Wife shares what it’s like watching her chronically ill husband want to die


chronically ill and depressed many looks out at the waterAmy’s husband, Ryan, is one of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from chronic Lyme disease, a debilitating chronic illness. The road has been difficult, to say the least. Even though Amy is not the one in chronic pain, the pain she feels as she watches her husband lose his will to live is a kind of pain few truly understand.

Here’s how Amy describes it:

“What drew me to Ryan was how straight-forward and honest he was. He was very talented, confident and hardworking. He was a major gentleman, super good-looking, incredibly funny and social. I admired all these things about him and felt I was the luckiest girl to have snagged him up.

I’ve watched him slowly decline and disappear from the person he used to be. He is almost the opposite of who he was when we dated and first got married. He’s just not the same. It’s been hard on him because he wants his life to end. He wants to quit so that his suffering will stop. He feels guilty a lot because he doesn’t have the energy to do the normal things that a husband would typically do. And he feels bad that I end up trying to make up for it. At times, he wished he could die so that I would be happier being with someone else who would have what it takes to properly be there for me and take care of me. It’s been hard for me watching him suffer as well as change to a completely different person. I have struggled with a lot of doubts, fears, depression and feelings of giving up on our marriage (several times). I’ve had moments of intense frustration, anger, loss of hope and sadness. Whenever he would say, “I wanna die. I hate my life. Screw my life, it was really hard for me. I took it very personally and it affected my self-esteem immensely.

wife lays her head on chronically ill husband's shoulder

He is not able to be there for our boys as much as he could/should be. Because of his pain, he is easily irritable and often short-tempered, and that has been hard on all of them —especially our oldest son. I know it breaks Ryan’s heart that he feels like he is failing as a father. Whenever they ask him to play or wrestle or “when are you going to get out of bed?”, it really brings on the guilt for him. He wants to be a good father to them and he really does try the very best he can with all that he is dealing with. He will still, for the most part, go try to wrestle or play with them even if he is hurting and even if it lasts for only a few minutes – It’s better than nothing. 

My love for him bursts whenever I see him interacting, playing or joking with the boys despite all that he is feeling and struggling with. It means the world to me when he puts them first even though he has a good excuse to put himself first because of his condition. I am amazed at how far we have come and that we have survived some of the darkest times together. I am proud of him for not giving up on us and not giving up on himself. He is definitely burned out and doesn’t believe that there is anyone or any treatment that can help him. However, he still works his butt off everyday for our little family to provide the very best life for us that he can. 

At times I get little glimpses of the “old Ryan” and it gives me great hope that there is still a chance that he can conquer this.”

If you are somebody who has been affected by chronic Lyme disease, join our private Facebook group to talk with people who understand. 

However, if you or someone you love is considering taking their life, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 and seek professional help.



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