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My husband doesn't believe me; what do I do?
6 Replies
jla1970 - February 20

I should start by saying I don't know for sure if I have Fibromyalgia, because I haven't been officially diagnosed, but I do have the pain and fatigue symptoms as well as others. My problem is that my husband doesn't believe me; he has told me this directly when I asked him. He gets upset if I am sleeping during the day due to fatigue, or if I fall behind on my chores, or if I say I'm in too much pain to come sit at the dinner table during dinner or to do whatever. His not believing that I really do suffer from a great deal of pain and fatigue is very difficult for me to accept, and I don't know what to do or how to relate to him. Help?


Fantod - February 22

Hello - I am very sorry to read about your situation. This is not an uncommon scenario for people with fibromyalgia (FMS).

The first order of business should be to get a firm diagnosis of the problem. You need to see a rheumotologist. To find a fibro-friendly rheumotologist in your area, go to the National Fibromyalgia Association website. They can give you a referral. There are other things that can mimic FMS so it is best to get everything else ruled out.

Fibromyalgia is recognised by the National Arthitis Foundation and the CDC as a valid medical syndrome. The mechanism that causes it is not understood. Essentially, it is a short circuit of the central nervous system which causes the pain receptors to be stuck in the "on" position. There is no cure but it can be managed to some degree with medication. It can take quite a bit of time to find the right combination of meds to make you more comfortable.

As for your husband, shame on him. I rather doubt you would act that way if the situation was reversed. You could show him the National Arthitis Foundation website - use the search feature to find information on FMS. He may be more inclined to be more supportive when you have a firm diagnosis. Insist he come with you to the doctor so he can hear for himself from an neutral party what health issues you are experiencing.

Good luck and keep in touch. Take care.


bluecastle556 - March 4

It would be nice if other people would be sympathetic but you can imagine how it is for family members when you start to change. They don't know what to think or how this will afect them. And,its an invisible illness. Trying to convince them you are sick just wears you out.

I learned this the hard way but maybe this could help you. When you are sick, you need to conserve your energy for yourself. I wore myself out in the beginning trying to convince everyone else I was sick and trying to show that i wasn't "lazy" by doing things even when my body was screaming at me to stop. I had to leave and get an apartment by myself and I ended up spending most of the next 2 years in bed. And, they weren't anymore sympathetic when I was more sick than they were when it first started.

When I finally realized that i was the only one who knew how I felt, I realized that I had to respect my own perceptions. I started to notice what activities or scheduling made me have more flare ups and when I had some relief. I started telling people what i could and could not do without a lot of explanation. I also made it clear that I had to choose carefully between activities. I would say I can either go to the movies with you saturday or the Celtic Festival on Sunday but I can't do both and that means I will not want to schedule anything for a few days before and the week after. This way I can tell people what I can do instead of what i can't and give them a choice.

I eventually got back together with my husband and after a few years began being able to be up out of bed more than down. He is pretty understanding about the fibro limitations(he is a low energy person) but he still is negative in other aspects and I have had to learn to be stronger in myself to deal with that. I wouldn't suggest to other people to expose themselves to negativity but after, initially, crumpling, I am more able to say "oh, well" when he behaves badly. During this time I also have attended counseling and gone to a psychiatrist to treat my mental health problems. The ADD meds helped a good bit in my case.

You will need to examine your priorities. I got so sick that i let go of everything. When I started to feel better I thought carefully about every activity I chose to add to my life. Now, I spend much of my time doing quiet things that I like to do. there are probably things you do and things you take care of that aren't necessary.

I had to make an agreement with my husband about the minimum acceptable amount of housework i would do. When I am having more pain I ask him to do specific things like carry the laundry downstairs of the cat litter up. . When I am feeling better I do more. He likes me to spend time with him so I try to work my resting and working so that i am available on weekends (to do quiet things)and at night.

I have been diagnosed but there are many conditions that seem very similar. I often tell people that it doesn't really matter if I do or don't have fibro because I have all of these symptoms and I hurt and I am tired and it isn't normal. That's where you have to get. You have to know what your status is and what you can and cannot do.

When I am having trouble getting stuff around the house done, which is often, I use the TV as a timer. I get up during the commercials and do some dishes, wipe the sink or scoop a litter. If that's too much its every other commercial. If you don't watch TV, use a timer. You would be surprised at what you can do in little 5 minute periods of time. When I was first sick I had to do 5 minutes every hour.

When I get up in the morning, I make the bed and prop up some pillows. In between activities, I lay propped up on the bed. This lets my muscles relax much better than they can sitting up. I give my mind a break by reading or doing word puzzles, etc.

I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I know that so many people on this site understand the pain and heartache you are facing right now. Other people with chronic conditions usually understand so much more. And, you can talk to them about symptoms that healthy people don't want to hear about.

I am home a lot but when I go out, I really feel for people who can't stay home. I am usually too hot, there are odors, and just sitting can be torture. I always have eye drops, nose drops, acetaminophen, uristat, my inhaler, acid reducer and extra doses of mental health meds. Even the fun activities are a major effort. I have to go out some because its good for my mental health and my marriage to get out of the house but its never fun for my body. I have passed up several trips.

There are a lot of things you can do resting. Word puzzles, laptop surfing, all kinds of crafts or artwork, reading for instruction and for pleasure. You can take these activities outside on a blanket or lounge chair. Cat cuddling is always good.

I get disability which is a help so that I am not completely dependent on my husband.

My mom still doesn't believe I am sick. She got Lyme disease and she was reading to me all the symptoms and telling me that I could not imagine how awful it was. She got antibiotics and got better.

It is a journey but its not the end. I now think I have it pretty good. But, when I explain to a "healthy" person all my symptoms, they look so horrified that I find myself saying its not that bad. I guess i am so used to adapting that I don't always think of myself as sick even though I never really feel good. Its all relative.

Even though you want to get well, accept for now that you feel this way and try to deal with what is happening now. A lot of energy can go into thinking that this isn't happening instead of dealing with the present. If your health improves or clears up that will be great but so for now what you need to do for now.

I guess I have rambled on here. Try to be as nice to yourself as you would be to a sick child. If you treat yourself well, then when someone is not good to you, you can think, at least I am glad I was nice to myself today.





Proofy - May 14

As the husband of a Fibro sufferer, all I can say is that your husband doesn't sound like much of an understanding/supportive type of individual (I doubt I'd want him to be my boss!).

I would suggest getting officially diagnosed to determine if it is really fibro and not another disease that mimics fibro...then you can look him straight in the eye and say "See? Now here's the proof you unfortunately need that says I suffer from fibromyalgia." If that doesn't shut him up, be sure to have a backup of literature from this site of the symptoms and parts of the body affected...especially relating specifically to you.

If, by some small miracle, you can get him to come with you to the doctor's office at the time of the examination, that would be wonderful! You could ask the doctor to carefully explain to your non-believing husband what is going on. Even those who doubt the most, often listen to a non-judgemental authority of a particular subject.

Hubby needs to fully understand that this is not something you are doing to get out of doing chores or to relinquish responsibility, but that it is an unfortunate reality and he needs to be a bit (a LOT) more understanding.

I hope the next post we see from you says you went to the doctor, got it figured out that from what you suffer and that hubby is beginning to realize some very important things about his wife's life.

Good luck and Godspeed!!


Shealeigh - August 6

I understand how you feel. I have all my diagnosis, and my husband not only thinks I am a Hypochondriac, he thinks Fybro does not exist, even with my medical records.

It's difficult being in pain, or having brain fog, and your husband of 6 years looks at you and says.. 'What's wrong with you?' And constantly reminding me that I am 'no fun anymore.' Yeah, like I love being 'left out' of family activities!

I wish there were some magic words we had to make our loved ones understand that not only did we not ask for this, we feel terribly guilty, and depressed almost all the time. A little understanding and support go a long way.


ladydilevesque - June 10

I feel as though my husband doesn't believe me either. We've only been married for 3 years and have been together for 6. I've had fibromyalgia for 16-18 years. He knew I had this illness before we got married and now it's "nobody can be that sick". I just recently left my part time job which he said I could do. I had told him I'm to stressed out and it's jut too much for me now cause of the fibro. I have been on disability for many years but worked part time as a single mom to provide for me and my daughter. I told him that I needed time to take care of me whI have his goal with that is me going back to work and I just cant. I don't know if fibro gets worse or not but it sure feels like it has. He feels that if I just do certain things I'll feel better. I wish it was that easy and simple. I have a whole variety of symptoms other than pain but he just doesn't get it.



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