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    Am I wrong?

    My husband of 20 years and I are having a serious disagreement. I'm 43, and have had a muscle weakening illness since I was 15. Recently, I've been in the longest, most intense flare that I've ever experienced, and this is causing issues between my husband and myself.

    When we go to the store (about once a week), my husband gets very angry about getting my wheelchair out of the car for me, even though it only takes maybe 2 minutes (I have a very small, light electric that breaks down). He says he sees it in terms of time - that it's just faster if I give him the money (separate bank accounts) and wait in the car. I say that it doesn't take that long, and that a bigger issue (my autonomy) is at stake. I spent my entire childhood sitting in the car because "taking a kid inside is too much trouble" and now that I'm an adult (and especially when it's my money we're using), I expect to be able to go along and participate in the experience. I only leave the house a few times a week, anyway. I've told him that it feels like he doesn't care about me, that it devalues me and just plain feels abusive for him to get so angry about getting out my wheelchair. This has led to several heated arguments recently. It is especially frustrating because I got the electric chair so he wouldn't have to push me around - and he promised beforehand he wouldn't have an issue with loading/unloading it.

    Am I wrong? Should I be more flexible (I don't insist on coming in when we're on a very tight schedule)? This feels like it could be a marriage-ender.

    #2
    You are 100% right. Sorry you have to deal with this.

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      #3
      You are not wrong...that totally sucks! Does he have other issues with your disability? What is the big hurry any way? I wouldn't go to just sit in the car.
      Incomplete T-12/L-1

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        #4
        Originally posted by PhoenixFiresky View Post
        I only leave the house a few times a week, anyway.
        Are you able to go places without him?
        ____________________

        "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
        - Barack Obama

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          #5
          You are not wrong. You get too few opportunities to get out as it is. I can understand the lack of options to getting out alone if you are not able to drive. Maybe you can find someone else to take you to the store so he can "save the time".

          Many times my grocery list and menu plan changes when I see something on sale that looks really good. Plus, is he any good at adapting when something is not available? Usually only the one doing the cooking is good at this. Sometimes you have to make a new plan.--eak
          Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
          mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
          Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

          Comment


            #6
            You are definitely not wrong. As you say, there is more at stake here than just getting the groceries out of the way quickly. You don't deserve to be left in the car all the time, because that does devalue you, and it does take away from your autonomy.

            The problem might be that the wheelchair is heavier than your husband had expected it to be. Before I had my Quickie Helium, which is a very lightweight wheelchair, I would often wait in the car while my mother ran errands. She has a bad shoulder and some back problems, so lifting anything that weighs more than 10kg is a real problem for her. Maybe your husband is also having trouble with your chair, but doesn't want to admit that to you because he did promise you it wasn't going to be a problem.

            I would suggest you try having a serious talk about why he's making such a fuss about the wheelchair. Time saving is clearly just an excuse, but there may be other, legitimate concerns that can be addressed in some way.

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              #7
              Have you considered and adapted vehicle, so that if possible, you can get in and out by yourself?
              T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

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                #8
                I wish I was able to go without him. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I've got seizures so I can't drive and at this point I'm not on this town's paratransit system.

                Up until now, my disability hasn't really been a problem, much. I have CVID, which is an impaired immune system, and he gets aggravated when I'm sick and he has to take care of me (fixing meals, etc.), but this seems to be a larger issue - maybe because it's dragging on so long. Obviously, he doesn't have a clue. During this flare, he has suggested that I should do yoga (when I have to prop my arm up to apply makeup), and when I told him today (after my first day back in classes) that I was really tired, his response was a syrupy "Well, maybe someday you won't be tired anymore". It's a little frightening, too. He wants me to use the money I'd set aside from my student loans to pay for my doctors on keeping the gas on in our house - even though this flare has been causing me issues with breathing and swallowing (food, liquids, and waking up choking on saliva). He says I should give him the money because he "knows" I'll be OK without a doctor - that's nice for him, because I'm not so sure! My refusal to hand over the money has made him really angry with me for the past week or so. (Not violent, just very unpleasant to be around.)

                I'm trying to be patient, but dealing with the illness PLUS his attitude is making things tough. I'm feeling like the person I thought he was for the past 20 years is suddenly turning out to be very different than I thought.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Saranoya View Post
                  Maybe your husband is also having trouble with your chair, but doesn't want to admit that to you because he did promise you it wasn't going to be a problem.
                  I had asked him if getting it in and out of the car was the issue. I thought maybe if it was, I could buy a hoist for the car when my fall loans come in. He said that wasn't the problem - that he just doesn't like the inconvenience.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Perhaps the problem is that I have adjusted to being ill and in the wheelchair, but HE hasn't adjusted to it yet? Seems strange though, after 20 years and raising a kid together... :s

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                      #11
                      Sounds pretty ridiculous to me. Im quite sure your illness is harder on you than it is on him. As for me, I absolutely despise waiting in the car, and worse, being TOLD to wait in the car. Not sure what his issue is, but its not cool.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by PhoenixFiresky View Post
                        I'm feeling like the person I thought he was for the past 20 years is suddenly turning out to be very different than I thought.
                        Are you having a harder time financially than usual? I can understand him wanting to keep the gas on at your home because it is so expensive to get it turned back on. He may be worrying about finances which is causing him to be impatient with everything.

                        How have you two handled living expenses in the past and have you always had separate bank accounts? I ask because it is surprising to be married 20 years without having a similar prior occurrence. Sounds to me like something "new" has happened. Has he had trouble with employment maybe? I'm thinking there is something more than normal driving his impatience.
                        ____________________

                        "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
                        - Barack Obama

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by flicka View Post
                          Are you having a harder time financially than usual? I can understand him wanting to keep the gas on at your home because it is so expensive to get it turned back on. I'm thinking there is something more than normal driving his impatience.
                          Well, he had a shopping addiction a few years ago, and his paychecks have been garnished for the past year or two because of that. We have to have expensive insurance, because of my impaired immune system, also (my treatments cost $3k/month to insurance). That's hard on both of us, especially since I can't work. (I'm in grad school and take out student loans to try to cover the worst of the expenses.)

                          So there is financial stress, but no more now than recently. He was really tired, because he works overnights and was in a hurry to get home to sleep, but this is pretty much a standard reaction on other days, too.

                          We've made an agreement that he'll take a look at this thread on Thursday (his day off). Maybe, if he hears that doing this is damaging and inappropriate from others, he'll believe it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            After thinking about flicka's question, I feel like I need to explain my logic.

                            I didn't have anything to do with the charges he's being garnished for. He collects clothes, and currently has over 100 pairs of jeans. Haven't counted his shirts, sweaters, nonjean pants, etc., recently. He should have the charges paid off in a few months, and we just paid off our car, so things should get better soon, financially speaking.

                            This is the first time I've ever told him no about giving my student loan money to the household. But I've missed a month of classes from this flare. Another semester like this, and my standing (not to mention my image) in the grad program may be an issue. Also, I thought that having trouble swallowing food, choking on liquids and the breathing difficulties were sort of a big deal, medically speaking. At least, something that should be looked at by a doctor for a definite diagnosis. With the hot water shut off, yes, it will be unpleasant (and I have promised to fill the rent gap this month - which will tap me out totally), but he and I would suffering equally - whereas if I gave him the money, I will be the only one suffering,and it could be medically dangerous especially since I get lung infections easily with the impaired immune system. That was my logic. I wasn't trying to be selfish, or anything, there just isn't enough money to go around.

                            Was I wrong in thinking that the trouble swallowing/breathing is medically dangerous?
                            Last edited by PhoenixFiresky; 27 Apr 2011, 9:39 AM. Reason: to reflect reality

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by PhoenixFiresky View Post
                              Perhaps the problem is that I have adjusted to being ill and in the wheelchair, but HE hasn't adjusted to it yet? Seems strange though, after 20 years and raising a kid together... :s
                              I see this in my marriage. It comes and goes in fits and starts. Like the time when I'd been crawling up the stairs on my hands and knees for months, and I sat my husband down and asked him to explain again why he was resisting buying a stairlift.

                              He looked at me very sweetly and said, "Well, I think we should definitely get one when the time comes. When do you think that will be?"

                              After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said, "About six month ago." And we got a stairlift.

                              Sometimes, although it seems just astounding, our partners just do not notice where we are in our disease progression, and we need to sit them down and tell them, sometimes very bluntly.

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