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Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Dear Kelly,

Thank you for being here. I have been harboring this pain for months and have not found a "safe person" in which I can confide. Most people who say they understand really don't.

I have been married to Ben for 11 years. I have been sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 8 years. Needless to say, life is not easy nor is marriage, but we have managed through a lot of ups and downs. We also are blessed (so I thought) to have another couple, Mike and Liz, as friends which allows for somewhat of a social life when I am up to it.

Well, a few months ago, I overheard Mike say to my husband Ben...."Ben I just don't know how you live with Debbie and all her health problems day in and day out!" Needless to say, I am devastated. My husband did not respond to the remark, which I feel was not supportive to me. I also feel that since Mike made that remark to Ben, our relationship with them as a couple is no longer what (I thought) it used to be.

How should I have handled this situation?

Your reply is most appreciated,

Debbie in Wisconsin

Dear Debbie,

There is nothing that you can say to Mike, as he said what he did and certainly can't "un-ring a bell." However, I would suggest that you discuss this with Ben and his reply could be (if he is ever faced with this situation again) ..."Perhaps you might want to ask my wife Debbie who suffers with the illness how she lives with it every day."

This would also give you an opportunity to cure some ignorance and educate someone about the illness you so genuinely suffer from.

Kelly


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