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Advice please. Husband driving me insane with constant moaning about his health.

(230 Posts)
user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:05:32

My husband is driving me crackers (and has been for a while, several years actually.) As much as I love him, he never stops moaning about his health. Every other week, he complains about a new ailment, and not a week goes by when he isn’t whining about something or other that is (supposedly) causing him pain.

This past fortnight, it’s his shoulder; he thinks it’s ‘fallen out of its socket,’ and he complains continually, wincing and griping every time he moves. It's so annoying!!! He got me to get a sling for him to wear at work (office job,) so he isn’t forced to do anything that ‘might make it worse.’ The other week it was his knees ‘killing him,’ then before that it was his eyes that ‘weren’t right.’ (He said he kept getting things flashing past his eyes, and he wants to go for a test at specsavers - even though he went to Boots opticians and got some new glasses in November, and his eyes were 100% fine then.)

Before that it was his hand that felt swollen and sore and tender; ‘I think I may have arthritis’ he said. Then before that it was his elbow and wrist that were ‘giving him grief.’ He says to me 'feel that, isn't that swollen?' and 'feel that, doesn't that feel cracky and weird?' It never does...

Before that, it was a migraine making him nauseous and blurring his vision, before that it was his ear fuzzing and popping and he said he thinks he’s losing his hearing, before that it was his stomach killing him, and he thought he may have stomach cancer, before that it was his heart ‘beating funny.’ He claimed ‘my heart is just not right: I don’t think I’m long for this world…’

He has had test after test after test at the doctors and the hospital this past 2 years; ECG tests for his heart found nothing, x rays on his shoulders, hands, elbows, hips, etc found nothing, blood tests found nothing, urine tests found nothing, barium meal found nothing, pipes shoved down his throat found nothing, tests on his eyes and ears found nothing...

He has had test after test after test on every part of his body. Nothing! He just claims they are all 'wrong.' and keeps going back again and again to the doctors, and says he will keep doing so until they discover something. I almost think he WANTS them to find something - but I have no idea why! Maybe so he can go on the sick and give up work! He seems DESPERATE for them to find something. Even our daughter said she thinks he would be over the moon if they said he had cancer or something!

They have tested for half a dozen different things, and he has had painkiller after painkiller, anti inflammatories, anti biotics, all sorts. ‘I think I may have fibromyalgia’ he said a while back; I am in such pain all the time.' They tested for this too. Negative. Again. He now has the strongest possible painkillers, and claims they don’t work at all. I have these painkillers and they work a treat. The doctor can give him nothing stronger.

He claimed he was depressed about 7 years back and had anti depressants every month for about 2 or 3 years. We had been receiving free prescriptions for a few years (maybe 5 or 6,) because of low income, then 3 years ago, our income exceeded the amount where you get free prescriptions, and when we had to start paying, he instantly came off the anti Depressants. ‘I’m not paying £8 every month!’ he said … Suggesting to me that he didn’t need them.

He doesn’t have much time off work, but he is always buying aids for this and that (like slings, walking sticks, arm and knee supports,) and getting prescriptions at £8-9 a time, (he seems OK with paying now!) So it’s starting to eat into our budget now.

And NOW he says he wants a full body MRI scan and is going to go private to ‘find out what’s wrong with me.......!’ This can cost 4 figures. We don’t have loads of money, we only just get by, and we never have more than £500 in savings, so he said he will put it on his credit card (which will max it out!)

I am furious about this, I am fed up of his moaning, and I want to draw the line here. No WAY is this happening. It’s HIS credit card but it’s OUR bank account and joint finances that will suffer because of this, as he will pay the instalments back out of OUR money.

I want to scream at him ‘FOR GOODNESS SAKE! there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!’ Get a grip! You have had test after test after test and nothing has ever come up!' But I don’t want a row, and I don't want to make him feel bad. Maybe he does feel ill sometimes, (maybe!) but there is definitely nothing wrong with him.

I said ‘what if this MRI scan finds nothing wrong?’ (which is what will happen!) he said ‘I will ask them to redo it because there IS something wrong with me.' (There isn’t!) We are both in our 50's and he has always been a moaner, but it’s only been about his health for about 6-7 years, moreso the last 3 or so!

WWYD? I am at the end of my rope. Some days I feel torn between leaving him or killing him!

ImperialBlether Thu 02-Feb-17 19:09:21

It sounds like a MH problem rather than a physical problem.

Why do you think he wants a problem? Is it the attention? Does he seem happy when he's got medical staff running around after him?

Personally this would drive me nuts!

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:15:37

"It sounds like a MH problem rather than a physical problem.

Why do you think he wants a problem? Is it the attention? Does he seem happy when he's got medical staff running around after him?

Personally this would drive me nuts!"

Well I don't think he has any actual mental health issues, and it DOES drive me nuts!

CrispPacket Thu 02-Feb-17 19:15:55

Dear god just put him out of his misery! I have a friend who is like this...to be honest its very quickly ruining our friendship because I cant cope with her moaning. A few months ago I was in an awful car accident which left me with a smashed up leg...she came to see me which I thought was lovely but spent the entire time telling me how she knows how i feel because she once got bumped into and it left her with whiplash and then went on to tell me about the pain killers shes on allllll the time and that Id end up with arthritis very soon blah blah... Everytime I see her its either her head, her back, her eyes, her weight, her 'depression' or 'anxiety', her ankle, her knee...her wrist is a new one. Couldnt deal with her every day I'd probably cut my own throat! So sorry no advice but massive hugs...

GlitterGlue Thu 02-Feb-17 19:18:31

What has his dr said about the repeated appointments and investigations? Have they suggested it's not normal behaviour?

Also, can he at least get a prescription pre payment card so they don't bankrupt you?

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:21:15

LOL thanks Crisp Packet. So you get an idea of how I feel then!!! I think some people DO have people like this in their life, but it's my HUSBAND and I live with him, and there is no escape. I have literally learned to just switch off now. But now and again I feel angry and frustrated with him. He just moans and moans and moans. I did say the other week 'if you were a horse, they'd have shot you by now!' And 'I don't know how someone can have so much wrong with them, and still be alive!!!' But he didn't get the message!

Glitter glue, the doctor wouldn't discuss him with me. I am surprised they haven't started refusing to see him though LOL.

annandale Thu 02-Feb-17 19:28:50

Sounds remarkably like health anxiety. I'd imagine that the antidepressants were dealing with a lot of the anxiety symptoms.

However, ultimately it isn't your job to deal with his health - you're not an expert on diagnosis or whatever. I think you have every right to say you're not prepared to have this money spent on a scan and if he needs one he can have one on the NHS.

You may find the broken record of 'Sorry to hear you're feeling rough today. I do wonder if your doctor has ruled out health anxiety'. and then changing the subject, might help redirect his concerns about his health somewhere that will drive YOU less crazy.

ElspethFlashman Thu 02-Feb-17 19:30:31

My Dad was like this so I 100% sympathise.

He wouldn't rest! He was tested for everything, for years, and was on so many pills he rattled. Massive massive health anxiety.

The thing he most complained about was stomach upset. He was tested loads, had scopes and CTs etc. All negative of course, as his stomach issues were caused by stress from his health anxiety!

Afraid to say it only got worse as he aged and started to get legitimately frail as then he had real aches and pains and strains that he refused to believe were natural ageing. Everything had to be stomach cancer (which he never did get).

He was like that till the day he died - from something we never saw coming! I suspect to this day that in the last few weeks of his life he was slightly disbelieving that it wasn't secret stomach cancer after all and the doctors just weren't looking hard enough.

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:32:24

Could be health anxiety. But he was still moaning about something or other when he was on the anti D's too. And the fact he dropped them as soon as he discovered he would have to pay for them, suggests to me he didn't need them. He probably wasn't even taking them! He probably just said he was taking them to make out he was depressed1

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:34:21

Awww thanks for sharing that Elspeth! Your dad DOES sound like my DH!

I am full of dread that he will never stop moaning though, and like your dad, he has been tested for everything too.................

Such a pain. sad

ElspethFlashman Thu 02-Feb-17 19:43:55

Btw Dad was in ADs for years too. I don't think he was depressed and I don't think they made much of a difference to his anxiety.

The only thing that did work was Xanax. He took those for years and he would say they did calm his "nerves". But of course few GPs like to prescribe it long term like that. His GP was exhausted with him though and threw everything at him just to shut him up.

Creampastry Thu 02-Feb-17 19:50:30

Hyperchondriac.... stop indulging him

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 19:53:44

He is defo a hypochondriac, but what can I do? say 'stop making shit up! here's nothing wrong with you!!!'

I do wanna say that actually grin

As I said, what grates (now) is him wanting to spend £1000 plus on a full body MRI scan. There really is nothing wrong with him. He may feel ill sometimes or feel pain (I can't deny it as I am not him,) but the fact is, NOTHING has ever been found.

annandale Thu 02-Feb-17 19:55:02

No harm in saying to him 'We've both got however many years left, but we know for sure we are past halfway through our lives, and for all we know we only have a few years left. I don't want you to waste the rest of your life moaning about what might go wrong, and I'm afraid I don't want to spend the rest of MY life listening to the moaning. What would make life better and what do we want to do with the rest of our lives - and you're not allowed to say anything to do with health?'

TheLegendOfBeans Thu 02-Feb-17 19:55:23

My XH was like this.

He had serious psychological issues coming from a background where his massive, imposing alchoholic dad with knock the family about.

He had OCD. He had serious health anxiety. He - without a shadow of a doubt - had body dysmorphia. He was fastidious about alcohol, and ironically was controlling as fuck.

Just out of interest, OP does any of the above potentially apply to your DH?

Badders123 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:00:33

Hypochondria is a recognised MH condition
I feel for you...sounds very hard to live with

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:02:35

Hi annadale. Yeah I do wonder about saying (calmly) do you really wanna spend the rest of your life moaning about your health? because I don't wanna spend the rest of mine listening to you. I know you may feel pain and I don't think you're lying, but there is nothing wrong.

I have said before a couple of times actually that he is moaning a lot, and he ignores me and carries on!

Legend of beans, thanks for you post. I have to admit, none of what you said about your ex-h applies. No abusive parents, no drink issues, not controlling, no issues about how he looks.

user1484750550 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:04:24

Thanks badders. Yeah some days it CAN be hard to live with. Thankfully he is at work most days and I just switch off when he moans, but I am actually DREADING him/us retiring and having this 24/7.

Creampastry Thu 02-Feb-17 20:05:34

I think you need to accept he has mental health issue. Why not tell him what you think?

annandale Thu 02-Feb-17 20:06:08

Health anxiety is a very difficult condition to deal with I think. My husband has anxiety as well as a lot of other things and it can be plain terrible. Never focused on his health, thank goodness.

However, there's no reason why YOU should have to suffer as well.

TheLegendOfBeans Thu 02-Feb-17 20:07:42

Ok, user, that's good in a way - in my experience health anxiety is a branch of mental ill health, and goes hand in hand with OCDs etc (fear of contamination, illness and ultimately death).

I wish I had practical advice but I don't. i just remember a few days after he told everyone the marriage was over I was making toast and thought

"no more listening to multiple, daily health whinges".

I felt better instantly.

Lorelei76 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:13:16

He needs to see a psychiatrist I think
I'm sorry to say this but I knew someone like this, I gave up even being an acquaintance because it drove me nuts. She had a reason for doing it though - she wanted to get out of work, didn't do a job for seven years when I knew her. Lived off her folks, then found reasons not to help them with housework etc.
She got in a rage with anyone who dared to suggest it was mental health. I know she had private health but was finally declared uninsurable.

If you can get him to a doctor I think a psych referral is best, it will save NHS money. And yours too. Full body MRI will be about 5k?

Huskylover1 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:17:02

Is this not Munchausans?

esk1mo Thu 02-Feb-17 20:17:23

as someone with health anxiety i feel quite bad you are speaking about him this way sad a little patience and understanding would help.

i dont think im as bad as your DH (ie. requesting a full body mri) but the worries and thoughts are legitimite, and you are constantly battling with your mind trying to convince yourself you are fine. i tend to internalize my anxiety though so im not a "complainer". has he ever seen someone about this, ie a counsellor? or maybe he has something like fibromyalgia, if he feels he has constant, non-specific symptoms. or they could be a manifestation of anxiety.

my anxiety is due to losing my sister and cousin when i was young. has he had to deal with anything like that as a child?

thisgirlrides Thu 02-Feb-17 20:18:50

You have my sympathies op as my MIL is just like this and that's bad enough - by the end of a 3 day visit I find myself avoiding her which is a shame as when she's not talking about 'health issues' she's lovely. Over the years it has made a massive - negative - impact on her life so would caution against just doing nothing. My mil stopped work in her 50's because on her perceived health issues (a disastrous decision financially), no longer travels abroad or even visits us because of the journey (we're 200 miles away not Australia!) and is gradually become more and more reclusive and mystery symptoms take over her day-to-day routine.

Whilst he won't believe whatever you tell him anyway but I would be trying to get him to see this isn't healthy or normal behaviour and urge hi. get some sort of counselling for it. We indulge my mil because we don't live with it 24/7 plus she has actually had cancer albeit 25 years ago so do at least understand where this might stem from but how you haven't told him straight is beyond me because the temptation to just give mil a big shake and say "for god sakes women you're as fit as a bloody fiddle now stop with the bullshit and start enjoying life!"

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