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confused...my husband seems so distant

I habe dealt with my ileostomy really well I think. I view it as life and health instead of pain and suffering! Why is it that my marriage was better before the surgery when I was so sick? Can someone please help me understand why my husband of 23 years is treating me more like a friend? I miss the intimacy and closeness so mich! He is making me feel like a freak of nature!!!! Help!!!

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Maybe he is still viewing you as sick. Maybe he is trying to allow you time to heal. I'm sure he doesn't want you to think he's about to jump you and not sensitive to your health. Also maybe he has some fears for what you have gone through.

Have you tried to sit and talk about these things with him?

Tracie

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I have been going thru the asame thing recently. My husband has become distant, indifferent, and irresponsible. We have been married less than a year. He works in cardiac rehab. He seems to think all of a sudden i should be able to do all the cooking & cleaning & work 40+ hours a week. We got in a big fight this morning cause i want him to help around the house. He walked away. Later that night i tried to resolve the issue & he walked away again. He will not communicate with me & i think he is depressed. I left the house for a few hours & he was asleep when i came back. I wonder if this is normal for couples to go thru after all we just experienced? Mine acts like i should be completely recovered. He doesnt understand i cant be intimate, cuz physically & mentally im not there yet. You are not alone. It seems this stresses our relationships.

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Unfortunately, sexuality often takes a bad turn after a body altering surgery like an ostomy. It will take time for your husband to accept your new body, just as it's taken you some time. He may, as TracieB said, be afraid of hurting you. Time and patience, and some subtle invitations on your part may help him, as will a lot of non-sexual physical contact -- hugs, back rubs, etc. This is a process, a journey, and it sounds like right now the two of you are in different places on the journey. Give him time to catch up with you; he will in time, with some encouragement from you. You sound like you're in a good place, and I'm glad for you about that. I hope in time (and a short time) your husband will "catch up" and you will have an active sex life again. Love and Light, Candace

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I can't imagine you should be expected to do all those things even if you were totally back to normal. Why should you have all the responsibilities at home? Where is his part? He only has one job. You have two. That's not right.
Blessings,
Alan

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Gosh Alan, I wish more men were that enlightened. Unfortunately, there are still alot of men who buy into that "man as breadwinner and woman as the housewife" #@*! They don't realize most women have multiple jobs as an employee, mother, housemaid and cook. I, unfortunately, am married to that type of man. That's the way it was with both of our parents and so that's the only thing we knew.
Anyway, getting back to Terree's question. I totally understand. It seems, again, we as the woman have to make the extra effort. When I approach my husband for intimacy he is responsive, but I am always the one who has to "make the first move". We've discussed it and he tells me that he's still afraid of hurting me. As our caregivers, they saw us go through a lot of pain and suffering. I think it's just going to take a nudge from you (or a hit on the head) to get the ball rolling again. Good luck to you and hang in there!

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Unfortunately there are still baby boomers who still believe the June and Ward Cleaver recipe for a healthy marriage still works. OK I still "Like Ike" but I am no longer in the mid 20th century and never really was regarding social norms and mores as they are concerned with marriage. I just had my 20th anniversary of life "pooping in a bag". My last surgery, January 1999 involved the removal of my rectum and as a result of that with extremely diminished sphincter muscles, I understand why 100 mg of viagra from the VA does not work as well as it should. My wife has debilitating fibro myalgia where every part of her body can hurt, head to toe. Bottom line is that we communicate regarding sex. Of course I do not want to hurt her and she does not want my feelings hurt when a 100 mg Viagra works only half way up or down. Therefore we communicate, talk a lot and do not hide what we are feeling. Today is our 28 year 9 month wedding anniversary . We celebrate it by months and years along with our dating anniversary which was 6 August 1983. I see that there is a direct correlation between the state of the economy then and now and the state of sexual health. Would you believe when I put in a claim to the VA after I knew quantitatively and qualitatively the viagra was not helping our weak economy (joke), the VA came back and said you are service connected with your condition and the condition is termed "deformed penis" Give me a break, I was never shot there on active duty.
HUMOR IS SO VITALLY IMPORTANT WHEN IT COMES TO CONFRONTING SEXUAL PROBLEMS AND COMMUNICATION MUST BE FIRST AND FOREMOST. MY WIFE REFERS TO ME AS HER SEX SLAVE: I DO THE DISHES, LAUNDRY, SERVE HER MEALS, VACUUM AND GIVE HER BREAKFAST IN BED EACH MORNING WHEN I GET UP AT 0420 HUNDRED HOURS TO GET READY FOR WORK WITH MY JOB AS AN ARMY JROTC INSTRUCTOR. I AM NOT SHOUTING WITH THE USE OF CAPS, JUST MAKING A POINT.

Once I am retired from teaching Army JROTC in a couple of years, I will be in the uniform of our great nation a total of 40 years. At least my last tour of duty working with at risk youth involves their own wellness: "pull up your pants and don't have sex" Seems like that is my new battle cry. I still Remember the Alamo and Remember the Maine" and remember like it was yesterday the healthy economy we had in 1983. If all of this put a smile on your face, then I am a happy man.

Take Care Everybody,

Justin

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It bas been a year and 10 months since my surgery tho, I think some days he is my same loving husband a d then maybe a week goes by with nothi g. I am always the aggressor since the surgery. I will give it more time....thanks all!

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Terree,

I do not think time is the answer. I would simply sit down with your husband and talk about why he runs hot and cold regarding his attention to you. After a year and 6 months after surgery, unless there are any complications that were not foreseen, your husband should know that you are no longer sick and feeling better than you have ever felt prior to needing the ostomy surgery. Having colitis for 21 years prior to my illeostomy surgery clearly made me see the difference between always feeling sick and finally feeling good as new again. Again, talk to your husband because he may have some things to say about his not accepting your illeostomy 100%. You can tell him what my wife tells me now "as far as I am concerned, you are the same now as you were prior to your illeostomy surgery with the exception that your "asshole" is now in your front."

Thanks,

Justin

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Thanks Justin. I will talk again. I think theres more to it, call it womens intuition......at least you made me chuckle!

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Your probably right that there is more to it than what appears on the surface. Glad I was able to at least make you laugh. Best of luck.

Justin

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I'm actually the "breadwinner" in our household. I really think he's depressed. He's never been good at expressing his feelings or communicating what's wrong. He bottles things up and it takes its toll on his body. He was never the one to make me the "housewife" plus hold a job. He'd always told me he would help around the house. We'd talked about it early in our relationship because I did not want the life my mom had and how hard she worked to do her job plus keep the house clean, plus cart the kids all over. I believe our marriage is a partnership and we should share in the duties. I don't know what's going on with him that his attitude has changed?

Thanks Alan. I can only hope my husband will open his eyes to that point of view.

Justin, I just wanted to say thank you for serving our country. What branch were you in?
Trista

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I have the opposite problem. My husband has been gong through some issues and I really do not know what to do. He gets upset that the kids are around too much and my grandson. Since I completed chemo he wants me to himself all of the time. He also has very low self esteem, is prone to anger and I am not sure what to do about all of this, as it is relatively new for him. He is very kind, etc and I could not ask for a better husband in the sense he does stuff around the house, helps if I need anything, etc...but I am not sure what to do about the other. Has anyone gone through this before? I am concerned for him and I have told him I am concerned but he will not see a counselor.

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Trista,

I am a retired Army Officer still serving our country by teaching Army JROTC to at risk students. I use my ostomy bag to motivate my cadets by utilizing humor with the pouch. It seems to work most of the time.

Thanks,

Justin

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Justin,

Thank you for your service to our country. My best friend, LT, was in the Navy, had a break in service and then joined the Air National Guard. After 26 years total of active duty she is retired and we live together in FL. I am a retired nurse, my last 21 years were as a school nurse.

Enjoyed your comments and yes they made me chuckle.

Again thanks for serving and God Bless the USA.
Clara

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Clara,

Thank you for your service to the children of our nation and to your best friend, LT, for all of her years of service. Glad I was able to make you chuckle. Clara, do you have an ostomy?

Take Care,

Justin

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Intimacy is always a question when someone is going to have surgery and they know they will end up with a new "feature" on their exterior part of their anatomy or even after surgery it is something that really "bothers" those who have been very intimate prior to surgery or before surgery. How do I continue to be "intimate"? I will say this, when I returned home from the hospital after 7 days in the hospital, I could not wait, so the first night we were (my wife) intimate again, did not hurt my stoma, did not affect my wife at all that I now had a new exterior part (I had to move it around or hold it up, tape it up (the pouch--make sure you use tape that won't rip your skin! Oh, and I still had my metal stitches where the surgeon had cut on me. There are "intimate nightware" that will help overcome the fact that a pouch is now an exterior part, that will aid in continue to have intimate relations without worrying about the pouch getting in the way. The stoma is not going to get hurt! But I agree with some of the others, you need to sit down and talk about it or take your mate to see the Wound Ostomy Nurse and let them explain that there will be no problem with intimacy. At our United Ostomy Association Conference in August 2013, Jacksonville Florida, one of the focus sessions will be on Intimacy and Dating/Marriage. Sometimes though, as a post script to this, you do have to take things slowly and ease back into the intimate relationship you had before surgery. Good luck and stay positive!

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