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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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Semen Strong
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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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Dying from Nooch Lung
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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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