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Selfish thinking?
Mar 2, 2001

Hi. My wife and I found out I was HIV+ a year ago with a very low T-Cell count. Since then I have been taking my meds, and eating well etc. This has paid off very well as my T-Cells have risen rapidly and my viral load is undetectable. My wife works a 3 day a week schedule and I work a 5-day week schedule and we have one car that we use to commute to and from work. My wife has been working on the weekends lately and having days off in the week. I mentioned to her that since on the weekends I need to use the car briefly on Saturdays and Sundays if she could arrange her schedule so that she is off on the weekends (when she goes to work we have to rise at 5:00 a.m. in the morning) as this will give me at least the weekend to sleep late. I also went on to mention that I have to get up at least at 6:00 a.m Monday thru Friday and with her working weekends all the time it makes me have to rise at 5:00 a.m. on the weekends as well. I told her that I felt that getting proper rest was very important in living with my illness and she responded that I was being selfish. I do see her point. Please help me understand this. Thanks in advance

Response from Dr. Remien

I am not exactly sure what you are asking? You say that you "see her point." So it sounds to me like you both have particular needs and they are in conflict with each other. This happens all the time on lots of issues with couples. It is important that you "listen" to each other's perspective and needs. Usually both have some legitimacy. Then you need to "brainstorm" all of the possible solutions to the problem. Next you weigh the "pros and cons" of the different possible solutions and try to decide which one (or more) makes sense trying. It can take some time to get to this point. Often some "compromise" is needed. Once you agree on a strategy worth trying - do it - then after some time, evaluate it and see how well it is working for BOTH of you. You may have found a solution that you can both live with or you may need to start the process over again, looking for another strategy to try. Bottom line: it takes a lot of listening to each other and a respect for each others' wishes.

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