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Living with Migraine

Migraines and Marriage

  • By Kelsey_M

    I’ve been married for just over a year. I suffer from chronic migraines, and just recently have been suffering from IBS like symptoms (currently undergoing tests). Due to both of these conditions, I spend a majority of my time in bed. I still clean the house as needed, cook meals when I can, do dishes etc.. However my husband is losing compassion for me (his words). He doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough to help myself, and in a way, blames me for my poor health. I’m always trying new meds, vitamins, accupuncture, massage, chiropractic etc.. But it’s never enough for him. he was aware of my health before getting married, but neither of us expected it to be this bad (as my condition has worsened since marriage). I was just wondering if anyone else’s spouse has had these thoughts? What did you do to cope and get past this bump in the road? Aside from this, we have a healthy relationship, good communication etc.. But this is the one thing that we always seem to come back fighting about. I feel like I’m doing everything, and he doesn’t think I’m doing enough. I’m just so drained and I need advice!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Kelsey_M,

    Thank you for your question and being part of the Migraine.com discussion forum! Congratulations on your marriage – this is an exciting time. The trials and tribulations of marriage can be interesting to say the least. Let me see what information I can give you that may be helpful.

    When chronic illness enters marriage, things tend to become more complicated, especially if one partner hasn’t experienced migraine and/or doesn’t understand it. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease that when we encounter a trigger, an attack will occur. Unfortunately some people seem to think migraine is just a bad headache. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    To help our partners understand migraine, it’s a good idea to print out some information to help them understand. Here’s an article to get you going; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-empathy-why-its-hard-for-people-to-get-it-and-how-to-help/.

    Speaking of doctors, do you see a “true” migraine/headache expert? These doctors are different from neurologists in that they are board certified in headache medicine, which is different than being certified in neurology. Neurologists may be fine doctors but have difficult time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and others. Migraine/headache disorder specialists are experts in one area – migraine and headache and treat one condition all day, every day. It’s also important to note that all neurologists are NOT migraine/headache disorder specialists even though they may claim to be and all migraine/headache disorder specialists are not neurologists. Take a look at this information that discusses how these doctors are different and how to find one; http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

    Another idea is to bring your spouse to your doctors appointments. Having a doctor explain things can go a long way in helping our partners understand migraine.

    The last thing that comes to mind is for you both to see a counselor who specializes in chronic illness. They have the expertise to help explain chronic illness and share coping skills.

    Let me know how you make out,
    Nancy

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