life has dealt us.

    Robin, I'm glad you kicked your ex to the curb. I think it's cruel to expect all those things from you when you're incapacitated. I would have told him where to stick those expectations.
  • Thank You.

    I think I made my point whenever I sold my engagement ring to pay for the divorce.I don't believe in divorce though,so the guilt was so bad that I refused any alimony or even half of the 401K...but I made the right choices morally and emotionally.

    Guilt sucs...lol
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    What about families that both spouses are suffering from chronic pain.. They are out there.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Once the wedge is driven, how do you and can you get it out?
    Anyone who has been here has seen how different we all are! Some of us can get up no matter how many times we get knocked down, Some of us keep getting up but we keep our head down. Some of us just don't bother after a while!
    This steals a lot, It has stolen many a sunny afternoon. Part of the reason I so dread things anymore is knowing that once I get past that certain point of overdoing it, there is no reprieve. I do not have anything "extra" in either my emotional or chemical arsenal to fight with anymore! I have to wait it out. That can mean 3-5 days to get back to where I was before I over did it. There is not a "warning shot over the bow" either. Just an "oh, crap, I did too much" and wait.
    I would assume I am singing to the choir on this one! I'm just too tired to apologize for myself anymore. I have received way to few acknowledgments that it has been heard, let alone that anyone cares :(
    I'll quit now, I'm depressing me.
  • If I had the support from my husband as other's do, then I would be able to reflect on all the help I get and yada yada yada. Unfortunately, I have a spouse who doesn't understand or even care to learn what it's like to be in my shoes. I am in the middle of an extremely painful flareup and just wanted him to put some icy/hot on my back and he was being such a jerk about it. I don't ask for much. I have to carry on around the house like I don't live in chronic pain cuz that excuse doesn't fly with him. He's constantly on my case about getting back to work and how I just need to get up and do something and I will feel better. He has not idea how I feel.

    I know he's dealt with and is dealing with pain too. He doesn't ever talk about it though. His dad ran over his foot with a riding lawn mower when he was about 3 and he was in the hospital for months and was able to save his leg and foot. Since he was so young, the injured leg didn't grow as much as the health one so there is about an inch or 2 difference which causes his hips and back to hurt at times and he's a carpenter and does roofing so I'm sure that doesn't help. The point to this long paragraph is that I am pretty sure he knows what it's like to be in chronic pain.

    Why then is it so hard from him to feel any compassion or the need to help me knowing I'm in such pain. I can't even talk to him about it. I don't even say my back hurts anymore. Today I was crying and he never even asked what was wrong. He had to know I was crying cuz I was in so much pain.

    Ok, so I am rambling and feeling sorry for myself so I need to stop now. My break thru med is starting to kick in as well as my nightly dose of ambien so I am not all with it at this moment. I apologize for that.
  • I do understand.I'm not sticking up for him either (lol),but it could be that if he acknowledges you & your pain that he might have to deal with his own?His comes with strong emotional baggage as well and he might be in denial about his feelings.

    Of course none of that excuses his behaviour at all,and may not even be the case-just a thought.

    YOU are who I'm here to support though,and I honestly feel that if you continue letting him disrespect you that you may start to disrespect yourself.It's very common,and it happened to me.A little counseling will help tremendously, and I know from reading your posts that you are a strong and courageous woman with a lot of love to offer in a two sided relationship.

    I can hear the weariness in your post and I recognize it well,as it sounds so much like my own years ago.

    My Michael is a great guy and amazingly supportive in almost every way,but he wears blinders where my pain is concerned-emotionally I mean.He will help me out around the house if I ask him,and he is always there for me at every Dr appt and so forth,but if I talk about my pain he's a blank page.

    He says that he can't stand talking about it because he can't "fix" it or make it better and it hurts him.I can live with that,but only because he's so great in every other way..(usually-no ones perfect-lol).

    I do hope that your flare-up cools down,or that your meds can handle it.Take care Ming ♥
  • Thank you for helping me to see things on the other side, some of which I had already thought of but not as clear as you have stated. I respect and appreciate your honesty as well as your support through my toughest times.

    I now reflect on the night I posted this and at the time thought I was alone in dealing with this flare up and read back as the messages from friends and am grateful to have all of you in my life.

    I only hope to give back as much support as I have received here at SH.

    God Bless all my Spiney Friends >:D<
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