Originally Posted by yakchef
I suppose I do feel emotionally rejected by her and sometimes resentful. I do know that she didn't choose this, and doesn't want or prefer to be in such pain.
My depression is interfering with my ability to be a good support person. Last night she told me things would be so much easier for her if I weren't so sad. She also said that I have a lot of things to be grateful for, and I do get lots of things that I want. I didn't mention sex to her specifically. It wouldn't be supportive to do so, but I think she knew I was thinking it last night anyway so I'm not being supportive.
My sexuality used to be something important to me, but I guess part of growing older is giving up the things you used to have and adapting.
A lot of people have sexless relationships and are perfectly happy. So what's wrong with me?
Oh yakchef, your pain just comes through. There is nothing wrong with you. It's totally ok to still want sex and connection and intimacy even if your partner is unable to provide that right now.
Can your partner offer intimacy - which can be part of sex but is it's own thing - and connection to you? Or she just too sick and in pain? Illness can sometimes make it so hard, maybe impossible to focus on anything beyond coping, and hopefully, getting better. While understandable, it is a rejection.
You too are experiencing real losses. Yes, your partner is definitely worse off. You are not sick or in pain or facing surgery. But this is not a competition. Your feelings and pain count too. Your partner can't be that support person for you right now. Do you have friends you can talk to? Are you the only support person for your partner? If so, get help as soon as you can. If there are physical needs to be managed, hire someone to help. Pull in family and friends if you can (many people want to help but do not know how or if they should offer). Reach out, reach out, reach out. Ask your therapist if they know of resources you can tap. You cannot be your partner's only support.
That may break you.
Your partner is in terrible pain. But she was wrong to imply that you should not be sad. I'm sure she does not want to feel your pain on top of her own. But we feel what we feel. Of course you are sad! The situation is so hard. It would be bizarre if you weren't sad.
Find a friend, a family member, a spiritual leader, another support person to talk about your pain and sadness. Continue talking with your therapist - and if you don't like your therapist or aren't getting much out of it, find another therapist. Not all therapists are created equal. Some are indeed better than others. Or they may be just fine but not a good fit for you.
There are support groups for family/spouses of people with serious/chronic illnesses. Ask your theraprist about groups. A good one will have some suggestions for you. You might find this helpful - you are not the only person struggling with these issues. It might be weird to go talk to strangers about your situation - but 1) as you go, they stop being strangers and 2) they may understand you better than anyone else, who is not in the circumstances.
I am pulling for you and wish you the best. This is such a difficult situation.