Why is my chronically ill wife deprecating herself?

As a husband to a chronically ill wife, I notice that she often engages in self-deprecating behavior. This behavior is characterized by a tendency to belittle herself and her abilities, despite the fact that she is a remarkable person who has accomplished a great deal in her life. But the main reason why my wife is deprecating herself is complicated.

She used to be a full-time dancer, choreographer, teacher, and performer. Today, she struggles to even work from home. Being a dancer her whole life, her only friends were dancers. Since she lost her dance business, my wife also lost her social life.

My wife suffers from stage 4 endometriosis and fibromyalgia disorder. Both chronic conditions are brutally debilitating. The insidious symptoms of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, anemia because of the loss of blood, and the mental health impact, all changed her life completely.

My wife’s self-deprecation is a form of self-sabotage, which is a common behavior among individuals with chronic illnesses. In this blog post, I want to explore why my wife engages in self-deprecating behavior and how it impacts her life and our marriage.

What does deprecating mean?

Deprecating refers to the act of belittling oneself or one’s abilities, often as a form of self-sabotage. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy, which can have a negative impact on one’s mental and emotional well-being.

When a person engages in self-deprecating behavior, they often make negative comments about themselves or their abilities, even when those comments are not warranted. This behavior can stem from a variety of sources, such as low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, or a desire to protect oneself from criticism or rejection.

However, self-deprecation is a form of self-sabotage that can lead to a cycle of negative thinking and feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.

Over time, self-deprecating behavior can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being, as well as their relationships with others. This is what happened to us, but even though endometriosis and fibromyalgia tried to ruin our marriage heat, both conditions brought us closer together, and we have today a good marriage. I dare to say – one extraordinary marriage!

But it is important to recognize your partner’s signs of self-deprecation and seek support if necessary to address and overcome her behavior.

The meaning of marriage.

What is the meaning of marriage?

For many couples, the broken marriage vow is a norm and as many as 75% of marriages end. The endometriosis divorce rate is equally high to the fibromyalgia divorce rate – both at 75 percent.

The main reason why endometriosis destroys marriages is because of the loss of sexual intimacy this diabolic disease causes. And if you add to it another chronic condition like fibromyalgia, it seems impossible to overcome the challenges these conditions bring.

But even though the new normal endometriosis and fibromyalgia brought to our marriage were unexpected, it became one of the best things that ever happened to me personally.

I have learned the art of listening to my wife, compassion, better understanding, and above all – our love blossomed.

So, what is the meaning of marriage with chronic illness?

The meaning of marriage is exactly the same as for those who are blessed to be both healthy. Period. No pun intended…

My happy marriage, with a blip.

We had a whirlwind romance, and within a year of meeting, we were married. We were both young and in love, and we felt that we could conquer anything together. However, my wife’s chronic illness has been a constant challenge that we have had to overcome.

At first, we didn’t know what was wrong.

She was experiencing symptoms that doctors couldn’t explain. It was frustrating for both of us, but especially for her. She was in pain, and she felt like no one was listening to her. It took several months and many doctors’ visits before she was diagnosed with an advanced stage 4 deep infiltrating endometriosis – her primary condition, later learned the following year about her secondary disorder – fibromyalgia.

Although we were relieved to finally have an answer, we both knew that our lives would never be the same again.

My wife’s chronic illness is an invisible illness, meaning that it is not visible to the naked eye. She doesn’t look sick, but she is. It affects every aspect of her life, from her physical abilities to her mental health. It’s a constant battle that she fights every day, and it’s exhausting.

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One of the ways that my wife copes with her chronic illness is through self-deprecating behavior. She feels like a burden on me and our family, and she believes that she is not contributing enough to our household. My wife believes that she would be better off dead.

Her illnesses prevent her from doing many of the things that she used to enjoy, and it has caused her to feel as though she is not living up to her potential.

She also compares herself to her old self, and to others who are healthy and able-bodied, which only exacerbates her feelings of inadequacy.

What is this self-deprecation?

A self-deprecation is a form of self-sabotage that can be harmful to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and depression.

People who engage in self-deprecating behavior often do so as a way to protect themselves from criticism and rejection. They believe that if they belittle themselves first, others will not have the opportunity to do so. This behavior is counterproductive and can actually push people away.

My wife’s self-deprecation…

My wife’s self-deprecating behavior has had a significant impact on our marriage. It has caused her to withdraw from me emotionally and to doubt my love for her. It has also caused me to feel frustrated and helpless because I do not know how to help her feel better about herself.

Even though I have tried to reassure her countless times that she is loved and valued, my words seem to fall on deaf ears.

Her behavior has caused tension between us, as I struggled to understand why she couldn’t see herself the way that I saw her.

My wife asked me many times to divorce her. She also tried to commit suicide on a handful of occasions. She still experiences negative thoughts today and has suicidal idealizations, whenever feels like nobody listens or understands her.

As her husband, I want to help my wife overcome her self-deprecating behaviors.

One way that I have found to be effective is to encourage her to engage in activities that she enjoys, even if she cannot do them as often or as well as she used to. I also try to remind her of her past accomplishments and praise her for the things that she does well.

It’s important to me that she feels supported and loved, and I do my best to communicate this to her on a regular basis.

The psychology of self-deprecation.

Self-deprecation is a coping mechanism that people use when they struggle with low self-esteem. It is a way to make themselves seem more likable and avoid criticism from others. But like in my wife’s case, this behavior can also be a sign of depression or anxiety.

When people engage in self-deprecating behavior, they may feel like they are in control of the situation and are less likely to be rejected or humiliated. At the same time, this behavior can be harmful to their mental health and relationships.

It’s important to recognize that self-deprecation is not a character flaw or a sign of weakness, it is instead a coping mechanism that people use to deal with negative emotions and self-doubt.

If your partner engages in self-deprecating behavior, it’s important to approach the issue with compassion and understanding.

Self-deprecation can be addressed through therapy, self-help techniques, and support from loved ones.

It’s important to identify the root cause of the behavior, whether it’s low self-esteem, depression, or another issue. With the help of a therapist or counselor, individuals can learn to challenge negative thoughts and beliefs and develop a more positive self-image. Support from loved ones can also be helpful in building self-esteem and promoting self-acceptance.

Ultimately, overcoming self-deprecation requires a willingness to change and a commitment to self-improvement. It’s important to remember that change takes time and effort and that it’s okay to ask for help along the way.

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The impact of self-deprecation on relationships.

Self-deprecation can have a significant impact on relationships, and not always in a positive way.

When your partner engages in self-deprecating behavior, it can make you feel uncomfortable or even resentful toward her. It can also make it difficult for you to build trust and intimacy.

Self-deprecation can create a dynamic where one partner is constantly seeking validation and reassurance from the other. This can create feelings of pressure and unease, as the partner may feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells to avoid triggering their loved one’s self-doubt. I always feel like I step on eggshells worrying about not saying anything wrong.

If left unchecked, these issues can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health, and by extension, their relationships.

It’s important for both of you to talk about how it impacts your relationship. Be compassionate and non-judgmental in your approach, if your chronically ill wife engages in self-deprecating behavior, she may feel ashamed or embarrassed. Have an open and honest conversation, and work together to build trust, intimacy, and mutual understanding.

If you or your partner struggle with self-deprecation, it’s important to seek help.

How to help your partner overcome self-deprecation?

If you’re concerned about your partner’s self-deprecation, there are a few things you can do to help them:

  • First, try to understand why they are deprecating themselves.
  • Are they struggling with low self-esteem? Are they depressed?
  • Once you understand the root of the problem, you can start to address it.
  • If your partner is struggling with low self-esteem, you can help them by building them up.
  • Compliment them on their strengths and accomplishments.
  • Remind them of all the things they have to offer.
  • If your partner is depressed, encourage them to seek professional help.
  • Depression is a serious illness, and it’s important to get treatment.

Therapy or counseling can provide a safe and supportive environment to explore underlying issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms. It’s also important to remember that building a healthy relationship takes time and effort, and that change may not happen overnight.

With patience, understanding, and commitment, partners can overcome self-deprecation and build a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.

What to do if your partner won’t change?

If your partner is unwilling to change their self-deprecating behavior, it’s important to set some gentle boundaries. Let your partner know that you love and support her, but you won’t tolerate her putting herself down constantly.

Explain how her self-deprecation is impacting your relationship and how it makes you feel.

It’s important to be clear and direct about your boundaries, while also being respectful and compassionate towards your partner. Remember that it’s possible to express your needs and desires without blaming or shaming her.

It can be frustrating and disheartening, but it’s important for you to remember that change is a personal process and it’s ultimately up to your partner to make the decision to change.

If your partner still refuses to change their behavior, it may be necessary to seek professional help for yourself. Talking to a therapist or counselor can provide you with the tools and support you need to navigate this difficult situation.

Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize your own mental health and well-being. You deserve to be in a healthy and fulfilling relationship, and if your partner is unwilling to change, it may be necessary to re-evaluate the relationship and consider whether it’s truly serving your needs.

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Wrapping up why is your chronically ill wife deprecating herself?

As I reflect on my wife’s self-deprecating behavior, I realize that it’s not just a personal struggle, but one that impacts our relationship as well.

While I understand that her chronic illness can be a source of frustration and insecurity, I also know that her constant self-deprecation can be difficult for me to navigate.

Through my research and conversations with her, I’ve come to understand that self-deprecation is a common coping mechanism for people struggling with low self-esteem. It can be a way to control the situation and avoid feeling rejected or humiliated. I also recognize the negative impact it can have on our relationship.

Her self-deprecating behavior can make me feel uncomfortable and even resentful at times. It can also make it difficult for us to build trust and intimacy.

Despite my best efforts to help her overcome this behavior, I learned that change ultimately comes from within, meaning, if my wife is unwilling or unable to change her self-deprecating behavior, it may be necessary for me to set boundaries and seek professional help for myself.

I love and accept my wife for who she is, flaws and all.

I will continue to support her through her chronic illness and encourage her to seek help when needed. At the same time, I will prioritize my own mental health and well-being, and make sure that our relationship is a healthy and fulfilling one for both of us.

I hope you found this helpful and wish you both the very best on your journey through the new normal!

Signature Lucjan
Lucjan B

About Me

Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…

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