Chronic pain divorce rate. Saving marriage from divorce.
The chronic pain divorce rate and my marriage…
I know about the chronic pain divorce rate divorce. My wife suffers from endometriosis and fibromyalgia. She battles with chronic pain daily and asked me to divorce her on a few separate occasions since she was diagnosed with both chronic illnesses.
Naturally, every single time I refused it. I have never regretted it. I gained a lot of experience since then, learned how to avoid it, and now I want to share this with you.
Firstly, there is a huge number of blogs on the subject of chronic pain, but it’s written mostly by people who suffer from pain. It is extremely rare, however, to see male partners of those who suffer perspective. This is where the problem begins.
People find information about one side of the story. You need to know both to get the whole picture on chronic pain and marriage.
Not knowing what the caregiving partner feels makes sufferers upset and angry. They mistakenly believe that their partner doesn’t care about them.
But the truth is that we are unheard, often marginalized, forgotten, our struggles aren’t understood.
Sure, in some cases it may be true that male partners don’t care, however, the majority of us care and love our women. We just feel lost sometimes and don’t know what to do.
Our instinct tells us to fix things. Even though we can’t fix chronic pain, it’s still in our nature to try. It’s impossible, but not being able to fix makes us feel useless and less manly. We cannot change our nature so easily, it takes time for us to adjust.
Besides, men don’t express their emotions, as well as women, which leads to a lack of communication. Lack of communication leads to arguments, and that leads to divorce.
Chronic pain divorce rate.
Let’s talk about the statistics of the Chronic pain divorce rate. Study shows that chronic pain increases the risk of divorce from the norm of 40-50% to as much as 75%.
The healthy marriage divorce rate is already high, 50% means that every other couple divorces. People have problems, that happen, but adding to it chronic pain, the divorce rate rises as high as 75%!
Saying that amongst couples with chronic pain divorce rate raises because there are other issues that often occur, such as fatigue, brain fog, loss of social life, loss of intimacy, and overall sex life.
From personal experience based on my marriage I have learned two things:
Men struggle to cope with new adjustments and lack of sex life, which makes them leave their wives.
Women feel guilty, useless, anxious, depressed, they feel like a burden and ask their husbands to leave them.
My wife, M, suffers from stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, which is one of the worst kinds of endometriosis possible, but she also suffers from fibromyalgia.
Both illnesses bring a lot of pain and greatly impact her physical, emotional, and mental health.
But why the chronic pain divorce rate is higher than living without it?
Because chronic means constant, and chronic pain affects women’s sex drive. Sex is very important to men. Women don’t want to have sex in fear of extreme pain, but overall, it is traumatic for both partners.
Women feel guilty every time they refuse sex. But sometimes their pain is too much to bear, so the last thing on their mind is sex.
Being in constant pain can magnify marriage’s imperfections, but it can also bring couples closer together. That was the case for my wife and me.
Struggling with chronic pain in the marriage can be very difficult for both partners.
Chronic pain is an intruder that tries to rob your relationship of the good stuff. I and my wife got better as time went on, however, we watched ourselves struggle so much as we made many mistakes along the way.
The chronic pain divorce rate is high because shifting roles in your marriage cause communication breakdowns. Unfortunately, the chronic pain divorce rate among couples touched by chronic illness is a whopping 75 percent!
The supporting spouse is pushed into the role of caregiver, taking on additional chores. The difference between men and women is their comfort level with the role of a carer. Some men find caregiving very awkward. Men prefer to fix things.
But instead of endlessly trying to fix chronic pain, male partners get frustrated, short-tempered, even resentful.
No one talks about male partners who feel the loss, who grieve over it and never seem to be heard. They are more likely than women to have an affair, which leads to betrayal and broken hearts.
But the impact of chronic pain on the couple’s sex life isn’t all that married couples have to deal with.
It is the emotional, and mental toll that chronic illnesses have, which is another reason for the high chronic pain divorce rate.
But there are also financial impacts, anxiety over the unknown future, depression caused by the trauma and loss, guilt, and grief.
Chronic pain caused my wife to develop symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and like many women, she also developed various kinds of food intolerance.
She can’t eat dairy products, red meat, sugar, most fruits, and she had to cut down on caffeine because all these products bring inflammation, therefore pain.
Fibromyalgia and endometriosis restricted her diet which itself is very difficult to manage. It’s doable, however, her meals became repetitive and boring.
But let’s not forget that it also affects a man in some ways. We cannot go to a restaurant with our wives as we used to in the past because the menu isn’t designed for women with chronic conditions.
Going to a party with other people isn’t an option anymore either. We cancel some plans because of the chronic pain flare-ups that are unpredictable.
Saving marriage from divorce amongst couples with chronic pain is nearly impossible! Everything seems to work against couples.
Loving a woman with chronic pain can be challenging, but I’ve learned after a decade how to manage ups and downs.
Forgotten spousal caregivers.
Our voices aren’t often heard. Because we are caring for our wives, they take priority in everyone’s eyes.
It isn’t about poor me, but we hear a lot about the female point of view of the illness and pain, their suffering and struggles, but we need to talk about male partners who support them too.
What is the impact of chronic pain on men of the women with chronic pain?
There are plenty of awesome men like you (or your hubby), who understand the importance of not giving up. We stick by our loved one’s side.
If you weren’t one of them you wouldn’t be here, and you wouldn’t read this article. It means you care!
There are support groups made of such men like yourself, men who love women with chronic pain. I don’t run such a group but I run my blog on the topic of men supporting their chronically ill partners.
Chronic pain negatively impacts women’s quality of life, but it’s little known about the impact on us – their male partners.
Chronic pain impacts negatively the emotional well-being of men, we report that it affects many aspects of our lives including sex and intimacy, work, and income.
We are required to take on additional tasks and roles. And even though my wife takes very good care of herself and tries not to put pressure on me, sometimes it isn’t possible.
Sometimes I may forget something, and I’m being blamed for it, especially when pain causes her stress, anxiety, and depression.
Sometimes I’m a nurse, a cook, shopper, cleaner, advocate, breadwinner… Chronic pain has an impact on men’s emotions. In my personal experience, I often felt helpless, frustrated, worried, angry, and even resentful at times.
These emotions are difficult to deal with, but there’s still a lack of support available to men. We feel marginalized and forgotten.
Doctors should take more care of couples as a whole, they focus instead on females only.
Chronic pain has a negative effect on intimacy in the marriage. It often contributes to their breakdown causing a higher chronic pain divorce rate than among couples without pain.
Sex with chronic pain!
If your wife has endometriosis or even fibromyalgia, you both may face challenges in your sex life. She may be experiencing loss of libido or having difficulty with her sexual performance. Here’s why…
Sometimes hormonal imbalance makes women feel not in the mood to have sex. The uterus is a muscle, deep muscle pain and stiffness of chronic pain keep women from enjoying sex the way they were used to.
Healthy sex life is important for strengthening intimacy, sexual activity boosts endorphins. Those are the body’s natural opioids that can help lower your partner’s pain.
But it’s a vicious cycle of pain, fatigue, and mood. It is difficult to break. Especially, when women suffer more than men. That’s a fact! Fibromyalgia often follows endometriosis, which was in my wife’s case.
When women experience chronic pain caused by endometriosis and fibromyalgia, sex becomes unbearable.
If you plan a romantic dinner or go out with friends, she may end up in agony. Chronic pain flare-ups are unpredictable although they often occur after the menstrual cycle and when the period ends.
The unknown occurrence of pain flares makes women anxious and frustrated.
But gentlemen, sex isn’t only about penetration. Sex is wonderful because you can explore and experiment with anything you want. Discovering new things, your sex life doesn’t have to be boring.
I asked my wife once a question if penetration hurts her so much, what about oral sex, does it hurt?
The answer was “no”. You can give it to her and she can give it to you. Let’s face it – which one of us doesn’t like oral sex?
I just mentioned oral sex because a man would give you anything just to receive it. Sexually, men are easily pleased.
So, if you want to keep your man and chronic pain doesn’t allow you to have penetrative sex, oral is one of the solutions. But let’s not forget that you can experiment with other things.
Women are naturally submissive, men are dominant in nature. Play a little, see what you both like. It won’t hurt.
More tips on chronic pain divorce rate…
The chronic pain divorce rate may be high, but you don’t have to belong to this group. Here are 9 tips that will help keep your intimate relationship healthy:
- Get proper medical treatment.
- Don’t put your relationship on hold.
- Talk things over.
- If something hurts, stop doing it to her.
- Try new things.
- Wait until she’s ready.
- Change positions.
- Let her body do the talking.
- If you need more help, find it.
I also give you 15 caregiving tips on how to support your partner with chronic pain:
- Find support.
- Get help.
- Make time for yourself.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Identify personal barriers.
- Try to be patient.
- Don’t stop learning.
- Remember your loved one.
- Approach caregiving with your heart.
- Be respectful.
- Be sensitive.
- Trust in your ability to be a caregiver.
- Know your limits.
- Try not to be judgemental.
Wrapping it up, I hope you found some useful information about the chronic pain divorce rate and how to save your marriage from divorce.
I wish you the best of luck!
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…