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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Marriage with disabilities

First let me say I just finished reading the book The Five Love Languages. This book made a lot of sense to me. Unfortunately, it has me as an Acts of Service person. I say this because my wife is disabled and isn't really the type to perform acts of service.

This is my life. I get up earlier than I would like to go to a job I don't really enjoy. My wife is disabled and stays home. When I get home I usually find the house a wreck. I have to do all of the cooking, all of the cleaning, all of the laundry, etc. Outside of the 40-45 hours I am at work a week the kids are mine to take care of.

I know my wife loves me, but I haven't really felt it for years, and this would explain why. On a good day she might manage to get the kids changed out of their night clothes, to clean up some of the mess that is created during the day, and to maybe run one errand like a doctor's appointment. Assuming I need my partner to do things for me in order to feel loved, I think I am really in trouble. Even if she knows this, and she loves me, I don't think she's capable of doing it.

By the way, her love language would be spending time together. And she usually wants to spend time together late at night after the kids are in bed, and I'm thoroughly exhausted and have to get up in a few hours to repeat the cycle again.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 08:44 PM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

Has your wife always been disabled or did it happen after your were married?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 08:58 PM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

Is she getting SSI or Workman's Comp or something? (If not, why not?) If so, can you hire a cleaner/cook something to take some of the load off of you?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

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Has your wife always been disabled or did it happen after your were married?
She's been disabled since she was a teenager, but it is degenerative, so her health has gotten worse in the 9 years we have been together.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

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Is she getting SSI or Workman's Comp or something? (If not, why not?) If so, can you hire a cleaner/cook something to take some of the load off of you?
She no longer gets SSI because my income makes her ineligible. Even then, it wouldn't really help the core problem, which is it is seemingly impossible for her to demonstrate she loves me in the way I most need it to be demonstrated.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 09:46 AM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

Has your wife read the book as well? Then maybe you could discuss with her how she could attempt to make you feel loved. Even if she can't do everything because she is disabled, she might be able to do some of it and make you feel better.

If it's not prying, can you let us know what her disability is? Is there anything she can do to get better? I'm not one for traditional medicine...I think you have to be your own advocate with your health and research, research, research.

You clearly have TOO much on your plate. So sorry you are in this position. You need to get some of this stuff farmed out to someone else or not only are you going to feel unloved, you are going to feel resentful.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 10:43 AM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

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She no longer gets SSI because my income makes her ineligible. Even then, it wouldn't really help the core problem, which is it is seemingly impossible for her to demonstrate she loves me in the way I most need it to be demonstrated.
That's good that you can support the family on just your income. She is probably depressed and frustrated too. My husband gets that way too when he is having more pain than usual. He just kind of sits in his chair and checks out. We both took our vows in sickness and in health and I know it's frustrating but even if you got a divorce you would still be doing everything so at least being marriage your children get to be with their Mom.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 11:01 AM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

Do you live near family who is willing to help? If you don't, can you move near family who would be willing to help?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 11:02 AM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

Is her disability completely to blame for her not pulling more weight?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 05:28 PM
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Re: Marriage with disabilities

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First let me say I just finished reading the book The Five Love Languages. This book made a lot of sense to me. Unfortunately, it has me as an Acts of Service person. I say this because my wife is disabled and isn't really the type to perform acts of service.

This is my life. I get up earlier than I would like to go to a job I don't really enjoy. My wife is disabled and stays home. When I get home I usually find the house a wreck. I have to do all of the cooking, all of the cleaning, all of the laundry, etc. Outside of the 40-45 hours I am at work a week the kids are mine to take care of.

I know my wife loves me, but I haven't really felt it for years, and this would explain why. On a good day she might manage to get the kids changed out of their night clothes, to clean up some of the mess that is created during the day, and to maybe run one errand like a doctor's appointment. Assuming I need my partner to do things for me in order to feel loved, I think I am really in trouble. Even if she knows this, and she loves me, I don't think she's capable of doing it.

By the way, her love language would be spending time together. And she usually wants to spend time together late at night after the kids are in bed, and I'm thoroughly exhausted and have to get up in a few hours to repeat the cycle again.
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Originally Posted by gramosk View Post
She's been disabled since she was a teenager, but it is degenerative, so her health has gotten worse in the 9 years we have been together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramosk View Post
She no longer gets SSI because my income makes her ineligible. Even then, it wouldn't really help the core problem, which is it is seemingly impossible for her to demonstrate she loves me in the way I most need it to be demonstrated.
Most people have a primary and secondary love language. Your primary is acts of service and hers is quality time. What are your secondary love languages?

My wife who has had a job providing for disability services, likes to refer to people as "temporarily enabled." The reason is that all of as as we age will likely become disabled at one point or another and to one degree or another.

You do live under a lot of stress. Are there things you can do for yourself that would give you some pleasure. For example going for walks or runs with your kids? Exercise is a good way to fight depression and improve self image.

As to acts of service, that can cover a lot of ground. Is there some way you can combine acts of service with her desire for quality time in a daily ritual?

For example, at night can you let your wife get ready for bed, bring a pot of herbal tea into the bedroom and have her "pour the tea and serve you tea in bed," while the two of you talk? That might make you feel like she is serving you in a non strenuous way, but still an act of service and she would feel like she is having quality time?

Alternately are their symbolic things she can do for you during the day that are within her strength or energy capabilities? For example can she prepare you a drink of some kind so that when you arrive home she greets you with the drink and provides you with an act of service, that allows you to rest a moment before dinner and putting kids to bed? It might even allow you a moment to emotionally connect with her.

Talk to her and see if there are things within her physical and energy levels that she can do that you would view as acts of service and she can view as creating quality time. That kind of ritual is a win-win.

You sound upset with her. If so, she probably knows that and finds that difficult. She is incredibly dependent upon you and she knows that as well. Your distance is probably scaring her. You might want to put yourself in her shoes for a while to see what you think is going on in her mind and yours.

May I ask what her disability is? What are your and her secondary love languages. Is there anything you can do to get your kids to help their mom during the day, so there is less on your and your wife's plates? If there isn't then you may need to learn to priorities some things that disturb you like the degree of "mess" you can tolerate.

Again, forgive her, let her know you love her. Figure out ways to make her feel loved each and every day. Work on creating rituals with her that make you and her feel loved.

Good luck.

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