Long time lurker, my first post:
Forgive the medical explicitness for those with delicate sensibilities - A month and a half ago, there was quite a bit of blood in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement. I have had blood on the toilet paper before when my hemorrhoids caused discomfort, but a little OTC hydrocortisone cream would usually clear things up. This instance caused me to worry because there was no discomfort. Usually I would chalk it up to my hemorrhoids, but I'm in my mid-30's now with kids, so I thought I had an obligation to my family to have things checked out. I called my doctor (who I had only seen once before 10 years earlier) and made an appointment. Unfortunately, my doctor called the house to confirm the appointment, my wife asked me about it, and I lied about the purpose and called it "just a check-up".
I didn't tell my wife about the blood for a few reasons. First, she is a self-professed hypochondriac and I would find her constant worrying a major distraction. Second, she tends to know no boundaries when it comes to medical issues and frankly, I wasn't too excited to have my butt the subject of all her questions. Lastly, she is unable to be supportive of me in the manner I need during times like these. A few years ago, I got a vasectomy. The day after, with me in bed sick to my stomach from the Vicodin, groggy and nauseous, she stood over me berating me for not being able to help with the kids on this particular Saturday.
I make the appt. with my GP and he refers me to a specialist to get a flex sig (basically, a colonoscopy's little cousin). Five weeks go by before I can get the procedure and I haven't told my wife. I get it done, everything looks fine, I come home and I sit down with my wife. "Honey, everything is fine, but here's what happened and what I did about it..."
My wife goes nuts. First, she's irate that I misled her about the nature of the appointment. Second, she's irate that I didn't tell her about the follow-up. She goes on about how other people don't keep things from their spouses, about how she's not going to live like this, about how this isn't a relationship, and how she's not going to be in a relationship where secrets are kept. Bear in mind, that up until this, things had been going very well for us, so I don't think there was a lot of animosity under the surface - at least not more than usual.
My points were: her borderline hypochondria was a distraction, this was a embarrassing issue given the part of the body involved (though neither of us are prudes, it's my butt for goodness sakes!), and lastly and most importantly to me, this was an issue that affected me and me only unless I got bad news back. But either way, she would've found out after the specialists visit.
As I said, the arguement was very bad with her saying she could never trust me again, and me saying that I deserve some level of privacy in matters of my health unless and until they affect the family. The arguement ended unresolved, but as the weeks went by I started to see her side of things. Maybe I do have to share every last detail of myself with her, or I'm being secretive. Then, yesterday, I'm serving myself for dinner and she says, "why don't you eat some salad and maybe you'll stop bleeding out of your butt."
I was dumbfounded that she would say something like that and it just reinforces to me that my original thoughts were valid. I'm certain that I will never share something like this with her again. I'm angry, a little humiliated by the comment, and ashamed that I had started doubt myself only to be ridiculed at the dinner table.
If you've read this far, thank you. My questions for the board are: Does a spouse have the expectation of some basic level of privacy? Are there matters that the other spouse doesn't need to know about? Am I justified in feeling the way I do (I've never been accused to being easily offended)?