Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Back Pain and Relationships
    Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
    Has your back pain affected your relationships?
    In what ways?
    Chrissy~ WebMD Staff

    Confucius Say;
    Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

    trs1960 responded:
    Unfortunetly chronic pain like any disease is hard on both persons in a relationship. My wife married a young strong intelligent man and we had two kids with great plans for our future.
    The stress of my back are often harder on her than me. I have no choice, but to live with pain and go through whatever modality the doctor recommends. She has a choice. My marriage is on thin ice and I don't blame her. I keep trying and won't quit trying until I take my last breath, but it's hard to live with someone in pain. Our fuses get short, we have less capability to help out around the house or help the kids.

    Over the years I've tried to help coach softball and soccer teams and I just can't do much. Now it takes everything I have just to go watch a game and take some pictures.

    I try not to moan and groan, but when I just spent 8 hours at a job you can barely handle (physically) and get home in pain and I'm asked to take a kid here or there...when I drop something and it hits the floor. There are things that are just beyond your limits, but you push your limits close to the breaking point. A huff or puff and "oh my back hurts." gets old and I try to be stoic, but I'm not superman.

    I can tell you that I would rather have a broken back than a broken heart and watching the harm my injury has caused my family hurts me in a completely different way.

    trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
    I.E. I just sat down from a long day at work. I posted my answer and my cell phone rang, "can you drive my car to the park so we can pick up kids and drive them home?"

    That's not a question I can say no to. Furthermore I know it will take hours to dilly dally around doing this and if I say I hurt and need to go home...well I best not say that.
    trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
    So I just got home. This is tough. I spent four hours doing what I live for. Everyhing I do is to be able to spend time with my family, but after a week of work it's hard to put on a happy face and go sit in a little plastic chair at the Jr High School.
    Sorry to monopolize the thread, but with Dav eout I'm doubling my posting
    So relationships are strained, but where's the surprise. We all talk about the strain to get to the doctor, to get to work, to get disability, to park a car...why should marriage and family be immune from the rest of the struggles we have.

    One thing I can say is, I think I've taught my kids to never give up!

    My 14 year old is in the top 10% of her class and will easily graduate early with honors. She also has National Champion titles in her equestrian events. Her little sister is also an honor student. She is shooting to double letter next year in the high school basketball and soccer team.

    Their succes is mainly due to my wife being their to manage logistics and me to support everything once they're in. I host a few websites to share pictures of thier teams and friends with all those that are involved to supprt kids.

    Tim (OK, done now)
    davedsel57 replied to trs1960's response:
    Hey, Tim. I'm not out, my break was short and I'm back to work.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    davedsel57 responded:
    I am extremely blessed with a wonderful wife that understands. She always has, but can now fully empathize due to a work-related back injury in March 2011. Both of us can be heard moaning and groaning. It's like the crippled leading the crippled in our house!

    Our two sons, ages 20 and 22, also seem to understand and help around the house quite a bit. Other family members and all of our friends also understand.

    I have wonderful support from family, friends, and WebMD.

    Does that make my life perfect? No. Do I still have high levels of chronic pain? Yes. Does the chronic pain affect every single part of my life - body, mind and spirit? It certainly does. What good support does is help me to get through each day no matter how much pain I am in or how little I can do. Good support helpss me to realize how much people care about me and my personal worth.

    My faith helps. My family, friends, and on-line support helps.

    Keep doing research. Keep moving as much as possible. Keep a positive attitude.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    trs1960 replied to davedsel57's response:
    Yes, my point is, it's sometimes easier for us to understand there are no options. We must move on, we must roll the stone up the hill. For others around us this burden we bear can get ugly and is at times harder on them than it is on us.
    Sitting by and watching your loved one suffer must be an equally brutal torture as the pain is that we suffer through. It leaves noone around us untouched.
    dianer01 responded:

    I have few limitations compared to many on this board but there is constantly some friction between DH and myself.

    For many years we had done fix-it and do-it-yourself projects together and I would lift, carry, climb and generally do anything he would do. I don't have the ability to climb or get down on the ground easily because of strength issues in my right leg and knees which have also degenerated over the years.

    My not being able, and in some instances willing, to do some of the activities we had done in the past really annoys him. And then the spat begins. I will relent and say I will do something knowing it will cause me pain or even be dangerous, in the case of climbing, then he will taunt me about being a baby ... the day is not too far off when he will push too hard and I will make some changes.
    jenlewi responded:
    I'm not nearly as bad off as most of the folks on this board, but there have been times when it's caused tension.

    Walking across the room, you freeze because you've got a back spasm and the other half comes to help, your response of screaming "Don't touch me! Just wait for it to pass!" is bound to create some hurt feelings.

    You take a hot soak to try to loosen up tight muscles, then can't get out of the tub without help. Nobody else is home, and they're late because they decided to stop somewhere on the way home....

    You need help to tie your shoes when your back acts up.

    Not only does pain affect your temperament, the actual physical limitations require a great deal of understanding and help. How could that NOT affect your relationships? The strengths and weaknesses of all of your relationships are not only revealed, but magnified. Are your coworkers supportive or nasty? Do your kids help out? Is your S.O. supportive?
    trs1960 replied to jenlewi's response:
    Very well said Jen
    painloopy responded:
    From a womans perspective it is VERY difficult on a all relationships. Women now-a-days are expected to be super-mom, career woman, and go to for everything in between. My husband is very hard working but he can't do everything so when my back problems started it not only impacted my ability to work at the career I loved but my ability to keep the house clean, cook, play with my child, and have fun with my husband...everything that gives a woman self worth. He is only one person and I get upset and guilty when he recommends getting a maid even though I know I need it. Then there is the bedroom drama that becomes battle ground when it comes right down to it. He has needs and I have pain. So who gets it? No one unless someone gets hurt then there is guilt, blame, and tension until the next time it comes up. My desire is pretty much shot. That isn't fair for him.
    Then there are your friends that used to be there for you all the time before your back problem started and are no where to be found now since you don't go anywhere they do so "out of sight, out of mind". I don't want to ask for someone to visit or call me. I'm still on facebook so it's not like they don't see my posts. If they do call - I don't want to talk about my medical problems and get everyone depressed but then I don't have anything else to talk about so it becomes awkward. Especially when they say "we should get together sometime and go out on the town or dinner!" and I say "I can't drive or sit for that long" then they get embarrassed because they forgot about my situation since they haven't kept in touch. I have found new friends over the years that have similar problems to my own in support groups so those relationships have grown and worked out well with people I never would have met otherwise.
    trs1960 replied to painloopy's response:
    "And the Self Loathing..." From the Grinch

    I think we all understand. My wife has been a little under the weather and my daughter is getting ready for a State Cup soccer tournament 7 games or practices in a row and each one a 100 mile plus round trip made by yours truly.

    I got a little close to losing my temper today when I offered to make the drive again. My other daughter had to get an MRI today for her back (another story). I thought they were still at the imaging center so I said I'd take off work early and go..."shes says oh great, I'm going to get my bangs trimmed and B is going tanning." I'm not the type to resend an offer so I didn't say anything, but it sure ticke dme off. I just got home after what is now a 14 hour day. I have problems with 6 hour days!

    I live to help my family so I offer, but when I find myself chasing my tail and causing pain so one an go tanning while the other is getting a trim!!!!!

    trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
    Here's the opposite side. Yesterday I went to get my elbow MRI'd there was no parking anywhere near the hospital and as I've said, I've been really overdoing it lately and rearely taking any pain meds so I figure I'll use my placard and park in handicapped. There no handicaped spots either. I foind two of them with an access walkway striped out in the middle. Sombody parkerd their motorcycle in theat center wheelchair or access area. This madie it impractical to use either spot as his motorcycle would have hit your car when he went to leave. He had no handicapped license plate or placard. That upset me. I go with no right to park in handicap parks his motorcycle effectivel blocking two spots.

    jenlewi replied to trs1960's response:
    If you report such abuses of handicapped spots to the hospital, most hospitals will have the perpetrator towed. Stores aren't usually as good about it, since they only have as many handicapped spaces as they are required by law to have. Hospitals, however, will usually enforce handicapped parking laws to the limit.
    fetay responded:
    Well my back problems started about 6 years ago, but just got bad about a year and a half ago. I was engaged to the most wonderful and understanding person in the world, who is now my husband. I dont know what I would do with out him, because he has been my rock. We do fight sometimes when I just cant get out of bed to go to the lake, or do anything fun that he wants to. After my 40 hours of work for the week and trying to put on a happy face, sometimes I can literally not move when I get home. I mean how do you tell the husband that would do anything for you, sorry honey I cant go to that baseball game because I dont know if I can walk that far, or no dear sex is not an option because everything hurts at the time. Anyone have ideas of how to talk to your spouse with out sounding like you are whinig?? I hate that feeling.

    Helpful Tips

    Making the Most of Your Doctor Visit #2Expert
    Here are the rest of the suggestions (had to break into to two parts due to the character limits) 5. Make sure that all records ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    39 of 54 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center