Divorce because of Chronic Illness or Adapt to Each Other's Needs 

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2007

Dear Annette,
I have had troubling physical symptoms for years which have contributed to distance in the intimacy of my marriage. My husband also began drinking excessively and I believe he is an alcoholic. (He has stopped since Dec.2006.) We are both children of alcoholics, too. 

Last year I experienced a health crisis that I almost died from. My husband was worried for a few days, then took on his normal "you don't look sick, - it's all in your head," attitude toward me again. 

I finally got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Sjogren's Syndrome and Adrenal/Thyroid dysfunctions. My health has really tanked in the last year. Needless to say, there is no sex life. Well once in a blue moon This is my husband's issue. I understand his need, but he doesn't understand how very real my pain is. I CAN'T HAVE SEX!!! At least not without time to heal, find therapy and perhaps better pain meds and support. 

I am wiped out and  in excruciating pain for days after attempting sex. He just doesn't get it! He's mad at me that I get startled easily and that touching hurts my skin. I have tried to explain, but he just doesn't get it and won't try. He's angry at me when he should be angry at what's happened to me.

I feel I should let him go, but I'm trapped by needing him financially and for my health insurance. I also feel that it would devastate my young son. I also have a pre-teen daughter who has her own issues with him.  She would probably be okay.
What to do?! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me!


Totally Concerned


Dear Concerned,

People in poor physical condition and the elderly who full of medical problems still have a quality life because they find ways to compensate for their disabilities.  They are still affectionate in the ways that they are able to. 

Your Fibromyalgia pain can increase with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.  I'm guessing that your anxiety and stress increases 100% when your husband comes near, correct?  This is counterproductive for both of you.  Instead, of freaking out when he comes around consider alternate types of sex that can keep your pain at a minimum, allow him the sex he NEEDS, and for your sake, bind him to you and totally improve the marriage.

People who cannot have vaginal sex have often opted to one of both of these methods:

There is also body rubbing and anal intercourse with a latex or female condom which are not recommended with your condition.

To make it fun for both of you, you choose when to have sex.  Probably late at night is not the best time, because you are overly tired; so mix things up a bit.  Get some sleep and when you are feeling better awaken him by manual or oral stimulation to his penis.  Perhaps first thing in the morning, is the best time for you.  Guy's go for sex anytime.  Are there times in the middle of the day that you have a good moment?

It may sound like a lot of work to to provide for the sexual needs of your husband, but it has great pay-offs.  Sex binds the relationship together.  Without it there are few marriages the last for long.  Do not make the mistake that your marriage will last with only a plutonic (friend-like) relationship. Seriously, you are forcing him into the arms of another woman.  He DOES need his sexual needs met, one way or another.

Here's a fun game for you to try that pays off in great marital relationship dividends:  

Do this as soon as possible before it is too late:  For one month (or longer, if you like the results)

I hope this helps; it can't hurt!

You shouldn't let him go.  Fight for him!  He married you for better or worst.  He needs you just as much as you need him.  You are the only legal place where he can go to get sex. A guy needs to belong.  Men without a wife have a much shorter life-span than the married man.  You fill in the holes in his personality and make him stronger so he can feel whole. Most women are better organizers and planners than men. Men need women and visa-versa.  Even the scriptures tell us this.

If you are going to make decisions, especially the BIG ones, you need to have all the help you can get.  Read this and use it!  It really works - 100%! 

Read this ==> How to Make Good Decisions

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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