I promise that I won't continue on this rant. However, it can't be just my situation and I'm hoping that someone may read this one day and realize it's not just them, or if it's a spouse of someone suffering from a chronic illness that perhaps they can see the another side.
I realize and accept that chronic illness can be very difficult on a marriage. The statistics show that 75% of our marriages end in divorce. Think about that a minute, only 1/4 of marriages where one partner suffers from a chronic illness will make it through.
I'm not sure that I'm going to be in that category.
We are selfish beings by nature, and while we may not like to accept this it's true. In marriage, people get accustomed to their "roles" and the expectations they have on their spouses. Plus unfortunately chronic illness has a tendancy to normally hit on that turning point in our lives. Where our children have grown older, where we are more comfortable in our bodies, when our marriages grow back to being about the partners. Then all of a sudden, one of those partners is sick. ALOT. Unable to perform in the "role" they have always been in, unable to contribute to the running of the house, often unable (at some point) to contribute financially. The "well" partner, may feel neglected, angry, and confused. Perhaps even a bit guilty for being the one that is not sick.
Men especially want to fix things. If they are the well person in the relationship, their "suggestions" may seem like criticizing to the unwell partner.
Last night, was a bad night at my house. I received no sympathy regarding my work "crisis" this week, nor no compassion for how scared I was regarding this or the anxiety it was already causing me. Instead, I received a very matter-of-fact response that perhaps I should go to bed earlier. Heads rolled (so to speak), words were said, tears were cried (on my part). I finally said everything I have wanted to say, and it has been done. I am now completely withdrawn from the situation / relationship and the ball is in his court. I simply do not have the energy to fight or argue over the things I can and can not do, over how I spend time with my mother every week (even though it's only a couple of hours), over any of it.
So perhaps this is what really happens. The sick spouse withdraws and the well spouse moves on. Not sure, how this will turn out in my case, only time will tell.
Remember, we all have choices and sometimes we have to make "unpopular" choices in order to survive especially when faced with chronic illness. To withdraw may not be the "best" choice, but for now it's the choice I have made.