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I'm 22 years old and my Fiancée has Chronic Illness. need help.

By May 20, 2013 - 6:52pm

I cannot believe I found this page. I was just crying my eyes out in desperation on google trying to find relief!
My fiancée has SLE. We've been together for about 4 years now and I love him very much.
He knows I am not ready to get married but he doesn't know that my hesitation is really caused strictly by his illness. I am overwhelmed. In the 4 years we have been together, I have taken on the role of wife, breadwinner, homemaker, and mother. I work over 40 hours a week every week so he can stay home. His last two jobs resulted in a very expensive ambulance ride due to what I would call a stress seizure; his body shuts down from the stress of work and pain. We just decided to have him stay home, which he loves. He cleans, but not much. His mother also has SLE and never really cleaned house when he was a child due to her pain, so, he's lazy on top of his disease. We have a 2yr old son together. The child's developmental stages are slacking because my fiancé really doesn't teach him anything.
He's always ill, can't go outside, can't do anything but sit. I've always tiptoed around his disease, like just caretakers here: putting my feelings aside, doing his way, making sacrifices because its not his fault. He has to go through more than i, HE is the one suffering.
But now, our sex life is being affected more than ever. it took me almost 20m to get him interested in sex last night and once we got started, mid way though he stopped, fell over and started panting/shaking in pain. I bawled feeling awful that I pushed so hard to get my way, and I bawled in self pity.
I can't sacrifice much more! I feel like my best years are behind me and I haven't even lived yet.
I am very afraid to confess my feelings to him. He is very sensitive about his illness and will defiantly be very hurt by whatever I say, however I say it. He is self-loathing because of all of this and my guilt is overpowering every other logical feeling.
What do I do! I'm too young to be this old!
i'm so heartbroken

By August 4, 2013 - 2:20am

I hear this alot: "Hindsight is 20/20." Unfortunately, it is true. Even though you are not "legally" married, technically you are -- emotionally, physically, financially.

I know it would be tough and I probably would have done this if I were 22 years old and in the same situation. I would have walked away. Your life is barely starting. Think 5 years from now when your child needs stuff and you cannot provide because you have to depend on government assistance. In order to qualify for government assistance, you are at or below povery level. Once you reach that level, you cannot get out of that level or you lose your "benefits" -- I know because I've been in that situation to either get the "benefits" or get another job.

Or, what if your fiance passes away? How will you be able to cope with that pain? Could he qualify for life insurance?

Having arguments in front of your child can also affect the child negatively. Not having time for the child because you are always working is also a bad thing. The child will pick up habits from the fiance and the cycle continues. Your house will be piled with trash and stuff everywhere you step, you would step on garbage, dirty clothes or toys -- this is how my house is with 5 young children and my husband says he cleans everyday.

Ultimately, it will be your choice to stay or leave, but know that either choice takes courage.

August 4, 2013 - 2:20am
By HERWriter Guide May 24, 2013 - 12:11pm

Hi kaciepost

Thanks so much for telling your story and we're glad you found EmpowHER too.

I agree that you are very young to be in such a difficult relationship and having a child with him has changed everything. He is the father of your child so walking away (the way you could if you didn't start a family together) isn't possible.

But I do think that you need some serious couples therapy in order to get on the road to a relationship recovery.

If he is too ill to have sex, that's extremely hard on you but there isn't a lot you can do unless he can get medications adjusted or you can both try to have sex in a way that's comfortable and fulfilling for both of you. That's take some time and some experimenting.

 But the problems are far deeper than sex as I am sure you know. You are raising a child with a very sick man, who cannot work and seems unable to provide the proper care your child needs. Is it possible to start your child in preschool at least part-time? Or is there a family member that can help out? Placing your child in a co-operative care center means the cost is extremely low and you would have to volunteer just a few times a month. You're 22 so putting in a few extra hours should be workable for you (from an energy standpoint!).

As far as staying in this relationship, your boyfriend is going to have to step-up a bit. I have great sympathy for his illness but if he is also lazy, then he's going to have to put more effort in. I agree with you that marriage is not a good idea now and it certainly won't fix anything. You probably feel like you have a full-time job and two children, rather than having one child with a helpful partner and I can certainly understand how frustrating and exhausting this must be for you. Also, make sure you never get pregnant - you should not have another child any time soon.

Talk to your boyfriend about what you are going through. While his needs are important, so are yours. He needs to understand that.

Will you let us know how it goes?



May 24, 2013 - 12:11pm

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