It’s a painful experience, watching your partner suffer from any illness or disorder. Even more so when it’s chronic. Every day, they have to live with any pains or side effects born from their disease. And sometimes, you can't help but feel helpless in the face of it.
There are ways we can help. Being present is often enough for most people. Being there for appointments that provide help for certain conditions like low thyroid is a given. But there is so much more you can do apart from escorting your partner when they visit clinics and hospitals.
Learn More About Their Circumstances
Regardless of the scenario, it is always important to educate yourself on the subject matter.
Researching about your partner’s illness is perhaps the best way you can show your support. The internet is accessible to all, and it has an abundance of information at your disposal. Don’t let yourself live in oblivion.
On the same note, don’t let the internet be your only source. You can read about the intricacies of every chronic illness there is online, but the experience is unique for each person.
Communication is key to learning, too. If your partner is willing, take the time to learn from them. Talk to them about their challenges. Recognize how distinctive their life is from others.
Having conversations also allows you to set boundaries.
Your partner is ailing, but you need to remember that they aren’t incompetent. It’s possible that your love for them has manifested in extreme and excessive ways. This may lead to you making decisions on their behalf, or maybe criticizing the ones they make. Any of these can affect their autonomy.
Boundaries can help you, too. Loving a person with chronic illness comes with its unique set of challenges. Many individuals are likely ill-equipped when facing these challenges. They could also get overwhelming at times.
Your partner is probably aware of this fact. If you need some time for yourself every now and then, now is the perfect opportunity to bring it up in a tactful manner. Establishing open lines of communication will be beneficial for both of you in the long run.
Don’t Focus Too Much On Their Illness
Often, able bodied people hone in too much on diseases when faced with the reality of it. We’ll never know the full extent of how difficult life with chronic illness is. You can research it, read countless articles, but the truth of the matter is that you’re not the one experiencing it.
Maybe this is why so many of us tend to place too much importance on it. Let it rule our lives, which shouldn’t be the case.
Chronic illness, while now a crucial aspect of your relationship, shouldn’t be the main focus of your partnership. There is so much to explore when you’re in a relationship with a person. You can fret over their health, yes, but it shouldn’t stop the two of you from enjoying yourselves.
Plan accessible social events. Go on trips. Learn more about each other beyond the disease looming over you both. You’ll find that doing so will only strengthen your relationship, leaving you more in love with each other.
Chronic illness is an everyday challenge, for both you and your partner. But this doesn’t mean that your relationship should suffer because of it.