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I've Left My Para Husband




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43 replies to this topic

#1 MaryBethRN

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 12:36 AM

After 13 years of dealing with all the ups and downs of my husband's injury (he is an incomplete L3-4 para with chronic narcotic dependent/neuropathic pain), I have finally moved out. I feel absolutely horrible but I realize it's because I enabled his disability. He is quite capable of managing his own care but because of his anger (he was paralyzed by a clumsy surgeon and no, we weren't able to file a malpractice lawsuit), lack of self-esteem and unwillingness to accept his changed body image, he has spent a great deal of these past 13 years in a drug-induced stupor in the back bedroom where he has an adjustable bed, big screen TV, DVD player with lots of movies and TV series to watch and doesn't have to get up very often because he wears a condom cath. I've tried to give him the "you've got 4 good wheels, go get the Cheerios yourself," kind of support, but ultimately he just pouts and gets his way. All 3 of our children have left--my daughter's particularly estranged due to his reaction when he found out she had become sexually active at age 17--this issue comes up over and over again and his hot Italian blood won't let him listen to reason. Anyway, my family has watched our marriage disintegrate especially since the boyfriend issue and wonders how I have stayed so long. He and I had a very rocky start to our life together--married and divorced and remarried already once before but very early on in our marriage as he dealt with custody issues with his ex-wife. We thought we'd been through it all and could survive anything, but his "oh poor me" attitude has just killed this family and I want out. It's worrying about what are his options that have kept me running back before and make me very uneasy now....I have not made any major changes==I'm staying with my sister and slowly decluttering our garage and house (we rent) so moving can happen, but I don't know what to do about his needs--when I ask him what he needs, he just says, "you". I've made a mess of this whole thing--right now I'm the LAST thing he needs. HELP!

#2 evilmac64

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 01:18 AM

If he truly is a drug addict he wont be able to see it- He will need you more than ever- all you can do let him find his own way out of that room-then hope love prevails over the drugs

thats tough love
MAC

#3 Bozo85PL

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 01:40 AM

If he truly is a drug addict he wont be able to see it- He will need you more than ever- all you can do let him find his own way out of that room-then hope love prevails over the drugs

thats tough love


sux 4 him

#4 Ches

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 03:05 AM

You are right about being an enabler, you've tried all you can do.. its YOUR life too. If he's not willing to save himself there's not much you can do. If you run back now with his 'poor me' attitude then you will just be enabling him again. He needs some therapy for sure,, sounds like the typical dweller.. he thinks its the SCI messing up his life, not him.
Our Handicaps Exist Only In the Mind

#5 Edinburgh Colin

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 05:16 AM

I feel so sorry for you to have to get to this stage. He needs to get his life together and maybe you leaving will force the issue. I hope for your sakes that there can be some king of family healing if he can clean himself up and get out bit and you two could become friends again instead of you being his slave.

Good Luck, you are doing the right thing, especially if he is capable but just won't apply himself.
Impossible only describes a problem that needs viewed from a different perspective

#6 AussieBrad

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:09 AM

Sounds like he needs to learn to stand on his own two feet.
With you doing everything for him,things will never change.
Staying with your sister maybe just what he needs to realise how much you do for him.
And for him to also realise he has to start doing things for himself and to get out of that damn room.
Just Keep Smilin'

#7 littlemissunderstood

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:16 AM

I am in a chair from a car crash when I was just 16 yrs old. I am 35yrs old now and a T-10 level and still can live alone. I truly believe by what u have said in your letter that you need to stop helping him I know it will be hard but u must. I don't know how long he has been in a chair but I would really love to talk to you!!! If u wish to speak with me let me know.I live in Michigan I hope u live in the us as well if not we will have to talk on yahoo or skype. I am new to this sight as well but, not to what your man is going threw and the bs he is putting u threw. U could not get a better opinion then from someone that lives it every day. I got to say I feel like I really could help u.I know all to well about doing drugs as this was part of my past as well. I have been in many relationships and I can tell u a lot of stuff but anyway wright back if u feel I can help you.
Stay strong my friend,
P.S. I am on face book
under my name Amy Lee Ross
I will b looking 4 u to wright me.
I am on facebook every day
I will b praying for u & yours

P.S.S. If u stop doing everything for him and he starts
doing it himself he will find his self esteem again
and feel more reason to live ect.

Edited by littlemissunderstood, 18 July 2010 - 07:28 AM.


#8 jenny407

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:24 AM

MaryBeth,
I'm sorry for you for having had a hard time for 13 (!) years now. Sad as it is, I do think you are doing the right thing to leave. He is making life hard for you all - your daughter, you. SCI is tough - but after such a long time, it can't be an excuse for making everything miserable for the whole family and for not treating you and your daughter with the respect you deserve.

It seems he is suffering from severe depression. Perhaps he can find treatment - perhaps now that you've left, there is enough pressure on him to go and seek treatment. It seems as long as you are there, he doesn't see the necessity.

Perhaps things will improve now - perhaps he won't change. Nobody can know.

For you personally, for your three children: You have got your own lives to take care of. Your decision was right (it's sad, but right). I do wish you that the situation will change for your husband now, that you may remain / become (?) friends.

Best wishes,
Jenny
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

#9 evilmac64

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:33 AM

Thats cool

Edited by evilmac64, 18 July 2010 - 07:36 AM.

MAC

#10 dom

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 12:24 PM

does'nt sound like his sci?? people are people and everyone handles situations differently,some thrive on adversity and others give up

#11 airart1

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 05:57 PM

but it does have everything to do with sci. if he wasnt paralyzed he would be up and walking having a normal life, without all the pain meds, or i would think unless he was a drug addict before, sci changes the whole ballgame, but at his level, she is right, he needs to do for himself, he just won't......it will be the best thing she could do for him, he just don't know it yet, even though divorce sure sucks, when u still love each other, but if the love is gone the marriage is also...........

#12 Snakeye

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:03 PM

Of course there are two sides to every story and were only hearing one...But, it's true... when the love is gone you might as well be...

#13 rue2you

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:20 PM

AB or SCI there are two kinds of people - victims or victors. In a marriage, both sides can be either one. I don't want to be a victim and I don't want my hubby to feel like one either. He won't let me either so we help and balance each other. We are all selfish and want a little pat on the back and a "bless your heart" every now and then because sympathy feels good. But to much of it, either person, becomes self-gratifying too much and we become selfish and self-centered. This is a big problem.

Could you tell him you will come back but you all are going to live differently?
"We cannot choose the road we are asked to travel, but we can choose to enjoy the ride!"
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#14 Snakeye

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 10:05 PM

[quote name='rue2you' date='18 July 2010 - 06:20 PM' timestamp='1279488029' post='173107']
AB or SCI there are two kinds of people - victims or victors. In a marriage, both sides can be either one. I don't want to be a victim and I don't want my hubby to feel like one either. He won't let me either so we help and balance each other. We are all selfish and want a little pat on the back and a "bless your heart" every now and then because sympathy feels good. But to much of it, either person, becomes self-gratifying too much and we become selfish and self-centered. This is a big problem.

Great post. I agree 100%.....

#15 S&W Winger

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:10 PM

I agree snakeye...rue, you summed up the issue so well...
Beverly


"A wild patience has taken me this far..."

#16 Tetracyclone

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:13 PM

Mary Beth,
After 13 years change will be difficult. I don't know what the narcotics equivalent of al-anon is, but it would do you good. You must recognize there are things you cannot control...

Love feels so good but can be completely toxic and we do not know the difference except by the results. Living with lies kills the spirit.
:hug:

#17 S&W Winger

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:25 PM

Mary Beth,
After 13 years change will be difficult. I don't know what the narcotics equivalent of al-anon is, but it would do you good. You must recognize there are things you cannot control...

Love feels so good but can be completely toxic and we do not know the difference except by the results. Living with lies kills the spirit.
:hug:

A drug is a drug is a drug...al-anon is the place for someone involved with someone addicted to drugs/alcohol...it is in the phone book...if she goes, she will learn:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Edited by S&W Winger, 18 July 2010 - 11:25 PM.

Beverly


"A wild patience has taken me this far..."

#18 AussieBrad

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:37 AM

I think its called NA narcotics anon.
Just Keep Smilin'

#19 DellFan

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 04:36 AM

I hate to put it so bluntly but.... A wheelchair isn't an excuse to be an asshole. You deserve to be happy, not just exist so he can survive.

My wheelchair does not define me, I define it.


#20 S&W Winger

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 04:58 AM

I think its called NA narcotics anon.

Meant Al-Anon for her...NA for him, but he has to WANT to go...





I hate to put it so bluntly but.... A wheelchair isn't an excuse to be an asshole. You deserve to be happy, not just exist so he can survive.

Very true...however, he is clinically depressed, and in a full blown addiction, or perhaps not even, as he may actually NEED meds for pain...and if, as is obvious, he is ill (mentally ill, as in depressed) then he needs help...and some compassion...he probably has never even dealt with the loss of his body from SCI...he is sick...I thought the vows included "sickness and health" and "for better or worse" but then I could be wrong about marriage, as so much has changed...maybe these words mean nothing...maybe she does need to save herself and not be a human sacrifice, but I can't shake the feeling that after 13 years of so-called enabling, she finally leaves, then posts about it here...guilt? seeking what? other SCI'd people to say hey it's OK just leave us to fend for ourselves...I'm not speaking about pandering to the "poor me's," just some human compassion...sure, maybe he wore her down with verbal abuse, etc., but she listened rather than finding a way to ignore it or to deal with it in a more favorable fashion...not saying the onus is all on her and making excuses for him...his problems are his...but Al-Anon would give her the tools with which to deal and Live...

Edited by S&W Winger, 20 July 2010 - 05:00 AM.

Beverly


"A wild patience has taken me this far..."

#21 evilmac64

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:58 AM

[/quote]
Very true...however, he is clinically depressed, and in a full blown addiction, or perhaps not even, as he may actually NEED meds for pain...and if, as is obvious, he is ill (mentally ill, as in depressed) then he needs help...and some compassion...he probably has never even dealt with the loss of his body from SCI...he is sick...I thought the vows included "sickness and health" and "for better or worse" but then I could be wrong about marriage, as so much has changed...maybe these words mean nothing...maybe she does need to save herself and not be a human sacrifice, but I can't shake the feeling that after 13 years of so-called enabling, she finally leaves, then posts about it here...guilt? seeking what? other SCI'd people to say hey it's OK just leave us to fend for ourselves...I'm not speaking about pandering to the "poor me's," just some human compassion...sure, maybe he wore her down with verbal abuse, etc., but she listened rather than finding a way to ignore it or to deal with it in a more favorable fashion...not saying the onus is all on her and making excuses for him...his problems are his...but Al-Anon would give her the tools with which to deal and Live...
[/quote]




absolute wisdom
MAC

#22 dom

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 11:55 AM

but it does have everything to do with sci. if he wasnt paralyzed he would be up and walking having a normal life, without all the pain meds, or i would think unless he was a drug addict before, sci changes the whole ballgame, but at his level, she is right, he needs to do for himself, he just won't......it will be the best thing she could do for him, he just don't know it yet, even though divorce sure sucks, when u still love each other, but if the love is gone the marriage is also...........

yes but what i meant is put better down the thread by snakeye etc

#23 airart1

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:24 PM

but it does have alot to do with his sci, no one can say there lives didnt change because of their sci! and it does have alot to do with how u live your life, good and bad, u are true that some deal with it and some don't, some normal people do the same thing, there's alot of AB's that are week minded enough to let drugs control their lives, and that is no way to live nor live with someone that is wasting his life on them....not only is it non productive for the family, it is toxic to a relationship, any relationship, even sci is no different, its just as toxic as drugs and alcohol abuse......all i know is out of the 30 people i know in a chair or have gotten in a chair before and during their marriage only 2 are now still married....its a shame that after 13 years of marriage, i spect the drugs and confinement he has induced on himself and apparently she has raised the family on her own it sounds like, has alot to do with the situation, but it also sounds like she was part of the problem by "him getting his way" marriage goes both ways and if he is not willing to change or get off the drugs and out of bed, shoot he's L3-L4 incomplete, so he should be able to about anything he is willing to do for himself even with back pain, we all have that in one way or another, i was always told sympathy is somewhere between shit and syphalis in the dictionary, and if she's not willing to cope with his sci/drug problem and get him off them to save their marriage, then its pretty much a dead subject, she's gonna leave and he's gonna hate her, pretty much will sum it up.......it already sounds pretty much she dont love him anymore..or it does to me...........

#24 Tetracyclone

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:53 PM

Mary Beth posted in the Spouse and Carers forum, so she is not looking for understanding from SCIs. Tons of marriages break up over addiction problems. Many break up because people cannot be honest. Life is not easy.

#25 airart1

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 03:10 PM

nor fair.....the best i remember.......but the last word in her post contradicts thats she's not looking for some sympathy, advice of some sort, i see the word...."HELP!"

#26 Snakeye

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 04:22 PM

It was more like she was uncertain of herself and was asking the reader to validate her actions when it came to leaving her husband...Like a previous post noted, divorce rates for sci are very high. A tough row to hoe for both the injured and spouse. All of our spouses, significant others or caregivers are probably tempted to throw in the towel at one time or another...The lesson being: Be kind and thoughtful to those that love us, they are victims (I hate that word) of this insidious condition as well....

#27 airart1

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:07 PM

but no one can do that but herself, all we can do is share our experiences and offer what we have gone thru, i wish her well, i wish she could get thru to him and get him to get his life back and enjoy his family, i would hope somehow 13 years wasn't going to be thrown away, fate is a very pecurious thing, we all make or break our own lives......and it is hard on all the family members involved, but she don't need our approval, i would think that would be the last thing she would want......this is her life and she will have to live with her decision on her own terms, but if u read her post, there is no love in it and i'll stand by what i said before, when the love is gone, the marriage is also.....thats all i will commit on this subject, i wish her the best for both of them.........

#28 Snakeye

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:05 PM

Well said...What's a marrige without love?....

#29 qbounce

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 04:58 PM

To bad that you found this site AFTER you decided to divorce. We're a great source for support in living with SCI, but can't do much for anyone after break up.

If there's one thing I've learned while being on this site, it's the old addege, "There's two sides to every story." Not to take any truth away from the OP, but I still wonder what the husbands take on things is.

It's all to frequent that someone posts about another relationship ending as a first post, and I can't help but wonder why they search for support when they feel it's over, and not a minute sooner.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

#30 airart1

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 06:34 PM

desperation i guess, shame they don't get involved from the get go.....let off steam, understanding, u know................




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