Compassion Fatigue?

I was diagnosed with Fibro several months after I had my 3 year old. Symptoms started when she was 2 weeks old. I have been married 6 years. My husband has had a difficult time with me not being like I was before Fibro. We started counseling 4 weeks ago and he told our counselor he has “compassion fatigue.”. I’ll certainly vouch for that. I feel so alone with my illness. I admit I do complain about how I feel, but if I got some love, caring, and understanding it would really help. Anyone else have problems with their spouse dealing with your diagnosis?

My boyfriend (we've been together for 20 years now) most of the time is wonderful about it. He does get frustrated at times, though. He gets frustrated at the doctors for not being able to do anything for me, and he never admits it, I know he gets frustrated at me for not being able to do a lot of things at home. But he does TRY... which is such a blessing. I know others aren't as fortunate as I am.

I think I've had Sjogren's since I was a child, and for both of my babies, I was exhausted. I was 17 when I had my son, and I remember being just so wiped out, I would cry. I can imagine what you are going through right now! I'm sorry you're going through this by yourself. I'm sorry, but I don't have any pearls of wisdom for you, about your husband. But here is a small idea; next time he gets the flu really badly, and his is at his worst, tell him that this is what you feel like every day, but you don't get any relief from it.

*Gentle Hugs*


Hi mrsg, I'm new here and this is my first post! I've had fibro and other chronic pain issues (my back) for about 25 years. My children are grown and gone. My husband, indeed, has "compassion fatigue". He deals with depression, as do I, and he often doesn't even feel up to preparing a meal for us so we end up with cereal. One thing that I've found that seems to get him going again is getting out without me. He has a buddy he goes out with at least once a week for coffee or to a movie and they get to talk about guy stuff. He also has hobbies like fishing and hunting. He makes sure I'm good with what I need before he goes and I really think it helps him recharge a bit. Maybe your husband needs a little "me time"?

I have alot of problems with my husband also. We have been together for 6 years and I have had FM for 5. I was just diagnosed 3 months ago and he said to me why are you diffrent now. Well I told him I have been in so much more pain over the last year I really worked hard to find a Doctor to tell me what was wrong with me (after 6 dr saying they did not know). I hurt so much more now then I did 5 years ago but can not make him understand.

Most men want to fix things and it drives them nuts when they can't. This could be why they are having a problem dealing with your fibro/pain and all that it encompasses. Actually there are other people who aren't very compassionate either, family members, friends, you get the point. They just want it to fix itself, if only. Most won't understand until something disabling or debilitating happens to them.

I'm not sure how to help you, but I wanted to know you aren't alone. My husband doesn't necessarily understand all of my pain, which has been almost constant for the last year. I think the one thing going for us is that just like he may not understand my pain, I have had to understand how things are for him when he is dealing with depression. I think counseling is a good start.

MaggieMay, good on you for not giving up on getting a doctor and an answer. I'm sorry that your pain is so much worse now. It's so unfair to suffer like this! I really do think that fibro is progressive and your experience seems to mimic that belief.

I suggest that you print out some of our threads, along with the discussions, so your husband can see how much other suffer. It should be an eye opener! Sometimes it takes hearing it from someone who is not a friend or related to you in order for it to sink in. It's worth a try.