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Husband always ‘ill’

(65 Posts)
Daisy2018 Wed 09-Dec-20 17:52:27

Please tell me if I’m being unreasonable: my husband has always got something wrong with him. Either a cold, sore throat, aching feet etc. He will tell me his ailments each day which I can ignore most of the time, but over the last few years he is taking more and more time off work. He is self employed and then doesn’t get paid. He’s a few years younger than me and I’m due to retire soon but feel responsible for our income incase he takes too much time off, so not sure if I should carry on working. I just feel like saying man-up and get on with it. He then watches TV all day when he’s ‘ill’ which also drives me mad !

NanaPlenty Thu 10-Dec-20 09:35:19

Depression possibly or it could be habit. My man suffers a bit with depression especially in the winter. Having said that he also complains every day.... haven’t slept, can’t sleep, different aches and pains and I know most of it is just a habit he’s got into. I care deeply for him and have learnt to assess to a degree when it needs medical investigation and when it’s just general moaning. It is very wearing and I find like a lot of men he is always reluctant to do anything to improve whatever’s wrong! I would definitely try and get him checked out for depression and any other possibilities but also make sure you take time to look after yourself - time out etc. Can you talk to him and tell him how it’s affecting you/maybe try some counselling? My husband didn’t want to see a counsellor but when he did it was a real help. Best wishes to you .

kwest Thu 10-Dec-20 09:37:14

Sounds like it may have started as depression and now confidence has gone.
You could try taking to your bed (drastic and a bit scary I know) and saying I'm so sorry Darling but I am feeling ill and exhausted. I need you to take over everything until my energy comes back.
It's kind of tough love but you are giving him a chance to shine without criticism and to be the hero. Give him lavish praise when he gets the smallest thing right, try to ignore it when he gets things wrong. Remember you are ill and exhausted. I think two or possibly three weeks should crack it.

timetogo2016 Thu 10-Dec-20 09:40:51

Sounds like you married a male version of Dot Cotton.
And BBbevan is spot on.

Redhead56 Thu 10-Dec-20 09:41:50

We were self employed and just could not stay off work with coughs or colds. Even with serious hip problem I still had to travel to work. It could be a depression or midlife crisis coming on.
You obviously can’t get involved with him at the Doctors because of COVID. But you could suggest he ring up the surgery and ask for a phone consultation. He. won’t be on his own there are probably lots of people feeling the same way.

Susieq62 Thu 10-Dec-20 09:52:30

I suspect he is depressed so needs help

Battersea1971 Thu 10-Dec-20 09:58:19

I had this problem withmy husband. Eventually they tested his psa and found he had prostate cancer. I think you should take this seriously. I wish I had at the time and he would still be alive now. I thought he was being a hypochondriac. Get him checked. As often they have no symptoms just feel unwell. Take it seriously.

Kamiso Thu 10-Dec-20 09:59:01

My Dad’s diabetes was over-looked whilst every other test known to man was done. My stepmother keeping up a litany of complaints because he was constantly exhausted.

At his last GP appt he was told there was nothing wrong with him but as he was about to leave the room the doctor said that they may as well do a urine test.

Next thing my dad was being told to sit still, not move, as an ambulance was on the way. The urine test was obviously not good and the doctor panicking that he had missed a vital step.

I do wonder if that’s partly why we lost him in his early 70s but we’ll never know.

Grannyof8 Thu 10-Dec-20 10:04:49

I do think a visit to your GP is a good start. My husband is often ill too, and after referral to an immunologist it turns out he has a deficiency of something vital in his immune system which means he is much more susceptible to germs and viruses than most people. Now that he understands why he gets ill so often he deals with it much better, as do I.

JdotJ Thu 10-Dec-20 10:34:56


Think that is called ‘lazyitis’.

So true

Toadinthehole Thu 10-Dec-20 10:38:35

I’m sure it’s already been said, but he sounds depressed. This would give him physical ailments. He should see/ talk to his GP.

Coco51 Thu 10-Dec-20 10:42:51

My mother was a chronic hypochondriac. She went to the doctor every couple of weeks. One day my father was so fed up he said ‘Where have we got cancer today?’ She eventually died because she wouldn’t take medicine for osteoporosis and died from complications when she broke her leg.

Helenlouise3 Thu 10-Dec-20 10:47:48

Do you think he's genuinely ill or just likes to complain. I have a family member that has something wrong with her every day. In fact her husband says that the day she wakes up and says there's nothing wrong with her, then he'll begin to worry. mind you she never loses a day's work. I think some people just like talking about every tiny ailment.

Sadgrandma Thu 10-Dec-20 11:01:22

I had a sister-in-law who always had something wrong with her, so much so that we used to joke about it behind her back. Unfortunately she then became terminally ill and subsequently died. You can imagine we all felt terrible. I'm afraid it was much like the boy who called wolf. Daisy, I agree with other posts, that he should be encouraged to have a check up and remind him of the story of the boy who called wolf.

Nannan2 Thu 10-Dec-20 11:04:25

Its hypochondria- a lot of blokes 'suffer' from it? Tell him to get to the docs &prove it one way or the other- or just go to work with a cold.??

Natasha76 Thu 10-Dec-20 11:11:13

Gosh what a lot of harsh comments.

This could be depression and anxiety.
We have all had a very difficult year and focusing on aches and pains could all be a reaction to the uncertain times we are living in. We all cope with stress differently and not going to work is a way of protecting himself from coming into contact with other people. You could keep a diary for a few weeks and record his symptoms and then show him and suggest he speak to a gp. The gp will probably order blood tests etc. which may come back negative and then you can focus on this being a mental issue with him. It doesn't mean he is making it all up just feeling under stress.
In terms of you worrying about providing all the income, you will make yourself ill dwelling on this and it won't sort out hubby's problem either, so take care of your self and try to sort him out.

ElaineRI55 Thu 10-Dec-20 11:19:59

It really sounds as though he is physically and/or mentally unwell rather than just lazy- especially if he says he feels useless. Whatever is at the root of it, you need to have a non-confrontational chat and reassure him that you'll find a solution between you. It could be as simple as needing to take vit D tablets! Professional support and self-help strategies are very successful at improving mental well-being also. Once his health has been addressed, it sounds as though you need to have a chat about work/retirement plans and find something that suits you both. If he basically enjoys the work he does, could you retire but maybe help him with some aspects like doing the books or scheduling appointments etc? If he really doesn't enjoy his work any more, is it feasible for him to work part-time or do another job for a while or take over more of the housework if you're happy to work on a little longer? Things should definitely get better if you tackle it together, rather than letting worry or resentment build up. All the best .

Frogsinmygarden Thu 10-Dec-20 11:21:01

Totally agree with you M0nica. Having been in a similar position and having 'people' get on your case was soul destroying. I'm not saying be a mug, just be kind because things are often not what they seem.

Patticake123 Thu 10-Dec-20 11:56:37

Some people only get noticed when they feel poorly. Is he craving your attention?

Daisend1 Thu 10-Dec-20 11:57:40

Has your husband seen a GP recently and diagnosed with what H claims he is suffering from.?My only suggestion if this not being the case and he has not seen a GP then offer to accompany him to the surgery where he will get a diagnosis for what he is /maybe suffering and preventing him from going out to work.
My instant thought is depression which manifests itself in many ways.

icanhandthemback Thu 10-Dec-20 11:58:27

M0nica's post puts it succinctly. Even if it is only health anxiety or just a reluctance to work, there are usually reasons why this might be getting. Maybe he hates his work or is depressed and this is the way it manifests itself. If there are no physical health reasons, I would sit him down and listen sympathetically about how he feels about his job to see if there is a way he can earn without having to suffer. You work for the majority of your life time and the least somebody can expect is that they are not made unhappy by their job. Life is just too short.

sodapop Thu 10-Dec-20 12:07:17

I think you are being unreasonable Daisy your husband needs to find out why he feels as he does. A GP visit is called for, there are several reasons I can think of including depression as others have said.

eazybee Thu 10-Dec-20 12:18:50

I would try to be sympathetic, but insist, really insist, that he sees a doctor for a thorough medical.
Then you know where you are.
He may be resentful of the fact you will be retiring soon, and preparing the way for giving up work himself.

Battersea1971 Thu 10-Dec-20 12:21:12

There are a lot of harsh comments but he needs to be checked by his GP to find out there is an underlying condition. If there is he is bound to feel depressed. My husband had every test going but they didnt check his psa, by the time they did it had gone into his bones, and it was too late

Stella14 Thu 10-Dec-20 12:27:17

Is it possible that he is depressed? People are often very sensitive to every little twinge when depressed and repeated complaints of feeling ill and feeling physical pain are often a signpost to depression. If that is the case, things won’t improve without treatment for his depression.

Buttonjugs Thu 10-Dec-20 12:44:32

I seem to always have something wrong with me and do moan but I have to get on with it because I am self employed and a carer for my adult son with ASD. I am aware that I come across as a hypochondriac but I genuinely feel unwell a lot, if I get a cold it lasts for weeks, sacroiliac dysfunction, plantar fasciitis, a propensity to anaemia. My family don’t take any notice so I am definitely not imagining things for attention! On the plus side, ‘a creaky gate lasts longest’ according to my late Nan!