Illness and Your Relationship with Your Other Half

Illness doesn’t just affect the sufferer.  It also affects everyone you love.

So, here’s some sisterly relationship advice from Foxy:

Working out how a relationship will work is more productive than if it will work.  The good news is that men (generally speaking) like to work out problems and if you involve him, he may be more likely to want to work through the process with you.  I have found that women communicate to share – because a problem shared is a burden lessened.  I like to call this process “venting” or “moaning”.

Men, however, communicate to solve problems – Helios likes to say that men are “genetically designed” to do certain things, this includes carrying the shopping, taking out the garbage and generally carrying out all heavy lifting around the house, but he expects me to ask him for help when I need it.  His genetic disposition doesn’t generally include talking for hours on end.  So, you can start a discussion like this “I have a problem and I need your help to fix it”.  If at that point you say “I’m desperate just for you to listen.” – he will listen if he loves you.  However, don’t expect him to react the way your girlfriends do – he will be thinking about solutions to your problems.  This doesn’t mean that he hasn’t listened: it means that he’s reacting according to his genes and trying to be positive where he sees that you seem down.

Don’t dwell on the past.  Think instead that this relationship will work and then set out goals to achieve – envisage how it will work.  Discuss your dreams with your man and set common goals (but not in stone).

Be honest with yourself as well as with others, this can be difficult – you cannot be truly honest with others until you’re honest with yourself.  My example of this is my wanting a hysterectomy instead of children.  I decided against wanting children because while I was enamoured with the romantic notion of having children, I knew I didn’t want the hard work, responsibility and sacrifice required to raising a child.  It was a hard decision but I know it was right for me and am still happy with it.

So, tell your other half about your symptoms.  Talk about the best way to cope with how you’re feeling.  Find ways to express yourself that are not destructive – don’t go a bit curt simply because you’re in pain.  Tell your other half first that you are in pain and then discuss the chores for the evening – he will be delighted to help because he loves you.  Don’t be afraid to take the time that you need to recover every month.

Think positive and don’t think that you’re weak because you’ve asked for help.