Why your husband resents you for being ill?
If you are chronically ill, it’s likely that your husband will feel some resentment toward you. He may resent having to care for you or may be worried about your condition and what it means for your future together. The bottom line is, that if your husband resents you for being ill, it’s important to try to understand his perspective and work together to resolve the issue.
I know it might sound selfish because you are the one who suffers daily, but it is important for you to be the bigger person as it can change your husband’s point of view on how he perceives your illness.
I want to help you understand, in a gentle way, that your husband doesn’t resent you for being ill. You aren’t the cause of his resentment, the illness is his enemy.
He just cannot fix your health, and not being able to fix something (as men do) makes him feel useless, trapped, and like he cannot contribute to your well-being.
You and I both know it isn’t true, but from his perspective, he needs to feel like he can do something to make a difference.
- Why chronic illness can cause marriage resentment?
- But what about me?
- I know how your husband may feel.
- What can you do if your husband resents you for being ill?
- 1. Inform him about your illness.
- 2. Let him know that it's not your fault.
- 3. Reassure him that you still love him.
- 4. Encourage him to ask questions.
- 5. Educate him about your illness.
- 6. Tell him how he can help you.
- 7. Delegate tasks and responsibilities.
- 8. Ask for his input on decisions about your care.
- 9. Keep him updated on your condition.
- 10. Seek professional help if needed.
- 11. Don't hesitate to ask for help.
- 12. Make time for yourself.
- 13. Don't forget to show your appreciation.
- 14. Consider attending couples retreats.
- 15. Seek out other couples dealing with chronic illness.
Why chronic illness can cause marriage resentment?
Any chronic condition can cause marriage resentment. For me and my wife, it was a double whammy. I said “was” because I have learned what can resentment caused by chronic illness causes, and I said double whammy” because my M has deep infiltrating endometriosis and fibromyalgia disorder.
A chronic illness can cause marriage resentment because:
- The sick person cannot do anything to make the situation better, and the healthy spouse feels helpless.
- The sick spouse needs more attention and care, which can be exhausting for the healthy spouse.
- The sick spouse may be in pain and have mood swings, which can be difficult to deal with.
- The sick spouse may need to miss work, social events, and other activities, which can make the healthy spouse feel lonely and left out.
- The sick spouse may not be able to have sex, which can be a difficult thing for the healthy spouse to deal with.
- The sick spouse may require more financial support, which can be a burden on the healthy spouse.
But what about me?
Remember, you’re in this together! People often forget that. Society and doctors definitely do.
I will NEVER be able to fully comprehend my wife’s chronic illnesses, but even though she suffers tremendously, it doesn’t take the fact away, that I am forgotten, sometimes even marginalized by society.
Aside from my very ill wife, other people don’t get it – I am deeply affected by her condition too.
Maybe not in the physical sense of things, but certainly in the deep emotional sense. I guess it’s hard for others to understand that because they see me as being strong and supportive, but they don’t see the internal battles I am fighting.
It’s not that I begrudge my wife for being ill, but I get your husband’s point, he resents the fact that the illness has taken over your life to the point where it feels like he is living in her shadow.
I know he shouldn’t feel this way, but it’s hard not to when you are constantly being reminded of your illness and how it is affecting you without him being taken into account.
In some cases, illness can cause marriage resentment, which can lead to serious problems in the relationship. If you’re concerned that your husband resents you for being ill, there are a few things you can do to try to improve the situation.
First, try to talk to your husband about his feelings. letting him know that you understand how he feels and that you’re sorry for any burden your illness has placed on him. You might also want to ask him what you can do to help ease his worries and make him feel more involved in your care.
Second, try to involve your husband in decisions about your care. This can help him feel like he’s more involved in your life and that his opinion matters.
Third, be understanding and patient with him as he comes to terms with your illness. It’s important to remember that this is a difficult situation for both of you, and it will take time for him to adjust.
If you’re concerned that your husband resents you for being ill, talk to him about his feelings and try to involve him in decisions about your care. Be understanding and patient with him as he comes to terms with your illness, and remember that you’re in this together.
If you want to give him more in-depth information about how to support you with your chronic condition and how can he cope with the new normal in your relationship, I wrote a “Supporting a Chronically Ill Partner” e-Book.
You can get the 1st Chapter of the e-Book for FREE, and if you like it, you’ll get a Whopping 33% Discount on the Whole Book, plus discounts on other helpful tools. You have nothing to lose but a lot to gain!
The first chapter alone contains a lot of information for both of you about acknowledging the struggles, including:
- A word to your partner.
- A word to you.
- Stepping on eggshells.
- Understanding her needs.
- How to acknowledge having a chronically ill partner?
- Acknowledging can be hard.
- 15 tips on how to do it!
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Chronic Illness for Partners
I know how your husband may feel.
I know how your husband feels because my wife’s illnesses took a toll on me too. Endometriosis and fibromyalgia affected me too. Not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but also by my taking time off work to support her, they also impacted me financially.
It created extra layers of pressure, not to take time off work and constant questioning of how to balance being there for her and making money.
Naturally, I felt very sorry for her, but I also felt sad for myself because I sacrificed a part of my own life. I felt grumpy and angry, sometimes I even felt resentful because I didn’t truly understand what my poor wife was going through.
Your husband doesn’t understand your chronic illness because he never fully learned about it. Your husband feels overwhelmed with new tasks. He tries to “fix” your illness and is frustrated that he can’t. Remember, I was once in your husband’s position. My wife had these invisible symptoms that she couldn’t explain, even though they were real to her I couldn’t see them.
To begin with, her symptoms weren’t occurring as often and I had no problems believing my wife, but she began to experience them very often, and that made me question if she was seeking just attention.
I was wrong.
We didn’t have any explanations for it and it was hard for both of us. She had a lot of pain that was invisible.
If you think that your husband resents you for being ill, it is not true. Your husband resents your illness, not you. He resents your chronic illness because he isn’t educated about it. Before my wife was diagnosed with endometriosis, I knew nothing about it.
I couldn’t spell the word “endometriosis”, let alone understand it. But I also had to educate myself about the other chronic conditions my wife was diagnosed with – fibromyalgia and CFS.
Your husband doesn’t understand your chronic illness as he feels overwhelmed with new tasks that he has to perform because you may not be able to do them anymore. Don’t blame yourself though! It’s not your fault!
What can you do if your husband resents you for being ill?
What you can do is try to talk to him about his feelings, and see if there is anything you can do to help him feel more useful and involved in your care. This may mean delegating some of your care to him or simply involving him in the decision-making process about your treatment.
Whatever you do, just remember that your husband loves you, and his resentment is not directed at you. It’s important to work together to resolve the issue so that you can both move forward in a positive way.
There are a few possible reasons why your husband may feel the way he is. Your husband may resent you for being ill because:
- He feels like he has to take on all the responsibility in the relationship.
- He’s worried about your health and what the future holds for you both.
- He doesn’t understand your illness and how it affects you on a daily basis.
If your husband resents you for being ill, you have the right to know why he feels that way. You may need to talk about his concerns openly and honestly and find ways to lighten his perspective. It’s also important to be understanding and patient with him as he comes to terms with his new situation.
To make it easier for you, here’s a checklist of what you can do to help your husband if he resents you for being ill. I give you 15 ways what you need to know:
- Inform him about your illness.
- Let him know that it’s not your fault.
- Reassure him that you still love him.
- Encourage him to ask questions.
- Educate him about your illness.
- Tell him how he can help you.
- Delegate tasks and responsibilities.
- Ask for his input on decisions about your care.
- Keep him updated on your condition.
- Seek professional help if needed.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- Make time for yourself.
- Don’t forget to show your appreciation.
- Consider attending Couples Retreats.
- Seek out other couples dealing with chronic illness.
Now, let’s discuss them one by one…
1. Inform him about your illness.
The first thing you need to do is talk to your husband about your illness. He needs to understand what you’re going through on a daily basis. Be open and honest with him, and explain how your illness affects you both physically and emotionally.
On top of being affected physically and emotionally, explain to him how it makes you feel anxious, panicky, and depressed.
Explain to him that your anxiety is caused by the unknown future ahead of you, that you cannot predict what is going to happen and how are you going to feel from one minute to another.
Tell him how the fact that your chronic illness impacts his life makes you feel depressed, and like a burden to him. In my wife’s case, her feeling of being a burden makes her self-harm and even suicidal. She also asked me to divorce her for the sake of my happiness.
And I’ll have you know, that the long-term illness divorce rate is as high as 75% among the couples who deal with chronic conditions as opposed to healthy relationships.
2. Let him know that it’s not your fault.
Chronic illnesses are often unpredictable and can be incredibly frustrating for both patients and their loved ones. It’s important to let your husband know that it’s not your fault that you’re sick, and that there’s nothing he could have done to prevent it.
If you remember, I said previously that I couldn’t spell “endometriosis”, let alone understand it. If you also remember, I also said that in the early stages of her primary condition, I really struggled to believe that her symptoms were real.
It felt as if she kept bringing up new symptoms every day, I didn’t quite believe her. But again, I was wrong. I wasn’t aware it wasn’t her fault.
3. Reassure him that you still love him.
It’s common for people with chronic illnesses to feel like they’re a burden on their loved ones. Reassure your husband that you still love him and that you’re grateful for his support.
Luckily for me, my wife always appreciated my support. At the end of every day, she apologized for her behavior and thanked me for being there for her.
She still does it today.
I feel appreciated, needed, wanted, and I contribute in some way to making her feel better, even though I cannot directly fix my wife’s health, indirectly though, I do.
4. Encourage him to ask questions.
Chances are, your husband has a lot of questions about your illness. Encourage him to ask questions, and take the time to answer them as best you can.
He definitely has them.
In the early days, I was constantly asking questions such as:
- How did this happen?
- What does this mean?
- What are the treatment options?
- What are the side effects of the treatments?
- How will this affect our lives?
She always answered them as best she could, and if she didn’t know, she found out and got back to me.
Make sure you keep your husband updated on your condition. He needs to know how you’re doing, what treatments you’re trying, and how they’re impacting you. This way, he can be better informed and prepared to support you, both emotionally and physically.
My wife always keeps me updated on her condition even though every time she has a doctor’s appointment, I take time off work to be there with her. This way she doesn’t have to tell me what happened, what the doctor said, and how she’s feeling.
But also keeps me updated on how she feels day by day, so when I come back from work, I know what to expect.
5. Educate him about your illness.
If your husband resents you for being ill, it may come from his lack of understanding of your illness.
And even though he can try to educate himself about it, he may not make enough effort because he doesn’t experience the daily reminder of pain, symptoms, and fatigue.
Your husband may not know much about your illness, so it’s important to educate him about it. Share articles, books, or websites that you’ve found helpful, and consider attending a support group together.
Ideally, you are the best source of his education. The reason being is your uniqueness. You are not a number in the medical system. What works for other women, or for my wife, may not necessarily work for you.
He can learn only so much about your condition from the internet or books. This is why you are the ideal source of his education.
6. Tell him how he can help you.
Chronic illnesses can be overwhelming, so it’s important to let your husband know how he can help you. Whether it’s running errands, cooking dinner, or simply providing emotional support, let him know what would be most helpful for you.
No matter how much education he gets, or how much he tries to find out how to help you, your husband will resent you for being ill if he doesn’t know how to help you.
If he doesn’t know how to help, he’ll feel helpless, and his resentment will grow. So tell him how he can help you, and be specific.
In the worst-case scenario, if his resentment grows, both of you should seek counseling. If your husband’s resentment of your illness is impacting your relationship, it may be helpful to seek this kind of support. A counselor can help you both communicate more effectively and find ways to support each other through your illness.
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Chronic Illness for Partners
7. Delegate tasks and responsibilities.
It’s important to delegate tasks and responsibilities when you have a chronic illness. This will help your husband feel more involved in your care, and prevent him from feeling overwhelmed. It will help you change the perspective that your husband resents you for being ill
I am happy to do things for my wife, but your husband may not be.
He may feel like some things aren’t his responsibility, or he may not know how to do them. So it’s important to delegate tasks and responsibilities.
For example, you can ask him to research treatments, make doctor’s appointments, or cook dinner but if things become too much for him, do try and give him a break by allowing your husband to do what he needs to recharge emotionally, and allow him some time for himself.
8. Ask for his input on decisions about your care.
Chronic illnesses often require patients to make difficult decisions about their treatment. When possible, ask for your husband’s input on these decisions. This will help him feel like he’s a part of the decision-making process.
By asking him to support you in your decision-making process, it will make him feel empowered, and not resentful.
Additionally, by asking for his input, you may find that he has some great ideas that you hadn’t considered. Open communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially important when one partner is dealing with a chronic illness.
Keep the lines of communication open, and talk to your husband about your illness. Share your thoughts and feelings with him, and encourage him to do the same.
If you’re feeling resentful, talk to him about it. If he’s feeling resentful, talk to him about that too. The more you communicate, the better you’ll be able to understand each other’s needs and find ways to support each other.
9. Keep him updated on your condition.
I have initially mentioned it, but it’s important to keep your husband updated on your condition. This will help him feel like he’s in the loop, and prevent him from feeling left out.
No one likes to be in the dark, so keep your husband updated on your condition. This includes letting him know about any changes in your symptoms, treatments, or prognosis.
Additionally, it’s important to be open and honest with him about how you’re feeling.
Your husband needs to be kept in the loop about your condition, especially if there are any changes. Make sure you’re regularly communicating with him about your health, and if he’s at work, consider sending him updates via text or email.
10. Seek professional help if needed.
Again, I mentioned it already, however, it is important.
If you’re struggling to communicate with your husband about your illness, it may be helpful to seek professional help. There are counselors and therapists who specialize in chronic illness, and they can help you both navigate this difficult time.
Not only the therapist can help you communicate better with your husband, but he or she can also provide support and guidance on how to deal with the challenges of living with a chronic illness.
Therapy can also help your husband if he is willing, to begin with. I know that men usually hate the idea of therapy. But, if you’re both struggling to cope with your illness if you feel like a burden to him and think that your husband resents you for being ill, it is worth considering.
11. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Not only therapy can help, but any kind of help is also helpful.
It’s important to ask for help when you have a chronic illness. This includes asking for help from your husband. He may not know how to best support you, so don’t hesitate to tell him what you need.
And don’t forget about your family and friends, they can be a great source of support as well. If you feel like you don’t have enough emotional support, reach out to online support groups, or like in my wife’s case, support groups where you meet in person.
12. Make time for yourself.
It’s important to make time for yourself, even when you’re sick. This may mean taking a break from caring for your husband and doing something that you enjoy. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, especially if you believe that your husband resents you for being ill.
Here are examples of self-care:
- Taking a hot bath
- Going for a walk
- Reading a book
- Getting a massage
- Watching your favorite movie
13. Don’t forget to show your appreciation.
It’s easy to take your husband for granted when you’re dealing with a chronic illness. However, it’s important to remember to show your appreciation for all that he does for you. A simple thank-you can go a long way in making him feel appreciated.
Remember what I said?
Every evening my wife thanks me for my support, but she goes beyond and apologizes for her behavior. She knows how frustrating she can be, and even though I do my best not to show how this impacts me, she knows.
So do your best to show your appreciation, it will make your husband feel good, and it will make you feel good as well.
14. Consider attending couples retreats.
Couples retreats can be beneficial for couples who are dealing with various chronic illnesses.
These retreats provide an opportunity for couples to reconnect, and learn more about how to support each other. My wife actually offered for both of us to go on such a retreat. Naturally, I went for it!
Couples retreats can help you both learn more about your illness, and how to best deal with it. If you’re interested in attending a retreat, there are many reputable organizations that offer them.
Until then, be patient with each other.
This is a difficult time for both of you, and it’s important to be patient with each other. If you’re feeling frustrated, try to take a step back and understand where your husband is coming from.
15. Seek out other couples dealing with chronic illness.
It can be helpful to connect with other couples who are dealing with chronic illnesses. These couples can provide support and understanding and can offer helpful tips and advice.
In addition to having support, there is a social component as well. When you’re dealing with a chronic illness, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. Connecting with other couples can help reduce that feeling.
If you’re interested in connecting with other couples, there are online support groups, as well as in-person support groups.
It’s important, to be honest with each other about your feelings, needs, and wants. This is the only way you can both cope with your illness and find a way to move forward.
If you’re having difficulty communicating with your husband, talking to other couples in the same situation can help you both learn how to better communicate with each other, and can provide a safe space to express your feelings.
Last word on why your husband resents you for being ill.
Have realistic expectations.
This doesn’t mean that you should lower your standards, but rather that you shouldn’t expect your husband to be perfect. He’s human, and he’s going to make mistakes.
And don’t forget, you’re not perfect either.
Try to remember that when you’re feeling frustrated with your husband. Have realistic expectations, and cut him some slack. After all, he’s probably doing the best that he can.
I hope this helps. If it does, please share it with your friends.
If you have any questions to why your husband resents you for being ill, or if you’d like to share your story, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I’ll be more than happy to help in any way that I can.
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Chronic Illness for Partners
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…