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My partner doesn't believe my illness is real.

(299 Posts)
coffeeoclock Mon 20-Jan-20 16:51:36

Boyfriend and I are both early 20's, been together 3 years and lived together for 2.

I've been diagnosed (after a long battle for a year of going back and forth to the GP for tests!) with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME). I've had the diagnosis for a year now and lately my health has been declining and I've really been struggling to get out of bed everyday before 5pm. If I get woken early or I try to get up early (as I've done many times) I will get very dizzy, have vertigo and be on the brink of collapse. My partner believes that part as he can see how white I go and that I need to lay down but he doesn't seem to believe that CFS is a chronic illness. He tells me to change my lifestyle and diet and that I just need a 'purpose' so I can snap out of it.

Fair enough regarding living a healthy lifestyle- I already do! I'm a slim size 8, pescatarian, drink loads of water and my blood-work always comes back incredibly positive and healthy.

It bothers me how he never has a sympathy. He seems to think I don't try or I don't want to get better. I've explained that I don't want to spend my life in bed exhausted unable to do anything but he doesn't think I try hard enough.

I can't work at the moment and claim benefits because of it and he hates that too. I do the majority of housework as he brings in most of the income even if I feel awful!

I've taken him to the GP with me and had the GP explain it to him but he doesn't trust doctors and thinks that you can heal your body with your mind and that doctors just want to keep us ill etc.

What can I do?

RandomMess Mon 20-Jan-20 16:53:46

Dump him.

Cocolapew Mon 20-Jan-20 16:55:56

What Random said.

Nifflernancy Mon 20-Jan-20 16:56:50

Why would you stay with him? He believes you can heal your body with your mind? What, like with cancer or a broken foot too?

Nifflernancy Mon 20-Jan-20 16:57:04

And yes, dump him.

TheDailyCarbuncle Mon 20-Jan-20 16:58:07

I agree that you should dump him.

But if you want to try something else first, ask him if he thinks you're a liar. If he says no then ask why he thinks you would lie about being ill. He may get the point, but if he doesn't then dump him.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 20-Jan-20 16:58:33

Agree you should probably break up. It’s going to be hard for both of you if you are suffering at this point in your young lives. I’d focus on you and your health right now.

coffeeoclock Mon 20-Jan-20 16:58:59

I can't dump him over this! It's so much more complicated than that.
I love him and we have the best time together it's just that he's not very understanding sometimes.

Dozer Mon 20-Jan-20 16:59:03

The relationship won’t work out.

Lots of long term relationships, v sadly, end due to one person’s ill health.

Dozer Mon 20-Jan-20 16:59:59

You can’t afford to be dependent on him for money or housing when he is demonstrating these kinds of attitudes.

LaPoesieEstDansLaRue Mon 20-Jan-20 17:00:18

You have my huge sympathy - I have ME/CFS too and it is hard enough without the person who is meant to always support you and be on your side doubting you! Sadly I can't see his attitude improving so you may have to face the fact that perhaps you'd be better off without him making him your life even more difficult.

Fairylea Mon 20-Jan-20 17:00:45

I think you’ll feel a lot better if you dump him. It’s exhausting having to explain yourself to someone else all the time. It’s hard enough living with these sorts of conditions as it is (I have lots of similar long term chronic disabilities).

Ellisandra Mon 20-Jan-20 17:01:01

Up to the tin hatter crap about doctors keeping you ill, there was a small % of me thinking that CFS is hard to understand, from the outside, maybe there’s a chance.
But even without CFS, who wants to be with a dick who thinks like that?

PurpleDaisies Mon 20-Jan-20 17:01:21

I can't dump him over this!

Why on earth not? He’s basically saying you’re lacking around doing nothing because you want to rather than because you’re ill.

Tippexy Mon 20-Jan-20 17:02:14

Has he been reading the articles that say CFS has a mostly psychological etiology perhaps? I’d sit down and have a chat with him.

DulciUke Mon 20-Jan-20 17:02:15

Easy for people to say dump him when you are (no doubt) depending on him for a variety of things, but yes, he is being an ass. People who think that you can heal any chronic illness through your mind and a healthy diet have generally never experienced a serious illness themselves. I'm not sure what you can do to get through to someone who thinks this way and refuses to pay attention to doctors.

My brother had chronic fatigue. He joined a government test group. (This was in the U.S. many years ago.) He was the only person in the group who was still (barely) able to work.

He did eventually recover, and is fine now, but it took a number of years.

Nifflernancy Mon 20-Jan-20 17:03:32

Well then don’t dump him, but then accept you are content with the relationship & put up with this. I personally would value myself higher than this. Like fuck am I going to put up with someone suggesting I’m lying when I’m very ill. I would suggest you look at getting some counselling.

nocluewhattodoo Mon 20-Jan-20 17:04:37

You have a chronic condition which has no cure, if he is already disparaging about it there is absolutely no way this relationship will go the distance. Resentment will set in and you will both be miserable. You can split amicably and move on to people more suited to each other, you cannot expect to maintain a relationship with someone who doesn't believe you have an illness.

Sunsetandmoonlight Mon 20-Jan-20 17:05:00

Were you working before you were ill?

ActualHornist Mon 20-Jan-20 17:05:05

I can't dump him over this!

Of course you can. You can dump him because sometimes he scratches his backside and it annoys you.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life justifying your existence to someone who ‘doesn’t trust doctors’ and clearly doesn’t trust you either?

You’re early 20s. Don’t tether yourself to this guy. You deserve someone who isn’t an asshat about doctors and who doesn’t belittle your illness and the way you’re feeling. Someone else can also give you the best time of your life, with the added bonus that they don’t also give you the worst time of your life.

AllTheWhoresOfMalta Mon 20-Jan-20 17:06:07

I’m a fellow CFS/ME/Fibromyalgia sufferer I think you should ditch him because one of the most important things is having supportive people around you.

And whilst I don’t think you can heal your mind, you probably aren’t doing yourself any favours laying in bed til 5pm. I always feel better if I get up and get dressed by about 9am, even if I end up going back for a nap later.

MsVestibule Mon 20-Jan-20 17:06:49

I think he believes that your illness is real - his issue is that you're just not trying hard enough to cure yourself.

I have two close friends and an acquaintance with CFS/ME/FM. It's a horrendous illness and currently there is no cure for it. You can't cure yourself of this any more than you could cure yourself of cancer.

I know splitting up is an awful thing to contemplate, especially in your 'reduced' circumstances, but I really can't see his attitude changing. Can you imagine dealing with this is 10 years?

Shortfeet Mon 20-Jan-20 17:07:20

Well if you don’t want to dump him and you can’t convince him he’s wrong you need to put up with it.

He’s expressing a view held by many. Only you can decide whether the relationship is worth putting up with his view of your illness .

BreastedBoobilyToTheStairs Mon 20-Jan-20 17:07:31

* he doesn't trust doctors and thinks that you can heal your body with your mind and that doctors just want to keep us ill etc.*

It's not a small thing. Think about having children with this man (if you want them), or caring for elderly parents/relatives. Is he an anti-vaxxer too? Will he prevent them from having medical care in favour of natural remedies and happy thoughts?

Positivity is great, but it is not a replacement for appropriate medical care. It's a very fundamental issue and it doesn't seem like you're aligned on it.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 20-Jan-20 17:07:35

Don't have children with him. It makes it all much worse.

I mean I do think you should split up.
Because I've been there and it didn't work.
There are lots of people out there you can have a lovely time with who don't make up nonsense about mind powers to make you feel like shit.

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