Of Love and Devotion: Husbands and Fathers of Chronic Migraine Sufferers

migraineLife as a chronic migraine sufferer is not easy. There are times when you’re in such excruciating pain you cannot even communicate how much it hurts because the agony is beyond words. Attacks can occur with a sudden viciousness that there’s no time to warn anyone around you about what is happening. You tend to withdraw from loved ones, not because you don’t care for them or need their support but because the severity of the pain precedes everything and everyone.

Life as the husband or father of a migraine sufferer is not easy, either. It can be difficult when it’s your wife or child who is at the mercy of chronic migraine pain and there’s nothing you can do to alleviate or end the pain. You want to stay near to make sure they have everything they need, but they may not able to verbalize exactly how you can help. You hate to see them suffer, and you wish you could offer relief. You know the best thing you can do is allow them to find enough respite to be able to tell you how you can help.

Impact on relationships

Millions of husbands with wives who have chronic migraines know that the relationship can often become rocky when their spouse is out of commission for long periods of time. The division of household labor can quickly become uneven as the husband takes on extra duties to cover for the things his wife is unable to do when she is suffering from an attack. There can also be obstacles to communication when an impending migraine can be misconstrued as a surly attitude.

It’s never an easy thing to witness your child in inexplicable pain. Fathers try their best to seek ways to provide comfort and relief to their children suffering from migraines but the task is daunting and complicated. Witnessing your child miss out on things, in some cases not be able to attend school, is just heartbreaking. Fathers can also attest to the difficulty there is on making sure children with migraines maintain their participation in the household dynamic. They will likely spend hours locked in their room during a migraine episode. Fathers may also have to adjust their eating habits within the household when they figure out what foods may trigger migraines for their children.

An honored duty

Both loving husbands and devoted fathers who provide unwavering support in the wake of their wives and children’s migraines understand that the headaches can be particularly excruciating during the menstrual period and can also affect their personalities and behaviors in the long term. Sometimes the exact cause for the attacks is not clear, and the type of support the sufferers need is that which comes with no guilt or blame, only understanding and a willingness to work as long as it takes to find relief and new battle mechanisms.

Women who are fortunate enough to have caring fathers and husbands who understand the ways in which migraines work are more likely to find relief more quickly, not only because of the support, but also because they avoid the stress that comes from wondering if their headaches are breaking up their marriages or causing extreme unhappiness for those around them.

Fighting the good fight

For the men in the lives of these women, know that they are grateful for your support. Even when they’re unable to verbalize how much it means to them that you don’t accuse them of being lazy or too negative to spend time with. They know the only way they can battle the chronic migraines is by taking it one attack at a time and living the best quality of life they can with you and the rest of their loved ones.

As your wives and children suffering from migraines become more cognizant of their unique migraine triggers, they’ll be able to explain them to you. Being mindful of their triggers and paying attention to the signs of an impending migraine attack will help reduce the stress for you and the migraineurs in your lives. Although you may not understand everything, most especially the pain that they are going through, just being there and being patient with them helps in tremendous ways. Know that this a is an even tougher journey, if not for your unwavering support and understanding.

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