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Thread: Too stubborn for my own good?

  1. #1
    Senior Member TD's Avatar
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    Too stubborn for my own good?

    Okay, maybe I am. As my wife will attest, I am the most stubborn, cantankerous, independent, "Mother, Please!! I'd rather do it myself!!" type of guy. I refuse to let this damned disability limit my wife's ability to go out with her friends for a drink or go to conventions over the weekend. My new life should not over-shadow hers.

    So I sent her to Prescott for two days, making arrangements with a CNA to come in and help me for a few hours. Not only does this give her a break from my care but it also gives me a chance to work on my writing undisturbed. I am even considering going out to play a few games of pool at the local bar.

    Don't get so involved in caring for your disabled spouse that you forget to take time for yourself. I ask myself this question each time I think of asking my wife to do something for me. "What would I do if she were not here?" The answer is obvious.

    "And so it begins."

  2. #2
    Thank you, TD! I hope all the caregiver spouses on board here show this to their SO's!!!!

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Td, you and my husband should hang out together. I'm always getting into trouble for "taking over" stuff he's wanting to do for himself.

    By the way, on another thread I posted a couple of stories that may not have done him justice:

    First, when I was up there 30 feet in the air painting sealant on the sawed-off beam ends, he was at the bottom of the ladder making sure our daughter was keeping the ladder steady for me--plus he was the one who knew this had to be done, who knew what stuff to use, where to get it, and how to extend the ladder that high. It was definitely a group effort, not my task or my show all alone.

    Second, when our ceiling collapsed because he hadn't gotten around ot calling the roofers . . . wellllll, that wasn't sci, that was just his plain old procrastinating personality asserting itself. He'd have been offended if I'd felt the need to take on that job, just like in the old days.

    I've learned the hard way with this stubborn cuss to hold back, bite my tongue, put my hands in my pockets, and look away if I don't want to see how hard he has to try to do for himself what would be easy for me. But I'll say this: his stubborn-ness is what has saved him. He works harder and longer than anybody ever should be asked to, and it keeps him sane. Even with only a fraction of those neurons firing, he's more of a man than almost every guy I see walking around, and I'm damned lucky to be his wife. Yeah.

  4. #4
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
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    TD, it's very nice of you to take your wife's feelings into account. Unfortunately everyone isn't like you. When my husband finds out I have something planned like an afternoon with the "girls" today, he just manages to find something that I absolutely have to help him do today or do for him today. Life is such a joy.

    martha

  5. #5
    Martha, My Dear,

    Please share with us just what it is your hubbie finds soooo important for you to do that you can't go out with friends? You need to be just like Nancy Reagan, and 'just say no!'. Unless he's lying there gagging and not being able to breathe, I can't think of much that would prevent you having a few hours of respite with your friends! Maybe just a touch of passive/aggressive behavior on his part? Maybe you should just let him have an old cowboy expression when he pulls that 'Sorry, honey, but that dawg don't hunt anymore'!!!!!!

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  6. #6

    Sounds like a game, Martha

    And you shouldn't play it! Marmalady is right...what on earth couldn't wait?
    In the immortal words of Judge Judy: "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." It's easy to ignore your needs, but you have to take care of YOU too. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about! I hope you made it out with the "girls" today.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Originally posted by martha:

    TD, it's very nice of you to take your wife's feelings into account.
    martha
    hmmmm. . . . no, it isn't "very nice", the way TD takes his wife's feelings seriously--it's ordinary courtesy and only to be expected from one's husband. DON'T let him get away with this noise! As my wise old Al-Anon friends used to say:

    There can be no love without respect, his for you, yours for him.

    They were so right.


    K

  8. #8
    Martha, I think I can speak for everyone who replied here, we're not bashing you, we're all with you 100%! Sometimes problems that existed with couples pre-SCI manifest themselves 100-fold after the accident. Trying to adjust to the stress of living with SCI - for both people - can only magnify pre-existing snafus. We realize that perhaps we were willing to live with those conditions pre-SCI, but with the added stress, it's just not acceptable any more.

    I really would suggest an honest sit-down with hubbie to let him know that you expect - and deserve - as much respect and caring as you're giving him, and that you're in a partnership, not a dictatorship! Lay down some rules and some structure, and stick to them.

    Although I'm not a caregiver spouse, but a caregiver mom, I am married - both hubbie and I are caregivers. Because of the stress around my son's accident, hubbie and I quickly realized the gameplaying we were doing in our marriage. There's just not time for that anymore, and it's useless and destructive anyway. We're both much more honest people now, and our relationship with each other has grown in the last few years post-accident.

    Spouses, help me out here - My feeling is that you can use the SCI as a pivotal point; it's either going to split you up, or help you to grow with each other, and become stronger partners together in the day to day battle of living with SCI.

    (((((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))) to you, Martha, again you know we're with you on this! Jackie

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  9. #9
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
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    Jackie (and everyone else),
    I didn't even consider that you might be bashing! I read each post as caring, informative and educational. I haven't replied yet because I haven't had a good answer. But I honestly appreciate the input from everyone.

    As usual, you are absolutely right. Situations that existed pre-SCI are exacerbated post-SCI.

    martha

  10. #10
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    Man! Can I relate!!

    I had to chime in here because the topic of discussion really realtes to some stuff I am dealing with. The issue of time for myself is huge for me right now. My husband has become very active in wheelchair sports in the last two to three years. He plays basketball and tennis, and the seasons overlap at times. This results in him having time away often, with weekly (if not more often) practices and many weekends tournaments away from home. I try very hard to keep myself clear that this is something that he needs physically and psychologically. However, it leaves me to tend to home and the kids alone and with very little time for myself. When we first got involved in w/c sports, it was fairly easy for me tag along on weekend trips with my husband and my son. Now that we have a toddler as well, it is more work than fun, so I just stay home. If I "complain" at all, my husband (perhaps not intentionally) tends to pour on the guilt trip, and I end up feeling very insensitive. However, what I find difficult to help him understand is that his SCI has drastically changed my life too, and I need some time for myself to help me to cope with everything. I haven't completely insisted on that time for myself, mainly because it is hard for me to leave him with both kids... and sometimes hanging out with friends who complain about such petty "husband stuff" doesn't make me feel any better. Wow!!! I am in a mood today!!! I have always been the type to smile through the most difficult of times. I always hated when people would bitch and moan about everthing! However, I feel that my old approach to life wasn't very healthy for me!! It helps to get things off your chest once in a while, particularly to those who really know what you are talking about.
    Thanks for listening/reading! Carolyn

    [This message was edited by Jeff on Sep 16, 2002 at 03:24 PM.]

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