How caregiving affects marriage? Ways to keep your marriage healthy.
So, how caregiving affects marriage?
Not many people know how caregiving affects marriage because they aren’t in such a position.
Although the numbers of spousal caregivers grow every year, we are still marginalized, and our voices aren’t heard enough.
Caregiving partners experience a lot of strain on their relationship or marriage.
The stress of spousal caregiving becomes an issue in a marriage because it affects many aspects of life, including activities, finances, and time.
Before we discuss ways to keep the marriage healthy, you need to understand how caregiving can impact your relationships.
So, how caregiving affects marriage?
- It poses a financial burden.
- Cuts into time spent together.
- Causes tension and conflict.
- Adds additional responsibilities.
- Causes mental health issues.
So, what are the ways to keep your marriage healthy?
To keep your marriage strong, it’s important to understand how you can prevent unnecessary conflict with your spouse.
You can achieve that by:
- Thanking your spouse.
- Connecting with helpful groups.
- Creating a support network.
- Delivering services.
- Scheduling regular date nights.
You have to try to solve your financial problems and the best way to do it is to start a blogging business. It will allow you to spend more time together without cutting into it.
Having less financial strain will allow you to experience less tension and conflicts.
It’s going to help you cope better with additional responsibilities having more time for each other, and yourself separately. It will cause fewer mental and emotional challenges, and help you protect your marriage from breakdown.
Understanding how caregiving affects marriage you can take some steps to avoid and manage any challenges that arise.
Firstly, to answer the question of how caregiving affects marriage, you have to take in your hands sorting your financial burden.
Many people live in denial. They struggle with their finances but do absolutely nothing about it.
Watching endless telly doesn’t solve the issue, action does.
Even when they realize that they need to do something about their problems, people watch a lot of motivational movies or advice, but still, they never put any of it into action.
Procrastination is your biggest enemy. Luckily for you, there are some ways to improve your financial situation.
Firstly, you need to acknowledge the issue. You may do many things in order to save money, and to understand how money works, I advise you to read my post on the topic of money anxiety.
I provide there many tips on how to save money, based on 5 financial books that I read, when I was in your position.
However, saving money is a short-term solution that carries a lot of risk due to the bank being out of your control whenever inflation hits.
So what can you do?
Start a blogging business because blogging is the quickest, least risky, most effective way to gain extra money. Furthermore, make a living, a really comfortable living…
In order to learn how to do it, read my article on the topic. Blogging is my passion so you’ll learn a lot!
Time spent together.
When you start caring for a chronically ill partner, you begin to notice that the world circles around their illness.
You try to support your spouse the best way you can, and your partner puts all the effort to deal with daily pain and recovery. Both of you begin to focus on your partner’s health, forgetting that your relationship is suffocating.
You’re still a couple. No condition can change that fact, even though you begin to notice how caregiving affects marriage or the relationship that you’re in.
Share a passion, go out more, spend more time together, whenever your chronically ill partner has a flare-up free day.
For me and my wife, that’s dancing. Before M got ill, we danced together professionally. We used to teach, perform, organize dance events.
When my wife was diagnosed with stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, and later on with fibromyalgia disorder, she was unable to dance.
We both took a break from dancing, but after 3 years gradually went back to dance, whenever M had a good day. Today we dance on a weekly basis. Doing something we both love brings us closer.
If you don’t share a passion, you can always go into nature, have a walk in the woods, and do the little things most people take for granted.
Prepare a romantic dinner, and you’ll realize, how it will help your partner emotionally, and even physically. It’s going to lift your partner’s spirit.
Sending positive vibes, your spouse will begin to release natural painkillers in the body. It helps lower the pain and other symptoms.
Aside from romantic dinners, don’t forget about sex and intimacy.
Tension and conflict.
You may begin to feel that you keep giving and your partner is only receiving. Even though you shouldn’t look at it that way, naturally, there is some kind of imbalance when you care for an ill spouse.
You have to recognize the issues that can come up and discuss how to manage such upcoming challenges.
Express your concerns, because as the spousal caregiver you may often become upset, and you need to speak out of any concerns or emotions, make sure to find time to discuss these issues with your partner.
If you are feeling stressed, ask your spouse for help! Just because they are ill doesn’t mean you cannot find their help useful…
Always make time for your relationship, and try to put your spouse first. Make all the decisions together as much as possible. If you make them by yourself, it won’t feel nice to your partner.
Make communication a priority because, in order to avoid conflicts and make this work, you need to have open communication.
There will be challenging moments, for sure, but being open and honest will always go a long way. It will definitely help to reduce your stress!
I’m lucky that despite my wife’s fibromyalgia and endometriosis, she can still cope with many things herself.
Other caregivers might not be as lucky, carrying additional responsibilities, such as:
- Home management.
- Medical care planning.
- Prescription management.
- Help with personal care.
- Assisting with meals.
- Help with mobility.
- Housekeeping and parenting.
That puts a lot of strain on the caregiver. And whether you assist is a little or a lot, there’s no doubt that it will affect your relationship in some way.
Caregiving brings changes in relationships when one spouse begins caring for another, no matter how independent that spouse may be.
Even though my wife is independent, she needs my emotional support all the time. Oftentimes, what starts as just a little help can snowball into more responsibilities, which can be challenging for anyone.
It’s very easy for the caregiving spouse to take over the bulk of the relationship, which leads to anxiety and depression, leading to caregiver burnout.
Mental health problems.
Lastly, in order to know how caregiving affects marriage, mental wellbeing is as important as your partner’s one.
Anxiety and depression are the most common amongst chronically ill people, and caregiving partners.
General anxiety hits when you begin to worry about your future to the point you begin to believe it. In such situations, panic attacks are pretty common.
Another form of anxiety is OCD, commonly known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It gives a false impression of being in control, whilst ironically, it’s the OCD that controls the person.
Depression also relates to overthinking. When you begin to think about the past enough times, it blends with reality.
The best thing you can do is seek a therapist. CBT is a cognitive behavioral therapy that deals with mental health problems, and I would strongly advise you to reach for it.
In the meantime, you can always open up to your friend and family, because by expressing what you feel you can avoid any emotional and mental struggles.
Now, knowing how caregiving affects marriage, we can jump to the coping mechanisms. Ways to keep your marriage healthy may vary… here are some of the most effective:
Talk openly with each other about your feelings, emotions, and any stress triggers, as they relate to the care of your chronically ill spouse.
Make an effort to keep the flame of your love and sexual activity alive.
Approach all financial challenges as a team and openly communicate. Do not blame each other for things when it gets tough because blaming never solves any problems. And don’t allow self-pity. It’s a wasted emotion.
Provide each other with occasional private time.
Remember that the little, simple things matter in a relationship, and they need to be practiced each and every day.
And be spontaneous and keep the romance alive because not everything has to be planned and scheduled. Show your love with a homemade, romantic dinner, a romantic night walk, or even a romantic bath.
Remember that the relationship between the husband and wife trumps everything else, even daily struggles, as long as you care for one another.
It will continue to strengthen your relationship and your marriage will survive the enormous pressure and challenges associated with caring for your partner.
See you in the next one!
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…