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marriage stress

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by aprilodell, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. aprilodell

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    Hey..I am not sure where this topic falls. But I feel like this who new diagnosis thing is causing stress on my marriage. My husband would never check our son in the middle of the night it it interrupted his sleep. He walks through this world never questioning anything, I am on the other hand wanting to make sure we are doing things right.

    Tonight was great we went to dinner as planned for NYE. Our son's BS was the lowest since DKA so we had no correction we just gave him insulin for the carbs. At bedtime we gave him the increase in his lantus as we were told today, but because they started coming down right after we were told to change I wanted to talk to the on call doc, we are only a week out of the ER and Hospital. My hubby cannot fathom talking on the phone so he acts like I am fool. I guess I am wondering how people got through the stress on their marriage regarding different worrying levels.

    I love my husband, but I feel like he does not take things as seriously as I do...is this common.
    oh by the way happy new year
    April
     
  2. suej

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    Diabetes caused (causes) huge stress in our marriage. My husband and I have different ways of coping and grieving, the first 2 years we were really out of synch and I was responsible for almost all the care including keeping DS safe at night, and became unutterably exhausted. It evolved that way as I work part time, not full time. We ended up in therapy which helped hugely and now like in the movie "Oblivion" we are an effective team. This diagnosis produces all the phases of grief from anger, denial, loss and eventually some kind of acceptance and is made so hard by the relentlessness of it, coupled to tiredness from checking at night.
    In retrospect, we should have started therapy as soon as we had recovered from the shock of diagnosis. My best friend's son actually developed diabetes 5 years before my son and was inappropriately told by a rep that 2/3 of marriages flounder when a child gets diabetes. Not sure where she got those stats from, (our marriages continue to hold) and I don't think they are accurate, but diabetes adds a whole new layer of stress to a relationship.
    Now we share the nights, my husband actually monitors our son more often than me at night as he sleeps better and if he is woken just once by the CGM, usually deals with it and can go back to sleep and be OK the next day, whereas I am a worrywart and toss and turn once woken. We do find the GCM indispensible.

    Good luck and perhaps don't wait like we did and consider counselling early.
     
  3. aprilodell

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    Thanks..I feel like we did when we brought that new baby home and I was up and checking and worrying and all of that stuff. He walks through this world a little on the oblivious side and it gets to me esp in this case. On the positive side at least now I have faith that he can manage things when I am not here, where as when they were babies I thought I was the only one that could do things right.
     
  4. rgcainmd

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    Almost one year post-diagnosis. I am not perfect, but I work hard, do my absolute best every single day, and am a good mother and a caring person. Our marriage was already sailing through choppy seas, but my husband's self-centered refusal to learn anything about our daughter's T1D or to help out even the least bit has torn an irreparable hole in our lifeboat and our marriage is ending per his wishes. Both my daughter and I are seeing counselors. He will not consider marriage counseling. After one session with a mediator he said to me, "You can have her. I don't want to take care of her." I grieve the fact that he has chosen to opt out of parenting our beloved child. And I cannot begin to understand what is missing in his soul.
     
  5. sszyszkiewicz

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    It's only been a week!

    Like everything else in the house, define and accept responsibilities. Around here I am the night watchman because I can get away with waking and falling back to sleep. I deal with confronting insurance companies and dr's. I suggest changes to ratios, correction factors, and basal insulin adjustments. I keep an eye on the data like a hawk. I deal with the technology. My wife deals with all the prescriptions, school issues, appointments, referrals, and everything to do with food/carbs.

    There is plenty to do, divide the effort by personal strengths and weaknesses.
     
  6. mamattorney

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    I do think diabetes can be a huge stress on a marriage. Your likening it to a new baby (I would even make it more specific - a first born new baby) is a good analogy. It's something new and huge thrown into a relationship. The responsibilities will shortly fall onto each parent in a natural way. The problem is - that natural way is not always an equitable way. I think its rare to have an equal division of responsibilities - in our relationship, I'm home a lot more and a natural researcher, and frankly I'm a bit controlling - so I naturally took control.

    It's worked for our family for the most part. The overnights are not pleasant for me because I'm the one that gets up 95% of the time. That's the only thing I would change, but then I also feel that my schedule lends itself to getting up overnight much more than my husband, so even though I'd love to sleep through the night, it stays the way it does.

    I decided to help out a friend who owns a small business over the Christmas season that caused me to be out of the house a lot in the evenings of the months of November and December. It was very interesting when my daughter (who loves to wait until the last minute) had to change pump sites, change t:slim cartridges and change dexcom sensors when I wasn't home. I do think the lightbulb went off in that he realized that he trusts me so much that he literally had no idea how to do any of these things. His last true education was when she was in the hospital and we learned how MDI worked and how to carb count. He's taken more of an interest recently, but now that I'm no longer helping at the shop things will probably settle back where they were.
     
  7. joshualevy

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    I think this is a very important topic. Type-1 diabetes does put strain in a marriage, and especially the first few months (and then again if you switch to a pump). Here are some random thoughts:

    * You and your husband are different, because you are different people. Of course you take things at different levels of seriousness. You are not going to agree on everything, with type-1 diabetes, or with the rest of your lives. Don't let those differences "get to you".

    * The trick, with type-1 diabetes and life in general, is to compromise in the right places. A lot of people are blinded by the health aspects of type-1 diabetes, and become unwilling to compromise, but this is a mistake. Just because it is a health issue does not mean you should insist on your position. Your spouse might be right about some things, just as you maybe right about others.

    To expand this a little, if you want Italian food, but your spouse wants Indian food, what do you do? If you want to test your child in the middle of the night, but you spouse thinks it's a waste of time, what do you do? If you are married, or even living with someone, then the two of you have learned how to work together. Type-1 diabetes requires that you work together on a new, complex, and health related thing. Something that you didn't expect to have to work together on, and that you don't know much about, but you still need to do it.

    To get a little more specific:

    * For us, since only one of us works full time, the other does the first blood check at night, if one is needed. The other parent does the second blood check, if one is needed. On a weekend nights, then the roles switch. The full time worker does the first needed check. The important thing is NOT the exact division of labor. The important thing is the agreement on who is going to do what, and how it will be done.

    * The second big issue is decision making. This is especially a problem early on, because neither of you have the experience (1) to make the right decisions all of the time (2) to know you are making the right decisions all of the time. Because there are two of you, and because you are inexperienced, and because you are unsure, you argue a lot. The good news is that this does get better over time. You will both gain knowledge and experience and confidence. You might learn that one of you really is better at dosing than the other. Or you might learn that one of you is better dosing for food, while another is better at understand exercise, etc.

    * To be blunt, having a goal of "doing things right" the first week after diagnosis, is dangerous. First of all, you husband does NOT have a goal of "doing things wrong", so thinking in terms of right and wrong is going to get you into trouble. It already has. Also, no one has enough information one week post diagnosis, to "do things right". The goal is improvement over time; not perfection the second week.

    * Do not allow the health impacts of type-1 diabetes to freeze up the compromise and discussion parts of your brain. Quite the opposite, because the stakes are higher it is more important to discuss and compromise as needed. You were created with two ears and one month. So was your husband. That's a hint: twice as much listening as talking.

    I know other people will give you advice, and so far, it looks better than mine. This is not my strength, but here is my short term advice:

    1. Stop thinking in terms of right and wrong, and start thinking in terms of "my ideas" and "my spouse's ideas". As part of this, don't think in absolutist terms; compromise and learn. There may be more than one right answer, and things that seem incredibly important may not be.

    2. Divide up work; especially night time work. How you divide it up is your own business, but don't let people get stuck with things in an unthinking way. Sit down consciously and inventory the work, and divide it up, and agree on the division. If you are unsure of it, wait a week and review your decisions. Repeat until comfortable.

    3. You spouse may have skills different than yours. Probably does. Use those skills. My experience is that in successful marriages the spouses are rarely carbon copies of each other, but they have learned to use each other's complementary skills to create something better than the parts. This is all true for type-1 diabetes as well.

    4. Be especially careful about decisions made, or arguments started, with a lack of sleep. In my experience the dumbest arguments and the worst decisions get made with a lack of sleep. Try to avoid putting people in the position of make decisions alone when they are exhausted. In my opinion, going to work exhausted, or calling in sick, is better than making type-1 decisions (especially that first month) all alone and exhausted.

    You have been parents of a type-1 diabetic for one week, and it has been rough. I feel safe in saying: it was rough for all of us, and not just that first week, but usually that first couple of months. But it will get better, and you will be the parents of a type-1 diabetic for the rest of your lives, so don't argue for the short term; work out your differences for the long term. Don't let your anger simmer, but resolve your issues, even if temporarily. In type-1 diabetes, a temporary solution may grow and slowly change into a permanent solution which is better than the temporary solution it replaces.

    Joshua Levy
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  8. aprilodell

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    I am so sorry to hear about this. That makes me sad. My hubby is doing quite well, but seems to never take things as seriously as I think they should be taken care of. I wonder if it is a product of growing up with a father who was an Oncologist and an uncle who was a pediatrician. I know dr's are the worst patients and his father often poo poos things as not a big deal, so I am wondering if it engrained in him. He has been attentive to his care in diet and bs checks etc. He did get up one night so far when the dr told us we needed to check on our son at 2-3 am. Otherwise as with everything kid related he just does not pay attention. If he has the kids all day and I come home and say did they do their homework, practice their instruments, clean their rooms etc, he will say no, he did not think about it. So I think that things like him supervising him in the Bahamas this summer when he will be more active (camping on a working sailboat) kind of keep me up at night as he will be at risk of being low. I have been reading and researching a ton, and this is with already having a lot of knowledge from working in a hospital and with a having a family member...he has done nothing. I think in the long run we will pull through it, I just don't like being in this place with him.
     
  9. aprilodell

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    Thanks for your thoughts...I think the feelings I have are those ones that I had when we first brought our oldest home from the hospital..and we did get through it and everyone was safe. I just miss the fun and the intimacy part that we had with the freedom of less supervision. I feel confident we will be ok, and we all joke about how I do everything in the family..one husband and two boys all with Attention Deficit Disorder can be a hard place to live with a Type A personality such as myself.
     
  10. aprilodell

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    That sounds a bit like us..and yes def a first new born baby. We both work outside the home. He does all the morning activities with the kids and I do the evenings. I tend to have more difficulty with sleep, he can get on an airplane and fall asleep before takeoff. I feel confident that we will manage the division of labor on this. I have read in my pink panther book, which is the one written out to the center we go to that the best time to do site changes is in the morning when on a pump, we are hoping to be on one soon, and this will be his time frame so though I will be def. aware of what to do, this will def. fall on his watch in the mornings, so he will have to be up to speed. He did say to me yesterday when I said to him about doing things.."this is a different time and a different world" and I guess he was saying I am going to be on top of more things or at least he is going to do the best he can do. I need to trust that this is true for things to not go bad.
     
  11. mamattorney

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    The other thing I wanted to mention is that there is a whole wide world of parenting responsibilities that extend beyond diabetes. I do want to point out that my husband has picked up on different responsibilities that have nothing to do with diabetes. For example - he ALWAYS takes the boys to early hockey on Saturdays when we'd probably normally split that. He does it because he slept the night before and I may or may not have slept well. And he does 95% of the grocery shopping to make my life easier. That kind of thing.
     
  12. Mish

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    My best advice would be that you shouldn't put too much stock in what your husband is or isn't doing today. Just like diabetes on week 1 looks very different from diabetes on week 4 or week 50 or week 200, parenting & marriage on week one bares little resemblance to what may or may not happen with your marriage down the road.

    Your child may be the one who was diagnosed with a life long disease, but your whole family suffered the blow of that diagnosis. Your roles and responsibilities will come into focus soon. Don't worry.
     

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