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cathy
cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
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I went out to dinner with my husband. He is very busy on weekends

Resolved Question:

I went out to dinner with my husband. He is very busy on weekends and
we rarely do things together. He was talking about mostly kids issues.
He wants to take them on vacation. Since I got sick in 2002 - our
vacations stopped.
But all the emotional connection is gone, and we rarely talk about anything
but kids. I too want to go on vacation even if I cant do all the activities
they do. Our kids are 16 and 18. I think its important to work on the
marriage and find a way to bridge the gap since I got sick. Before I
got sick, it was all about shared activities which bonded us. Now
its not much emotionally, or physically at all.
I feel he is too much "me, me, me." and not "Lets work on us."
Sure he's a great provider. But I have no idea how he needs me
in his life. Does he simply get pleasure providing? He shares little
with me emotionally and is somewhat limited in that department.
I am now physically limited due to illness. Yet, I don't feel valued,
loved, or much attention is paid to me. I know he cares about me
and is a terrific provider, but it's like being married to a major
appliance "a dishwasher". Who when he does go out with his,
wife - we talk about kids. His number one priority. I left that
dinner feeling very depressed. Apparently, his needs are a
vacation from work perhaps and activity with kids. What about
the marriage? We don't sleep in the same bed, share much
physical or emotional intimacy and despite my illness, I am
feeling neglected. Yes, he has more responsibilities than
before I got sick, but where's time for us? He will go out
with me if I request at times, but perhaps his needs are
different. Simply, I feel very distanced from him. He works
hard and has a tendency to anger quickly which is another
obstacle in getting close to him. Perhaps we will never have
this great emotional connection. So my question is, are his
needs different and should I stop trying? Thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  cathy replied 3 years ago.

cathy :

Hi and thanks for writing JA

cathy :

can you tell us what you mean when you say that you got sick?

cathy :

i think that would help a lot

cathy :

thanks

cathy :

Cathy

Customer:

Rheumatoid Aerthits. sever chronic pain

cathy :

Hi, nice to see you

cathy :

Oh my

cathy :

Yes I have psoriatic arthritis

cathy :

not a good year for us here in the North East with arthritis

cathy :

I am so sorry

cathy :

Okay

cathy :

I have read your post

cathy :

and I am sorry that things have broken down a bit here

Customer:

thanks

cathy :

and I am glad that you are both so invested in your children

Customer:

we are thanks much

cathy :

You both sound like terrific humans and great parents

Customer:

sorry you have psoriatic arthritis

Customer:

it su.....s

cathy :

oh heck yea it does s...

cathy :

ya know it girl

cathy :

okay

cathy :

what I have to say is a little provacative

Customer:

and you would liikely agree that stress aggravates illness

Customer:

whats provocative?

cathy :

I mean devils advocate

cathy :

I mean trying to stir things up

Customer:

Me doing that?

cathy :

If your kids are 16 and 18

cathy :

no I am being provacative

cathy :

I am going to stir up some trouble here

cathy :

Me, not you

Customer:

ok go ahead I can take it ....:_

cathy :

okay I hope so

cathy :

if your kids are these ages

cathy :

how long havve you been married?>

Customer:

29 yrs

Customer:

oops 20 yrs

cathy :

okay great

cathy :

so

cathy :

what about we prioritze the second honeymoon this year

Customer:

i see his lack of desire

cathy :

tell me why its all about the kids?

Customer:

Good question

cathy :

Its about you too

cathy :

and you have been married twenty yaers

cathy :

years

Customer:

I think because when marriage was at its worst.....He had little to nothing to do with kids for about three years and he misses the time with them and is trying to make it up

cathy :

well good he should make up for lost time

cathy :

thats good

cathy :

I still stick to this

cathy :

what about Mom and Dad

cathy :

dont you deserve a weekend away somewhere

Customer:

thats what I keep saying but he keeps saying "kids", activities, ect..... and taking them on vacation which pisses me off .

cathy :

yikes me too

Customer:

I told him I dont want to be excluded even if I cant do all the physical activities

cathy :

when is your wedding anniversary

Customer:

8/17

cathy :

so there should be a party

Customer:

Its a good solution you have, but his lack of desire turns me off.....

cathy :

there should be a great weekend

Customer:

"should be"

cathy :

well you might not rekindle passion but you can see how it goes

Customer:

We have no intimacy either...........

cathy :

where did you two meet? how did you fall in love?

Customer:

blind date. Cant remember how I fell in love , perhaps it wasnt as romantic or normal as I would like.

cathy :

aha

cathy :

more to this story

cathy :

was he always kind to you before you got sick?

Customer:

right, you hit the nail on the head. No, but we had positive experiences to balance it out. After sickness, he became worse, and I became over protective of kids and he became worse (anger) a viscious cycle which we fortunately broke, but still arent anywhere back to a relationship as h/w.

cathy :

okay

cathy :

so your illness just exacerbated an already not so great situation

Customer:

Their were very good years of marriage. From my background, I likely didn't have an example of healthy communication. But our time together was always based on shared activity which stopped when I got sick.

Customer:

He too has limits , emotional limits and communication issues.....

cathy :

what kinds of activity, athletics?

cathy :

okay I understand this

Customer:

Some improvement, but the issues are still there.

cathy :

you went skiing and did water sports things like that?

Customer:

yes, we were very active.... mostly sports, traveling all over - right.

cathy :

and tell me how badly the arthritis has impacted your mobility?

Customer:

severe

Customer:

I can walk but have severe pain

cathy :

have been tried on any of the biologics, enbrel, humira?

cathy :

I did great on Humira

Customer:

I'm on cimzia

Customer:

good !

Customer:

super! u still taking it?

cathy :

oh I dont know that medicine I am going to have to look it up

cathy :

no

cathy :

I am now on stellara

Customer:

same medicine as Humira (a tnf inhibitor)

cathy :

not working as well but I can still type which is a miracle

cathy :

and how is the pain?

cathy :

are you in a lot of pain all the time?

Customer:

too bad these meds loose effecacy over time for some of us

Customer:

yes

cathy :

Augh I know

cathy :

I hate that part

cathy :

you start taking it and for six months its heaven and then your heart breaks its straight back to hell again

Customer:

look not many get life with chronic pain.. So to do u a favor, would you like to think about it and write back when dont have to type as much to me? right I know what u mean.

cathy :

No I am fine

cathy :

Its actually good to talk to a client with arthritis

Customer:

ok I "get it" - most don't... so if a break is needed i understand

cathy :

makes me feel as if I am doing something important

Customer:

Yes, i agree.

Customer:

aahh.. geez you are!

cathy :

I was probing because I think that while you and I cant do those things we once did

cathy :

that does NOT make us cripples if ya know what I mean

cathy :

we are still vibrant people

Customer:

right. For me, the emotional needs grow when physical abilities are limited.

Customer:

exactly

cathy :

not to mention gorgeous, both of us

cathy :

exciting and you are wicked smart

cathy :

wicked is a massachusetts term meaning amazing

Customer:

lol.. well look, thanks. Illness can take a huge hit on self esteem so we must tell ourselfs about our qualities !

cathy :

You are so smart and so thoughtful

Customer:

ty your cool to talk to and very smart yourself

cathy :

I think my illness made me a better person a better thaerpist and a better Cathy

cathy :

I bet you now understand many things you never did before

Customer:

Wow - you made lemons our of lemonade.... I get what u are saying

Customer:

I mean lemonade out of lemons

Customer:

lol

cathy :

I bet you know so much more now than you did before

cathy :

I bet you notice things that you never did before

Customer:

yes, you too?

cathy :

I hope so

cathy :

I think I am like you more careful than I was before

cathy :

with my body

cathy :

I dont take risks

Customer:

its like when someone looses their sight and develop other stronger senses .. Yes, thats important to be careful of swollen, weak or painful joint areas.

cathy :

I know

cathy :

and when all of us get older

cathy :

things do not work the same way they did when we were younger

cathy :

so its not just that we developed arthritis

cathy :

its part of the human condition

Customer:

i know theirs a great deal of fear with chronic painful illness, but I try hard not to worry about things I have limited control over.

Customer:

it doesnt always work though

Customer:

im still terrified

cathy :

its a day to day thing

cathy :

Oh I am sure you are

Customer:

right

cathy :

terrified

Customer:

you too?

cathy :

I think we all learn to take it a day at a time

cathy :

Oh heck yea

cathy :

even experts

cathy :

even therapists

Customer:

thats normal... look what we are dealing with!

cathy :

we are pretty human too

cathy :

its scary when your body turns on you

Customer:

very !!!!

cathy :

you dont recognize your hands

cathy :

or your knees

cathy :

LOL

cathy :

the inflammation

cathy :

LOL

Customer:

Right, I know, If you can stand the smell, camphor works great on my hands since I cant tolerate NSAIDS

cathy :

I cant wear any topicals

cathy :

which s...ks

cathy :

because my office mates are too sensitive

Customer:

My ankles and knees and just about everywhere else is swollen.. You name it, its swollen LOL

cathy :

so I can only do biologics

Customer:

Ohh I see.....

cathy :

rubenesque

cathy :

rubenesque ankles dear

cathy :

same as the Queen of England

cathy :

we have royal ankles now

cathy :

LOL

Customer:

funny!

Customer:

U are still working - wow!

cathy :

amazes me too

cathy :

every day

Customer:

wow,

Customer:

thats all i can say

cathy :

but my clients are very very kind to me

cathy :

so enough of that

cathy :

now onto you

cathy :

enough of me and onto you

Customer:

dont worry, this is important too !!!

cathy :

What do you do to self soothe?

cathy :

I know you are in terrific pain a lot

cathy :

do you take a yoga class?

cathy :

swim at the Y/

cathy :

you were so athletic

cathy :

how do you self soothe?

Customer:

I have only recently learned to accept my limitations and not feel guilty when something dont get done. No one in my family can ever understand this life, so I have a pet, I study, I do online work when I am not in too much pain, I cook ect...

Customer:

Soothe?

cathy :

yes

Customer:

Im working on that.. Shop, chocolate, music, talk w/ rffriends.

cathy :

self soothe

cathy :

what kind of pet?

Customer:

sun conure, parrot family, hes like a dog , loyal, always on me and actually sleeps with me.

cathy :

very good

cathy :

I think you can do more on this but its a start

cathy :

exercise for us is so good

Customer:

i agree

cathy :

and I feel so great when I get out of the yoga class

cathy :

the other thing

cathy :

which makes me feel so much better

Customer:

cool

cathy :

I live near a college

cathy :

and they train massage therapists

cathy :

so for ten bucks I can get a massage once a week

cathy :

from the students

Customer:

it dont hurt u?

cathy :

they need people to practice on

Customer:

oohh

cathy :

NO the professor knows I have arthritis

Customer:

great

cathy :

and they are very gentle

cathy :

so physical activity helps a lot

Customer:

yes, use it or loose it i guess

cathy :

I say all this stuff because you need to put you in a better place

cathy :

you need to start to care for you

cathy :

and then you need to have a chat with your husband

Customer:

meet my own needs? not look to him

cathy :

yes you start to become more selfish and put you in a better place

Customer:

i agree

cathy :

but you also need to talk to him about your marriage because your kids will be leaving soon

cathy :

and you have to make a plan

Customer:

i try but perhaps his needs r different. I am turned off when I bring it up, because it's not on his agenda.

cathy :

I understand this

cathy :

and I know that its hard

Customer:

yes kids will leave one day

cathy :

but you are his wife

cathy :

you were there before the children came

Customer:

true

cathy :

I bet your children are terrific?

cathy :

good kids?

Customer:

they are but dont all parents say that? or maybe not. I believe they are fantastic.

cathy :

LOL

cathy :

no most parents say their kids drive them nuts at those ages

cathy :

LOL

Customer:

ooohhh........

cathy :

if you sit down with him and say Look our twentieth anniversary is in August and I have booked us into (fill in the blanks....best or most glam resort where you live) what will he say?

Customer:

ok .... its a plan. He may be ok with it

cathy :

okay I am not finished here

cathy :

so dont go and run with this yet

Customer:

ok ....

cathy :

do not give me any personal infor at all just give me an idea of what city and state you live in

Customer:

freehold, nj

cathy :

auugggh

Customer:

lol

cathy :

I love Monmouth

cathy :

I love it there

cathy :

Okay

cathy :

so do not go to AC

cathy :

do not go there

Customer:

you are not far from me?

cathy :

I was

Customer:

oohh....

cathy :

I worked in the Bronx for thirty years

cathy :

and lived in Westchester Co

Customer:

oohh... yeah ac is now the pits.. Ohh Co.. now. ok

cathy :

but my best friend lived in Monmouth so I love it

Customer:

15 min from beach

cathy :

I hate ya

cathy :

I just hate ya

Customer:

lol

cathy :

I love ya but I hate ya too

Customer:

i know, i told u i can take it...

Customer:

lol

cathy :

fond memories of the Jersey Shore before it was the Jersey Shore if you know what I mean?

Customer:

oohh, me too...

cathy :

it was so cool when I was younger

cathy :

so cook

cathy :

cool

cathy :

now? augh

Customer:

right

cathy :

okay so how does your arthritis do in the sun?

Customer:

major sun sensitivity issues

Customer:

you?

cathy :

yes thats what I thought

cathy :

do you know New Hope PA

Customer:

not very well...

cathy :

okay I am trying to think of where to send you

cathy :

where does your family usually vacation when you go with the kids?

Customer:

We stopped vacations in 2002 when I got sick. But kids like surfing, play tennis and go biking with Dad. All these things I had to give up. (altough I never surfed).

cathy :

water was always bad off the shore anyway. LOL

cathy :

so good youdidnt surf

cathy :

okay do some research on the web

cathy :

and book into a romantice b and b for the weekend of your anniversary

cathy :

present this to him as your anniversary gift to him

cathy :

and if he wont go

cathy :

Go anyway

cathy :

though I think he will go

Customer:

I will the idea is not bad, and perhaps he will catch on if I find something semi interesting for both of us to do together.. I will think about it. Ok its a plan.... thanks.....

cathy :

I want to tell you

cathy :

there is this wonderful romantic little town just over the Jersey/PA line

cathy :

its Lambertsville in the jersey side

cathy :

and New Hope on the PA side

cathy :

loads of charming little B and Bs and cute little stores and restaurants

cathy :

mix of old hippie, new age and motorcycle gangs. LOL

cathy :

but so quaint and so clean and you can walk the whole village in one day

cathy :

they also have a theater there

Customer:

ok..... I didnt know that, something to research. ok....

cathy :

that attracts big celebs but the theater is small and in a barn

cathy :

oh yes

cathy :

I was trying to think of somewhere you could go that would not tax your body so much

cathy :

I saw that guy Mr Spock from Star wars in a play there once

Customer:

Well its something to think about, the idea is what counts, and the research needs to be followed up on

cathy :

but do it

cathy :

okay

cathy :

you two need to have a bigger talk down the road you know this right?

Customer:

You know what - I actually Will do it.. thanks... Nice talking with you....

cathy :

you be well

cathy :

take good care of you

cathy :

night now

Customer:

yes I agree baby steps

Customer:

You too thanks and please be well........

cathy :

you too. I will be thinking of you

cathy :

night now

cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience: MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
cathy and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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cathy
cathy
Mental Health Professional
1436 Satisfied Customers
MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health