How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

Thyroid disease can take a toll on marriage. Popular blogger Unveiled Wife inspires us to have hope and to love with all our heart.

Written by Jennifer Smith

I always considered marriage to be an emotional and physical relationship. I narrowed the purpose of marriage down to how my husband’s needs and how my needs could be met by each other. So much of our interactions hinged on our ability to connect emotionally and physically with each other based solely on our willingness, our devotion of love for one another.

Having recently celebrated 8 years of marriage, I have learned that marriage is affected by much more than just our willingness to connect emotionally or through physical touch.

I first realized this within a few months of marriage when we went to Africa to serve as missionaries and we were encouraged to take medication to protect us from Malaria. This particular medication was the source of a two month battle with a yeast infection, horrible mood swings, nightmares, and more, all of which affected the way I was interacting with my husband.

How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

By our third year of marriage, we discovered that my body was very sensitive to a preservative called parabens, which can be found in thousands of personal care products. We were searching for a reason as to why sex was painful for me, again something that dramatically affected our ability to connect as husband and wife. For three years we had struggled to consummate our marriage because my body was unable to have sex without pain. Once I eliminated parabens I was able to have pain-free sex within a week! My mind was blown! And this discovery further affirmed just how much the environment can also affect the way in which couples interact in marriage, and whether or not it is a good experience.

The third time I became aware of something being a contributor to how my husband and I connect with each other came just after the birth of my son when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease. My weight was fluctuating, anxiety ran rampant, I became short tempered and aggravated easily, my body felt as if it was breaking down and my husband was worried my mind was breaking down too.

How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

At one point he strongly encouraged me to get a grip, fearing he would lose his wife once and for all. Not that I was threatened by death, but more so, the overwhelming negative thoughts I allowed to take over were a hindrance on our ability to enjoy each other’s company. I wanted to be “normal” again and protested daily with complaining. My sex drive was incredibly low and even the small desire I had I pushed away as if it was not a priority for me. I neglected to think about my husband, jealous that he did not have to deal with any of the symptoms I had to deal with.

Although my husband was patient with me, trying to understand the vulnerable state my body was in, he often tried to inspire me to be stronger and continue on with life regardless of my symptoms. His approach was gentle, but in my fear and insecurities, I took it wrong. I thought he didn’t get it and that he didn’t care to get it.

I did not feel like my husband and I were on the same page at all.

And because my hormones were all over the place, all I could do was focus on how I was feeling or what new symptom I had. I had become a victim of my diagnosis, letting it define me. My marriage was just as fragile as I thought my body had become.

It took me about six months to fully embrace my new normal and how my body was responding to the changes that came with motherhood. Six months of what seemed like a roller coaster ride for me and my husband. That is when things started to turn for the better.

How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

I share all this with you because I never considered all the different ways marriage is affected by our bodies, the environment, and other factors that we just aren’t considering. Our natural tendency is to blame the other person or complain about why we think things are going awry, and yet it could be something as simple as a medication side effect, an ingredient in a personal care product, or a disease like thyroid disease that are contributing to the tension we feel in the marriage relationship.

How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

I believe our health is vital to how we connect with our spouse and I hope that by sharing what I went through, you would be inspired to evaluate your health and life to see what could be affecting your marriage.

How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage

About Jennifer Smith

I had a struggle in my marriage that lasted 3 years and I felt embarrassed and alone. God gave me the idea to provide a platform to talk about my journey being a wife, give other wives that platform and be a resource. Traditionally a bride is unveiled on her wedding day but it’s important to always be unveiled before God and your husband. To expose yourself can be a difficult thing to do, especially emotionally or spiritually.

I am devoted to encouraging wives all around the world through my blog and my books including The Unveiled Wife.

READ NEXT: Married to thyroid disease: Where’s the woman I married?

Take Back Your Thyroid Health! Sign up and never miss a post - it's FREE


About Dana Trentini

I founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid Mom is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links to favorite resources including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Connect with me on Google+

Comments

  1. Ohh, this is a horrible illness, I understand where you are coming from in terms of isolation (not so much with my partner, hes been very patient considering everything that comes with this disease, but isolated in so many other ways), I was diagnosed 2 and a half years ago, but I had been pushed from pillar to post by Drs who told me it was “modern woman syndrome” to being “Just one of those people who has gut problems” to being treated for ulcers, arthritis, neurology and so many other devastating symptoms associated with hashimotos, but not one of my GPs had a clue about Hashimotos, I was signed off work 4 years ago for 3 months with “stress” but I knew it was more than that, I felt like my world was falling apart but I dragged myself back to work and within 6 months I could barely walk, I had blurred vision, dizzy spells and my body had all but drained of iron, the Dr asked me about my periods but I don’t have them because of my pill (which he put me on!), so he thought I had an ulcer so sent me to an incredible gastroenterologist who diagnosed me in no time, but after one follow up appointment after a gastroscopy I was on my own again. I was off again for 3 months the following year, devastating to me as this is an invisible illness not understood by many. I went back to work and again started feeling poorly and my Dr, knowing my condition by this point said “you used to be a good patient, but I’m seriously questioning your mental health” even though a few months earlier he’d said “ohh no wonder you’ve felt so dreadful” when he saw my thyroid levels, ( I discovered that I’d had an abnormal thyroid result the first time I was ill and my Dr didn’t tell me about, or treat me for, or recognise the combination of symptoms (another Dr in the surgery slipped up and told me about the result) they could have saved me a lot of trauma by helping me earlier.) Ironically my mother has this disease and it wasnt discovered until she was in a myxodema coma, she nearly died, and yet my dr still did nothing. As it stands now, i feel very alone, I don’t trust my Dr so I feel I have limited support in terms of health care, i will choose to see a locum over my practice GP which is sad. I’ve started suffering with blood pressure recently (discovered by a locum, who is lovely) but on the whole I dont even feel I can turn to my own Dr for help with this. I live in the UK, but healthcare in my area has slipped, so finding another good GP in my area is a gamble. It’s soul destroying. My mother understands, as she has it and I’m lucky with my partner he has been patient, but I’ve desperately tried to educate people and some listen but as it doesn’t affect them they can’t really understand. I wish forums like these made a difference to the training of medical professionals as this is a very isolating disease, and not that uncommon so ive read (but id never heard of it until i was diagnosed, my mother just told she had a ‘thyroid problem’ and here are your tablets, shes learning more about it from me as all im doing is reading, no one ever explained anything to her, shes 73 and suffers with major health problems that i wont go in to, but all are related to Hashimotos, maybe she wouldn’t be suffering them if someone had talked to her. I’m trying my best to understand, I’m gluten and lacto free but I’m also scared as i dont want to end up like my poor mum, but beyond my mum no one around me understands how scary and isolating that is. i love hypothyroidmom its my go to for comfort and feeling less alone! and sometimes there’s nowhere to turn. Much love to you all suffering, as much as I wish you weren’t it does help your sanity to know you are not alone and that there are people out there who understand. Thank you for sharing as every word shows understanding. Maybe one day more people will understand and we won’t feel so isolated. Xxx

  2. Ohh, this is a horrible illness, I understand where you are coming from in terms of isolation (not so much with my partner, hes been very patient considering everything that comes with this disease, but isolated in so many other ways), I was diagnosed 2 and a half years ago, but I had been pushed from pillar to post by Drs who told me it was “modern woman syndrome” to being “Just one of those people who has gut problems” to being treated for ulcers, arthritis, neurology and so many other devastating symptoms associated with hashimotos, but not one of my GPs had a clue about Hashimotos, I was signed off work 4 years agon for 3 months with “stress” but I knew it was more than that, I felt like my world was falling apart but I dragged myself back to work and within 6 months I could barely walk, I had blurred vision, dizzy spells and my body had all but drained of iron, the Dr asked me about my periods but I don’t have them because of my pill (which he put me on!), so he thought I had an ulcer so sent me to an incredible gastroenterologist who diagnosed me I no time, but after one follow up appointment fter a gastroscopy I was on my own again. I was off again for 3 months the following year, devastating to me as this is an invisible illness not understood by many. I went back to work and again started feeling poorly and my Dr, knowing my condition by this point said “you used to be a good patient, but I’m seriously questioning your mental health” even though a few months earlier he’d said “ohh no wonder you’ve felt so dreadful” when he saw my thyroid levels, ( I discovered that I’d had an abnormal thyroid result the first time I was ill and my Dr didn’t tell me about, or treat me for, or recognise the combination of symptoms (another Dr in the surgery slipped up and told me about the result) they could have saved me a lot of trauma by helping me earlier.) Ironically my mother has this disease and it wasnt discovered until she was in a myxodema coma, she nearly died, and yet my dr still did nothing. As it stands now, i feel very alone, I don’t trust my Dr so I feel I have limited support in terms of health care, i will choose to see a locum over my practice GP which is sad. I’ve started suffering with blood pressure recently (discovered by a locum, who is lovely) but on the whole I dont even feel I can turn to my own Dr for help with this. I live in the UK, but healthcare in my area has slipped, so finding another good GP in my area is a gamble. It’s soul destroying. My mother understands, as she has it and I’m lucky with my partner he has been patient, but I’ve desperately tried to educate people and some listen but as it doesn’t affect them they can’t really understand. I wish forums like these made a difference to the training of medical professionals as this is a very isolating disease, and not that uncommon so ive read (but id never heard of it until i was diagnosed, my mother just told she had a ‘thyroid problem’ and here are your tablets, shes learning more about it from me as all im doing is reading, no one ever explained anything to her, shes 73 and suffers with major health problems that i wont go in to, but all are related to Hashimotos, maybe she wouldn’t be suffering them if someone had talked to her. I’m trying my best to understand, I’m gluten and lacto free but I’m also scared as i dont want to end up like my poor mum, but beyond my mum no one around me understands how scary and isolating that is. i love hypothyroidmom its my go to for comfort and feeling less alone! and sometimes there’s nowhere to turn. Much love to you all suffering, as much as I wish you weren’t it does help your sanity to know you are not alone and that there are people out there who understand. Thank you for sharing as every word shows understanding. Maybe one day more people will understand and we won’t feel so isolated. Xxx

  3. I know there are others out there like me , I have had hashimotos for over 20 years and finally had my thyroid removed because it was crystallized it was so disease from years of this . My husband does not understand, and often says I wish we could just find you a doctor to fix everything that is wrong with you 🙁 he reads all the time about cars I just wish he would take the time to read about my disease, I feel like I’m loosing my battle and he does not think any of it is real, he thinks it’s all in my head, I can’t even begin to name everything that is associated with this disease , I have sisters with the same disease and they know, I just wish he did, I’m teally glad I found this page I don’t feel so alone with it anymore . My prayer is for everyone dealing with this disease they they have family support and love to carry them through.

  4. It’s certainly nice to hear from others suffering from all the symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroid; however, it always makes me a little sad because there’s never any solutions or treatments. I’ve tried everything available and nothing’s helps. That, in itself, can cause depression.

  5. solguiza says:

    Hello, I just came across this article and I just feel overwhelmed. Why because I feel alone. I honestly do. I love my husband and I TRY so very HARD to show him but I don’t think he understands how hard it is to deal with my condition. I’m actually struggling writing this because for one I feel silly expressing how I feel it almost seems selfish. And two I have read several articles where the spouse who is not affected seems to be so understanding . And That makes me sad, that after 3 1/2 years of dealing with this it still seems new to my husband. I was first diagnosed in 2013. I actually started off with Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease. I had just given birth to my 2nd daughter. My husband is in the Military and was always gone. We were living in SC away from family and friends. (That was so hard for me having no support at all) I had a 3 yr old and a newborn. I was then told I was going to have a total thyroidectomy. I had my surgery in 2014. My husband was gone on Military duty, however he told my he was going to fly my 9 yr. old step son from CA so I was freaking out. I was only 1 week out of my surgery with 4 yr old. , 1 yr old and a 9 yr old. My mom was flown in to help but she spent most of her days their sleeping. It was so difficult for me. And to top things off we owned 5 dogs. 2 Huskies and 3 German Shepherds. My husband eventually came back home and bought me a Shih Tzu puppy as a I’m sorry I was not here. I love my Shih Tzu and I would not trade him for anything in the world but I really need just someone to help and really understand me! I went through so much I was an outpatient at recovery center for a 6 week program dealing with depression and suicide thoughts. It was honestly the toughest time of my life . I felt like I was going to lose everything I loved. Our time in SC was up and we moved back to CA where all our families is. I’m currently still in CA, dealing now with Hypothyroidism and all its symptoms and everyday feeling I’m going to lose my husband. He does not fully understand my condition and its not nagging, it not laziness, its not neglect and its not that I don’t want to be there for him as a wife. It s just me dealing and struggling with Hypothyroidism that doesn’t allow me to be the mom I want to be and the wife I would like to be. I would like to also just be me for me! Who I was before all this. But everyday I feel farther away from who I was and feel closer to losing my family. My Husband. He compares me to what other wives do, how he was treated in past relationships who may have appreciated him better. It hurts to hear this as I have to just stay quite or else Ill be told again what you want is a friend in me. Because that’s just how you treat me. IM so sorry for venting out I just feel so lost right now. with currently dishes pouring out my sink, bed unmade, laundry overflowing trash full, coffee cups half full through out the house, blankets on the couch and no dinner made. what Have I become. I just was to run but then.. I cant, because I’m to tried to even try.

    • Beth Ann Batman says:

      You are not alone. There are many out there. It is so very hard because our spouses either do not understand or they do not believe what thyroid disease causes.

    • Rebecca Michael says:

      Wow. This made me cry! Of course I seem to do that a lot nowadays. I’m touched. I feel your pain…I really do. I’m going through something similar and I do understand. I start to wonder what’s the point of having support if it’s not really supportive, if that makes any sense. Nothing seems to make sense and if it does make sense I don’t seem to understand it. Why? Why? Why? Who would have ever thought the million dollar question would be so simple. You are loved. My biggest motivation are those little ones that drive me crazy everyday. Please smile at least once everyday! Even if it’s only a partial one. Please hold on to yourself, even if it’s only by a thread. You are doing a great job! Sounds to me like you are!! Trust me! That’s a lot of love to give when you’re not even sure if you love yourself! Honey I feel wrecked with 2 kids (7&10)! You should get mom of the year award for real! You have a lot on your plate. Be proud of that. Too bad you can’t train the dogs to do laundry! Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Wikipedia has instructions for that! Best of luck to you dear! I hope you find yourself! Remember, you’re around somewhere.

    • Dear solguiza,
      I understand just how you feel since my spouse doesn’t understand one ounce of what I am going through since this almost seems like an invisible disease. He can’t feel the crazy mood changes coming on, or the depression setting in, or the lack of energy that paralyzes me and when I try to explain it to him he honestly just doesn’t know how to respond. Yet I am expected to be just like everyone else who isn’t suffering from this horrible disease. This is why I believe we need support from friends who either have it, or who will listen and even pray for me. I don’t expect my husband to understand because he seems inept for some reason or another, yet he is very loving in other ways.
      * * * The one thing that has helped me tremendously with my energy is I no longer eat gluten and I am dairy free and sugar free. * * * This along with a green drink several times a day along with a protein drink twice a day and walking has been a life saver for me. I strongly suggest going gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. I use Organifi Protein Drink because it is loaded with minerals and vitamins and it cuts my cravings and I also take * * * 200mg of Selenium and Zinc daily. * and I get my support from my friends. Sad but true. I have learned that men want to fix it and when they can’t they feel helpless and they can go into denial. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you. But I will let my spouse know when he needs to be a little more supportive… and sometimes that means reaching for the cast iron skillet! (just kidding!) (but not really 🙂 )

      • I have suffered with hashimotos for years. I actually had grandmal seizures because of it but you have to help your self because no one understands what you are experiencing or feeling. Not even doctors. I did all of my own research because doctors didn’t believe me. I threw false negatives on all my thyroid tests. I have multiple food sensitivities. Do your own foot work.

  6. Bruce Courtney Knapp says:

    Thank you for your article. My wife had been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos disease years ago but her symptoms continue. I Don’t believe she is getting proper treatment and needs to find someone that can help. A major problem is her denial, especially with the depression, of her symptoms. Our marriage is suffering greatly and fear the worst. I m trying to get educated on everything about the condition. I desire to support her and stand by her, but she is making it very difficult. Open to any and all suggestions. Thanks Desperate

Speak Your Mind

*