Chronic illness can strain and cause stress within your marriage to a point where you may feel overwhelmed and upset by your spouse and his or her needs. However, there are things you can do to cope with this challenge. You and your spouse can be there for each other through these hard times.
I’ve complied a list of suggestions to help through this time.
Keep lines of communication open. A chronic illness in a marriage is an issue both of you have to cope with, not just the sick one. Help each other accept the illness and the negative feelings that you both sometimes feel.
Nurture your spouse in times of pain even if you don’t feel like it. Be careful not to grow too dependent on taking care of him or her through the chronic illness, though, so you don’t feel resentment when your spouse gets stronger and wants more independence.
Allow each of you to have time alone. You should get away at least once a week and do something fun for yourself.
Pursue your interests just as you would if you both were well. It’s tempting to push aside the things you enjoy, such as art or sports because you feel you must be there for your ill spouse. After your spouse has accepted the illness, he should modify the activities he enjoys rather than give them up.
Take vacations together. Even a visit to sympathetic family members renews you. A change of scenery will give you both a breath of fresh air and allow you to get your minds off the illness for a while.
Set up as many activities as possible that don’t have anything to do with the illness. Do fun things weekly with your children or grandchildren.
Establish a strong support network. This could include counseling to help you cope with the chronic illness. Talk to trusted family members and friends about your worries. It will help you cope if you’ve got an outlet for your anxieties.
Helping to care for chronically ill spouse is very difficult and can be emotionally draining. These tips will help during this difficult time.