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How has FM changed your relationship with spouse/ significant other?
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schrode posted:
This article was online today on Everday Health: Having a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis can put a lot of stress on a relationship — it could even lead to divorce.

Here is the link to the article:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/rheumatoid-arthritis-and-divorce.aspx?xid=aol_eh-arth_1_20120924_&aolcat=AJA&icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl31%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D210165

I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have a very caring and supportive husband. Our struggle with FM has both changed and strengthened our relationship.,

What about the rest of you?

Soft hugs,
Deb

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How has FM changed your relationship with spouse/ significant other?
  • It has strengthened my relationship?
  • It has strained my relationship?
  • It has ended my relationship in divorce/separation?
  • We are working on our relationship?
  • We are seeking counseling because of FM?
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Anon_2912 responded:
It hasn't.

24yrs, still the same marriage...

However, we don't nor do I want to discuss medical issues with anyone but my doctor unless it is a life or death situation. I don't complain or whine or discuss my pain day with him.

Life is too short to complain to him.
 
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schrode replied to Anon_2912's response:
Interesting to see the different replies to the poll. I hope more people share their experiences.

Deb
 
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slovene54 responded:
I wish I could say my husband was understanding but listening to my complaints the last few years has just made him numb to me. He thinks that if I just slept more I wouldn't be so tired and if I just lost weight and excercised this would go away. I'm waiting for him to read the spoon theory story to hopefully get him to understand better. He thinks that working full time (I'm a teller) and taking care of my 3 year old and puppy every night and weekends shouldn't be that hard. I'm still holding out hope that he will understand one day.
 
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Anon_10089 replied to slovene54's response:
My marriage has been strengthened, I think. It did take awhile, though. My husband and I have come to terms with health issues the other one has (in our twenties, I might add). It's a great day when you realize that it's easier to go along and help the other person, than to fight him/her on it.

It's strange to me to hear how spouses can be unsupportive. Isn't it part of the vows to deal with stuff like this? Even if they think we're crazy and not victim to an illness, shouldn't they be worried about the crazy part? If couples stay together long enough, won't the non FM partner likely have a health issue themselves and expect the FM partner's support?

Unlike Anon2912, my husband and I are very open about our problems. We deal with them like they are the problems of us as a unit, not as individuals. Being completely honest about our issues to each other has been what has helped. I don't view telling my husband I'm having a high pain day as complaining. I view it as communicating so that he'll know why I'm more tired or not up for something.

Although it's been difficult, I think the fact that my husband also deals with an ever present health condition has helped him be understanding of me, and visa versa.
 
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jennagale76 replied to Anon_10089's response:
At first it put a huge strain on our marriage, but I was also dealing with and undiagnosed with interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, and depression at the same time. After I was diagnosed and being treated, we were able to get back to normal. If I'm having a lot of pain I let him know, so he doesn't expect as much out of me. He's been very understanding and supportive of me, and it amazes me because he doesn't really understand it, yet knows that I'm trying as hard as I can to be the same girl I used to be. It's made us closer.
 
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annette030 replied to Anon_2912's response:
I agree with what you say about discussing medical things with him, I don't generally.

We have been married over 20 years, more than half since my diagnosis with FMS about 15 years ago.

Take care, Annette
 
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annette030 replied to slovene54's response:
You are working full time, taking care of a three year old, a husband, and a puppy? And you have FMS? As long as you continue to do all that, why would he change?

Take care, Annette
 
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Anon_2912 replied to Anon_10089's response:
I just don't like talking to ANYONE about my medical issues. I am a private person.

My husband is very supportive, or trust me I would not have been with him for over 24yrs, however, I expect my husband to be supportive health issue or not.

We both work, we BOTH help raise our son, we are a unit. Heck I don't even tell people I have a headache, I just take something and go on about my day, why do they need to know. If I am tired I don't need an excuse to give my husband as to why I am tired, I just am I don't need to justify it to anyone.

But like I said, I am a private person when it comes to HEALTH issues.
 
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Anon_10089 replied to Anon_2912's response:
I understand you and annette030's responses about not talking to your husband about health issues. I didn't mean to say your way is the wrong way, I was just giving my experience since it also has worked. The fact that both of you have had long time marriages proves that your way works for you!

I also wasn't trying to imply that your husband is not supportive. I know from your past posts that you have a strong marriage. I was referring to so many others here that don't have support. I agree with you that I expect my husband to be supportive, health issue or not!
 
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Anon_2912 replied to Anon_10089's response:
I was not offended, please don't think that...

I totally agree with you, everyone is different, it is what makes us the same....

I don't like husband not being supportive in general for ANY reason. I don't like women thinking they have to be ill, we are women who deserve to have a husband be supportive.

I say go with what works for the marriage, but I am adamant on husbands being supporitve to every wife not just when they are health issues involved. 50/50 is what I say.
 
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annette030 replied to Anon_2912's response:
I am not offended either, I agree with Anon_2912, I expect support in a marriage. My late grandpa told me once that a good marriage should be 80/20, but that 80/20 should go back and forth depending on who needs the help that day.

When I married my husband, he had been declared terminal by his doctors and I was a healthy nurse. He is still going strong, and now I am disabled. Who knew back then? We made vows to each other, typical of most folks, but we meant them, and have worked hard at them, through good times and bad.

Every couple is different.

Take care, Annette
 
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schrode replied to annette030's response:
My husband and I are excited to be celebrating our 15 year anniversary this week! I think every couple needs to make their own terms in their relationship. My husband and I generally agree 60% of the time, I get my way 30% of the time and the last 10% of the time he puts his foot down and I respect that. This works for us because of our different personality types, he is definitely more laid-back than me! It also works because we love and respect each other.

That is not to say that we never have difficult days. We have three kids, he works full time and I work part-time. We also volunteer with cub scouts and girl scouts. We have a lot on our plate but we try not to take on more than we can handle. One of the hard things for me has been having to give up some of my volunteer work.

Soft hugs,
Deb
 
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annette030 replied to schrode's response:
Hi, Deb

My husband and I agree most of the time now, it is pretty rare that anyone puts his foot down at this point. Of course, we have hard days and good days. You are right about loving each other, that is surely the most important thing in a marriage.

Good for you doing volunteer work! My late mother did not work "outside" the home, but she did the books for the Boy Scout Troop, had a Blue Birds and then Camp Fire group for my sister, did all the PR work for the Grand Council of the Camp Fire Girls (county level), and always was going out getting petitions signed with the babies in the pram. She set a good example for us five kids.

I have always volunteered, lots of different things, but now I walk dogs at the local animal shelter. Please try not to totally end your volunteer work, but do balance it with your kids and family life.

Take care, Annette
 
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schrode replied to annette030's response:
Hi Annette!

I do enjoy my volunteer work. I am not stopping just slowing down. I was the Cub Scout Pack Committee Chairman and my husband was the Cubmaster. This year I will be a Committee member and my husband will be the Webelos leader. Still helping, still fun, but much less responsibility. I am also a girl scout assistant leader, they asked me to be leader but I knew that was too much.

I am just starting to learn what I can do with my new (FM) normal. I also work as a cashier as of last year. I submitted a doctor's note this Spring that I can only work up to 6 hours a day. Eight hours on my feet was just too much.

I think volunteer work is good for your soul. It gets our minds off of life's problems and stresses for a while.

Soft hugs,
Deb


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