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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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That's so frustrating, vixki! Has he told you how he'd like you to support him when he's in pain? From what you've written, it sounds like he wants support but hasn't actually said the kind of support that would work for him - and how can you be expected to give support when you don't know what it is that he's looking for?

I can also totally relate to the chronic pain thing and feeling frustrated when he has the option of easing his pain but chooses not to. That said, some kinds of pain that I experience are not chronic and do go away when I use painkillers - but I am often in the habit of just trying to ignore them, because I guess I forget that some of my pain is actually treatable.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:09 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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He just wants to be comforted and looked after and have someone feel sorry for him. I guess partly I'm jealous because nobody does that for me. I mean last year I even had surgery and he came down with a cold at the same time and I spent my recovery looking after him. I understand that with chronic illnesses (especially in my case when I'm mostly undiagnosed) you don't get sympathy I just find it hard I think. He's not a nurturing sort of person and I never thought I was but I always end up having to look after everyone anyway. I remember as a kid noticing that my mum was always looking after everyone, she would always carry a huge bag Mary Poppins style packed with everything anyone could possibly need and would hover around making sure everyone was ok. And lately I notice I'm just like that, even down to the bag of endless possibilities. But I don't really enjoy doing it, you know I'll have chocolate in my bag for when my husband gets inevitably hungry but I kinda wish he'd thought for himself and eaten beforehand or brought something with him, you know? So I guess he expects me to always be a sympathetic ear and care for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:23 pm 
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Can you talk to him when he's not in pain, and work out a code word you can use when you want some care and kindness? And I totally get that doesn't work for everyone, but it could be a way for him to ask for what he wants, instead of getting upset about either having to ask explicitly or having you not read minds.

But I hear you! It's frustrating when someone is unwilling to do what they need to do to improve their situation. I know you've struggled to find a therapist, but if you are able, it might be helpful to have some support around this!

So sorry to hear your news SD - both about the illness and the guy.

Sending everyone many good thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:29 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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vixki wrote:
He just wants to be comforted and looked after and have someone feel sorry for him. I guess partly I'm jealous because nobody does that for me. I mean last year I even had surgery and he came down with a cold at the same time and I spent my recovery looking after him. I understand that with chronic illnesses (especially in my case when I'm mostly undiagnosed) you don't get sympathy I just find it hard I think. He's not a nurturing sort of person and I never thought I was but I always end up having to look after everyone anyway. I remember as a kid noticing that my mum was always looking after everyone, she would always carry a huge bag Mary Poppins style packed with everything anyone could possibly need and would hover around making sure everyone was ok. And lately I notice I'm just like that, even down to the bag of endless possibilities. But I don't really enjoy doing it, you know I'll have chocolate in my bag for when my husband gets inevitably hungry but I kinda wish he'd thought for himself and eaten beforehand or brought something with him, you know? So I guess he expects me to always be a sympathetic ear and care for him.


Ugh. That sounds really frustrating. I feel like women are the ones who are shoved into these nurturing and organising roles, and we didn't necessarily want or ask for them.

It's kind of hard to broach these things without sounding a bit harsh... but maybe explain that you don't want to be the person who's in charge of his care. He's an adult and he can take care of himself, and you're his wife, not his mother.

I don't think I would show much sympathy in those situations, either. Like, I might say, "sorry your stomach's hurting" or whatever, but I don't think a person should feel obliged to fuss over someone if it's not really their thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:36 pm 
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I think it's ok to sound harsh. You can preface it with something like, "I care about you and I don't want you to be in pain....but" and then say how he has options to deal with his various maladies so he should take responsibility and do what's necessary. As partners we should look out for each other and whatnot but also, he's an adult. You're not his mom or caretaker. You don't even have to bring up your chronic pain, even though I totally understand why you're frustrated in that regard. In these situations, you can be a good spouse by being kind and sympathetic and if he's grumbling make suggestions, like "why don't you take an advil and drink some water" and then he can in turn be a good spouse by not being annoying to you and taking care of himself.

I say this as someone who also doesn't have a great bedside manner (has caused problems between me and my mother, who loves to be fussed over). You can't force a person to be something that they're not!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:49 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Nobody posts here anymore so I feel I can rant about this.

I think I'm getting totally paranoid.

Currently I have injured my leg/hip and am in a fair bit of pain and struggling to walk. My husband has suddenly come down with a bad cold! And he is a terrible patient and needs looking after.

When was the last time he had a bad cold? When I had surgery. I had expected him to look after me while I recovered but I ended up looking after him. Instead of me resting on the sofa playing video games he lay there watching his TV shows instead. And here we go, the same is happening again.

I know for sure he's not faking it - he wouldn't do that. It's just so frustrating that this always happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:22 am 
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Oh Vixki that sucks!
I'm sorry you are having this double bad time, hope you both feel better soon!
Did you talk to him last time this happened? Maybe he's stressed out about you being in pain and it lowers his defenses against colds. Still, it sucks!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Him being stressed makes sense, I guess. Because I'm not working due to chronic illness, I do all the house work... This past week, due to not being able to walk, I couldn't. I know he was getting stressed about the place getting messy but when I listed what I'd usually do he wasn't happy! I think when I'm incapacitated is the only time he notices that housework is at least some kind of work, haha.

He also said this morning that he feels sorry for me because he feels crepe when he's unwell and it must really suck to be chronically ill like me and feel like that all the time. On one hand, yay, he finally gets it! But on the other...he's acknowledging that I feel bad all the time, yet the time he feels bad he needs me to look after him? And why does it take him experiencing feeling bad to believe that feeling bad well...feels bad?! But I am making mountains from molehills here.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:52 am 
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Nooooooooo I don't think you're making mountains from molehills at all. As someone who suffers from a chronic invisible illness that even the NHS doesn't really believe in, I totally sympathise. My ex had a chronic health condition too, only he got ill while I was still fairly healthy. I did loads around the house and supported him 110%. When I got ill, it was like he needed ALL the relationship's emotional and empathy reserves entirely for himself. I know your situation is different....I suppose I just get what it's like when both people need to concentrate totally on themselves for any period of time!

My current partner is great. He is 10 years older than me (AN OLDE MAN AT 45) but way more energetic most of the time. When we first starting seeing each other he got glandular fever in his LIVER of all places and had horrendous fatigue for about 6 weeks. It gave him an early insight into what life is like for me a lot of the time, which, as you say, is handy! Anyway, these days he is ace. We had a really upfront chat about housework and the labour that goes into it when we moved in together. Because I am still able to work (with adjustments in place) we pay a cleaner to come in once every two weeks so that I can concentrate on my studies and wotnot, and because he knows that a tidy/clean house really means a lot to me and my well-being!

Honestly, this stuff is so important and it's really important to have an appreciation of how much work goes into it, and how important it is to the other person that it's done. I mean, if two people don't care about living in filth then that's okay so long as you are on the same page. I know my ~standards are higher than my partner's but he is happy to pay half for a cleaner and just be a bit tidier now we live together.

I think it's really important to have frank discussions about it all and just get it sorted. On the one hand it seems trivial, but if fixing it means there is peace and harmony then it's not trivial at all :)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:37 am 
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This happens to us too. If I get ill, I can almost guarantee HG will, he doesn't handle it well when I'm ill.

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