(Closed) Back pain is affecting our marriage…help please

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
5965 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@VegasSukie:  Oh honey, I know JUST what you are going through, Mr. 99 injured his shoulder right before we were married and that was almost five years ago….we’ve been through a lot and I totally understand how you can feel so small, insignifcant and totally indentured to that crooked and faceless cheater, “Pain”

What saved us, was completely open communication, suspension of judgement or action and activating a third party perception.

The two of you have got to talk to each other, about how this affects both of you, as a unit, as people all of that, but you’ve also got to find things to talk about that are everyday things, fun things to look forward to and things you can do together.  When a person is in pain, choices are limited, but I’ll tell you what, video games are actually a pretty fun way to team up and conquer space or the battlefield together and with an online community, it’s a good way to interact with the world around you on a level that works for both of you comfortably.

I know how it is when someone is in pain, you get caught up in their state of being and let that dictate yours.  He’s having a good day?  Awesome!  It’s going to be a good day, other way around, your day is in the crapper and you haven’t even had breakfast yet.  Suspend that thought process, tell yourself that the day has just begun, he can take care of himself, and you are in charge of your day…give him space, let him deal, you take care of you….they get tired of having someone constantly watching and observing them, it’s nice to just let it go.

Finally, you need someone to get mad at, seriously, this sucks, you two have been robbed, it isn’t fair and being furious over it is normal…but where to do you point that?  At him? NO!  At the pain!  Activate it as a living, breathing, piece of crap for the two of you to hate on and unite against together…it helps, I swear.  We call Mr. 99’s pain, Reba…that bitch.

Keep your head up, take it a day at a time and remember, the hardest fights aren’t won over who swings the hardest punch, it’s about who can stand on their feet longer. Whenever Mr. 99 starts to feel guilty about all of this and how hard it’s been on us, I always tell him, “No matter how long I’ve been in the ring, when it comes to you, I’ve always got another nine rounds left in me.” 

Keep your dukes up, but take care of yourself too.  It gets better if you tackle it together!



Post # 5
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My sister deals with horrendous back pain. She’s also a firefighter. She started meditating after her firefighter colleague who also had debilitating back pain (had surgery and everything) discovered years ago that meditation was the only thing that worked. He has an entire room devoted to meditation. Neither of these people are hippy dippy types and neither am i, but maybe worth a shot? Exercise also helps. 

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I like Nona99’s practice of directing anger and frustration at the pain itself and giving it a name.

Post # 6
432 posts
Helper bee

I know how you feel and how hard it is to support the person you love when they are going thru their pain, you have nothing to feel guilty about it is hard caring for someone. My SO was in a car accident and has dammaged his shoulder and hes currently going thru the injections and we are looking at surgery too, he’s been in pain since we got toether and almost 2 years on he’s still in pain, and it’s been hard on our relationship.

The way we get thru it is to just talk and when he needs to rest we get a load of films and watch them in bed and play computer games or board games and just try and make the most of it and do fun things together where he can rest at the same time.

But it is so hard to stay positive for them isn’t it?

Post # 7
1030 posts
Bumble bee

I haven’t been through this, but my colleague’s wife has chronic back pain and it’s really affecting his work. If he’s ever home late, he has to take the next day off because he wasn’t there to help her and she suffers.

He’s had to cut down his hours at work, which other colleagues look down at him for. His salary has reduced as a consequence. At first work were really sympathetic, but there are only so many days you can take off before even the most sympathetic of bosses get pisses off (ex. he spent 2 days at meetings this week and because of that he’s had to take the other 3 days off work to look after the kids because she struggled so much when he was gone).

It must be SO tough. Can I ask you a question, though? Do you think you’ll have children? I only ask because my colleague has 2 kids – and one was definitely born whilst she had this problem (I didn’t know him when his first child was born). I know everyone has the right to bring children into the world, but I’ve seen just how much he struggles because of it and it seems unfair that she had another child when they already struggled looking after one (although I don’t know if the baby was planned or not so I can’t really comment that much). It’s one thing not being able to go out bowling or dancing, but it’s another thing to not be able to do things with your children because of your partners illness/your career to suffer because you technically have to bring up your children yourself.

I really hope he’s able to get better and you can find a way to 1) ease his pain and 2) be able to cope with this without feeling guilty. It must be such a terrible thing to go through 🙁 xxxx

Post # 8
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Ok, here’s the thing…if he’s suffering from serious chronic pain or a chronic illness there WILL be somewhat of a caretaker/patient role that comes into play, you just have to make sure your husband/wife role is more dominant. 

Most people on this board know by now that I suffer from chronic health issues (I was in a wheelchair for 18 months…I’ve only been out of it for about 14 and even now there are days I spend in my house either vomiting from dizziness, crying from pain, or passed out after having a seizure) every day for me is a struggle. I don’t think there is a second I’m not either dizzy, out of breath, or in pain, but there are varying DEGREES of misery, so it doesn’t seem so bad all the time! Haha. Anyway, here are my own observations and tips…

Keep open communication, that is key to make any relationship work, especially in these sorts of cases. Be completely open and honest and share your feelings, and that especially goes for him. Don’t coddle him, but do offer help. Listen if he wants to vent and vice versa. Don’t feel guilty, because none of it is your fault. And just as he has a right to get mad at the situation, so do you, just don’t take it out on each other. 

Illnesses are so narcissistic and they love to take over people’s lives. Make sure you treat him like a person, not an illness. Make time to do things enjoyable together, even if it’s sitting on the couch watching bad movies and laughing about them. I know it sucks to not be able to do the things you want to with him, but just remember, it’s time with HIM that matters. I know this is hard to do, but try not to let his physical ailments take over your whole entire life. 

That said…MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. If you want to go dancing with friends from time to time, do so, to just stay home with him always will only breed resentment. 

Seek therapy if necessary. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a 3rd party you can go to if you’re upset about something. Because this situation is not fair, it’s upsetting, and you totally have a right to be upset. Perhaps he could seek therapy as well. I’m currently in therapy and it’s helping me a lot…

Good for you for wanting to stick it out, you’re a wonderful person. I hope this helped a little. Good luck! <3 

Post # 9
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Nona99:  I’m not the OP but this is helpful to me too! thank you!


Post # 11
6 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

I know this is a little older of a thread but I thought I would share what works for us. My SO and I have been together for 7 years and we’re getting married in June. About 3 years into us dating I started to get sick and now have a handful of different diagnosis, the most significant being Fibromyalgia and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I suffer from chronic wide spread pain and my joints go out of place often. My knee can pop out multiple times a day. I also have severe nausea and sleeping problems. It’s been a long road with us and I’m happy to say although we’re not perfect, we are much happier. It takes time to learn how you two as individuals cope and manage the new challenges with chronic pain/illness. At first my SO was very confused and tried to support me, but didn’t know how. It was a struggle to get him to understand my pain and my new abilitities/(loss of abilities). I know it was hard on him but honestly I wasn’t in a place to support him at that time, I was trying to survive. I think there were two things helped us the most. I try my very best to be open about my pain and explain it in many different ways to help him understand what I am going through. He said this helped him understand and be more understanding that I couldn’t help with the house work as much or be active like we use to. The second thing was we both found outlets other than eachother. I found a community of fellow sufferers that I can talk to openly about my aches and pains and confide in and ask for advice, and he found a community of sufferers and loved ones that he can talk to and ask questions. We do not look at each other’s community and it allows us to openly, without guilt, say some of the raw emotions that wouldn’t be conducive to speak to eachother at first.  

I know it’s difficult. And no, it’s not fair. And both of you deserve to grieve the loss (this will come in waves) and that’s ok. What’s not ok is putting yourself down, or your spouse. You shouldn’t feel guilty or selfish, but neither should he. 

I do have to say, from the being sick side. I have a hard time hearing him talk about his anger or grief. It makes me feel very guilty for being sick. I know it is not my fault, but it’s my personality. So he expresses most of those feelings within his forum. It allows him to work out his emotions without me constantly putting myself down further. Also, I feel like our relationship was directly tied to how much research and understanding he had. He out right told me, he believed me, but when he heard it coming from other people with similar pains as me and they explained how it affected them and what the diseases could really do, it finally hit home for him. 

I hope this helped some. I promise if you both are willing to be open, learn, listen, and work at it you can get to a better place. It really takes time to figure out your new life when your health and abilities change, adding a second person just makes it that much more of an adjustment.  

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