Chronic Illness and Communication in My Marriage

I hear differing views on this subject on whether you should open up to your loved ones on how you are feeling or just keep it in.  I really don’t complain about my pain and fatigue however sometimes it’s pretty obvious when I’m taking the opportunity to steal some time for some much needed sleep when I can or when I clean a room in the house and pretty much am done for the day (or at least the next few hours).

Many people say it’s important to share with your spouse or partner exactly how you are feeling physically when you are chronically ill but I always worry that would get old and not mean much.  I personally also battle with the fear that my husband will see me as an eventual invalid that he will have to take care of someday (irrational fear – I’d say so but I deal with past abandonment issues growing up that I may save for another blog entry another time). 

We have been together since high school, the healthiest days of our lives.  THAT HEALTHY PERSON is the person he chose from the beginning (yes, that kind of crap goes through my head all the time – especially at my weakest and lowest self esteem moments)

So needless to say, I keep a lot of verbal complaints to myself.

I’m not sure if it’s the best thing because when I do get pain; my husband looks at me like it’s coming out of nowhere.  He then ‘empathizes’ with me and tells me that he feels the same sometimes. (The tone seems to have a sarcastic hidden meaning behind it, as if to say ‘everyone gets pain’)  That it’s probably better to push through it.  I think it’s the athletic mentality in him to give this advice but probably not the best advice in my case.  Regrettably, I do push through… then PAY for it later.

I wish I had the inner strength to sit him down and tell him what this is really doing to me physically and psychologically.  He has gone back and forth in his reactions, sometimes with sympathy, sometimes as if he thinks I’m just overreacting… I’m just not sure if its denial or just what it is.  I have put myself in his shoes and I honestly cannot say how I’d react without actually being there so it’s hard for me to judge. 

So I pretty much just keep my mouth quiet, it’s the non verbal words that are the hardest.

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