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Cruel to be kind?

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
I have suffered from a bad back since I was a little girl. I've been told that this is most likely caused by the way I stand and the way my leg muscles and feet muscles pull me forward). It was never really bad though until this January when the pain stopped being a slight stiffness and turned into what felt like very very strong heartburn in my spine and a stabbing sensation. I also lost sensation in some of my fingers. I went to the doctors and was told I probably had a slipped disc (not herniated thank god) and was given strong painkillers.
In the last month the pain has started again but since I am about the finish my degree and ridiculously busy I just took the painkillers and waited for the pain to stop.

Last week it started again in the evening. I was sitting on the sofa and told my BF that I was in a lot of pain. He asked me if I had taken painkillers (which I then did) but then pretty much ignored me as I took deep breaths and even after I started crying from the pain. After about 20 minutes of this I went to bed. I was incredibly upset that he didn't support me and try to help me and this only made the pain stronger.

Afterwards I confronted him and we had a long conversation where he admitted that he was trying to ignore me because he felt the pain was my fault because I have not taken steps to strengthen my back.

Now, I will admit that I 100% should be doing pilates and stretching every day. I am not disagreeing with his point that I could perhaps have prevented the pain (my excuse is that I am so so busy at the moment- I work about 18 hours a day). What I did very strongly disagree with is that there should ever be a situation where I am in pain and he does not help me or care for me. He disagreed (because he said he wasn't actually being cruel) and he spent his first night on the sofa of our 3 1/2 year relationship.

Am I right? I'm really looking for honest opinions because I'm aware that I am also to blame (and obviously for the sake of making sense I've skipped a few details so please ask away). I don't know how to feel about this...
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
Good god almighty. Yes, you are right.

Look, my mom has Type 2 diabetes which she didn't treat for, oh, ten years. I've spent ten years being simultaneously terrified and furious. Things have finally gotten bad enough that she's taking her medication. By your boyfriend's logic, I should, what, be ignoring her when she tells me about her pain? Maybe telling her it's what she deserves?

Dude, even typing that pisses me off. No, she's my mom, and I love her, and I want her to feel better, and I'm relieved that she's at least taking care of herself now. I think your boyfriend is prioritizing his own frustration with your choice of actions over your feelings, and that is not okay, especially if you're working 18 hours a day.

Bottom line: he's wrong, you're right, and if he doesn't see it, off to counseling you must hie. I would be tempted to drop-kick anybody in my life who tried to act more-holy-than-thou about pain.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
As someone who has suffered backpain since I was a young girl (jr high, so about 11 years old), I understand your pain.

I also understand that someone who has never suffered this kind of pain, simply can't UNDERSTAND it. They don't understand the constant shooting spasms, or the eternal dull radiating ache, or that it feels like we're walking around with someone pushing down on our shoulders, ALL THE TIME.

My husband loves me, but doesn't know how to handle my pain. As a guy, it's hard for him to deal with something he can't fix. So he tells me to exercise, or take pain meds, or whatever. He's sympathetic, but he's not really EMPATHETIC, if you know what I mean.

Backpain sufferers often suffer alone. And the way I handle it is to deal with it. Your BF is right that you do have to do something about it. I took pilates for a year and saw a massive drop in my lower back pain. Then I stopped because I got pregnant and it all came back. A few months ago, I also started having lower back/hip pains/sciatica. I started working out 4 times a week about a month and half to two months ago. Last week I realized that the hip pain I had had for many months (enough that I was worried and was going to make a doc appt) wasn't there anymore.

Exercise doesn't help everything, but it can help some and provide great relief. Your case is different because you are having pain that is spinal and not just muscular, so I hope they can do something for you other than just painkillers.

Your BF was insensitive. One can be loving and caring and supportive even IF the sufferer isn't doing all she can to relieve her suffering. But I do understand that men are all about fix fix fix. If you aren't trying to fix it, they think, then stop complaining. In fact, I'm guilty of this type of thinking myself when it comes to my husband's whinging.

Hugs!
 

Novel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
1,199
As someone with a chronic pain condition, I say you're right. Completely right. And I'm so sorry he is adding to your pain.

I also agree with TGal. Some people who haven't experienced pain don't understand it, and for maybe people (perhaps men especially), they feel like if there is something you can be doing to make yourself better, it is your fault if you're in the situation if you're not acting doing things to fix it. Though, so what if something can be done about it? You still feel pain and he isn't acting like he cares about that. Having the knowledge that there is something you can do to lessen the pain doesn't make the pain itself less.

It isn't easy to get past the hurdle of pain to do the exercise. And constant pain is really hard on your mood, so getting the motivation and believing it can get better are both difficult. It isn't as simple as he makes it out to be.

He's being insensitive, and he is also being cruel. Perhaps he's frustrated - it can be hard to watch someone you love be in pain and for some people (I know because I have family members and friends who have fallen into this category) that frustration and desire for your loved one to have a better life come out as anger and insensitivity.

Please talk to him. Explain how that makes you feel. Ask him how it would feel if he was so upset that he was crying and you did nothing, regardless of the reason. The reason you're crying doesn't matter, your feelings do. You need to be able to trust that he won't judge you for how you feel, that every time you're hurting you don't have to worry that he doesn't think it's right or justified. That's not fair to you at all.

ETA: And by talk to him, I mean therapy. Really. If my boyfriend did this, I'd have a really hard time staying with him unless I knew he had come to understand. I've distanced myself from very close friends because of this.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
TravelingGal|1305142092|2918872 said:
Your BF was insensitive. One can be loving and caring and supportive even IF the sufferer isn't doing all she can to relieve her suffering. But I do understand that men are all about fix fix fix. If you aren't trying to fix it, they think, then stop complaining.
This. But I think that an 18 hour day and a ton of stress REALLY limits your time, though, and your BF needs to realize that. I cannot believe he just sat there while you cried - I would be FURIOUS. He deserved the couch.
 

Aoife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
1,779
I always hesitate to post on threads like this because my perspective is a little different, but not only are you right and he's wrong, I think there is a very serious red flag that you need to pay attention to in his reaction. This is not a case of you whinging about a sore back, this is a case of you being in so much pain that you are crying. And his reaction was indifference and blaming you for not doing enough to "fix" it? Really? So, if you had done all the exercises and so on, would you then have been enough of a good girl to earn his sympathy? The troubling implication is that his empathy and sympathy are things that he portions out when you deserve them. Since back pain is something that tends to be chronic, hard to manage, and very seldom resolves itself spontaneously, is that kind of attitude from him something that you are prepared to deal with over a period of years?

One of my daughters has chronic back pain, partly because of a very long torso, exacerbated by a fall rollerblading that broke her tailbone. She exercises, does Pilates, gets regular massages, and is on a schedule of acupuncture. All those things help, but it takes constant vigilance to keep the pain under control. Her now-ex-husband never really believed that she somehow wasn't making it all up, and had an attitude very similar to what you are describing from your BF, so you can get an idea of why this is such a hot-button issue for me.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
Aoife|1305144996|2918930 said:
So, if you had done all the exercises and so on, would you then have been enough of a good girl to earn his sympathy?
This is what I wondered, too.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
Question: is this the first time a) he has responded like this and b) you have talked/cried about the pain in this way?

I ask for a few reasons; I do not mean to imply anything about your situation, as we only have a few details, but if this is a reoccurring situation for you and this is the first time he has reacted differently then he may (albeit it rather clumsily) be trying to change his reaction for fear that he is enabling you, where he wants to really encourage you to take the steps available to help yourself feel better.

I don't like the way he handled the situation because it is simply uncommunicative, which is helpful to no one, but I would give him another chance because it doesn't scream cruel to me, simply a little dumb.

If it were *me* I would make sure to be calm and very clear but I would vocally ask him for what I needed, in the moment and in the long term. Example- Johnny, when I am in the middle of a painful episode I am not able to rationally deal with solving the problem long term...in that moment what I need from you is help and comfort. In the long run, I want to work towards managing this and I need your help to do that, too. If you could take on the dishes every other night I would have enough time to do my stretches.

I am guilty of wanting them to be, but no one is a mind reader. If you don't say outloud what you want and need how can you tell if he is being cruel or clueless?

This whole answer changes if you have stated your needs and this is his normal reaction to pain or discomfort. If that is the case drop him like a hot potato.
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
aviastar|1305150153|2919011 said:
Question: is this the first time a) he has responded like this and b) you have talked/cried about the pain in this way?

I ask for a few reasons; I do not mean to imply anything about your situation, as we only have a few details, but if this is a reoccurring situation for you and this is the first time he has reacted differently then he may (albeit it rather clumsily) be trying to change his reaction for fear that he is enabling you, where he wants to really encourage you to take the steps available to help yourself feel better.

I don't like the way he handled the situation because it is simply uncommunicative, which is helpful to no one, but I would give him another chance because it doesn't scream cruel to me, simply a little dumb.

If it were *me* I would make sure to be calm and very clear but I would vocally ask him for what I needed, in the moment and in the long term. Example- Johnny, when I am in the middle of a painful episode I am not able to rationally deal with solving the problem long term...in that moment what I need from you is help and comfort. In the long run, I want to work towards managing this and I need your help to do that, too. If you could take on the dishes every other night I would have enough time to do my stretches.

I am guilty of wanting them to be, but no one is a mind reader. If you don't say outloud what you want and need how can you tell if he is being cruel or clueless?

This whole answer changes if you have stated your needs and this is his normal reaction to pain or discomfort. If that is the case drop him like a hot potato.
Ditto all of this!

Has he ever suggested you do exercises of anything like that before? If he has and you have ignored or made excuses, he may just be fed up with it or trying not to enable the behavior.

If this is the first time he has ever suggested tips or if this is his normal reaction to any pain then...yeah, hot potato.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
Thank you for your replies. I really appreciate you all sharing your advice. To answer some questions, yes he has suggested my doing stretches before and even shown me some good ones so I can totally imagine how frustrating it must be to not see me doing them. I'm healthy apart from this, slim and in my early 20s. The day after we had the fight I booked a doctors appointment and am seeing a physiotherapist in a month.

My argument was that however frustrated he is, there should never be a situation where he thinks it's "ok to be mean to me" (his exact words). If he had made sure I was ok and then spoken to me about it and how worried he was that would have been a completely different situation...

I also made it very clear that evening what he was saying and how I was going to interpret it. We've been together 3 1/2 years and in general I would describe him as a very protective, caring man (especially when we first met). There have been a few times he has not reacted in a way I would think he would from what I know of his character (I once spilled boiling water on myself and he didn't help, that sort of thing) but I really think it's just because he doesn't understand what he is doing and how it hurts me.

I think that after my studies are finished, I will have another talk with him. We are actually talking about getting married and I think that is making me re-evaluate certain situations and think of what kind of person I want to spend the rest of my life with.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Yiska--You are absolutely right, and the fact that he reacted that way really shocks me.

I suffer from back pain and like you, I have neglected to properly care for my back and ignored the symptoms to the point that I was laid up in bed for several days straight in 2009. (I could not even move for the first ten hours it was so painful. After that, I could adjust myself but I was in tears every time.)

Here's the difference: When I hurt my back I was getting ready for work at about 6 AM. DH was sleeping. I cried out, he was up and by my side immediately, he helped me into bed (which took at least 30 minutes to move all of ten feet) and then canceled all of his clients for the day, typed out my sub and lesson plans for my classes for me as I told him what to write, called my department chair, and spent the entire first day caring for me, as well as the days after that.

The real kicker? My husband is a muscle specialist, he treats people who are in physical pain for a living, and I had been refusing to let him treat me for months before I hurt my back. I was just being a PITA, and didn't feel like starting the treatment, and sure enough I ended up hurt. If anyone could have been angry with me at that moment, it would have been my husband. But he wasn't. He was concerned, and then mad at himself for not pushing me to let him treat me all that time. But the entire time I was in pain he was there for me, and never once said anything about how it was all my fault that I was laid up.

You deserve to be cared for in the exact same way.

The difference might be that my husband knows what it's like to be in excruciating pain, as he has a case of severe cervical stenosis. But really, I can't imagine that he would have behaved differently even if he had no idea what it's like to be in pain. He saw me crying, so he cared for me.
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
880
yiska|1305152572|2919050 said:
I once spilled boiling water on myself and he didn't help, that sort of thing.
Ouch! That's not good; I can understand being frustrated when someone is not taking care of themselves but anyone can spill boiling water on themselves and everybody knows it hurts and can be dangerous.

I'd be more worried about that TBH. Did he realize you spilled boiling water on yourself and still not act concerned?
 

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
Maybe he was irritated. It happens, even with people we love dearly.

My sister gets hip pain pretty bad from an old injury, but I have sometimes felt resentment in the past because her hip is fine when she wants to go somewhere fun, but hurts too bad to get out of bed if the kitchen needs cleaning. This is my little sister - someone that I'd take a bullet for. Yet, I've experienced indifference bordering on disdain concerning her hip pain, which I know is real. It's not rational for me to feel that detachment from someone whom I am normally very protective and empathetic toward, yet it happens.

I'm not defending your boyfriend's actions or words, just saying that sometimes people get irritated with what they may subconsciously perceive to be hypocrisy or wolf-calling. You do need to be able to count on his support though, so talk to him about it and tell him what you expect and see if he can adjust his behavior.
 

hawaiianorangetree

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I think your bf had a point but the way he chose to deliver his message (and the timing!) was poor.

Please look into the stretching and exercises though, I know you are busy and working long hours but if you are stuck at a desk all day long you should be stopping every 20 minutes, getting out of your chair and doing 5 minutes of stretching anyway. Personally I find doing lots of small sessions of stretching and pilates moves during the day to be a lot more helpful than doing a huge chunk at night.

I hope you can get on top of it soon, pack pain is no picnic!
 

stci

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2,514
I can't answer to your question cause my english is too bad but I want to let you know that I think to you and send you many ((HUGS))! :love:
 

LGK

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Messages
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I've done similar stuff- I have a bad knee that I dislocate, oh, every year or so pretty regularly; mostly just from stepping in the wrong direction. It pops out, then pops back in place immediately, but I end up in a little screaming heap every time- it hurts incredibly badly. But, I am terrified of knee surgery- I've heard so many people's horror stories, usually ending in "... and then it was worse," that I have put off surgery for like five years and five knee dislocations. And I end up sitting on the couch grumbling for a week every time.

DH is pretty annoyed that I haven't taken more action to fix the issue. But you know what? Even if it is partially my fault anytime I do dislocate my knee, he's there for me. No bitching, no ignoring me, no making me feel worse when I'm in pain. Afterwards, he sometimes has a few things to say- understandably- but while I'm hurting? Hell. No.

I'd really think damn hard about this. I mean, what if he reacts this same way to a hurt child after you have kids?

Anyway, good luck!
 

slg47

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Messages
9,667
has he been asking you to do the stretches and then you are not doing them? if so...then I see where he is coming from. I still think he should have comforted you when you are in pain
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
slg47 said:
has he been asking you to do the stretches and then you are not doing them? if so...then I see where he is coming from. I still think he should have comforted you when you are in pain
I think this is the reason why I am struggling with this... I do sort of understand why he would be frustrated by my not doing the stretches but I still refuse to accept that that "allows" him to not be concerned when I am in a lot of pain. For me the "ideal" situation in this position would have been for him to get me a glass of water and my pain killers, help me into bed and make sure I was ok, then maybe talk to me about how worried he is.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
I'd really think damn hard about this. I mean said:
I really can't believe he would ever react like this with a child however I do get your point that it sets a pattern of behaviour which is worrying for the future and I don't know how to explain to him how important it is to me (mainly because I'm not 100% I'm in the right).
Since we are planning to get engaged/married I am thinking a lot more about if he right for me in the long run and not just in the right now. Even if it just boils down to a misunderstanding and him not reacting the right way, it still worries me.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
hawaiianorangetree|1305202113|2919536 said:
I think your bf had a point but the way he chose to deliver his message (and the timing!) was poor.

Please look into the stretching and exercises though, I know you are busy and working long hours but if you are stuck at a desk all day long you should be stopping every 20 minutes, getting out of your chair and doing 5 minutes of stretching anyway. Personally I find doing lots of small sessions of stretching and pilates moves during the day to be a lot more helpful than doing a huge chunk at night.

I hope you can get on top of it soon, pack pain is no picnic!
Thank you, you are right. I really really need to sort this out before it gets worse. Those are really great tips.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
Circe|1305141826|2918865 said:
Good god almighty. Yes, you are right.

Bottom line: he's wrong, you're right, and if he doesn't see it, off to counseling you must hie. I would be tempted to drop-kick anybody in my life who tried to act more-holy-than-thou about pain.
Thanks Circe, I was really upset by it, which of course didn't help the pain! I think maybe counseling would be a very good idea. We went for 1 session before a couple of years ago but didn't really like the doctor so decided to work things through by ourselves which was actually very positive but maybe I should look into it again.

TravelingGal said:
As someone who has suffered backpain since I was a young girl (jr high, so about 11 years old), I understand your pain.

I also understand that someone who has never suffered this kind of pain, simply can't UNDERSTAND it. They don't understand the constant shooting spasms, or the eternal dull radiating ache, or that it feels like we're walking around with someone pushing down on our shoulders, ALL THE TIME.
Yes you are completely right. He just doesn't understand! He is a very sporty guy who works out every day and he just can't comprehend why anyone else wouldn't do that.

Novel said:
He's being insensitive, and he is also being cruel. Perhaps he's frustrated - it can be hard to watch someone you love be in pain and for some people (I know because I have family members and friends who have fallen into this category) that frustration and desire for your loved one to have a better life come out as anger and insensitivity.

Please talk to him. Explain how that makes you feel. Ask him how it would feel if he was so upset that he was crying and you did nothing, regardless of the reason. The reason you're crying doesn't matter, your feelings do. You need to be able to trust that he won't judge you for how you feel, that every time you're hurting you don't have to worry that he doesn't think it's right or justified. That's not fair to you at all.

ETA: And by talk to him, I mean therapy. Really. If my boyfriend did this, I'd have a really hard time staying with him unless I knew he had come to understand. I've distanced myself from very close friends because of this.
This is exactly the point I was trying to make to him, you've put it into much better words!
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
Aoife|1305144996|2918930 said:
I always hesitate to post on threads like this because my perspective is a little different, but not only are you right and he's wrong, I think there is a very serious red flag that you need to pay attention to in his reaction. This is not a case of you whinging about a sore back, this is a case of you being in so much pain that you are crying. And his reaction was indifference and blaming you for not doing enough to "fix" it? Really? So, if you had done all the exercises and so on, would you then have been enough of a good girl to earn his sympathy? The troubling implication is that his empathy and sympathy are things that he portions out when you deserve them. Since back pain is something that tends to be chronic, hard to manage, and very seldom resolves itself spontaneously, is that kind of attitude from him something that you are prepared to deal with over a period of years?

One of my daughters has chronic back pain, partly because of a very long torso, exacerbated by a fall rollerblading that broke her tailbone. She exercises, does Pilates, gets regular massages, and is on a schedule of acupuncture. All those things help, but it takes constant vigilance to keep the pain under control. Her now-ex-husband never really believed that she somehow wasn't making it all up, and had an attitude very similar to what you are describing from your BF, so you can get an idea of why this is such a hot-button issue for me.
Thank you so much for posting Aoife. I don't think he believes I am making it up but the idea that it is acceptable to be punished for being in pain and I am very much not prepared to live with that.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
Haven|1305152929|2919057 said:
Yiska--You are absolutely right, and the fact that he reacted that way really shocks me.

I suffer from back pain and like you, I have neglected to properly care for my back and ignored the symptoms to the point that I was laid up in bed for several days straight in 2009. (I could not even move for the first ten hours it was so painful. After that, I could adjust myself but I was in tears every time.)

Here's the difference: When I hurt my back I was getting ready for work at about 6 AM. DH was sleeping. I cried out, he was up and by my side immediately, he helped me into bed (which took at least 30 minutes to move all of ten feet) and then canceled all of his clients for the day, typed out my sub and lesson plans for my classes for me as I told him what to write, called my department chair, and spent the entire first day caring for me, as well as the days after that.

The real kicker? My husband is a muscle specialist, he treats people who are in physical pain for a living, and I had been refusing to let him treat me for months before I hurt my back. I was just being a PITA, and didn't feel like starting the treatment, and sure enough I ended up hurt. If anyone could have been angry with me at that moment, it would have been my husband. But he wasn't. He was concerned, and then mad at himself for not pushing me to let him treat me all that time. But the entire time I was in pain he was there for me, and never once said anything about how it was all my fault that I was laid up.

You deserve to be cared for in the exact same way.

The difference might be that my husband knows what it's like to be in excruciating pain, as he has a case of severe cervical stenosis. But really, I can't imagine that he would have behaved differently even if he had no idea what it's like to be in pain. He saw me crying, so he cared for me.
I'm so sorry about your back pain. I was really shocked by the way he reacted too. At the time I just couldn't see it any other way- I am in pain = my partner will care for me... I guess now I am confused.. I want to speak to him about it again but as others have said (and I agree with them), I could have potentially avoided the pain and he has tried to help me in the past by suggesting exercises etc. I just don't know if any of that excuses what he did, I don't care if he was frustrated, he still shouldn't have reacted like that. Two wrongs don't make a right.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
AmeliaG|1305154077|2919076 said:
yiska|1305152572|2919050 said:
I once spilled boiling water on myself and he didn't help, that sort of thing.
Ouch! That's not good; I can understand being frustrated when someone is not taking care of themselves but anyone can spill boiling water on themselves and everybody knows it hurts and can be dangerous.

I'd be more worried about that TBH. Did he realize you spilled boiling water on yourself and still not act concerned?
Well it was in the morning and he was half asleep, but he saw exactly what happened (boiling water all over my legs- the hot water bottle split) and did nothing apart from ask if I was ok in a sleepy way and then turn over. I was expecting him to jump up and help me.
 

yiska

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
107
Guilty Pleasure|1305200475|2919528 said:
Maybe he was irritated. It happens, even with people we love dearly.

My sister gets hip pain pretty bad from an old injury, but I have sometimes felt resentment in the past because her hip is fine when she wants to go somewhere fun, but hurts too bad to get out of bed if the kitchen needs cleaning. This is my little sister - someone that I'd take a bullet for. Yet, I've experienced indifference bordering on disdain concerning her hip pain, which I know is real. It's not rational for me to feel that detachment from someone whom I am normally very protective and empathetic toward, yet it happens.

I'm not defending your boyfriend's actions or words, just saying that sometimes people get irritated with what they may subconsciously perceive to be hypocrisy or wolf-calling. You do need to be able to count on his support though, so talk to him about it and tell him what you expect and see if he can adjust his behavior.
I don't know if what I'm about to say even makes sense but do you think we react differently to siblings and partners? I don't know if it's just me but as much as I love love love my sisters, I definitely get a lot more irritated with them and am a lot less patient and understanding that I would ever be with my boyfriend. I will talk to him though, like you said I need to be able to count on him and I felt that when he reacted like that I had no support network what so ever.
 

MonkeyPie

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Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
yiska|1305231943|2919985 said:
AmeliaG|1305154077|2919076 said:
yiska|1305152572|2919050 said:
I once spilled boiling water on myself and he didn't help, that sort of thing.
Ouch! That's not good; I can understand being frustrated when someone is not taking care of themselves but anyone can spill boiling water on themselves and everybody knows it hurts and can be dangerous.

I'd be more worried about that TBH. Did he realize you spilled boiling water on yourself and still not act concerned?
Well it was in the morning and he was half asleep, but he saw exactly what happened (boiling water all over my legs- the hot water bottle split) and did nothing apart from ask if I was ok in a sleepy way and then turn over. I was expecting him to jump up and help me.
My husband doesn't always react appropriately to me being upset, but if he saw me HURT? He would have been awake and out of bed in seconds. No amount of sleepiness would have held him back. I don't get how he could just watch you in pain and not react...that seems incredibly selfish and uncaring.
 

AmeliaG

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Messages
880
yiska|1305231943|2919985 said:
AmeliaG|1305154077|2919076 said:
yiska|1305152572|2919050 said:
I once spilled boiling water on myself and he didn't help, that sort of thing.
Ouch! That's not good; I can understand being frustrated when someone is not taking care of themselves but anyone can spill boiling water on themselves and everybody knows it hurts and can be dangerous.

I'd be more worried about that TBH. Did he realize you spilled boiling water on yourself and still not act concerned?
Well it was in the morning and he was half asleep, but he saw exactly what happened (boiling water all over my legs- the hot water bottle split) and did nothing apart from ask if I was ok in a sleepy way and then turn over. I was expecting him to jump up and help me.
Hmmm, I don't know then. I was thinking that it may be something totally unrelated to your back pain like spilling water from a boiling teakettle which I have done.

If he's always been this way (ignoring you when you are in pain, not trying to help) then yes, you have a problem. You may not be able to get rid of all of it no matter what you do and you need someone who is fundamentally understanding and caring. If his attitude towards your back pain has changed over time (at first he was helpful and caring and its gotten less and less over time until the last time when he ignored you), it may just be the pain is taking a really bad toll on your relationship which is very common. Chronic pain is tough not only on the sufferers but their partners too.

In the latter case, couples counseling can be very beneficial; not necessarily to teach him how to treat you better but to teach both of you how to manage the chronic pain together so it doesn't have adverse effects on your relationship. He'll have his responsibilities and you'll have yours and if one of you slips up, both of you will know how to address it so you both can get back on track.

But he has to want to help take care of you and make your life better (and he has to fundamentally accept that he's in love with a chronic sufferer which requires some additional responsibilities on his part); if he doesn't, counseling isn't going to work.

Good luck.
 

Novel

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AmeliaG|1305235555|2920023 said:
But he has to want to help take care of you and make your life better (and he has to fundamentally accept that he's in love with a chronic sufferer which requires some additional responsibilities on his part); if he doesn't, counseling isn't going to work.
This is really important. People get frustrated with each other, angry at the situation, or have moments of insensitivity, but if he can't accept what is going on with you or what it means for your life - and his - then there is a real problem. Some people can't handle that extra responsibility and being the caretaker sometimes.

I think most important is that he has to be willing to put your feelings before his judgment of your feelings. To me, that isn't just relevant to pain or sickness, but is important in so many aspects of a relationship.
 
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