Posted by: Shira Danin | May 22, 2010

Being a partner (Boyfriend) of a Fibro Sufferer

Hello surfers and dear readers,

My name is Tomer, you may have heard (or read) my name is Shira’s posts.

I’m 28, finishing a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management, working, and occasionally act as Shira’s boyfriend ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided I want to participate with Shira in her struggle to raise awareness to this senseless and pointless disease (or syndrome as I understand) that she has, Fibromyalgia.

In my writing I will address the point of view of a Fibro patient’s boyfriend (or partner). I assume there are many like me and maybe we, the partners, can help each other with tips and talk about life in the shadow of Fibro.

For full disclosure, I don’t have years of experience in coping (not certain that is the right word) with a partner who has Fibro. Shira and I are together a little bit more than a year, so what I write should be taken with a grain of salt.

I met Shira about a year ago in one of the social networks online, and as you can imagine, no profile or c.v. contains the topic of Fibromyalgia. It took me a short while to discover what this illness means, and how it affects my beloved girlfriend.

It is definitely heart breaking to discover yourย  loved one suffers from pain constantly, and you remain helpless. How did it happen, that from the strong man, who protects and solves problems, I stand in battle facing this illness that is hurting my partner, and I’m completely helpless?ย  I learned very quicly that Ego stays out of the “game” โ€“ a game with no rules.

So what do you do? How do you behave?

I see it as a process of trial and error. I slowly learn when I can say something regarding a certain issue, or when to give up. When to stop pressuring her to let me do the dishes, because if she does them the repercussions will be dire, I also learned when not to give up and when to demand that I do such and other things. I do persist when I know if my wish is fulfilled, Ms. Fibro will come into the picture, and with her I can’t fight or reason, just with Shira.
One of the problems I learned to recognize is โ€“ Shira’s will to do things, things she could do without any problem before Fibro came, and today they carry a price tag. This is the insight I reached: every action she does carries a price tag with a Fibro label that Shira has to pay.

You have to find the balance, to listen and know her responses, in order to know when to interfere and when to let her do what she wants. Despite my short term vision which predicts a lot of needed rest and pain โ€“ the same price tag I mentioned earlier. My bottom line is to be attentive to her reactions, in order to know when to intervene and when to let things happen.

At least I learned a few things about myself; that if I choose to be in a relationship that includes a “third party” (fibro), selfishness has no room, and also, sometimes it is better I do things myself that I usually would jump for joy in doing them, because I know this “price tag” that is lurking in the dark. But between you and me, everything is minimized and petty comparing to the right and privilege of being with my Shira.

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Responses

  1. Tomer, I appaud you for stepping up and supporting Shira!! It shows not only your love but also your commitment to her! I can’t wait to see more of your future writtings, as a signifigant other coping on the outside of fibro!

    Not many men understand what us women are going through, and I feel never will, but the empathy you have for us as our partner/spouse helps to know you are trying!!!

  2. Thanks Tammy,
    he is wonderful, isn’t he?:)
    we are both lucky ladies.
    i applaud Tomer as well..

  3. My mother has been suffering from fibro for years now, and I’m constantly amazed at what she can do despite the pain. I offer to help her do things, but she just keeps chugging along somehow. I’m not sure if her pain threshold is higher because of it, or is she’s just that strong of a woman. I think it’s a little of both.

    Kudos, Tomer, for your approach. Remember that keeping those lines of communication open is vital.

    Cheers,

    Steve
    Energetic Healing


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