Anita and I have been married for 46 years. I was a diabetic for 19 years before we were married in 1964. She was only 20 then, and knew nothing about diabetes. I rarely had insulin reactions back then. There was very little known about diabetes care. The monitors for measuring blood sugar levels were not available until the mid 1980s, and there was almost no useful advise given by my doctors. When I became more educated about diabetes, and had a doctor who knew a lot about diabetes, I started using tight control. Along with that control came many insulin reactions (hypos). When the hypos started in the early 1970s Anita was very good about it. She did a great job!!! I praised her every time she brought me out of a hypo.

Anita devoted most of her time to our two sons. Many years later the boys were in high school, and they demanded very little of her time. She was a stay-at-home mom, and had a lot of time on her hands. Later on, the boys went off to college, and I was the center of her attention. She became a chronic worrier about so many things, including my hypos, which were not so frequent at that time. She would feed me glucose tablets when hypos occurred at night.

Fast forward to the new century. Anita is an extremely nervous person, especially concerning my diabetes, even though I have very good control now. She wants me to test every 2 hours, including nights, and once every hour when we are out traveling, shopping, etc. Every time I turn over at night she wakes me up and wants to know if I'm OK. I love her to pieces but she drives me crazy!!! She worries needlessly about my diabetes, even during the daytime.

Anita started to become overprotective after the kids left home. They have been gone for 18 years now. They live in NC and GA and we are in NY. We only see them twice per year. My wife heaps all her mothering on me. I have realized that for some time now, but there is nothing we can do about it. Our marriage is wonderful, and I understand she cannot help being this way. Is it possible to be loved too much? HA!

I started training on my insulin pump in May of 2007. Anita attended all the training sessions with me. She actually said that she thought that I would do much better, and she would not have to worry so much. It was a dream come true to hear her say that! The very next night after she said those words, I had a rather bad hypo. It was the first one since Jan. 5 of that year. She still seemed rather optimistic though. I was encouraged about pumping, and her optimism. I have not had any hypos that required her help since July, 2007. So why is she still worrying as much as ever??? I still have to test every two hours, and nothing has changed, despite the fact that my control is very, very good with no hypos that require her help. Her worrisome ways will never end. I am convinced of that.

After retiring I wanted to travel and see more of our country and Canada. The UK and other European countries were places that really interested me. Anita hates travel and loves staying at home. She even hates flying to Atlanta to see our kids and grandkids but she loves the visit once we get there. I want to travel alone, and am very confident that I would be perfectly safe in doing so. Anita says she will not allow this! If I go, she will go with me, even though she does not want to do so. Enjoying a vacation with her tagging along would be impossible. She would not enjoy it, and we would both be miserable. Staying at home seems to be the only option. This situation is so very frustrating!

I can tolerate Anita mothering me, and worrying about me, but I want to travel. I worked hard for 34 years and we have a nice savings that would permit the travel. The only feasible solution seems to be my running away from home. I would stay away for a few weeks and call her three or four times per day. She would probably, eventually, forgive me. She would be at home with her three cats, where she wants to be. She would be very angry but she would understand, or would she? This escape has occupied my mind for several years. So why don't I do it? My love for Anita is so strong that I cannot do this to her. She would worry so much, and lose sleep at night.

What would you do if you had this problem? It is not fair to me if I stay at home to make her happy, and it is not fair to her for me to take her along, or run away on these dream vacations. We are getting older, and something has to be done about this, but what? <sigh>

We are currently planning a trip to England in 2011. Will it actually happen? I wonder. We have planned trips like this before, but they never happened. Something always comes up, and the trip is canceled.

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Comment by Scott on October 5, 2010 at 6:58pm
hmmm... how about you send her and some of her girlfriends on a trip while you make your escape?
Comment by mother4peace - Christine on October 5, 2010 at 7:25pm
First of all, this was very touching even though you were conveying a problem that you have. The fact that you love her deeply and can accept her smothering you with worry is just simply moving. My parents have been married for 56 years and I love how there came a point that they just love the flaws (not all) in each other.

Perhaps there is a better solution than to run away. Is it possible to invite one of your children or a friend to travel with you? It might put her mind at ease that she doesn't have to go, yet she knows you will be with someone who can be there if you need them.

This made me feel all warm and mushy without added carbs. :)
Comment by Laura S. on October 5, 2010 at 9:48pm
I think you said it all. Once she gets there, she is fine.
I hate traveling, especially with all the new rules and regulations. But, my husband and I have a wonderful time when we go. The worst that happens is I miss my dogs and cats something terrible, but that's another story.
I think you should take her along. Maybe not to Europe, maybe something shorter and closer to home.
But I think she should go.
If my husband didnt 'expect' me to go, I suppose I would sit here and be totally miserable and never see another vacation again. But he knows I need it, and he will want me to do it and to go with him.You could still try to go someplace on your own one day, but for now I say go together.
Life is short, enjoy your marriage and your travels.
Comment by Gerri on October 5, 2010 at 9:56pm
I hope you get to travel. Such a balancing act we all do in our relationships. When we give up our dreams it can lead to deep resentment, despite loving the person.

Why does Anita dislike traveling? My mother-in-law is like that. She resists going anywhere. Her reason "nothing is like it is at home." Yep, that's the fun traveling, it is nothing like being at home. New experiences.

What I'd do is explain how much traveling means to me, acknowledge her anxiety (or whatever it is) about leaving home & say I'm going & would be much happier if you were by my side to share the fun. Coming with me, or are you staying home? Yes, I would go by myself. Life is too short.
Comment by Brian (bsc) on October 6, 2010 at 4:47am
Why don't you take up an extremely dangerous activity right at home? I mean if you can't go on vacation, maybe you could spend your money on a motorcycle, or take up hang gliding. There is always hunting in your back yard. These things can make travelling seem like a "safe" thing to do. Life is full of danger, even at home.

In the end, you will have to resolve the conflict. Either you will feel resentful for never achieving your dream of travelling, or your wife will feel bullied into in activity that makes her feel unconfortable.
Comment by Progress Trumps Perfection on October 6, 2010 at 5:43am
I too am very moved by the depth of love, concern, and commitment in your relationship with your wife. I can relate some as well.

For many years, my husband would not fly. Because of his job, we could fly for free. That was so frustrating to me...the world was waiting at the airport, which we can literally see from the top of the hill by our house. So I took a few trips with other family members, and ski trips with the girls to at least partially satisfy my wanderlust. Now, miraculously, my husband is willing to fly. It is still a very stressful thing for him, but he does it. I stopped trying to push where I wanted to go, and let him choose destination and length of trip. That really helped too. I have come to appreciate the beach, when before all I wanted to do was go to the mountains. Just saying that sometimes it seems that things will never change and they do. We are scheduled to make our second trip to hawaii in 2011 :).

Is your scheduled Europe trip with a group? Maybe that would help on a couple of fronts. If your wife decides not to go, you could still go and she would know you would be with other people who could help should you have a bad low. You could promise to brief the tour guide and a few others on what to do for you. If she does go, she could maybe skip some of the outings and hang at the hotel, but again, know you would be among other people.

Another idea is a cruise. She could hang out on the boat, and you could go on the excursions. I know she would still be traveling, but perhaps a compromise of sorts.

Would she feel better about you going while she stayed home if you went with another close family member or a friend that you could room with? Again, making sure they know how to handle a serious low if they don't already? Whe I took my girls only trips, I went with a good friend who understood my needs and that helped a lot for my state of mind, as well as my husband's.

I know it's a tough and frustrating situation to feel that you are missing out on some great life experiences. But you have and are experiencing deep love that some people never in their lives have. I'm praying for a good outcome that will also strengthen your relationship with your wife in the end.
Comment by Richard157 on October 6, 2010 at 7:30am
Thank you friends, for your comments. Some of them really touched me. I enjoyed the funny ones too. Lol!

Our trip to the UK will not involve a group until we get there. There will be a big meet-up of UK members from diabetesdaily.com. My good friends from that site will hold that meet-up so they can meet Anita and me. Several of them have bought my book, and they want me to autograph it at the meet-up. I think Anita will enjot the peeps in England. The problem is getting her there. We went to the post office yesterday to apply for passports. Anita was not herself. She kept making mistakes on the forms and in answering questions. She dreads leaving home so much and the long flight is something she does not want to think about. That was on her mind and she had a hard time at the ost office. This is not going to be a fun trip if she keeps on worrying in this manner.
Comment by Kelly WPA on October 6, 2010 at 9:33am
Have you told Anita how you feel? Just tell her that you want to go places and you are OK with the fact that she would rather stay home but you need her to be OK with your wanting to go. I am not a big traveler and I won’t fly so that kind of limits the places I will go to. I would love to go to Ireland but I don’t think I could ever convince myself to get on a plane to go! I understand Anita not liking to travel, but I would never want to hold someone back that did want to go places. My cousin likes to travel and her husband doesn’t. They go places together for the things he likes to do but she also always plans a week at the beech with a friend of hers. Her friend & her also do things like cruises and stuff that she wants to do but her husband doesn’t.
Comment by Richard157 on October 6, 2010 at 6:26pm
Thanks Kelly! I wish I had a close friend who would be interested in traveling with me, but at my present age (71) I don't. Anita knows how i feel and we are planning a trip. I sure hope it turns out well. If it does, this may be the start of frequent trips, but I am not going to "count my chickens before they hatch".
Comment by Kelly WPA on October 7, 2010 at 3:44am
Since part of your trip to Europe will including book signing, how about if you use your book as an opportunity to get a chance to go places? A lot of hospitals have diabetes centers these days so you could pick whatever place you would like to see and contact a hospital in the area and offer to give a little talk and do a book signing. Then you could tell Anita you have always wanted to go to Yellowstone or wherever and since you will be within 20 miles, you may as well spend a few days doing some sightseeing. Your publisher might even help set up stuff but if you use them, you might not get to be as picky about where you end up doing book signings at! There are enough people here on TuDiabetes that if you asked who is in a certain area, people could help you find hospitals and groups to volunteer with.

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