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Spouse of husband facing heart surgery
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Spouse of husband facing heart surgery

How do I cope with a husband who gets angry whenever I try to discuss his CABG surgery in two weeks? I am an information-gatherer and want to know all about the procedure/recuperation. I bought him a book and researched on the internet. He refuses to read anything or discuss anything with me. Whenever we do, an argument ensues and I back down (in tears) so I don't stress him out. We are not well off, in our early 50's and both have 2 jobs just to get by. I'm afraid this procedure is going to bankrupt us and I am concerned about that aspect. He yells at me and calls me insensitive when I try to discuss financial issues. I have no parents to talk to, my sister and I aren't very close, my children don't want to hear my problems and I don't have any friends to speak of. How am I going to get through this? Any suggestions from other spouses of bypass husbands?
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Avatar_f_tn
I've never been in your shoes, but I was thinking of a couple of reasons why he gets angry when you discuss it:

1) He's scared. My grandma had bypass surgery a few years ago and it's very hard on you emotionally. It's pretty scary to think about. It could be his way of dealing with it...trying to pretend it's not happening, you know? Just comfort him and keep him positive and maybe talk about how he'll feel so much better afterwards, etc.

2) Please don't be mad at me for suggesting this, but maybe... he just might feel you're being insensitive if every time you bring up the surgery, it's only about the financial part. I know how expensive it is, especially if you don't have good health insurance, but this surgery is needed to pro-long his life. If you bring up the money issue too much, he may feel that you only care about how much it's going to break you, than about the risks and seriousness of even needing a surgery like this is.

I don't know how it works, but I don't think you have to pay up front, right? Is there some kind of payment plan or something? Is there any way your kids would/could help out with the bills? Do you have a church you could ask to help raise money like a car wash or something? Just a couple ideas.
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Avatar_f_tn

I agree with aruba417. I know you have some anxiety about bills and his surgery too.. but I wouldn't discuss this with your husband because he also has a lot on his mind and his health really does need to come first. Perhaps talk to a friend or a counselor about these issues and/or try aruba's suggestion !
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree to with above comments.

One thing I've learnt about men is they deal with things differently to women.

Try and carry on as normal as possible (easier said than done I know), I faced major surgery a few years ago and leading up to the surgery, I did not want to talk about, I thought about it constantly but I found myself near to breaking point if people tried to discuss it with me, I just needed normality.

I hope everything works out for you. *hugs*
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Avatar_n_tn
We are in Canada and don't have to pay for the procedure. It's loss of income and drugs afterward for which we have no coverage that I am concerned about. I guess it would be different if we were a happily married couple, but that's just not the way it is. He has cheated on me and is verbally abusive. He constantly blames me for everything that goes wrong. I would not ask my children for money -- they don't have any anyway. I have no affiliation with any church and this is a small, affluent community. I don't need any gossip about me and my family. By the way,I don't just talk about money with him, perhaps I didn't elaborate. I have tried to explain what he could and would go through with the surgery, and alternative options he could investigate but he gets defensive and negates everything I do. He doesn't think anything about taking me for granted and expects me to do all the heavy work around here though. I guess you are right about men not dealing with things as women do. I think in some situations like this, the caregiver suffers more than the patient. Thanks for your concerns though.
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Avatar_f_tn
My husband tells me that I "talk everything to death".  I also "worry everything to death".  "Talking about it isn't going to make it go away.  It isn't going to make it any easier.  It isn't going to do anything except make you think about it even more which will just depress you more."  Men are completely opposites from us in every way possible, I guess.  Good luck.  Wish I knew what to tell you.
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Avatar_f_tn

It sounds like there are some underlying issues here. Can you seek counseling? I know you said you lived in a small town, but can you drive to a larger city and get counseling... so you can address all of these issues?
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Avatar_n_tn
Counselling? Well, that would require two people who care enough to want to make a difference in their relationship. That doesn't exist in my case. He stays with me because I do everything for him (and now am not allowed to complain because of his health). I stay with him because I can't afford to leave. I was just hoping to get some support from other caregivers in my situation and I think pgb's words made the most sense. I guess I may as well give in, give up and shut up! This too shall pass... Thank you all for at least responding. It's nice to know someone, somewhere is thinking of you.
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Avatar_f_tn

Actually you are getting support from us, now that we know the entire story. Sometimes it takes awhile before people get to the root of the problem. You say that you stay with him because you can't afford to leave. Are you working? If not, can you stay with friends or relatives? If this man is verbally abusive and treats you so bad... regardless of his condition, you need to put yourself first and when you don't put yourself first, you can't help others.

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Avatar_f_tn

Let me revise my first sentence I just wrote. You have been getting support from us all along because we are telling you our honest opinions and doing so, with what information we have. If we were lying to you, then we wouldn't  be supporting you.

I have a question for you: Have you forgiven your husband for his affair?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you. I am empowered. Sortof.... :)
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Avatar_f_tn

Catterwall,

Just know that whatever age you are, you can change your life and be happy. I believe everyone deserves to be happy and if they are in a bad relationship, then they have every right to either seek counseling or leave. I hate it when I hear that someone feels trapped in the relationship.... trust me, you are not trapped. Just remember that, okay?  

I understand your angry towards this man and I can feel it. He can have someone else take care of him while you save up money on the side.

I hope you find a solution... your life is NOT over. Please remember that.
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P.S. - Hold your head up high.
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No way! Why should I? We had only been married 3 months (we aren't kids, ya know, I am 51). Maybe if his response hadn't been "it was nothing, get over it", I might have actually believed he felt some remorse over being unfaithful. He's not a nice man -- manogamous or not. Yes, as I said in my first post, I have two jobs (and HUGE debts), no friends and only son with house has baby and 2 monster dogs. My only pals are my cats and I'm not leaving them. Who wants to take in a dirt-poor 50-yr. old with 6 cats??! As I said before, I DO appreciate you all caring enough to even just respond and it's not an easy thing to get a feel for someone's emotional state from this type of format. Thanks all the same...I will go hide in the basement now... (that was a joke) (although I do...)
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Avatar_f_tn

I'm glad you feel better and what I said is so true. I can kind of relate because I had a neighbor who was in the same boat. Her husband was a horrible man... he would scream at her constantly and wave his cane at her ! She didn't seem to have any friends and would always walk with her head hanging low. She took care of him 24/7 and sacrificed her own life to take care of this horrible man.

You are in your boat, and I could be wrong.. but it appears to me as if this man has disrespected you all along and now that he is sick and unable to take care of you... you have resentment. Do you feel stressed out, trapped and worried ? I think not talking to him about the bills right now is a good thing... I know that there is some underlying anger there because he doesn't appear to appreciate or respect you. And that seems to be the real problem here. If this man is not willing to go to counseling and you just see this as a relationship of convenience and not for happiness... you need to get your power back and leave. It isn't healthy being around someone who is taking your power away from you by verbally abusing and disrespecting you.

I hope that you get your life back, make friends and do whatever it takes for you to be happy. It isn't too late.
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Avatar_n_tn
As much as all that sounds good theoretically, in the real world life is about existence. (well, unless you are wealthy and don't have to concern yourself about petty things like FOOD.) A good portion of my life has been Toilet Town and I am realistic enough to know that for the most part, it is my own fault. My mother used to say "you dig your own hole." I have accepted my purgatory and no one (but myself of course) is aware of how I feel. Most people assume women are rocks -- able to juggle family, career and unforseen crises without putting down the frying pan. We suffer in silence. We put on the "good face". I was raised to act as if everything was in it's place, no issues in our family and learned my lessons well. I read something in a book that I have decided is my life philosophy, "there are ways and ways of dying and some leave you walking around."
In the words of Forrest Gump, "and that's all I have to say about that." N.B. You'll have to excuse me, I am a journalism grad and get carried away.
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We do dig our own holes, but we can certainly dig our way out of them. Sometimes we need tools (resources) to help us get out.

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i know you are suffering but in all honesty, you actually are quite humorous! i dont know if you realize it or not but you are.i hope you can smile too. your story reminds me of a term called "learned helplessness". studies were done of (i think it was either a dog or elephant) big difference i know but what it was doesnt matter. anyway, it was chained up on a leash unable to go anywhere. eventually, it accepted its fate. after time, the chain was removed and the animal was allowed to go free. it did not. it stayed. it stayed in its own peremeter (sp)

i hope that perhaps your husbands surgery may "change" his lifestyle/personality. my dad who is in his early 60's had a heart attack a few years back. he is very set in his ways and was unhappy in general. he smoked since he was 16 and drinks beer daily. that heart attack and operations afterwards changed him. he has quit smoking, and gets out more. he seems a lot peppier. yes, still has his beers but what can ya do? sometimes life altering events can change someone for the better. i hope it does in your case.
are you taking any medications for depression at all by the way?
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Avatar_f_tn
Please don't let what I said make you feel more trapped than you did before you posted here!  I was only pointing out the obvious differences in the way most women feel and think and the way most men feel and think.  I in no way meant that you should shut up and accept any of it.  It makes me very sad and upset to read the posts you have written.  I can almost feel your depression just by reading them.  I am so sorry....
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