How Can I Be a Good Partner to Someone With a Chronic Illness?

Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2022
How can I be a good partner to someone with chronic illness?
Caring for a partner with a chronic illness requires love and compassion and these five strategies.

A partner's chronic sickness can have an impact on you and your relationship. However, if you address the circumstance with love and compassion, you will quickly conquer it.

Nobody likes to watch a loved one suffer, and most individuals want to assist their partner who is suffering from a chronic illness. Initially, it can be overwhelming and you may find it difficult to know how to do so.

Learn five strategies to deal with your loved one’s chronic illness below.

5 strategies to deal with your partner's chronic illness

  1. Communication is the key
    • Both partners in the relationship should feel at ease addressing the sickness and their own needs. This strategy can help you get closer, prevent misunderstandings, and better empathize with one another.
    • Your partner may be hesitant to discuss their illness for the fear of adding to your misery, upsetting you, or burdening you with their worry or fears. Improve your communication by discussing with your partner.
    • Encourage your partner to converse or spend some alone time with you. If feasible, continue to share routines that have been a part of your life together, such as movie time, morning coffee, dog walking, and others. This helps you and your partner immensely to deal with stress.
  2. Never blame them
    • Having a partner with a chronic illness can be extremely tough to deal with, and you are free to express your feelings. However, bear in mind that this was not your partner's choice, and what they are experiencing is far worse than what you are.
    • Instead of badmouthing each other, you may talk about the difficulties you are both facing and assist each other get through them.
  3. Keep them motivated
    • Whether you see it or not, your partner is very strong and brave just to get through each day with their disease. So, tell them how fantastic they are, how much you appreciate them, and how much you trust in their capacity to get through this. Reminding your partner that a greater future waits for the both of you will provide your partner with the drive and motivation to work toward it.
  4. Build up a romantic relationship
    • Companionate love is necessary for quality of life, and it is more crucial if you have a partner with a chronic illness. When a diagnosis has taken away much of what used to feel “normal,” sexual engagement may be a wonderful source of comfort, pleasure, and companionship.
    • Many variables influence how your partner’s illness affects your sexual life, including their diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, symptoms, and treatment effects.
    • Sometimes, it may not be advisable or feasible to have sexual intercourse. However, you can be intimate in other ways, such as kissing, hugging, cuddling, and sharing your deep thoughts. This will help ease some burden of guilt your ill partner holds up for not being active in the relationship.
    • You enjoy some sexual arousal without intercourse. You may talk to your doctor and get personal advice on how to take things with your partner.
  5. Changes in the attitude of the caregiver
    • As a caregiver, you might feel exhausted and burned out. This will impact how you care for your partner and your relationship. You must take time out for yourself and indulge in activities that will strengthen your body and mind.
    • If you take self-care and self-development seriously, it will make you keep going no matter what hardships your life throws at you. A positive impact on yourself will help you search for better methods to care for and support your partner. Your positive attitude can help your chronically ill partner to develop positiveness in life and get motivated to deal with the illness.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

Heckman K. How to Be a Good Partner to Someone with Chronic Illness. Global Lyme Alliance.

Psychology Today. Chronic Illness and Relationships.

Bruno K. 7 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Strong Despite a Chronic Illness. WebMD.