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Monday, May 03, 2010 LA, Community Member, asks

Q: I'm chronically ill but my husband doesn't support me.

I'm new to your website. I'm chronically ill. I suffer from CVID, asthma, Addisons, fibromygia, depression, cervical spondylotic myelopathy, peripheral neueritis, arthritis, gerd, cystitis, etc.etc. and poor spelling. I am on medicare and was accepted as disabled five years ago. My husband gets angry when I stay in bed if I'm ill. No one brings me food or drink there. I'm in no way spoiled for being ill. I usually go without when I am very ill. Which thankfully is not too often these days. When I am able I do like to go and mess with horses and teach horseback lessons. Since I cannot be terribly dependable, I cannot build a business. Also, because of the economy some folk are out of work and I like to help the people and the horses when I can so I don't charge very much at all. It keeps me sane. It makes me feel valued and workthwhile.


Now the tire on my car is wearing out and I need to replace it soon. My husband says I need to go to work fulltime so I can replace it. This is not the only time he brings this up. He doesn't really believe I'm sick. He just thinks I'm on vacation, that all the pills and pain meds they give are what make me sick.  I'm and addict. I should stay home all the time and pay all the bills with my social security money.


Sometimes I want to stop some of my meds and let nature take its course.  I'm so tired of the guilt producing remarks about how I have taken so much away from the family. I did not ask for this.   I have always tired to keep my medical expenses within my own income and I always had a little to add to the family expenses.  I think he is an ass. I can't afford to go elsewhere. I wish I could. Anybody got any good comebacks?

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Answers (7)
Merely Me, Health Guide
5/ 5/10 6:33pm



First of all...I am really sorry you are going through all this and without support.  I think you need more than a good comeback for your need real support.  Do you have any other family members who can help you? 


Would your husband listen to a doctor or to reading anything about your condition?  I am guess not...but did have to ask.  Maybe spell it out for him as in..."These are the things I am able to do...these are the things I am not able to with it."


He is going to have to come to terms with accepting what is.


In the meantime you need to focus on you...and letting what he says...go in one ear and out the other.


Let us know what happens...


Thank you for reaching out here.

Judy, Community Member
5/ 3/10 11:34pm

Hi, LA.  I'd agree, your husband does sound like an ass.  Why do you think you couldn't afford to leave him?  Are you on SSI?  I'm pretty sure he'd have to give you some kind of monetary support.  The only other thing I can think of is if you could get him to go with you to a couples therapist, which can do wonders for getting people to talk honestly with each other.  Perhaps he's feeling overwhelmed or depressed about your health, but that's not an excuse for being mean-spirited and telling you that you need to get a full-time job to pay for a new tire.  Do you have a therapist yourself, or someone in your life you can talk to about this, maybe even one of your doctors?  I'm sure this all doesn't help you much.


Please write again and let us know how you're doing.  I probably wasn't very helpful, but I can sympathize with you, at least.  You don't need this treatment from him and if that's what your relationship consists of, is it worth it?  You have to do what you think is best, of course, I'm just saying what it looks like to me from reading your question.  Take care and let us know if there's anything we can do to help.



pacingtiger, Community Member
5/ 5/10 5:09pm

Ditto Judy. I think your advice was right on the money. I feel so bad all the time myself so I can only sympathize with her as I don't know what I should be doing, as I've tried so many things. But she sounds like someone who really needs a lot of support not criticism from her husband.

OliviaHart, Community Member
5/25/10 8:45pm

Reading your story, my heart definitely goes out to you. You definitely need to be in an environment with supportive people.  I wonder though, why is your husband unable to accept that you are ill?  How long have you been married to him? Were you ill throughout your whole marriage?  If you weren't ill throughout your whole marriage, was your husband more suportive and loving before you became ill?  Before you became ill, were you the larger contirbutor to the relationship - not necessarily in money, but in planning things, keeping the house in order?  I may be completely off base, but I'm just asking these questions because I'm wondering if maybe your husband is unable to accept that you are ill because he unable to accept that you, and he, are getting older?  Or, Maybe he feels scared that with you being ill, all the burden for both your well-being and his will fall on his shoulders and he's worried that he may not be capable enough (i.e. enough of a man) to do it all on his own? 


There's obviously something deeper going on....however, i  think the problem is uncovering what the real problem is.  If you can get him to open up about his (real) concerns, maybe that will help.


Let us know what happens and how you are doing.

sioux, Community Member
6/17/10 2:47pm

Dear LA, it sure sounds like you could use some support. (btw what is CVID ?) Your husband sounds like HE's the "spoiled one there. Do you have children? You have come to the right place for moral support, and practical advice. This site is great. Have you thought of having someone else speak to your husband? Such as your Dr.? Or if you both have family around perhaps you could have a sort of "intervention" with all of them and your husband present where you could voice your concerns and they could "back you up". I too am disabled and can't do many things I used to do, but the thing is I don't LOOK disabled so people are skeptical of why I always seem to be sick. My husband does ok with me but not great, he gets exasperated by some things I'm unable to do, but we just got married last August so he knew all of this going in. It's really sad because if it was the man who was disabled the women would rise to the occaision without a wince. I do hope you will keep posting on our site and let us know how it's going. Good luck to you. Sioux.

lonely sister, Community Member
8/26/11 12:50am

i know what u mean. my sister has ms for 18 years and me i have ms for 8 yrs. my husband is compassionate with me but my sisters husband is an ass!!  my sister recently fell and broke her femur in 4 different places. he comes and goes from school so hes hardly ever home! he tells her it was her fault she fell because she doesnt listen to her to use her walker. she has been in bed for 2 months healing and she gets no support. not even an i love u...........shes very depressed

n.moore, Community Member
9/17/11 9:04pm

I know what you mean.My husband and i have been married for 18 yrs.For the most part everything has been good,until 6 years ago we had our son and he had colic for 4 mos.I had to use earplugs to muffle the constant crying.This in turn through me into a deep depression. For 2 mos. solid I did not sleep a wink I paced the floors cried constantly and lost 40 pds.During this time he would tell me things like suck it up and drive on.get over it.He was the one who said get some help,so I did.I seen  my family doctor 5x, a therapist3x,then finally a psychiatrist.She put me on depakote,seraquil,paxil,restoril,and xanax for 4years.She said I was bipolar.Never had this problem before.Plus I put on 80pds.I was literally waking around like frankenstein.During this time I was ridiculed for being this way from my husband.So now I'm confused you said get help now your saying get off.The only reason I didn't sooner was because I was afraid to be that person again.Finally 2 years ago,I made the decision to get off the meds.Iweened  myself off and felt good for 2 years.Since april I have lost 57pds.But onfortunately in may I got sick,lockjaw,thenbronchial asthma,uti infection all in one month.Wow.husband said I was a hypochondriac.Yeah.cause I love feeling this way.Then2 weeks ago I was severely stressed fro the bills,family issues,a horrible cold,and pre-menopause symptoms and I was having panic and anxiety attacks.Now my husband is worse than ever and even makes comments like I would have thought twice about having kids with you if I knew all this mental stuff about . kick me when I'm down. He also says it's all in my head.He's also very self righteous and according to him is never wrong.My husband is a good provider,good dad but what do I do about thr lack of emotional support. Should I stay? What if I really get sick?

Bullmoosebaby, Community Member
3/27/12 8:50am
Hi n.moore. I know it's been months since you posted this, but I responded to the original posting (to which you replied) with the suggestion of a phenomenal book that could be a lifechanger for both you and your husband called 'Just Fine...' (forgot subtitle... It's about concealed or invisible chronic illnesses; see my reply to posting for exact title name) by Carol Sveilich(sp?), which you can get thru Amazon. It really opened my husband's eyes. I wish you luck and happiness. Reply
Bullmoosebaby, Community Member
3/ 1/12 3:38am
I'm so sorry to read about what you're going through. I highly recommend the following book, which you can buy on Amazon (if you're not familar with Amazon, once you find the book's listing, you'll see it includes a link to used copies sold cheap by reliable, independent sellers; I got mine for around $10 which included the book plus shipping): Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness and Pain, by Carol Sveilich. This is a remarkable book that I would HIGHLY recommend you AND your husband both read. I have a few illnesses that are not visible, and it's very easy for others to think I'm just fine when I'm not. I read part of it to my husband who said, "Man, it sounds like YOU wrote that book!" It's spot on. I wish you wellness and happiness in the future. Reply
LA, Community Member
3/23/12 12:09pm

Thank you for the information.  I'm still here.  All the replys have been helpful. I did go to theraphy bad news there; that's a long story. I'm finally ready to try again on the therapy my appointment is next week.

Bullmoosebaby, Community Member
3/27/12 8:34am
Good! So glad to hear it. And if your husband isn't interested in reading the book, it would still be cathartic and an amazing support for YOU reading and seeing yourself in print over and over again through the personal stories. Take care and best wishes from the heart to you. Reply
LA, Community Member
4/ 4/12 10:47am


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By LA, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/29/14, First Published: 05/03/10