How has RA affected your relationships?


Community Answers
  • lovefrompatrick
    6 months ago

    I am a new RA person. My wife who is used to having me do everything is having difficulty with helping me or supporting me, stating that she does not know how or what. She will then block me out when I struggle in pain as if I’m still not in pain. I will ask for a body rub or a section to help, but gets angry to do so or angry in general when it comes down to helping me with chores. She rather laugh and enjoy her i-phone stuff lost in a bubble. Being new at RA I’m trying to figure out what sets off flare ups. I work hard and some mornings are painful, not to mention getting home late and sitting dwn for a bit, then getting very stiff, cracky, and some sharp joint pains here and there as reminders.

  • Annalisa
    6 months ago

    Hi! I have a Masters of Education in Human Sexuality and I have a couple of suggestions.

    First, ask your husband if there are specific things that make him feel like you aren’t attracted to him, and specific things that you could do to overcome that. Is there a way you can say “no” to sex that doesn’t make him feel you’re saying “no” to him?

    Second, often people think they only want sex, but what they really want is intimacy, or touch, or focused attention. Would your husband be satisfied if you held him and told him how sexy he was while he took care of himself? What about if the two of you cuddled under a blanket in your underwear for an hour?

    Third, when you are up for sex, try to initiate. It’s hard to be rejected all the time, so having you ask will make him feel great. And if you aren’t up for sex, just tell him that you still find him sexy! It goes a long way towards making clear that it is the pain and fatigue, not him.

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator
    6 months ago

    Thank you for sharing, Annalisa! I am sure it is much appreciated as many people with chronic illness agree juggling a relationship with pain and fatigue is very difficult!

    All the best,
    Monica (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member)

  • qejm0g
    6 months ago

    This is a topic I’d like some help with actually! My children are grown and out of the house. I live with my husband and I am on disability from work. Like all of you, I have good days and bad days and then very bad days.
    I’m having difficulty helping my husband understand that my sex drive no longer equals his-that pain, medication and fatigue adversely affects that part of me. I’ve said it very gently and again quite plainly. He’s been understanding for the most part but occasionally has said he feels I no longer find him sexually attractive.This is far from the truth.
    How have others dealt with this situation… I can’t be the only one!

  • QTPie
    5 months ago

    I am in the same boat. My husband while 47 has the sex drive he had at 27. I DONT..I experience a lot of fatigue and pain. I also work part time, The last thing that’s on my mind at the end of a day is sex. But he gets in his feelings and gets offended at being turned down even though he knows how I feel. I think it’s selfish of him but I often feel guilty. It’s not his fault I have ra. So when I’m having an ok day I initiate.I also compliment him daily and give him lots of hugs and kisses and remind him how much I love him..giving lots of affirmation!

  • googoogaga
    6 months ago

    You’re not the only one. It’s gotten to the point that it is adding stress in my life. Sometimes I get jealous of the single ones…one less thing for them to deal with.

  • Dorca
    7 months ago

    Unfortunately i’m fearful that another person would not understand the “chaos” and would expect me to act in a traditional way..,something I can’t and am not willing to do to conserve my quality of life!

    I would love to have a soulmate, someone to share my life with but i’m So afraid

  • suann
    7 months ago

    I won’t even think about a relationship due to my ra…My mood comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb..I would not be a good compainion..

  • Richard Faust moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi 14h3wa0. I think many in the community understand what you are saying, but sometimes you just never know. I met my wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), after she already had RA for many years. Funny story – she was stuck in an elevator in the building we both lived in and when she got out she was spitting fire or as you say coming out “like the lion” and I thought “that is someone I need to get to know.” She, like you, wasn’t even thinking along those lines – so never know. More importantly, you be you and take care of you. Wishing you the best. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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