I am 37 and have a torn disc at L5-S1. I am married with three children, ages 2.5, 8 and 11. As if the physical pain wasn't enough, depression kicked in about a year ago once I began experiencing neck pain on top of my back pain. My wife has never been the best at dealing with me when I am sick or in pain. She typically apologizes and says it is because she relies upon me for so much that she doesn't know what to do when I am out of commission. As an example, years ago, I had an appendectomy. While recovering from the surgery, my wife began to get angry at me because it was taking me more than a day or two to get back to normal. The way she handled that experience was to leave me in bed and to disappear all day.
Not surprisingly, at first, she dealt with my back pain in the same way. The last few months have gotten worse. My back crashed in me again while we were on a family vacation at the beach. It happened the second day we were there. Even though I was bed ridden, my wife kept asking me to do things that I would imagine she knew I could not do and then get angry at me when I told her I could not do them. After two more days of dreading waking up, I finally decided to just go home. My wife stayed with our kids, my mom, stepdad, and my sister and her family.
On my way home and when I got home, I cried harder than I think I ever have. I thought about how it might be better for everyone if I was just dead. I eventually calmed down, but then began thinking that the answer was ending our marriage. When she came back with the kids, instead of telling her how I had been feeling, I joked/hinted around at her maybe finding someone new to replace me. I had come up with an entire plan that we would continue to live together while she dated, etc.
Things fell back into as normal of a groove as we've had since my pain began for a little while until both my back and my neck crashed on me two weeks ago. It put me out of work for a week. I needed more time than that, but did not want to get too far behind. I would go to work in extreme pain as I have done many times over the last few years. I would be in tears throughout the day because of the pain. When I came home, I would get in bed. When my wife would see me, the look on her face seemed to be one of disgust and anger. She would make comments like "I don't see how you can work, but you can't do (fill in the blank)." The way she was making me feel hit its peak the other night, and after she left me at home to go drinking with our neighbors, I cried uncontrollably and thought about suicide. Those thoughts only lasted for a few minutes until I snapped back into reality, but then I once again began obsessively thinking about getting divorced.
The next day, she gave me the look again and said something hurtful, so I finally addressed it. I told her that the way she was dealing with this was hurting me. I told her about my thoughts from the night before and told her that I needed her to deal with this better. I told her that if she couldn't, then I couldn't stay with her because it was hurting too much. I asked her if she would consider seeing a therapist like I do to help her cope with living with someone in pain. I asked her if she would consider going to couple's therapy. We both shared a good cry, and she committed to working on it. That was three days ago. Already, the comments and looks have begun again. More subtle this time, but it still stings. I feel hurt, sad, hopeless and angry all at the same time. Part of me just wants to give up on her and leave because I don't think she can change, but part of me feels like I should at least have us jump through the therapy hoops first.
Is my marriage over?