The Mighty Logo

To My Husband, Whom I’ve Hurt Because of Being in Chronic Pain

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

At first, I didn’t know how to start this. How do I apologize for something I have no control over? But that’s a cop-out. As much as I would love to believe that my disability gives me a pass for others to just deal with me no matter what I say or how I act. It’s not. Bad days are bad days. But when bad days come and you’ve exhausted all your resources to figure out a way to make me feel comfortable, make me feel happy, yet my skin is just crawling with anxiety, it is not your fault. It is not my fault. But it is my responsibility to let you know that. To let you know that it’s not your fault. That I’m sorry and I love you.

Pain can make a person say and do things that they don’t mean. There have been times it was easier to use you as a release for my pain and frustration than to try to let you in. It’s not easy letting someone past the wall and barriers I have built. Because therein lies this great what if. What if I let you in and you realize you can’t take me at my sickest? It is easier to push you away. I’m sorry I have pushed you away. Hell, I’m sorry I have pushed you away and then blamed you when you gave me the space I made you think I wanted. I don’t need more space. What I need is to know that it’s OK to be vulnerable. I know now that you’ve been trying to let me know this for so long.

There is nothing like being in a body that seems to be at odds with you. It’s something that is hard to put into words. I won’t sugarcoat it, it’s hard to be in a relationship when you have a chronic illness. My body has to be my first love or it will be neglected. There are good days and bad days. But even the good days can leave a sour taste in my mouth because I’m worried that if I enjoy the day too much, the fall from grace will be harder. You tell me to enjoy the day, you pull all your resources to find a way to continue the joy but I’m too cautious. I lash out telling you I was right when my body fails and I end up the next day recouping in bed. But I’ve forgotten how to see the beauty in those moments, in the good and the bad days we have. When the stars align and I am able to do more than enjoy a movie night with you on the couch. I’ve forgotten how to enjoy the small moments when it is just us watching a movie on the couch.

I will never apologize for my disability and you’ve taught me that. But I will apologize for not communicating with you, for pushing you away, for not appreciating the small time we have with each other. Thank you for always being there for me and I look forward to our relationship growing as we continue this life together.

Getty image by Fizkes.

Originally published: November 3, 2021
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home