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Tired of nobody understanding why you're tired?

August 20, 2013


My husband is very loving and tries to be supportive about my MS, but sometimes I feel like he doesn't really get what I'm going through when it comes to my fatigue. He is losing patience with my inability to do things, like help around the house or go out with our friends. How can I make him understand what fatigue really feels like and make the situation better for both of us?

Wish My Husband Understood

Nurse Susan replies:

Your husband probably doesn't get what you are going through, and he's not alone. It's hard for people who don't have MS to understand the concept of fatigue. People living with MS often grow weary of telling people they're having a bad fatigue day because they often get a reply of “but you look so good!”

But like any type of misunderstanding, communication is key to helping others understand fatigue. One thing you can try is sitting your husband down to talk about fatigue. Help him relate by using an example from his own history, like the way he felt after a grueling day of high school football practice or that time he worked overtime for 5 days straight. Let him know that when you talk about fatigue you don't just mean sleepy or tired, you mean you feel like he did then. And that the more you do, the more depleted you feel.

Meeting with your doctor and husband together and discussing fatigue may also be helpful for both of you. Your doctor may even know of some resources or counseling you can participate in. Once your husband can relate a little better to what you are feeling, you can work together to figure out ways to take the burden off of one another when you are feeling fatigued. Like if the laundry is backed up, maybe he can do the loading and the unloading and you can sit and fold when you feel up to it. Coming up with solutions together can help keep you on the same page.

— Nurse Susan, MS One to One® Nurse

Nurse Susan ; Fatigue ; Relationships ; Communication


MS One to One® Nurse, Susan

Nurse Susan
Helping since 2012
Posts: 10

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