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Unsupportive spouse

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Painfreefuture, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    I am convinced 100% that I have TMS. My short story is that I have been suffering from back pain for 9 months and debilitating (home bound, not bed bound anymore thanks to Dr's Sarno, Clarke and Schubiner) spasms and pain that spread through most of my body. I started applying the principles in the book, i.e. catching my negative thinking, slowly incorporating regular activities (sitting was a big one, I did not sit at all for 2 months), and I think the most important thing was to repeat over and over again that my back is healthy, my back is fine, my back is strong. After trying all of the noninvasive therapies and steroid shots, the Sarno approach is the only thing that has helped me improve. That said, I am still a ways away from full function, but I am only on day 2 of Dr. Schubiner's book. My problem is that my husband has told me I am obsessed and being unreasonable and expressed tremendous resentment for following this approach. He is convinced I have facet syndrome and whenever I bring up the success I'm having or the topics on chronic pain that I am fascinated by he will sometimes listen and always end with that's great, you have a facet problem. This is maddening to me and I have found it very difficult to ignore. The mechanical thing sinks in even when I fight it and then the pain returns. Does anyone have advice on how to deal with an unsupportive spouse? My personality, like most of you since it is a common trait in those of us with TMS, is a people pleaser and I search for approval, which I cannot get. He pushed me to do the facet injections and is pushing for a rhizotomy. I just don't believe these are the right solutions and I am having trouble maintaining my progress without his support. Would appreciate insight from anyone, especially those who have dealt with this before.
    Msunn likes this.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can very much relate to your post. It can be very frustrating to have someone be so confident in their opinions when they don't really know. He would like for the pain to be tangible, something that can be fixed. I think you may need to accept that he is doing the best he can right now and it is difficult for him to venture into the great unknown of repressed emotions and physical pain created to distract from the psychological. I know this is the time you need it the most, but he will be more supportive once he sees you starting to feel better and have some success. I think our husbands really do just want to see us happy. If they only knew how happy it would make us to have them simply listen and ask us what we think without trying to fix it. It would be so much easier with his support but try and be confident that these are your decisions that he needs to respect. You don't want to have to go through a medical procedure needlessly. I would try to get your husband to accept some personal boundaries while you are healing and look for your support here and with your friends. You can agree to disagree. My husband jokes and makes the crazy signal when I talk about TMS(you know when you circle your finger by your head). He thinks its funny and it doesn't upset me because I know he doesn't understand and that's okay. I stopped talking to him about my pain which has actually been a good thing. The pain is a distraction and in order to heal we need to focus on what is going on emotionally. So not talking to my husband all the time about my pain has been good for him and also has helped me not focus on it so much. it doesn't sound like you are really going to convince him right now, so I would put your energy into healing instead. I like to journal a lot, especially when I feel like my husband is being insensitive. You really sound like you are making tremendous progress in a short time. Keep going!
    Mermaid, Msunn, mousemom and 3 others like this.
  3. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    Thank you Anne! I appreciate all you have said. And you are right in that not talking to my husband about the pain may be a good thing because I'll get it off my mind. I'm sorry your husband is unsupportive. It really makes a hard situation more difficult when we are suffering so much and we can't rely on our spouses for emotional support. You are right, I am not going to convince him otherwise, and I need to be assertive about setting boundaries. Putting my energy into healing is exactly what I need to do. Thank you again for your comment! Best wishes!
    Anne Walker likes this.
  4. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Anne has given you some good advice .

    Right now you need to focus on your own healing & need to follow the TMS protocol. Remember that many many people have healed from back pain using the TMS approach and many of them were diagnosed with facet joint syndrome. Having facet joint syndrome is like having white hair or wrinkles. Most people if they were x-rayed would show signs of facet joint deterioration, its that common. But it doesn't have to cause pain.

    If yr husband is not supportive at the moment then it might be better to not talk about TMS to him. It will only antagonise yr relationship with him & you may even start having doubts which in turn may prove non conducive to yr own healing. Its not easy for people who have not been in pain themeselves or have not really read the books to know exactly what it is about. You getting better may change all that, then again it may not.

    There is huge support here. Fantastic people who are willing to listen & help.

    Hope you are better soon

    Painfreefuture, Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  5. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much Mala for the advice and words of encouragement. I have some anger and resentment right now at my husband for pressuring me to get another facet shot. The steroids pumping through my body right now heighten the emotions. I need to put that behind me and focus on healing my mind, which is where the problem truly is. I am so grateful to the TMS community for bringing awareness to this topic. I am glad I found this resource to assist me in my healing. Best wishes!
    Mala likes this.
  6. sybilla

    sybilla Peer Supporter

    I can relate very much to an unsupportive husband but I have come to realize that my husband is unable to support me because he has no idea what it is like to have TMS.
    A year ago I was in a very bad way and my husband thought i ought to see a psychiatrist which I did. I had a feeling it would not do me any good and it was a complete disaster because she was an unfriendly not very understanding woman and she wanted to put me on medicine which I refused. It was also an eye opener for me.
    My husband wants to support me and is giving me all sorts of advice but he can't. Only people who are going through what we are going through can - people on this forum f.eks. I have stopped talking about my symptoms or how I feel to my husband
    and I have also told him to stop giving me advice.
    It is easier that way and i try to lead as normal a life as possible and stop being a victim. Of course I have constant set backs like a few days ago where my good old dizziness returned with full force and I thought
    I had to lay down all day - all provoked by an upcoming family event where I had to look after my three grand children for two days (not the easiest of jobs) and the questions in my head: Will I be able to cope if I feel like that.
    It usually goes well but weeks before can be hell. Usually I get digestive problems lasting for weeks. Sometimes I feel bad because of the effect my TMS has on our social life but then again doesn't everybody have something to deal with.
    Best wishes
    Painfreefuture likes this.
  7. Painfreefuture

    Painfreefuture Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your post. It is nice to hear that I am not alone. I have learned now that I need to stand up for myself and not allow anyone to pressure me into something and then, work on not feeling guilty about creating conflict (sometimes this is what gets me). I was so terrified when my symptoms began to turn south, that I would do just about anything anyone would tell me to do. I had no idea what was going on, and I finally realized, after many months and trying everything, that no one else did either and if I was going to heal I needed to figure this out myself.

    I have only recently started on this TMS journey of healing, but my confidence has grown. All of your advice is very helpful. I will find other outlets to discuss my symptoms and not attach to the things my husband says (this is a practice I am working on for all negative, anxiety inducing, scary, thoughts). The later is still tough for me, but I have a something to work towards.

    I think to sum all this up, it is a strong belief in one's self that is so critical to healing. Thank you again, best wishes to all!
  8. Tru B Leever

    Tru B Leever Peer Supporter

    I just posted something in one of my own threads and it's about my wife being very unsupportive. I'm going to paste part of it below because it's very relevent to your post:

    "I feel that a huge part of helping TMS sufferer's get past their symptoms is having someone who says, "yes, you are right. These symptoms ARE being caused by your brain. There IS nothing physically wrong with you". It was very tough for my when I first started believing that my back pain was cause by TMS. I was trying so hard to believe in what Dr. Sarno was saying in HBP and would tell my wife about how much sense everything in the book made, and she'd respond with, "I don't want to hear it! Dr. Sarno is a quack!" I had to ignore what she was saying and do the journey on my own. That's why this forum is so wonderful. People in here get it. As I said in an earlier post, we have been enlightened. They say misery loves company. Well TMS sufferers love company too!"

    I think what bothered me the most about my wife being a non-believer was the fact that I was living proof standing right in front of her. I was diagnosed with advanced degenerative disk disease about 16 years ago. There were times where my back pain and spasms were so bad I'd have to crawl on all fours to get to the bathroom. I had plenty of good times between my episodes of pain, but rarely went more than a few months pain free. After discovering the pure genius that is Dr. Sarno's theories, I became 100% pain free. I have been completely pain free for at least 7 years now, doing heavy weight lifting 4 days a week, back breaking yard work on weekends, etc. And do you know what? My wife still doesn't believe.

    As long as you believe, that is what counts. You have to believe 100% that what you have is TMS. Good luck!!!
    laperson, jazzhands and Anne Walker like this.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Tru B Leever.

    It's wonderful that you healed from years of back pain by TMS. I guess all I can say about your wife not believing is just let it go.
    It would great to have her support, but she has her own reason for not giving it. Maybe she has TMS and can't or won't face it.

    Be kind and loving to your wife and forget about her support in this. She may come around some day.
    Sheree likes this.
  10. Tru B Leever

    Tru B Leever Peer Supporter

    Walt..........It's funny that you said, "Maybe she has TMS and can't or won't face it". I've been thinking that for years! She has constant headaches and seems to have an endless array of pains that move from her back, to her neck, to her knee, to her shin, etc. But of course, if I mention TMS to her, I'll get hit with full force anger. I'll take your advice and forget about her support when it comes to TMS. I've found my support right here in this forum!! :)
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tru, it looks like you do suspect your wife has pain from TMS.
    I bet you're right. Poor thing. Try to be patient and loving with her. Maybe that will turn her around to believe and try TMS.

    Too bad she doesn't have a girlfriend who believes in TMS. Your wife may just resist believing because you're a man.

    Some women have a thing against men knowing maybe more than they do. haha.

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