Your wife has fibromyalgia: here are 17 ways to support her.
So, your wife has fibromyalgia…
If your wife has fibromyalgia, it can be really difficult to understand what she’s going through unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
Your wife may be spending more time sleeping and resting during the day than you and may not feel up to going out.
Fibromyalgia can even stop her from going to work, doing simple household chores, and even changing her eating habits.
If you are a supportive husband, it is going to make a big difference.
Since your wife has chronic pain which not only makes her exhausted, it changes her life.
She’s no longer the same physically or mentally, her old life is gone. Many chronically ill people feel the same way.
When your wife has fibromyalgia and you don’t, it can easily put a strain on your marriage.
It can be really hard to put yourself in her shoes while thinking of your own needs, but this guide will help you find the balance.
Here’s what to do when your wife has fibromyalgia:
- Learn about fibromyalgia.
- Help her find a regime that helps.
- Remind her it’s okay to stop!
- Support her to keep going.
- Do little things for her.
- Listen to her.
- Be patient…
- Let her cry.
- Avoid her feeling guilty.
- Believe in her!
- Be understanding.
- Ask how she feels…
- Help her self-care.
- Defend her!
- Fill in the gaps!
- Organize things for her.
- Spread awareness.
Learn about fibromyalgia.
Learn as much as you can about fibromyalgia. It is going to take time and sometimes feel like an endless process.
You will never be able to fully understand what she’s going through because you’re not in your wife’s shoes.
What you can do to learn faster is by listening to your partner.
Help her find a regime that helps.
Regime here means for instance a number of all treatments needed to manage fibromyalgia.
Medication can help, but having many side effects, sometimes it’s good to focus on a more holistic approach.
This includes massage, exercise, CBD, aromatic oils, a bath, meditation…
It can take time to find the regime that works for your wife, so it can be helpful to discuss the options and adjust things over time.
Remind her it’s okay to stop!
Your wife has fibromyalgia and she will get incredibly frustrated that her body can’t do what it used to do and she will often push herself too much trying to be normal, which will completely exhaust her.
I have to remind her that stopping is not giving up or falling apart, it’s simply looking after herself and that is always okay.
I have to help her schedule the rest of such days and remind my wife not to do housework etc.
I’m her husband, I’m here, and I can’t do stuff. Whatever is new to me, I’ll learn to relieve her.
Support her to keep going.
At the same time as telling my wife to slow down, I have to remind her to keep going.
It can be very difficult to balance both because when the pain and fatigue hits, it can take every ounce of her motivation and determination to keep going.
Do little things for her.
It can be very touching when a man does something out of the blue for his woman.
It’s great when a husband runs his wife a bath for no particular reason or heats up her water bottle when the cold is attacking her joints.
All these things are done best when she expects them the least.
I scrub the shower, hover, love cooking for her. All these things come from love and aren’t expected.
This is why they mean so much more…
Listen to her.
Not just hear what she has to say but actually listen! It’s very important.
Listen to your partner when she talks about her day. When she describes the physical and emotional impact her disease has on her.
Apart from that, along with the symptoms come side effects, and you have to be patient with your wife wanting more.
Your wife has fibromyalgia. You must realize that what your partner is going through is worse than what you experience, either it is anger, impatience, or else…
So be patient whatever happens. Your wife might have a short stabbing pain or long and persistent chronic pain flare-up followed by other symptoms.
Three of them are most common:
Anxiety over the unknown future. It’s going to wake you, hunt you, annoy you. Her anxiety doesn’t seem to have the sense to you.
She has no way of predicting the future and yet it happens.
Be patient with her anxiety and panic attacks. They always pass.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a bit harder to deal with. It’s a form of anxiety that is supposed to help your partner feel in control over something.
Instead, OCD controls her, but there is nothing you can do aside from organizing for her cognitive-behavioral therapy known as CBT. That may help.
Depression is the outcome of thinking about the past long enough, it blends with the current reality.
It’s also an outcome of the loss chronically ill people experience.
In my wife’s case, it’s stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, which prevented her from having a child.
Let her cry…
When she’s having a breakdown (and there will be many), hug her, let her cry, and know that you are there for your wife.
It’s easy to sit on the side and do nothing, but neither of you will benefit from it.
Be the man she can rely on. Hold her and say that the sadness will pass, that she’s not alone, and you’re not going anywhere.
Make her feel wanted, safe, and understood.
Avoid her feeling guilty.
Avoid making your wife feel guilty. In anger, you may sometimes do something you will later regret.
Bite your tongue, the frustration will pass.
Don’t make any decisions for your temporary emotions. Wait for 10 seconds and think how she’d take whatever you have to say before you say it.
Be smart, be wise, say only the things that are helpful, not damaging. She feels guilty enough already for you having to take care of her.
Don’t make it any harder, after all, your wife has fibromyalgia, not the flu.
Give reassurance and love. Lie in bed and hold your wife, tell her you’re in it for the long haul.
And mean it!
Believe in her!
Believe in your wife, be supportive, be kind.
Your partner didn’t plan this illness and you’re both in this thing together, so help both of you to make the most of this journey.
The more support she receives from you the sooner she’ll find her own level of fitness and health.
It is going to take some time, and you will need to stand by your wife to lessen her physical and emotional load, as much as you possibly can.
Be really understanding, be patient, share the household chores, be supportive when others question her illness, remember that this illness is no one’s fault or punishment to you. Above all, never stop loving the afflicted person.
There are only two types of illnesses that society thinks of – those that don’t take very long to get over, such as a cold or the flu, and those which are fatal, such as cancer.
Society doesn’t really speak up about lifelong, chronic illnesses. This is why you have to learn how to support your loved one.
Ask how she feels?
I ask my wife every day how she feels and what level of pain is she at a particular time.
Try and ask often what level of pain she is, and bring small things that help her lower the pain, things like ice-packs, painkillers, heating pads…
You can always lay with your wife and tell her how much you want to take her pain away. Understand that she really struggles.
You need to ask how she feels, it will give her comfort and show that someone cares about her.
Help her self-care.
Sometimes, because your wife has fibromyalgia, she might not be able to take care of herself.
Do things that help your wife manage pain with her.
It can be breathing exercises, meditation, pilates, yoga, CBT, going for a walk together, even things like washing her hair, massage her body.
It may even bring the spark and intimacy back.
Whatever makes her feel good, try and do it together.
Whenever a doctor, boss, or any other person disbelieves or starts judging her. jump right in and put a stop to it.
You’re in control, don’t let anyone bully her, or if they disbelieve what she’s going through, confirm her statements. They are going to listen to you since you are the “healthy” and “sane” one.
Many times my wife went to her doctor or hospital appointments, she came back empty-handed. This is why it took her years to be diagnosed with endometriosis and fibromyalgia.
Physicians didn’t take her symptoms seriously because she’s a woman.
A solid proof of that is the fact that whenever I was present by her side, they looked at her with more respect and less neglect. When I spoke up, I brought results!
Fill in the gaps!
Sometimes simple things may be impossible for your wife to achieve.
Be creative and help with her plan things, look at holidays, organize spa treatment, or simply when she needs to sleep, prepare the bed.
When she wants to go somewhere but believes she can’t, it’s because it’s impossible to do it all herself. Your wife has fibromyalgia and needs your help!
Me and M both think that movement is necessary to recover from flare-ups.
Try to lower your wife’s expectations to help her achieve some goals and build her esteem and strength. Smaller achievements are better than none.
Organize things for her.
Just today, as I was writing this article, I went on Etsy and found a fantastic journal that helps to track all the symptoms of endometriosis, including hospital appointments, medication charts, pain charts, notes, etc…
It was meant to e delivered in two days. I cannot wait to see her expression!
Now and then I do such unexpected things for her. Things that are helpful, at the same time reminding her, that I still care for her well-being.
This is just one example of what you can do.
Take her out, in a wheelchair if need be, and if you don’t have one, collect money and buy her. It will be a fantastic gift that will allow her to gain some freedom and independence.
Have a brainwash of what she likes but can’t do anymore without any help or aid, and organize it for your partner secretly.
Above all, spread awareness of her illness. For my wife, it is endometriosis and fibromyalgia.
I educate her family, her friends, and even many people via this very blog.
She needs you to talk about it as most of the time her fatigue won’t let her do anything. Be a team and support her in this.
Read, research, learn and spread.
In March there is always an endometriosis march, where people go through town spreading awareness with banners and informational leaflets, website details, etc…
You can also create Twitter and Facebook groups, and spread awareness that your wife has fibromyalgia to the masses!
To finish off…
Just because your wife has fibromyalgia, remember that it is not the end of her life, she can still strive and aim to achieve things in life. Support her in this journey.
That being said, never forget about yourself, your own needs and wants, hey matter!
If you have a breakdown or else, you won’t be able to help your wife. You have to learn to take care of yourself before taking care of others…
Chronically ill people aren’t sometimes easy to live with because of the demands they face every day.
But with your help, it will be so much easier because our loved ones don’t have to face the world alone. It’s a great feeling for both!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Wishing you both all the very best on your journey to a better life.
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…