Hi Shallenb! Hi, Benny. I for one certainly welcome you here. But I am new here myself.
Yeah, I just read something Benny posted in another thread, as well as what you said, and it sounds like how my ex partner was when he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritus. He was in a job that required heavy lifting and manual work, and he unfortunately messed up his shoulder while at work by carrying a big bag of meat over it. He seemed ok, other than the shoulder, and I told him to see the doctor and take a sick day off work. The doctor did some tests and stuff and they came back that his shoulder was injured, but he also had mechanical back problems, wear and tear. More diagnosis came through very quickly that he had some Rheumatoid Arthritus in his finger joints and hips, and also Reynards Disease causing his circulation to be poor.
It all seemed to happen so very quickly, and it was a bit of a shock. He went into a depression and he kept making out that things were much worse than they actually are, because his state of mind would not let him see otherwise. He never really came out of that mind set either, and there was nothing I could do to help him because he refused my help.
(I know it is something I shouldn't really talk about on these forums, but I've never been 100% sure how much of it was the actual problems and depression, and how much of it was him making me feel worse, because he was abusive to me throughout that relationship and I discovered that he had indeed been lying to me about some of his physical issues. He would pull the card of "How dare I" ask him to do a little bit of housework now and then, or come to the shop with me when he felt up for it - getting taxis each way, or even just go out for a cup of coffee with me to get out of the house from time to time. But when it came to football on saturday or meeting his friends in the pub, that was never an issue.)
But I can relate to the sudden drop and the speed of how quickly it all seems to go from everything is normal to everything is not the same at all. It can be hard to relate to your loved one sometimes, because you have seen him as he was for so long, and suddenly that all changed.
Perhaps just sit down and talk to each other. Communication is vital in any relationship, regardless of how long you have been together or how well you think you know them. If it helps, maybe write out a letter to eachother, for the other to read and then sit down and discuss the issues that have been raised. It can be very difficult for someone who has little understanding of what chronic pain is really like, and depression can really fog things up and muddy waters if not discussed and tackled.
I personally think the depression is more at play here than the actual illness (for the relationship issues, I mean) and for the sufferer it can make everything feel 100 times worse, and for the partner it can feel like they are hitting their head off a brick wall. Just go through things slowly. It is important to remember that with depression and with pain, it really is like tackling each day at a time, and sometimes even each hour at a time. Remember to slow things down if he feels things are too overwhelming. And talk! When you are both calm and have nothing else that needs doing right that moment, try the letter idea, or just sit down next to eachother and talk things through slowly, tackling one issue at a time.
My current partner and I are lucky in that we knew eachother online for a long time before we got together, and already knew and were prepared for what personal issues we each had and may come down the road. We know how to talk and we know how to leave each other be if needed. We know how to be there for eachother. The pain and fatigue, the previous abusive relationship, the battle with depression over my life, I had touched on all these things previously before we even met. Same as she had confided in me with her demons and issues. We know what daily life is like for eachother, and yet we still got together knowing all these things, and knowing that my physical health was going to get worse as time goes on. I think that is what makes us so strong. We can talk about anything we need to, even if it is just needing to have someone there to laugh at YouTube videos with! Lol! We not not just together, but we are also best friends. It is lovely! And I truly consider myself lucky for having such a person to share my life with.
But I also understand the opposite end of the spectrum too. Having someone you love take advantage of you. Feeding off you. I don't at all believe that is what is going on with you two, but I do know that it can be incredibally hard to tap into a loved one sometimes. Where a penny for their thoughts need to be increased to £100 + your sanity for their thoughts. Communication is vital.