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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Lyme is going to cause my divorce

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Author Topic: Lyme is going to cause my divorce
copswifey
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I don't know if my marriage of 3 years (or I) can survive this any longer. My husband has been completely non-supportive and treats me as if I am making my illness up. I finally confronted him about it and in an icy voice he told me that "others are sick with the same thing as me but they own up to their responsibilities." He was referring to our messy house that I do a terrible job of keeping clean because I have no stamina. Funny thing is, he's a slob. I am so sad tonight.
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Keebler
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I'm sorry to hear of this. In all kindness, though, lyme will not cause a divorce. It just can't. The stress of illness, however, can be a catalyst to speed along a course that most likely has been in progress for a while, anyway.

I speak from my own experience. It was not illness at all, really. It was both much more complex and much more simple.

I hope you can get counseling as an individual - and as a couple. Ask your LLMD for names of a good LL therapist. It is vital that they be Lyme Literate.

You don't know how this will work out but it seems as if there is not the respect needed for a marriage. A good therapist will first address that matter. There is hope but, however this works out, the goal is for your health in all ways - as well as good health for your husband in all ways.

That may mean together - or it may be healthier for you both to redesign your living arrangements. But, first comes counseling where you may find that communication training might just save the day.

It's work that both you and your husband would have to undertake together to get at the root problems and learn how to maintain respect in handling both practical matters of maintaining a household and managing finances - as well as the emotional & spiritual issues involving true intimacy, commitment and trust.

Practically, speaking, you might consider either hiring some domestic help &/or seek out volunteers to help with some chores. While that is not what this is really about, you do need some help. Good luck as you make some calls and take measures to ensure your health and safety.

At some point in everyone's life, due to physical matters, it becomes necessary to take the role of the manager, delegating duties. No one can do everything, all the time.

Remember, this is not about lyme. Two members of a team are not working together. Respect is at the heart of this. THAT is what this is about. It always comes down to respect. But, it's a very complex path to figuring out all the aspects of respect.

When one player is injured or ill, other members either pick up the slack or a relief worker is called in. You have a job to do, if you can't do it, call in some relief workers or volunteers. Stay focused on that part of it merely as a practical matter.

The rest is best addressed in communication counseling.
-

[ 07-25-2010, 04:34 AM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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littlebit27
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All I will say is, I understand. I hope it gets better for the both of us.

--------------------
*Brittany Lyme Aware on FB*
http://littlebithaslyme.wordpress.com/

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Robin123
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Would he be open to watching Under Our Skin? He's going to need to be open to learning about this in some way to understand what you're dealing with.
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Geneal
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My husband (later diagnosed with Lyme) was a jerk too.

Still can be at times.

For myself I had to realize that those "jerky" qualities

Were always there. To some degree or another.

My illness made me vunerable in a way I had never been.

He used that as a spring board to get to me.

He could.

However, the tide changed some when he got ill.

What I am trying to say is that those nasty personality traits were always there.

My illness just let me see that without the rose colored glasses.

We've managed to stay married. Good and not so good sometimes.

I sometimes think that part of his lashing out was in frustration.

Part to his frustration probably with not being able to help me.

Part of it including not being married to the same energetic, go at full force person.

Part of it just his personality. Traits that I think I always knew were there but excused.

Now he was married to someone who had lost interest in romance,

Who couldn't remember anything, who could barely get dinner made, etc.

It was a hard time for both of us. Especially after Katrina.

Try to focus on yourself. On getting well on many levels.

I remember thinking at one time that if our marriage was over

That it couldn't be more different than what it had become.

Except for our two young children.

We still have ups and downs.

Still plugging along by the Grace of God.

Sending you prayers of comfort and healing.

Know that you are important. Your health is important.

Focus on that.

I did and still do.

Hugs,

Geneal

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JR
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Awesome insight Keebler and Geneal.
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buzzsflybox
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I lost my relationship of 4 years. I mimic JR's post.

--------------------
5 yr. Vet. of the Lyme war. Helping and sharing are now my only objectives.I have nothing to sell & I no longer interfear with things I cannot control. But, I have learned many good things from my affliction & am a better person for it.

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Need Lots of Help
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My husband did not believe me and understand at first. It took me driving 6 hours away to get help and me telling him, no, I don't want you to go, this doctor's visit will be about me and only me.

Somehow, that turned him around. He now drives me to my visits. He believes me. Last night he gave me a hot bath and a massage. Last night, I thought I might not wake up today. My medicine in killing me.....

But, sometimes it takes something to make them really see that we aren't faking it.

Hugs to you!!

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randibear
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i'm with geneal completely. my husband is totally non-supportive. he's better when i don't mention things at all. as long as you talk about what he wants to and keep out his way, he's fine.

i think the stress of all this is what's making me so much worse.

but there are days when he's fine and i'm going "wth?" i enjoy the times when he's gone.

i've gone over finances and i'd barely survive, i mean it. i could go home to ohio but i would be in a teeny tiny efficiency apartment at best.

lyme just makes things worse. but like geneal, i had an inkling, i just didn't want to see.

my family told me, but i wouldn't listen.

my bad.....

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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Try to keep the idea, illusion or even memory of romance out of the picture for just a minute. Just set that aside.

If this were a partnership, say of owning a little store or caf, if the way both parties treat each other would not AT LEAST be of the same respect and willingness to find solutions, it seems that
the party who is dropping the ball in the respect and solution-seeking categories needs to either step up to the plate (and do whatever it takes to understand HOW to do that) - or take a hike and move on.

Often both parties have so many dropped balls that it can be nearly impossible to backtrack as to why it's messed up. But, it's usually never what we think.

Bottom line, though, If both parties just don't - or can't - have the required respect and solution-seeking cooperation going - then that's no longer a true partnership, really. It's facing the facts that takes courage. And it takes more to then decide what change of course is needed. Expert advice is needed, just as in other matters.

Something has to change for the health to be able to flourish. Toxicity in domestic relationships is no better than toxicity in our food choices.

But, as with food, sometimes we never learned HOW to choose from the menu of respect, cooperation and kindness. Again, that is what communication counseling can do. But, as lyme is factor, only a LL counselor can really understand issues involving that.

I wasted years and gallons of tears all caught up in how it was supposed to be. My husband refused counseling and I still tried to push on. Counseling did me a world of good in many respects - but I still wasted far more years before I had the courage to see what had been missing from nearly the beginning.

And - as both of us were not in counseling together - I could not save the marriage on my own. I had no clue how to make that happen. We learn from experts how to do everything else but think we can learn the hardest skill all on our own.

Communication is an immensely complex skill to master. It's really a huge undertaking and we get absolutely zero professional instruction on personal communication.

It's also a skill to understand what motivates and inspires certain human behaviors. We've been immersed into a foreign language anytime we get together with another human being. Again, usually with no training in the dynamics of intimate relationships.

There is also the matter of differences between a male and female brain. We just think - and interpret - things differently. We need to understand how that works. And that takes some education.

It was not my illness at all. Communication was a disaster, true. However, that was most likely due to the absence of respect - enough deep down respect to learn what was required to make a real partnership work.

Love and respect can shine the light to work through anything. Anything. However hard the circumstances.

But both have to be there. Love simply is not enough. Without the respect, it's really much of an illusion, anyway, and a shallow wish.

Real love has the depth and strength to work through anything as a team - with commitment that comes from respect. Some may say love is enough but one integral element of love is respect. It's woven into the very fabric of it.

Often, it takes an expert to help couples learn how to make that fabric stronger, by teaching us how to patch the holes and tears - and how to prevent that in the future.

And it often takes an expert to help us learn to communicate our FEELINGS and sorting out expectations. Again, understanding the male-female differences really helps. But the foundation has to come first.

Do both partners really WANT this? Not the illusion we all get tricked by, but the real deal with complications and all?

So, whether thinking of a business model of partnership or relating to a construction mode of operation to repair cracks so as to create a solid foundation, I do hope you can both seek out a very good counselor who is lyme literate. It is just as important as finding an expert LLMD.

Good luck.
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[ 07-25-2010, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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randibear
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i think you're absolutely right about respect.

he told me recently he didn't respect me at all. he called me a lier and said i exaggerated all of this and that i embarassed him in front of his friends. (when do i ever even SEE his friends? i don't i stay away from them).

that hurt the worst. he said he has NO respect for me.

i've got to face it sooner or later.

i'm still reeling from that. how can you live with someone, take their money, and say you have absolutely no respect for them? how can you travel, sleep, live with them and say that?

i don't understand, but maybe it's because he considers me a "nothing" and not worthy.

we all should just hire a group lawyer!!!

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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Turn the mirror. If someone says they don't respect me, I likely don't respect them.

I think, due to illness, we are far more likely to take the victim role, being the hurt party. And, we can spring back in ways that surprise even us - when our feelings are hurt.

But, taking all emotion out of it (which I know is nearly impossible), but - just taking all emotion out of it - if this were any other venue and any other relationship, on what planet would any relationship continue under those circumstances?

We've all been on both ends of insults. It really works to just say "no" - nether accept nor hurl insults. They are toxic. Try to create an "insult-free zone" - as much as you can. Use it to get to what the other is really saying - what's beneath that?

So, then, another way of looking at it when someone says they have no respect is that it's just a statement of fact. If they don't have the depth of understanding - or just can't find it - and they no longer have respect, well, that really is a very important piece of information.

Rather that seeing it as a insult, taking emotion out of it, they are saying they are no longer able to hold up pretending anymore. From there, conversations can happen. That can be explored. If both people can really talk, such an admission can be a major catalyst for change.
-

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randibear
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for me tho, if they have no respect for you, then honesty is off the table.

they don't want or care enough to try.

when they end the conversation by saying "i don't care, contact a lawyer, we'll divide things down the middle, just do something" it hurts even worse.

i know he wants a divorce but it's as if he wants me to do it so he won't be the one to say to his friends "i wanted it".

opps, sorry, hon, for hijacking your thread.

i'm simply past trying to figure this all out.

i just exist.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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Even just in individual counseling, the many stages of grief are very important to explore. We've all lost a tremendous amount to illness. By working through the gripping processes of grief, it can free us. The only way out is through. That's not just a clich. It's as if some of the grief processes literally kidnap us.

Beyond the mechanical processes, it's important to have a safe environment in which to express all the emotions - all the grief - that we're working through, from whatever experiences, whether relating to loss from illness of just the losses life brings to everyone.

We may not get back to who or where we once were but we can become whole again, in the very best meaning of the the term. We can grow and blossom into a bright and lively person again - in ways that may surprise us.

However, in order to get to that place, expression of emotion is what will propel us forward. Talking with a trained therapist is best.

However, if that is not possible - or in addition to talk therapy - finding an expressive outlet certainly can serve a purpose by journaling, creating music, art or fluidity as you move through space such as in a Tai Chi or dance class. Slow swimming, even water-walking, can also be very therapeutic. All this helps "move" stagnant emotional toxins.

It's hard to be stuck. Life is not going to thrive in a stagnant environment. Quite the opposite really. Oxygen, light, nutrition - and a flow of circulation - must to be allowed in for the layers of grief to make way for new growth. And it's really pretty cool how that can happen.
-

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Geneal
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I've actually talked with my husband about respect.

He didn't get it at first.

He does now.

He (strong manly man) was promising to try to listen and really hear me.

I think the shock of it all almost did me in. [Roll Eyes]

It is a partnership on so many levels.

Sometimes I am the leader, the bread winner, the money boss.

Sometimes he is.

I have always been grounded on the value I place on myself.

My Mom raised 3 girls all on her own.

Taught us the value of self-respect.

I always say there is a difference between needing and wanting.

I don't need him here.

He is here because I want him to be. (Most of the time anyways).

We've had so many major upsets since our marriage.

Katrina, losing the house, losing our jobs, getting ill, etc.

It is a partnership that we both have to work on.

Some days we are better at it than others.

Randi, you have to place a value on yourself.

I think it is so important.

It is so hard to feel lovable or valuable when so ill all the time.

Randi, you are wonderful, supportive, funny, and a great friend.

I value you.

Hang in there.

Hugs,

Geneal

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randibear
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you know girl, i may just get in the car and come and visit.

might help us both.

how far are you from fort worth???

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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daystar1952
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I reviewed the book...A Husband and A Wife And An Illness and would highly recommend it to those who are dealing with relationships and Lyme disease. This book is ironically written by a health and fitness expert who has been featured in Shape Magazine and her husband is on a TV show dealing with relationships and has written books on relationships.

The wife, Jamie has Lyme and Morgellon's. This isn't focused on in the book but the problems that result from chronic illness affecting your marriage and family life....is very expertly and compassionately covered. http://www.couplesfacingillness.com/

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METALLlC BLUE
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I lost my fiance too. She tried hard to do the best she could, but eventually she was swayed by everyone around her telling her she'd be better off without me.

The truth is, she is better off now. I'm definitely an anchor, and it might be this way for life. I don't plan on it, but in 10 years of trying to find an answer, I'm still not above 35% function.

I "know" I can figure it out, I'll just need more time.

At any rate, that's the basics. I lost my finance and her family and friends (after 6 years together) managed to pull off a great feat.

--------------------
I am not a physician, so do your own research to confirm any ideas given and then speak with a health care provider you trust.

E-mail: [email protected]

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copswifey
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Thank you all for the replies. Although I wish you a much better situation, it helps to know that I am not the only one who is going through this. It is so true that when you are extremely sick, you feel such little self-worth -- you feel like you are mostly a taker, somewhat like a parasite (how appropriate!) and unable to give very much back. When someone you love essentially accuses you of actually enjoying this role of "taker" or assuming it on purpose, it hurts deeply.

My husband and I have had a breakdown in communication. It feels like there is a lack of respect on his part, and if that's totally gone then I don't know if things can be repaired. I know that I'd like to try going to a Christian marriage counselor with him to explore it all, now I'll just have to find out if he's willing.

You will all be kept in my prayers from now on, and again, thanks for writing back.

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Robin123
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I think the problem starts when one tells the other what the other is doing instead of asking them what their experience is. Asking and listening is very important and can communicate what each other is going through and make for greater understanding.

After that, I suppose comes negotiation - how much can or are people willing to hang in for.

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kidsgotlyme
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I will pray for you copswifey. I pray that he will go to counseling with you and that he will see that marriage is not always easy, but it's worth it in the end if you can learn to listen and respect one another.

--------------------
symptoms since 1993 that I can remember. 9/2018 diagnosed with Borellia, Babesia Duncani, and Bartonella Hensalae thru DNA Connections.

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randibear
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when he tells you he doesn't respect you, like in my case, i think it signals the end.

i truly hope you hang in there and get it resolved.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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nefferdun
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I have grown distant from my husband too but not to the point of divorce although there have been times I considered it. It isn't all about the illness. He changes his emotions and it is hard to know what to expect from him. He does not share his feelings. He is completely unromantic and careless about his appearance.

I have always wondered how much of our relationship is a choice about being together and how much is based upon neediness and dependence. I believe people have to be happy alone and feel secure on their own before being with someone else.

I used to advise my friends to try to work things out but now I believe the most important thing is to take care of yourself first.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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sparkle7
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Just a thought -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

In classical psychology, projection is always seen as a defense mechanism that occurs when a person's own unacceptable or threatening feelings are repressed and then attributed to someone else.[1]

An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and redirect their libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another.

Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.

------

randibear - (and others) - when your husband said that he doesn't respect you - maybe it's himself that he doesn't respect?

I think when people see how ill we may get - it makes them feel uncomfortable. Most people don't want to deal with sick people... It probable make them feel a mixture of things but one thing is that it may make "macho" type men feel vulnerable.

It's probably something that they don't want to admit to themselves...

Men & women leave ill spouses all of the time. We have to try to muster up enough strength to pull ourselves out - if possible. Ultimately, we have to find the strength in ourselves if we don't get alot of support from family, spouses, friends.

If someone is really aggravating - it may just make things harder to get well. You may need to leave for a while (or for good) to try to get more centered & get away from unnecessary stress.

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copswifey
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Thank you so very much for your prayers, kidsgotlyme. Thank you for the kind words, rhandibear. sparkle7, I'm with you on the whole projection thing. I have been thinking that this is what my husband is doing with me. My husband, who is upset with me for "not assuming my responsibility" of cleaning and caring for the house, is actually a very messy person! His frustration with me over this issue seems disproportionate to other things he gets aggravated with. I also believe he resents that he goes out to earn the "bread" and I am at home, lounging around...uhhh, because I am sick!

Hubby and I are both born-again Christians who made promises to each other when we were married that Christ would always be at the front and center of our relationship. I can't understand how my husband can seem so un-empathetic toward my illness as he has always been so great at approaching situations from a biblical perspective. Again, I'm thinking projection. Also, he's a cop and cops can become very cynical, distrusting of people, suspicious. He makes me feel as if I am lying about how sick I really am...and so are all of the docs I see!

You will all be in my prayers...nefferdun, robin123, metallic b too [Smile]

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sparkle7
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re: I can't understand how my husband can seem so un-empathetic toward my illness as he has always been so great at approaching situations from a biblical perspective.

When something is "in theory" it's alot easier to relate to. When it's actually happening - it's a different matter.

I heard that men try to look for ways to solve problems - they don't really get into the whole relationship of what is happening. If they can't solve the problem - it's probably very frustrating.

Maybe this is how they cope - by lashing out...(?) The other side of the coin could be tuning out - like watching TV, sports, video games, the computer, drinking...

I hope I'm not being stereotyping of men. I know there are exceptions to the rule in men & women. Most people do not understand this illness unless they have been there.

Sometimes, it helps to try to be as functional as possible. Just do small things to straighten up or cook, shop, etc. It gives the appearance of some kind of normalcy despite the horror of not feeling well.

I'm sure if one person comes home from working all day - they don't want to have to face the disaster of Lyme, etc. & the illness it causes. Try to have a sense of humor about things. I know it's tough but life goes on.

If things were reversed, I wouldn't want to come home to a big drama after working all day. Sometimes, we have to look for strength in ourselves so we don't lean to heavily on others. After a certain point, the other person/spouse/partner is going to get sick of it.

We have to find ways to keep things light even though it may be hard.

Posts: 7772 | From Northeast, again... | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
grandmother
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My experience with Lyme has been that 90% of women stay in the Lyme marriage and 90% of men leave a Lyme marriage (because they're selfish pigs).
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sparkle7
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Women leave, too. I've heard about cases where the woman was the healthy one & she left the husband. It happens both ways.
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