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#1 March 27, 2019 07:18:40

stuck
Registered: 2019-03-27
Posts: 1
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How to Support A Spouse With Graves?

Hello, I firstly will apologize for the rambling nature of this post…

Last year my partner and I began experiencing problems. She was distant and just not her self. We've always had a loving relationship and were even trying to get pregnant. Seemingly overnight it changed from that to her not knowing if she loved me anymore and leaving to go and stay with her relatives… twice. I knew something was wrong and suggested counselling, which she initially rejected, but eventually she relented and agreed to go and see her doctor. She was later diagnosed with Graves' disease.

I'll admit at first I was relieved that we had a reason for her behaviour and how she was feeling. I thought it would just be a case of her taking some pills for a few weeks and she'd be back to her old self. How little I knew.

I really am trying my best to be as supportive as I can be, but I feel like anything I say or do just makes things worse. If I try to ask how she's feeling, I get told to leave her alone. If I don't ask, then I'm uncaring. She says she feels like she's stuck in a rut in life, but refuses to do anything to change it. The other day I asked her if she wanted to go out to dinner and it ended with her crying for 30 minutes. Worst of all she says she doesn't want to think about our future together and doesn't know if she still wants a family.

I'm at my wits end. I need to believe that deep down she still loves me and that this is the illness talking… but I guess I want to know if this is normal behaviour for someone with Graves? I know there are no guarantees in life, but it would make me feel a whole lot better to know that this is likely just her illness and I just need to stick by her for however many months/years it takes to get this under control.

I'd also like to know what, if anything, I can do to be more supportive. How do you be there for someone who at best treats you like an inconvenience? Any advice from those who have experienced the strain that Graves can have on a relationship would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you to all who have read this to the end.

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#2 March 29, 2019 13:35:46

Kimberly
Online Facilitator
Registered: 2008-10-14
Posts: 4101
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How to Support A Spouse With Graves?

Hello and welcome - I'm sorry that you and your wife are going through this. Graves' absolutely does put a strain on family relationships.

Stabilizing thyroid hormone levels can make a huge difference in terms of emotional swings – so hopefully, your wife is keeping up with regular doctor’s visits and with her daily regimen of taking medication.

Other than that, one suggestion would be to talk to your wife directly to see how you can best support her. Some patients *want* their family members to be closely involved with their treatment plan, while others would prefer to *not* have to discuss their Graves'!

Family counseling might also be helpful if your wife is willing to pursue this.

Some of the GDATF's videos will hopefully be helpful to you; I especially suggest “The Emotional Aspects of Graves' Disease” by Dr. Ira Lesser.

https://www.youtube.com/user/GravesAndThyroid/videos

Wishing you both all the best!


Kimberly
GDATF Forum Facilitator

…through nature's inflexible grace, I'm learning to live…
– Dream Theater

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