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relationship buckling under the strain..

Discussion in 'Personal' started by slingshotsally, May 21, 2011.

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I hope that someone can advise me what I can do..
    I have known my husband for 6yrs and we have been married for just over 2yrs. Our son is 20months old and has severe breathing difficulties for which he has been admitted to hospital approximately once every 6 to 8 weeks.
    Since February I have not been working and we are struggling with the strain of everything. We are both under tremendous pressure both emotionally, physically and financially. We both love each other but we are exhausted most of the time. This usually results in us saying things which then trigger feelings of inadequacy as we are both struggling to face the situation with our son.
    We seem to be falling apart under the pressure becoming more distant form each other as well. I am not sure what we can do- we do need to talk about this however we cannot find the time to do this. At home our focus is on our son, when he is asleep we are so exhausted that we just sleep too, barely able to hold a conversation.
    As soon as we wake- either during the night or in the morning- our various duties and responsibilties demand our constant attention.
    I just need to feel that we are solid in our relationship- that our relationship is defined not just by the daily slog of our lives but also that spark of hope that brought us together.
    Is there anyone who has been through a similar period in their relationship and can suggest what they would do or have done under similar circumstances?
  2. You are both under a lot of strain. Why don't you write a letter to your husband, and put in it what you have put on here? Then he will know how you are feeling. It's hard because you are both in need of support and feel too drained to give it to each other. Something's gotta give in order for you to fully support your son and it ends up being your closeness. My husband and I went though this at one time when he was working god awful hours (90 hours a week) and I turned into a sort of one parent family at home with 2 kids.I was miserable, and so was he. But the time passed, that was 20 years ago, and we are happy and have been happy for a long time. When I think back now, that was a pretty shaky time for us. But we'd had a rock solid beginning to our relationship, and we drew on that when we needed it. You sound like you can do this too.
    Is there anyone else who could take the emotional strain, could you bend the ear of a relative or friend? Is ther a support group at the hospital or in your area? I do wish you all the best with your son.xx
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I've never been in a situation quite as intense as you describe, but it bears a number of similarities to a time when my Mother-in-Law was in declining health and we moved her into the house opposite ours. Mrs MSB was at home with our two small kids and was also trying to care for her Mum. We were managing on only one income and were struggling financially.

    You sound emotionally and financially locked in to your circumstances - when this happens, as difficult as it may sound, you need to get an outside opinion from someone more objective and less emotionally attached. I'd suggest starting with a carer's support group, or a chat with the medical people who deal with your son. Give some serious thought to seeing if you're eligible for any form of respite package that will give you both a bit of time away from the situation you describe, even if it's just the odd weekend.

    Strong relationships usually survive such times, but they need maintaining - even a couple of days time out can make a huge difference. I wish you well for the future.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think Mrs chips' suggestion is a good on.
    Yes when under pressure life is tough & often relationships suffer, but remember the saying 'that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger', it is possible to come out the other side together. In former days, when people 'just stayed together' one often saw couples come through tough circumstances like yours & be happy, marriage will never be 'good' all the time. I'm often said to say sometimes 'it's just get through this. . .' at certain stages in a marriage.
    At present my husband & I are coping with 'elderly in-laws (over 90), one of whom is wheelchair bound & incapabe of looking after herself alone & an 80+ mother with Alzheimer's & it is draining. Our sons persuaded us to have a long weekend away, whilst they fielded the situation. It was good to get right away from all the worries & actually talk to each other without being so tire. Would it be possible for you to set aside some time- even an afternoon?
    Thinking of you & hoping your son's situation improves. [​IMG]
  5. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    My OH and I have been through very similar OP. My first child was born with Down Syndrome, and had terrible sleep apnoeia until he was two and broke his leg, went in to hospital and didn't come out until he had his adenoids and tonsils removed. My other son was nearly 12 weeks old at the time.
    We couldn't have coped without the practical support of my family, in particular, and the knowledge that we both have different coping mechanisms. I need to talk all the time, and he needs to do practical things - I bent my mum's ear instead!!
    I really feel for you - LaraMFL has some good advice - you need to to some support for you and your family. If its not forthcoming from your wider family (and I was fortunate in that my family had experienced a very ill child themselves, so knew what sort of support we might need in advance), talk to the doctors helping you - there are charities around who will help you, and give you that much needed lift.
    And remember, the different ways you cope are not wrong, they are just different. Hold on to the fact that you are together, you love each other, and that you will stick it out - through good and bad times.
  6. Similar but not the same and far less stress compared to your little one.

    I've found that I have to be the rock in our house or we'll break. I won't go into too much detail [​IMG] people know me.

    What are we doing? We're battling through, taking each day as it comes and working on the know, that somewhere in the future, things will get that little bit easier (I hope [​IMG] )

    As far as everyone else is concerned, I'm fine... No other way for it in my circumstances. Advice to you though, would be to find some care respite, as others have said, and also see if you can obtain some friendly 'emotional' counselling through a local charity - it's good to talk (I've tried it)

  7. I have been through simililar but nothing like the strain you are feeling.
    As others have said - you need (both of you!) some respite. You need someone who will take over the daily grind now and then, so that you have some time for just the two of you. You must not feel guilty about taking this time - it does not make you bad parents. EVERY parent, be their child ill or not, needs some time to "not be parents" and your situation is even more difficult as your child is poorly.
    Taking some time for yourselves does not mean you do not love your son. It means you have time to retank, spend time together and be a lot stronger for it - which benefits your son, as well as the two of you.

  8. Nothing to add to the good advice given by all previous posters really.
    Just wanted to sympathise. I think many of us have been through similar. Sometimes you think that you're the only one holding everything together, which is incredibly stressful, and with all your extra worries on top, I feel for you.
  9. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I can't really advise except to say be as kind to yourselves and each other as you can. Hope you can get some respite care sorted. (((BPG)) Best of luck for the future.
  10. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    After reading your post, my first thought was a letter, 2nd poster suggested that! Do look into respite care. Speak to your GP intitially and/or social services.
    I wish you all the very best.
  11. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Dear all,
    Thanks for replying to my post.
    I would just like to let you all know that I followed through with the advice suggested.
    Our son's symptoms have become more manageable since his the doses for his medicines have been adjusted. As a result, he is suffering fewer extreme breathing difficulties at night, so we ALL able to sleep better.
    I cannot explain how the effects of sleep exhaustion can affect day to day activities or the strain it can place on a relationship.
    It is just wonderful to be able to say that we have managed to pull through a very difficult patch in our relationship, and hopefully, as our son's health improves, we can enjoy each other more.
  12. I think lots of people on here will have an idea of what sleep exhaustion can do. One of my friends likened it to being a Vietcong prisoner - the sleep deprivation is so bad you feel like you're hallucinating. Plus it can make you very depressed and with a feeling of utter hopelessness... :-(
    I'm really glad your situation feels more manageable. I read your OP and felt for you. Hopefully things will continue to get better.
  13. Very glad you are feeling a bit more positive.
    Relationships aren't perfect or ideal and some periods and experiences can be h e l l.
    With everything you have on your current plate, congratulate yourselves if you manage a quick kiss and a promise and a hug or two.
    All the very best and try to take care of ourselves and each other.

  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I'm quite certain that a huge percentage of post natal depression is actually "just" sheer exhaustion and could be cured with a few nights of decent sleep.
    When Margaret Thatcher boasted that she coped on 4 hours sleep a night I wasn't impressed - I thought it explained a lot (it often does about folk who claim they need so little sleep!).
  15. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Even though his sleep patterns seem to be evening it out I would still say it is worth looking into respite - so you can spend some together not being mum and dad but a couple who can talk/relax together for a short while.
    I work with families who are often similar situations and they are often surprised how much can be done to support them - particularly if there is a child under 4 involved. We have sure-start centres in our area and these allow parents to access all the elements of the public sector and they can give lots of support and help for parents of under 4 year olds (I know our one attached to the school has excellent links to social services, housing dept, and knows where pots of money can be found for all sorts for example). The things they have done for some our families are amazing. I am sure most areas have something similar - I would definitely see what they can offer you x
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Dear badlyparkedgirl, glad things are a little easier and you seem to be winning through.
    Sleep deprivation does do odd things to one's personality, factor in all you're dealing with and it's no wonder life isn't easy. Lack of work/money doesn't help either.
  17. Glad to hear your little boy is doing better.
    And glad to hear you and your OH have managed to come through it all so far.
    Next time you have a bad phase (worry, no sleep, etc.) remember that you managed to get through it this time.
    And remember to get as much [​IMG]

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