My wife's back pain is destroying our marriage
Let me start off by saying that I really feel terrible that I considering leaving my wife, but it may be the only way I can find some joy in my life.
After the birth of our 2nd child, my wife developed chronic back pain from pregnancy, which doctors have not been able to diagnose or treat in any substantial way. She has given up on all treatments, and takes a heavy dose of pain killers everyday. Because of this, she has been unable to work, but has not filed for disability or looked for a job in 2 years. She also does not sleep in our bed as it causes her pain to be much worse that if she sleeps on the couch. Finally, the lack of a 2-person income has forced us to file bankruptcy this month.
I purposely assigned this to the Disability category, as I believe the money problems, lack of sex drive (for both of us), and poor communication could be solved if the physical pain was gone. I am at a very low point currently and find it difficult to care about anything. I am still finding the motivation to go to work everyday to provide for my children, but not much else.
So far, every attempt to discuss our situation has been brushed off by her, or she will agree to a course of action, but not follow through with it. I don't really want to start with ultimatums, but perhaps if I explain my feelings and express my contemplation of divorce, that may be the catalyst for change. I realize that sounds like a cold-hearted thing to do to someone in pain, but i am also suffering in (emotional) pain because of it.
If you took the time to read through my story, then please reply with what you would do in my situation. Also if you are in a similar situation, I would like to hear it as well.
Is there family (hers) who are concerned about her, as well?
If I were you, I would have a group sit-down with her Dr. and tell him what you have said here.
If there is no medical reason why she has "dropped out" of your marriage, her parental role, and from a quality life, then an intervention is needed. Get a drug treatment specialist to help you do this.
State your ultimatum and force her to confront her drug use.
Surely you children are suffering, too.
Her family is concerned as well, but realize as i did that you cannot force treatment on someone. The last recommendation from her doctor was to implant an electrical device to give small shocks to her spinal cord to "fool" her brain into not feeling pain. There certainly is a medical cause for the pain, however the doctors have been unable to diagnose it correctly. She has already had multiple back injections and RFA's (Radio Frequency Ablations) where certain nerves are burned so they can die off. Nothing has helped. I believe i'll try the sit down with her closest family member, and perhaps express my feelings at that time.
Agree with Susiedqqq...and although you say there's certainly a medical cause, do understand that the mind and body ARE ONE ENTITY (think fully conjoined twins) so although it's chicken versus egg, any psychosomosis that either causes or 'just' exacerbates a physical problem is still itself a bona fide condition, no less serious for not originating at all or 100% in the body.
For example, my husband was in a serious motorway accident with an out-of-control articulated lorry nearly 2 decades ago and fractured some back discs for which there's no cure apart from back surgery which carries a risk of ending up worse off, meaning he's opted to live with its random on-off nature. When we were still in our first 2-3 years, if we had any usual stage-related arguments but ones where he thought it meant I might end the relationship (baggage from early-quitter exes), his back pain would either surface to begin with or any mere twinging would worsen considerably to where he was partially paralysed. I noticed really miserable, rainy days had the same effect, and other similar triggers that negatively affected his mood and otherwise optimistic outlook. Now that he feels as safe as houses with me, his bad back days are few and far between (whereupon he uses a TENS machine and ibuprofen).
If it's NOT contributed to or actually caused via the psychological then my suspicion, given the clues of her passivity (or apathy) when it comes to seeking remedies and official leg-ups, is that your wife (as opposed to my husband) is basically trying to hide from having to live a proper life. But as you can probably work out - that would suggest depression (anger turned inwards) ...which takes us full circle back to the psychological domain.
Never underestimate the power of the mind, in other words. It is FAR more powerful than the body (given a level playing field, so to speak).
Yes, you CAN force her. Certainly if she doesn't want to lose her marital and familial life. There's nothing wrong with issuing ultimatums/applying serious emotional pressuring except where it's a lazy, FIRST resort. That's not the case with you, is it. And yes, you can certainly make an appointment with her doctor (or yours) to talk over your concerns and ask for intervention.
If you lack the motivation then you need to cease thinking about doing it and just one, two, three, JUMP into it. Force yourself. If it takes you going away for a few days, say a weekend, to get out of her negative forcefield (because obviously her depression is starting to affect you, now), then so be it and I thoroughly recommend you do just that in order to regain enough of your mental oomph to pick up that phone and call your local surgery. You could even call a mobile chiropracter. Even if his manipulations provide only a shortish span of relief, at least that lessens the weight of the black cloud enough for one of you to step up to action.
Hope that helps.
I do sympathise, as I came here with a similar but totally unrelated with your state of wife and communications.
Read SOULMATE again and again, as this woman is good and sorted me out. In fact I have just read some facts about her which were unknown to me and helps me understand too.
Good luck mate
Gee . . . you said: 'which doctors have not been able to diagnose or treat in any substantial way."
But then you further explain some REAL medical issues.
Time for a sit down with the Dr. and find the latest in pain management techniques.
This is all causing her to "drop out" of life, and for sure, it's not fair to you and the kids. You sound depressed, too.
Susie's right, you did, and wife is indeed opting out. (You need to read her again and again, too.)
Hate to be sexist, but.. is her doctor female? I only ask because, what with them better understanding on the emotional level the relationship in terms of effect between mind and body courtesy, e.g., of the menstrual cycle, they tend to be more open-minded as well as more sympathetic and determined not to prematurely write off either the physical or the mental if the quest for diagnosis doesn't yield fairly instant results. If he's male, therefore, and letting things drag on too slowly, I recommend demanding a second opinion from a female.