Dealing With A Partner’s Chronic Illness
The best part about getting married is that you get to spend the rest of your life with the one you love. Once you have decided to marry someone, there is no turning back. You are supposed to stay with that person, in sickness or health, until death does you part. The challenge now is staying in love despite all the problems and struggles that will come in the way of the marital union. One of the possible scenarios that you may end up with is discovering that your partner has a chronic illness.
“While facing and dealing with chronic illness is understandably frightening, that fear does not need to rule or ruin your life or your relationships,” says Sharrie Thompson, a registered nurse, certified clinical aromatherapist, reiki master, and advanced pranic practitioner.
When your husband is in too much pain, there is a possibility that he will transform into someone who is constantly annoyed or irritated. All of a sudden, it would be difficult on your part to deal with him. At the same time, you may start to see him as a different individual – as if the person you married is no longer present. Your feelings are valid, but it does not mean that you have fallen out of love. Now that your loved one is going through a tough time in his life, these are the things that you need to do:
Reach Out To Him
Remember that suffering from a chronic illness does not only bring physical pain or emotional distress. At the same time, it can also make your partner isolate himself from you or everyone in the family. Because of this, you must find ways on how to reach out to him without trying too hard. Make him feel that he can always come to you whenever he needs some help or assistance. As much as possible, do not show him your weak side.
(Remember that when experiencing emotional distress, “Rather than focus on the possible causes of pain and vulnerability, try to sort out what each hurtful incident means to you and what you can do to heal and improve. But do this important assessment with self-compassion, not self-criticism,” says Steven Stosny, Ph.D.)
Educate Him About It
Sick people usually find it more convenient just to ignore the illness that they have. In fact, they prefer not to discuss the problem at all because it will only make them worry more. If your husband acts the same, then you have a more complicated task to accomplish. You must make an effort in studying or understanding what his chronic pain is. Luckily, there are already tons of available resources that you can take advantage of. However, be careful in making your assessments. It is still best to contact or get in touch with a psychiatrist or pain doctor so that you will not commit any errors or mistakes in learning about chronic illness.
Use Pain To Bring You Closer
With the current condition of your partner, you have to establish effective methods of building a more intimate relationship with one another. Do not let chronic pain bring trouble in the relationship. There are times when you would want to give up and whenever it happens, just remember all the good times that you have shared together. You both deserve to be happy. Make sure to remind yourself of the vows you made when you decided to marry one another. You have to stay with him for the rest of his days.
Take good care of your husband at all times. All your efforts will be worth it in the end.
Just a note, from Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. “Research has found that CBT is highly effective for managing both pain and depression. CBT teaches individuals to pay attention to their thought processes, which can maximize or minimize pain.” With this, therapy may be able to help.