Relationships can be strained

By dogger63 Latest Activity November 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm Views 10,584 Replies 16 Likes 7


I have found that my own personal relationship becomes strained when I can't do regular house chores on a daily basis or cook ect… I think it takes exceptional people to understand and have compassion for those of us w RA as they just don't "get it" that I can't do that right now or maybe even tomorrow or the next day on and on there r days where you would give everything you have just to be outta pain for say even 5 min! At least for myself anyway. I wish I could make /help him "understand" better.
Loads of love n light to you all!
The Dogger

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Replies (16 replies)

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  • April20
    April20 November 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm   

    I feel very thankful that I have a "friendship with benefits" with a very caring man. We were friends for quite some time until we added this. He has supported me through all my diagnoses (RA, Lupus, PtSD from an abusive husband that is an ex. He has researched all my conditions. I was able to tell him before he came over that "I did not want to have an heart attack for his sake(until I take all these cardiac test. We found a way to love each other intimately without all these scary symptoms that led to a relative's fatal heart attack. Only a special man would start finding some creative ideas and today was able to be decreased by being intimate and telling him what was going. He told me "if after this long"(over seven year) "if I felt that I could not feel I could tell him anything, we would have a problem"
    I hope this gives hope to others that there are men who can have compassion and yes at times "want o fix" and frustrated that the can't. Fortunaley we have overcome his frustration for me(which I interpreted as being angry for being upset. He felt terrible and made sure I was okay and now we have better communication so this is not an issue for anymore.

  • TrueBeliever
    TrueBeliever November 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm   

    I'm pretty lucky in that my husband understands for the most part. My worst area is my neck and it's pretty difficult to hold my head up for more than 30 minutes or so. This makes cooking and washing the dishes even worse as it takes not only holding my head up but also leaning it forward and looking down. If I'm having a really good day I can still cook something quick. But my husband works as a broiler cook here in the Las Vegas area and he can really come up with some amazing meals. He doesn't cook at home every day, but it's so nice when he does. He also does the majority of the dishwashing-now that the kids have all moved out, (again). I do have "my spot" on the couch where I'm usually propped up surrounded by mail, grocery lists/coupons, etc. and sometimes he gives me a hard time about that. All in all though, he's pretty supportive. I think in my case it helps that I was already having a great deal of arthritis/back problems when we met and he knew it was only a matter of time before I would be disabled.
    BTW, I have OA, but depending on the severity of any of these types of ailments many of us deal with similar issues.
    I know it must be very difficult for able spouses/partners to deal with a disabled spouse/partner when it happens either suddenly or by surprise.
    May God relieve your pain and bring your your fiance' understanding. At some point he may even hire someone to help you even if it's just 2-3 hours each week. Every little bit helps and maybe he could deal with a little compromise. ;o)

  • Cilla987
    Cilla987 November 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm   

    I know how you feel and when you do feel ok you don't want to clean the house you want to do other thing because we are in pain so much that we want to enjoy a good day!!

  • Lori Byrnes
    Lori Byrnes November 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm   

    My husband didn't understand my back problems either, until he starting having problems of his own. It's very hard to "make" someone understand the kind of pain we're in if they've never "been there". Some people think that we should just be able to take a Tylenol and "get on with life". They don't understand that our conditions can get better and worse, depending on the day, the weather, the amount of stress we're under, and a lot of other things. Please use the people on this site, who KNOW what you're going through as sounding boards. Over the last 3 years that I've been a member of this site and Back Pain Connect, my friends on both sites have been wonderful: understanding and supportive. Give us all a chance to be there for you; but you have to let us know what's going on with you so that we can try to help you out.

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA November 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm   

    Hi dogger63,

    It sounds like your partner is being very helpful or understanding. I am sorry to hear this. You are dealing with so much, and not having a supportive partner just adds to your burden.

    Here is a link to an article I wrote awhile back:

    I hope you will find it helpful.

    I encourage you to get lots of support from friends, and maybe family members, who can be there for you. And stay in touch with us. Don't go through this alone!


  • malann2716
    malann2716 November 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm   

    I'm not married but I have been in several relationships which now have ended because they don't get it. I rather be alone right now then be with someone who judges me. I think it is a good idea to bring your significant other to your appointment and make sure to speak up about your limitations. Only you know how much you're able to do and the people that love you should understand. This topic boils my blood because I hear it over and over again that nobody gets it. It is time for people to be educated.

  • Lori Byrnes
    Lori Byrnes November 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm   

    They don't get it because they haven't "walked in our shoes". I saw a post the other day from a woman whose husband is leaving her after more than 10 years of marriage because he's "tired of the doctor's appointments, limitations, medical bills, etc." Whatever happened to "in sickness and in health"? My husband and I went through a period where he was unhappy about my lack of income while I was waiting for my disability, but with 11 herniated discs (besides the L4-L5-S1 fusion I had previously), and the fact that I was in a wheelchair, unable to sit up for more than 30 minutes at a time, I finally told him that this was NOT the life that I wanted, and that my injuries (all 3 of them) were caused by the negligence of other people-NOT my fault. Like Serolod, he still gets on me about not having "dinner ready", not having the "house cleaned up", etc. I'm lucky if I can stand at the sink long enough to do the dishes.

    I agree with you that you should discuss your condition BEFORE you get too far into it. If need be, have your rheumatologist explain your condition to your S.O. so that he understands what he's getting into, and can't blame you later for "tricking him into a relationship by not telling him".

    I hope that you're able to find someone who can understand what you're going through. Like I said, my husband didn't understand my back problems until he started having those of his own (and his is no where near as bad as mine, which is probably why he still gives me a hard time now and then for not doing what he "thinks I should".

    SEROLOD November 5, 2013 at 1:46 am   

    Don't know if my husband will ever understand - We have been discussing my RA limitations every few months - for the past 3 years. Makes it all about him - like (why he can't come home to a clean home or have a hot meal after a hard day at work, etc.)
    Well Gee I can't even hold my water glass today. Then doesn't notice or mention how nice the place looks when I have a few good days & clean, dust, etc. It's Worse now that I don't work - why because It caused me too much pain & I was approved for disability. Even this fact hasn't made him see that even though I have an invisible disease - I am not the same person I used to be. He is a well educated professional and great provider - but in this respect A Lousy husband. Mostly concentrates on how to make more money for the future - Doesn't get it when I suggest we should do and live in the present . I'm realistic and can't count that my future will be like that of normal retirees, but he continues to be in denial. He makes plans and promises to me when he wants to make up after an agrument - then never follows thru. I just fill my life with friends and close family and vent to my sisters. I have decided to suffer in silence because why bring up the topic of pain when I won't get any support from him.
    I truly hope you two can resolve this before it gets to this point.

  • Lori Byrnes
    Lori Byrnes November 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm   

    You don't have to "suffer in silence". Just because you can't get any understanding or compassion from him, doesn't mean that you won't get it here. The last 3 years since I've belonged to this group and to Back Pain Connect, I've got more friends and have gotten more compassion and empathy than I ever have in my life. We're all here for each other, and even though I can't speak for the rest, any time you need support, please feel free to send me a message and I'll always get back to you within a day. I understand what it's like not to have someone who "has your back".

  • dogger63
    dogger63 November 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm   

    yes its my fiance, he expects me to keep the house a certain way I yjink he's got some OCD issues himself. He has gone to the doc's and listed to what they say but ur right I think a little self education would be the best thing also I would do it if the shoes where on the other foot. Thank you all for your continued support
    Loads of Love n Light to you all!
    The Dogger

  • mariesa
    mariesa November 4, 2013 at 9:06 am   

    I'm not sure if this is your husband or boyfriend but either way would you be opposed to having him go to an appointment to your rheumatologist with you? Sometime lack of education on the topic can lead to lack of empathy. Maybe by going to an appointment he can ask questions he may have and maybe get a better understanding

  • tooslim
    tooslim November 4, 2013 at 9:04 am   

    I can relate to this. I try to lower my cleaning expectations but i am so uncomfortable in a messy house. Hugs!

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 November 19, 2013 at 12:21 am   

    I can't find myself in my house, b/c of my clutter- My doctor told me, "You're going to be in pain daily for the rest of your life." Then, I went and pulled a lot of things out to try to be helpful to a place that really needed some help- I used to be- not a thing out of place, not any more- I wish it was like it used to be.

  • niklewisskye123
    niklewisskye123 November 4, 2013 at 6:30 am   

    i can totally understand im the same its horrible

  • latisha31
    latisha31 November 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm   

    I can relate to u on that either it pain or u are just too tired to get things done. No one will understand unless they have been thru it

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