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Thyroid Patients Explain How Hypothyroidism Has Affected Their Relationships

Thyroid Patients Explain How Hypothyroidism Has Affected Their Relationships

A part of having hypothyroidism that we perhaps don’t speak about enough is how it can affect our relationships. 

I have heard from thyroid patients who told me that hypothyroidism contributed to their relationship or marriage breaking down.

I have also covered how it may impact dating, here.

So I asked followers of my Facebook page how thyroid disease has affected their relationships with husbands, wives, partners, as well as friends and family. 

People have been kept anonymous as some of these comments are very personal.

Rachel with Husband Adam

Rachel with Husband Adam

“I’m very, very lucky my partner has been so supportive and understanding but at times I’ve questioned how he’s found the strength – it definitely wasn’t what he signed up for when we met. It has changed our relationship for sure but luckily I feel it has made us stronger. I can completely see how it can lead to relationship breakdowns and my heart goes out to those affected.”

“Hypothyroidism affects relationships and marriages.. because you expect your spouse to be the same person they always were. Hypothyroidism changes the person and if you’re not willing to do your own research on this disease, you won’t ever understand what your significant other is going through.”

Thyroid Patients Effects on Relationships

“If you are involved with anyone, it changes not just you physically, but the emotional balance is horrible. We don’t realise how moody we get until it’s gone too far, sometimes we don’t know what we’ve done, because our mind is lost, and we will unintentionally hurt others. It’s hard to control your moodiness and when you have a partner that doesn’t understand what you’re going through or why, it will definitely put a major strain on your relationship. I have split up from relationships because I didn’t realise that I may have been the problem. It was my mood swings and I went too far.”

“I don’t know how my husband copes sometimes but he does….the anxiety attack when I felt my bones were freezing and he wrapped me up in a blanket…the fatigue at the beginning when I was too tired to do anything and he had to go alone to family functions or work parties… ER visits for stomach or chest pains and sleeping sitting up in a chair beside the bed and so on…it has affected our marriage but so does any life changing illness and divorce is not an option for us. I asked him today if he gets it and he has attended every endocrinologist appointment and he said. ‘I believe I do’.”

Related post: Thyroid Patients Explain the Struggle of Social Situations

Thyroid Patients Effects on Relationships

“As a man with hypothyroidism, since our roles are reversed, that places me in charge of the majority of the household. Even were I in top form, my wife would easily run circles around me in this regard. I honestly try to keep things in order with what energy I have and what cognition I can muster. Needless to say, it’s difficult at any time for anyone. Our relationship suffers because there’s an expectation I can almost never meet. Every day, I wonder what little land mine I’ve set for myself, what did I forget, what mistake did I make. It’s not always so bad but there’s almost never any real understanding. Doesn’t seem to matter that she’s aware of the difficulties. I admit, she also has health issues and a stressful career. So, hypo has resulted in expectations not being met, recriminations about not caring, actual apathy, lack of emotional support. This is a two way street because as many of us have experienced, we’re sometimes emotionally toxic and depressed. It’s a cycle that I’m not sure how to change.”

Thyroid Patients Effects on Relationships

“I have lost several friends, family and partners and everything is always blamed on me.. Every day is a fighting battle with yourself.. feelings, emotions, and trying to accomplish daily tasks of getting things done. Life is a struggle going day in and day out with very little sleep, always in pain, hormones all out of whack with levels. It’s a fighting battle for life everyday, then to have friends, family and partners not understand it is debilitating, mentally, physically, and emotionally.”

“The mood swings, depression, anxiety and fatigue that this crappy disease causes put a huge strain on relationships. It can be tough on everyone, partners and kids too. Doesn’t help that even when optimally medicated and doing well, out of nowhere you can still get a bad day/week/month and feel like you’re back at square one again.”

Thyroid Patients Effects on Relationships

“It definitely put a huge strain on our marriage before I was medicated. We had just gotten married and had nothing in the bank account when I became horribly sick. I was always unwell but it got so I couldn’t work or move from the couch all summer long. It caused my husband to work an ungodly amount which added to the tension. He is also very sensitive so seeing me suffer was very hard for him.. It has required financial sacrifice to get better. We won’t be able to get a house as soon as we hoped because of it. In turn this has caused further turmoil in our marriage, lots of fights and hurt feelings. I feel it’s been especially difficult because people are always telling me how young we are and how we should be healthy and happy. It’s not like that for us, and it’s saddening. However, we didn’t get married with divorce being an option, and we have been able to overcome all these obstacles together with help from family and a therapist.”

Thyroid Patients Effects on Relationships

“Luckily, my Boyfriend has stuck by my side, and has never held it against me. Makes you lonely and no one realises how much you slowly disappear, like a cloud of smoke.”

Feel free to add your own in the comments section below. 

Read other blogs in the ‘Thyroid Patients Explain’ format here

Related Article: Feeling Guilt and Shame for Not Wanting Sex With Hypothyroidism

You, Me and Hypothyroidism Book Cover

See also:

The book You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidisma book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism. It deals with loss of libido, disruptions to sex life, intimacy and other relationships problems when someone has hypothyroidism.

If you are on thyroid medication and still having issues with fatigue and other hypothyroidism symptoms, you are likely not optimally treated, or have other problems you need to address. A properly treated thyroid condition should have no or very few symptoms. Of course, other illness, conditions and deficiencies can cause problems too, so explore them all if possible.

Of course, getting ourselves optimally treated and finding doctors who will listen to us, is a whole other topic!

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".


  • AJ
    April 25, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    I’d like to first say that this blog has been an extremely valuable resource for me, so thank you Rachel. I am in what I think is an uncommon position where I am the wife of a man with hypothyroidism. Sadly, I feel like I don’t have many resources for emotional support and advice on this topic, as most of the information is for men who are trying to navigate the illness with their wives.

    I think that the struggles with my husband’s symptoms would be much easier to cope with if we had not already been working through other relationship issues. My husband is in the military and for the first 15 (out of 20) years of our marriage we calculated that we were apart for half of that time. Deployments, trainings, etc – on top of the fact that my husband is a very hard worker (work-a-holic is a fitting title). So we’d already struggled with feeling disconnected and other issues that commonly arise between men and women like communication, balancing duties around the house, more caring and concern.

    Here we are now and it’s like all the worst of those things on steroids because of the brain fog and fatigue. Sometimes I feel like I am now married to man that looks like my husband, but that I often struggle to feel in love with because he seems like an entirely different person. As the one who has always been the ‘caretaker’ I know more about his hypothyroidism than he does, and have helped him get a better doctor, listened, and researched. He has had a difficult time accepting and appreciating help from me.

    It’s lonely and it often feels like thing things we’ve been working on throughout our marriage are a completely lost cause at this point; it’s very hard not to feel resentful and wonder if I really can cope with it for the rest of our lives. It is doubly exhausting when our teen kids also feel it when he is ‘off’.

    I know this is par for the course if you plan to stay married to the same person for a lifetime. There is no way to predict what will happen and who you will both become. His medication just got readjusted and thanks to Rachel and others’ advice I don’t feel like we’ve gone through all the options yet, and he seems to be finally coming to terms with his diagnosis – so I am hopeful. I’d just like to add my experience too, and let anyone like me who is trying to support their husband with hypothyroidism, that you aren’t alone if your experience feels similar to mine.

  • Danielle
    August 19, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    I read all these stories & comments regarding how people’s other halves can’t or just don’t want to understand & it ends up in separation/divorce. I’ve tried so hard to explain what I’ve been going through and I can’t even get him to read or watch some links I’ve sent him about hashimoto’s & why I’ve been experiencing all these crazy symptoms the past few years!
    We’ve been together for about 10 years & it took me to get sick to see that the stress I get from him has probably contributed to my symptoms due to his inability to give me a break! It’s also made me realize how toxic my relationship really is. I had to quit my jobs because I couldn’t deal with the stress of always being late because I couldn’t get out of bed & would take me forever to get up & ready. So, with no job, no money, & no family around, I’m stuck with this recently diagnosed shit show & since I have nowhere to go, Im stuck with someone who couldn’t give a crap about my well-being while I try & get better… how does one bounce back from losing so much of themselves & their love when it takes so much to even get out of bed some days to brush my teeth?? Im just so messed up & I wish the one person I love would just give me a break.

  • Jan
    November 9, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    I’m a single person by choice
    Found it difficult to date
    Have very supportive family / friends

  • Mary
    November 9, 2021 at 9:08 am

    It has affected my relationships, especially with those who don’t understand my brain fog. Result = I am treated like I’m either stupid or senile, especially as I’ve got older..

  • Julzy
    July 11, 2019 at 5:16 am

    I feel these people for sure ! It is especially hard when the partner refuses to listen, learn and at least try understand. Xxx

  • Janice Olomon
    July 9, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    I’m 79, I wake up tired, go to bed tired. I have to force myself to do anything, and I’m gaining much weight. I’ve complained so much and the doctor said it’s because I take many blood pressure medications. Also they said I’m depressed and put me on Citalopram. I take 150mg levothyroxine. I have ordered Thro8 and hope it helps.


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