My Spouse's Perspective on My Migraines
My husband and I just celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary, and all told, have been together almost seventeen years! He's been with me in both pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis, and in both chronic and episodic times. He's seen a lot in terms of my migraines and has been an incredible support for me. I also think he's learned a lot about migraine since my diagnosis. I thought I'd ask him a few questions to get his perspective on my migraines.
What is it like being married to someone with migraine, in a nutshell?
Because it’s a one-sided change, it’s like your spouse is suddenly on a big project at work... or they had a baby in their brain. A change is taking place for this person, and while it affects you, you’re on the outside of it. There’s more distance between you and your spouse because your spouse’s attention is split trying to deal with this change in their life.
What was a difficult moment you remember from me having a migraine?
I remember needing Lisa to help me on a work project. I needed her skills on the computer with Photoshop. I was under a deadline and getting really stressed about it. When I opened up about it and demanded her time (in I’m sure not the greatest way), it stressed her out while she had a migraine and she slumped to the floor and started to cry. And there I am, still stressed out about the work and its completion, and now suddenly also needing to forget about all that and be a supportive husband.
What's a funny story you remember from one of my migraine attacks?
I thought it was funny when Lisa had to drive around New York City in a U-Haul with a ice pack turban. I think she also put some funny things in the fridge sometimes.
In the community, people with migraine often call their spouses "caregivers." Do you feel this term fits you? Why or why not?
Yes and no. It’s an extra hat you as a spouse have to wear. It’s not the only hat.
If you had to tell the world something about migraine, what would you say?
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I think it’s worse for people who are naturally good at putting on a strong face. I think the thing I hate about migraine is that for whatever reason it makes me want to validate what my spouse is saying. The stigma is exaggerated for migraine than some other diseases. My main piece of advice would be to trust your partner and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Grateful for the support
Again, I'm grateful to have such a supportive spouse, not only one who I can commiserate with but who I can laugh with about the funny moments. (The U-Haul/NYC story may have to be told in another post!).
If you are a spouse/partner/caregiver I'd love to hear your perspective as well. How has migraine affected you, and what are your thoughts on it? If you are someone with migraine, I'd love to hear how you navigate your close relationships when it comes to migraine. Share in the comments below!
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?