Invitations one is not up to attending

An old friend and his wife have invited us to celebrate her birthday tonight. I’m battling a significant flare complete with pain, swelling, fatigue, sweating profusely and brain fog. How do I tell these wonderful people and my husband I’m not up to traveling (even for 20 min. Each way), visiting, playing cards, etc. I’ve tried to tell my husband but he either doesn’t understand or needs to attend, get out of the house, bc he told me, “you never feel good, so what does it matter. It’s her birthday and they want us to visit. You need to get out of the house.” I’ve told him to go without me.

How to I reasonably handle this form of manipulation? I’m usually reduced to tears and cave in and go. Then I am miserable, but put on my game face.

I’m just not up to going nor am I up for the emotional battle that I know will happen when he gets home for work. Please help with suggestions! I’m sick of living like this but I don’t have strategies for these “guilt” assaults.

No more "sucking it up" or "putting a game face on"!!!

Just be simple & truthful.

In a monotone or regular voice, firmly state that you are not going & for him to go and have a great time. Repeat as necessary.


Hi Avenk,

I did stay home… and he took Belle, our two year old, with him. I feel bad about staying home, but I HAVE to learn to listen to my body and this is a step in the right direction. Had I gone I’d have been miserable and made him unhappy too.

He does know about this illness but can’t fully “comprehend” how I feel. To his credit, he does try. Ive just recently put my needs first and he’s having trouble adjusting to that. I am too…

My husband and I aren’t military; our daughter’s husband is. I was in CA helping her while her husband was on a Navy boat. Sorry if I was misleading… We have talked about counseling, but have never gone together. I have gone alone and would love for him to go with me, but I doubt that will ever happen.

Thanks for helping me be ok with staying home. I truly appreciate your suggestions and support. I’m hopeful, by resting this weekend, that I’ll feel better sooner.

Hi Kim,

It sounds like you took an important step in the right direction by asserting yourself regarding your physical needs.

I was thinking, maybe it would help to let your husband know that you want to put yourself in a physical situation that helps you feel your best so you will feel better when he is home and you can enjoy his company more. I often wonder if men get frustrated because they just don't understand how we present our thoughts and needs. Men do it directly: "I need this, I want that," while women are much more subtle: "it would be so nice if i could get a break tonight. I wish I wasn't so tired." I think that sometimes men just don't get what we're telling them! So maybe something more direct (but also polite and respectful) would help. Example: You: "I need help around the house. I am unable to do x, y, and z now due to my illness. I would like you to help me with this so I can be in a better mood when you're around because I won't be in such bad pain." I don't think that most women are assertive by nature, so it's hard to put their needs first and to tell their husbands that in order for things to go on in a healthy manner, they need help and time off.

May I suggest that you print out some of our conversations, so he can understand that you aren't trying to make excuses to not go to something but that you truly ARE ill? Sometimes seeing a stranger say the same thing helps to understand what your loved one is going through, because it's easier to be detached when reading a stranger's account, and it's easier to see the difficulties that they suffer with fibro. Also, if that doesn't help, then perhaps bringing him to your next doctor's appointment, so your doctor can explain things to him might be helpful.

May I also suggest that you read some of the other threads here as we have other members who struggle with the same issue. It really does help to know that you aren't alone out there.

I really do think that it's healthier to get your husband more involved with the work around the house so you can get a break. With fibro, you just do need breaks and constant rest. There really is no other way around it. We are only mortal beings and are constrained by our mortal bodies. And fibro makes the body much more unable to do what your mind wants it to do. Hopefully a cure will be in the cards in the not-too-distant-future.

Hugs, sympathy, and a willing ear,


Oh wow, luna, you just succinctly said in 4 sentences what took me quite a few paragraphs to say. The prize goes to you today for being able to convey your idea in a short and direct manner which is very effective!



I love your hugs, Suzie. They feel so real and cozy, just what we fibro-ites need! Now, a teddy bear and some tea would be perfect!