How not to feel a burden

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I have RA for many years and it has affected my relationships. I am currently in a 3year relationship and when we first got together I was having a good spell. However over this year, most days I am unwell now and it is putting pressure on the relationship in terms of not being able to have a good evening as I have to go to bed due to being in pain. Not being able to go for walks also and my partner finds it really hard to live with someone with RA. I feel sometimes I would be better off alone so I don't burden anyone else. Does anyone else feel like this and or having any coping tips?

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  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460
    edited 29. Apr 2020, 09:17
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    Hi @Cole

    welcome to the community it is lovley to have you here. I am sorry you are presenly having a bad time at the moment and feeling unwell most days. It is really difficult when we are going through a bad patch. It is hard and difficult for partners too especially if it is their first experience of us not being so unwell.

    Sorry to hear it is putting pressure on your relationship, this can make things very hard. Firstly don't be hard on yourself and please don't percieve yourself as a burden, you aren't. You are doing your best to manage a long term condition in a difficult phase. Relationships are complicate and if possible it is important to be open and honest about your feelings with each other. Sharing the situation together can help you to both feel involved and working together to make the best of things. Changing your activities or doing shorter walks might help, creating something new together that you both enjoy will help to bring you together.

    We have some useful information on our website here

    I am sure our members will have some good ideas for you as well as they have a wealth of experience. Keep asking questions and talking here. We can support you at this difficult time

    Best Wishes

    Sharon

  • Delaine
    Delaine Member Posts: 10
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    Hi @Cole

    My husband (sufferer) and I (carer) have been living with arthritis in our relationship for almost 20 years. The best advice I can give is two-way communication. You need to explain how you are affected by your condition (limitations, pain management, emotional needs and how they can help you etc) and they need to talk about how they feel, to ask questions etc. With a new relationship, you will most likely have to be the one to start the conversation and to encourage them to speak openly about how they feel. I appreciate this may be difficult, but start as you mean to go on. Communication is key, so they say, and I have found this to be very true.

    Plus, as Sharon says, finding new things you can do together during your bad patch will hopefully help bring you together as a team.

    Good luck to you.

    Delaine

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,466
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    I have had arther most of my life, my wife of 44 years says she hasn’t enough sympathy for everyday use, having arther means we don’t have to make excuses or say we are sorry for being the way we are. We are two strong characters.

    We hold our heads up and step forward with no hang ups, we are what we are and it doesn’t mean we have to change our personalities to suit others.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    I live alone so can't feel a burden to anyone, my ex-wife was unsympathetic so I swapped her for a cat 20 years ago after I discovered she was playing away!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    I've been with my other half for 18 years, and in the last three years he's been with me through mild ME, and now arthritis. The ME has mercifully lifted a lot lately (that's another story), but just as that cloud lifted the arthritic hip took over pinning me down. A big part of our relationship used to be fell walking and trekking holidays, but those have been completely side-lined and I was worried how that would affect us.

    But I agree, the key thing that helped was talking about it (something we're not very good at most of the time). If he knows how I feel about what's happening to me, and how the condition itself feels, he can understand how that affects the choices I have to make on a day to day basis, and we find new things we can do together, even if it's just short walks on "good days". I also make sure this doesn't limit his life too much, so he goes fell walking and on trekking holidays with his mates now. I realise I'm lucky that I feel I can trust him, and that he's a self-contained person (which I couldn't say about some of his predecessors). I don't exactly give him hourly updates - he can often tell when I'm in pain or wiped out - but just the occasional reminder doesn't go amiss.

    Medical conditions that alter your choices can put a strain on relationships, but for me isolating myself from my OH by not explaining what was going on in my head/body made it worse. Sharing seemed to help both of us.

    All relationships are different of course, but a friend who was a divorce lawyer said one of the the biggest causes of break-ups had been lack of communication, so I'd start there.

  • Tracie
    Tracie Member Posts: 57
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    Hey everyone gosh I can really relate lots of joint pain today n pulled a muscle feeling totally fed up and sorry for myself. Have been with my wonderful husband for 14 years last few years my condition has got worse only just after counciling resently starting to say how I feel cause I felt like a burden still do sometimes. I say to my husband lots of pain today so off for bubble bath and glass of wine really helps have a cry and feel better. Its constant learning to talk to people and dont feel ashamed or a burden you would listen and help a loved one .
    Hope you feel better and get some relief
    Tracie x
  • duffer
    duffer Member Posts: 46
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    Hello - my problem is not being a burden to a partner but being a burden to my only daughter. We contact each other most days and she has clearly tired of me saying I'm in pain or a bit down, so when she asks I always say 'fine' or 'ok' now. If she only knew how much I'm longing for her to listen, understand and even sympathise. I try and take the grown up view that it may be hurting her to see that her lively, active and 'fun' mother has become old, crippled with arthritis and desperately needing a bit of love and understanding. I don't know whether I should be expecting this or even try to explain - again. Anyone else have this problem? Duffer.

  • Al
    Al Member Posts: 169
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    Hi and welcome,Duffer

    we all feel that way at times

    It's great to meet you, you have come to the right place for information and conversation with others like you living one or more forms of arthritis

    There are many here more than happy to share their experience as you share yours.

    This link is for general information regarding any type of arthritis

    About arthritis

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis

    Find out more about the different conditions, treatments and how to manage your symptoms.


    if you have a specific question please post in the Living with Arthritis discussion or for general chat in the Chit Chat discussion. Just join in wherever you feel comfortable

    Al

  • duffer
    duffer Member Posts: 46
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    Hello Al - thank you for that - I think the problem is really isolation for so many of us - I don't blame anyone - it's just how it is..…...I miss not having my carer visit to chat but all in good time! It's good to know VA are there for so many of us, thank you. Duffer.

  • Tracie
    Tracie Member Posts: 57
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    Hi duffer
    Def yes we all feel like a burden sometimes but be honest with everyone. My daughter told me off recently for not being honest about my pain bless her. as a mum you say yes I'm fine big learning lesson to be more open with people. They wouldn't ask if they didnt mean it .
    Take care
    Tracie
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,490
    edited 21. Jun 2020, 06:48
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    @duffer

    I take the view that people don't want to know how I really am or how anyone really is to be honest so reply is always fine thanks how are you? I think it's really only a polite greeting.

    One or two people do care and do want to know and they will push further.

    Come in here if you need to have a moan or let of steam we are the people who actually mean it when we say "How are you"?

    @Cole I am so sorry I am actually 'lucky' because within months of meeting my husband l had back surgery Chest pains and a huge all of the body swelling up allergy so he got a good hit of my health issues!

    Ask him whether he is finding it hard living with someone with RA or really hard RA affecting someone he loves? You might be surprised ((()))

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    My standard answer when asked how I am is "bloody triffic", they usually get the message!