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Partner with a long term illness?

(12 Posts)
goodtimesinbontemps Wed 23-Apr-14 05:28:56

Does anyone else have a partner with a serious long term illness and if so has that affected your relationship for better or worse? How long did it take you to come to terms with it?
I am with my partner 20 yrs , married for almost 18, and nearly 5 yrs ago he was diagnosed with a serious long term illness which has had a big impact on our lives particularly financially. We are in a totally different position now than we thought we would be at this stage and its very hard at times. I find I almost resent him at times for it which is very unfair and I would never ever let him know that because I know its absolutely not his fault, does anyone else ever feel like this or am I just a horrible person sad . In other ways though its made our relationship stronger, I really admire the way he copes with it, he is very strong and never says why me, he just gets on with it . We do support and love each other but life just seems so stressful and a slog at times.

Minime85 Wed 23-Apr-14 06:34:39

bump. sorry I can't help but thought I'd bump it up.

goodtimesinbontemps Wed 23-Apr-14 19:06:47

Thanks Minime85.


sadwidow28 Wed 23-Apr-14 19:14:40

I don't know if JandJ still posts .....

But this will bump your thread for you.

If you want to chat about it, there are many of us who would be happy to help if we can. My DH died of cancer nearly 13 years ago - but a short term illness and a shock.

I am not where I thought I would be at this time of my life either.

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 23-Apr-14 20:49:52

Well I'm not in the same position but can relate a bit.

I'm the one with the long term illness, and my husband left me (& our newborn baby, and many debts) as soon as I got diagnosed. He was a nasty piece of work and not comparable to anything (!) ... I survived just about, but am so far from where I hoped to be.

... But one of you becoming ill does change life:
- practically
- financially
- how you can plan and progress, your future
- but also the relationship dynamics

It shakes your world and any relationship will come under tremendous stress flowers

I think one of the key things is to try really hard to keep the relationship as a couple. To avoid becoming Carer-Disabled person, although I bet you do do caring too, it needs to be not the ONLY thing you are to each other.

Also to develop other ways of adding value and positivity to the family - so if his income is reduced, try not to leave it as he gives less in every way as he'll feel rubbish and you'll end up feeling resentful... So things like listening and support can go both ways and be a positive contribution...

It's really hard though. Poor you flowers

Musicaltheatremum Wed 23-Apr-14 20:56:42

Oh goodtimes. Where do I start. My husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour (low grade) aged 38 in 1999. Over time it destroyed his personality, affected his relationship with the children and I really resented the fact that our lives didn't work out how we wished. He was ok until about 2005 then between then and 2007 he went downhill and that's when the memory problems started. It was awful. It took a good few years to accept and then just when I felt in control he deteriorated and died.
The guilt during his illness was awful.

I feel for you, it is really really hard. There is a book called "the selfish pig's guide to caring" which is written by a man with a wife with dementia and it confronts the reality straight in the face. It is pretty hard hitting but it calls a spade a spade.

Say this out loud " I am not a horrible person" you are a normal human being. Is there anywhere you can get some counselling for this. You need it even just to let off steam. Oh my in laws (his mum and brother) thought he was "fine" it was awful. He was the sweetest most gentle man and smiled constantly but what a waste of a brain.

It is 2 years since he died. My kids have left home just before and just after. Both got very depressed. It's awful. Sadwidow, feel for you too.

Eggwhisk Wed 23-Apr-14 20:58:53

Hello goodtimes, yes my husband has a long term illness, one that can't be cured and he has to take a lot of medication to stay alive. He's recently been through 12 months of horrendous treatment for another condition that has hopefully been cured, but it has been very difficult. I know exactly how you mean about feeling resentful, it doesn't make you a horrible person (I hope, as that would make me one too!) I agree about our relationship being stronger for it, I'm in a different situation in that I knew about my husbands illnesses when we met so it's always been this way for us, but his conditions mean his health is up and down so we make the most of the up times.

Pm me if you want to chat more wine cake

goodtimesinbontemps Thu 24-Apr-14 18:27:23

Thanks for the replies, its nice to hear I am not the only one. He is doing well enough at the moment, thank goodness, but its more just the chronic long term effect his illness has had on our lives that gets to me. We were at a stage financially etc in our lives where we could relax a bit and now thats all gone, we are struggling a lot now. He will be made redundant soon , nothing to do with his health, and while he is applying for jobs all around him I think his medical history will put employers off and I worry he will never get another job again. He is only 41, he doesn't want to be sat at home and much as I love him I don't want him to be stuck at home 24/7 either because I work from home myself! I know it could be a lot worse and tbh I know it will most likely get a lot worse in the future, his illness is progressive although unpredictable. Ach I am just moaning now, and I know it!

sadwidow28 Thu 24-Apr-14 18:38:44

Goodtimes, I think it is good to moan - and you can keep this thread going for as long as you want.

I am widowed because of a short term illness (Grade 4 lung/liver/spine/brain tumors cancer). I wanted to know what happened to grades 1, 2 and 3 !

The diagnosis was given on 18th June 2001 and DH died on 19th August 2001. I always said that I wished I had more time to 'get used to the idea' - but would that have been kinder to either him or me? I don't know.

I wish I had known about MN then because I could have found some on-line friends to support me.

Please post when you think we might be able to help or if you need a rant.

ItsAFuckingVase Thu 24-Apr-14 20:35:02

My DH has a chronic illness too. Again, no cure. But, life expectancy has increased massively over the last 20yrs and medication has come a long way too.

Although it's a genetic illness and he's had it foreverHe was only diagnosed 18 months ago, and coming to terms with it was the hardest thing I've ever done. It will massively reduce his life expectancy, and at the time I decided children were not happening. His illness has a 100% negative impact on his fertility and I just felt like it was too much to put ourselves through. This led to a lot of resentment from him towards me.

We're now at the point where we've come to terms with his illness and are a lot more comfortable with it so we've started the process for IVF.

Eggwhisk Thu 24-Apr-14 20:43:13

Good luck with the IVF itsa we had to have IVF due to my husbands condition, it was tough but we persevered and got a beautiful dd out of it.


Musicaltheatremum Thu 24-Apr-14 21:15:42

Can he get out and about? My husband had an activity every day. Art class, German class (he remembered this as it was from his teens) out with a friend once a week and also did some voluntary work as long as it wasn't mentally challenging. He had his routine and I had mine.

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