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Unmet needs, arguments

Pegs11 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi, I’m after some wisdom! I am in my early forties. I have a fluctuating condition which means I’m out of action for a lot of the time… I feel fatigued and achy and lifeless, can’t concentrate, can’t do housework or walk the dog, can’t have sex or see friends, can barely hold a conversation, get depressed and can only see things negatively…

My husband REALLY struggles to cope when I’m like this. He adores me, but I know he resents the huge impact my illness has had on his life. He has a LOT of energy - including, but not limited to, sexual energy - that he just doesn’t know what to do with and he gets really frustrated and wound up, in addition to feeling neglected, under-appreciated and put-upon.

When I am ill, neither of us gets what we need from the relationship. He needs companionship, affection, appreciation... I need space, patience, kindness. 

He tries to fulfil my needs, but he simply doesn’t possess the huge reserves of patience and empathy that I need. 

I try to fulfil his needs, but I simply don’t possess the kind of energy and enthusiasm he needs.

This has led to a LOT of arguing and crying and bitterness, over several years now.

We have had some counselling in how to communicate better as a couple, and been given some good communication tools… the problem is, these tools depend on being able to think at least a little bit rationally and on being proactive, they take energy and a certain amount of emotional maturity… and I can only implement these tools when I feel at least moderately well. When I’m really sick, what with the brain fog and the hyper-emotional state I get into, I lose the capability to argue like an adult or to think clearly or hold myself together at all. I will say things that don’t make sense or that completely miss the point, or I will say something too aggressively, or I will just burst into tears and not be able to continue the conversation… This frustrates BOTH of us greatly. We both end up saying stupid things that cause hurt and resentment. There is no “meeting of minds”. It’s super stressful and upsetting. I just can’t deal with ANY kind of conflict when I’m ill and in pain… it’s just too much… I find it so overwhelming.

My health has improved recently and this has made things easier, because the less sick I am, the less we fall out. Now we have lots of good times and it’s given us the opportunity to reconnect and be “in the same place”. But I’m so flippin’ worried about getting more ill again in the future… I was full-time sick for a good few years before my recent improvement, and life was just awful because I found my marriage so, SO stressful. I live in dread of becoming permanently ill with no hope of me getting better, like there’s this huge nightmare waiting in the wings. I really don’t want to go back to what things were like when I had zero good health patches. And I don’t want to go through life dreading my future. I need to feel confident that if I get really ill in the future, my marriage will be manageable and not feel like an extra burden on top of my health problems. I just don’t know what either of us can do to make this happen. What does it take? What should I expect of my husband, and of myself? What is the “missing ingredient” here that is making things so unmanageable for us both? Any wisdom appreciated! Thank you


  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 55,465 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Pegs11 welcome  to the furum, no relationship is easy, and you both have done well so far, by getting counselling and working on things. I'm pleased things are going better for you  both at the moment.  I know it's easy to say not to worry about the what ifs, you've both come through it before and there's a good chance you will again, if that arises. 
  • Libby_Alumni
    Libby_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,251 Pioneering
    Hello @Pegs11

    I just wanted to check in to see how you're getting on with things? 

    I apologise that we haven't been able to give you a direct answer to your query, but I hope you've been able to make some progress over the past few months with your situation. 

    Any relationship is hard, but when there's additional challenges and stressors, this can sometimes be extremely demanding. It sounds as though you and your partner are being really proactive with trying to improve the relationship, and that's wonderful to see. That's definitely one of the first steps to building back the relationship again and it's great that you're both wanting to make the effort to do this. That's really great and shows a lot of emotional maturity from you both. 

    I hope you've been able to keep working on your relationship and that things have improved.

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