How to cope with the new normal when your partner has a chronic illness?
If your partner has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to best support them. While it’s normal to feel like things will never be the same, there are things you can do to help you both cope with the new normal.
As a husband of a woman who suffers from two chronic conditions, I’ve learned how to overcome some of the unique challenges that come with having a partner with a chronic illness.
This article will help you find the answers to how to cope with the new normal.
Living with a chronic illness can be challenging enough, but having multiple chronic conditions can be downright overwhelming. That’s the situation my wife and I find ourselves in.
My wife’s primary condition is endometriosis, her secondary condition is fibromyalgia.
Both of them impacted my wife in various ways. From physical, emotional, and mental health, to social, sexual, and financial impact.
But being her husband, I felt helpless seeing her in pain, struggling to do things that used to be so easy for her. I felt guilty that I couldn’t do more to help. I was scared that both chronic conditions would take over our lives and that our relationship would suffer.
And that is exactly what happened!
My wife tried to take her own life on two occasions, aside from that, she asked me to divorce her believing that I could have a better life with someone else but her.
It impacted me dearly, but I stood by her. Fast-forward a decade, and we’re still married. It hasn’t been easy, but along the way, I’ve learned how to cope with our new normal, and today I want to share with you how you can too.
What is the new normal?
The “new normal” is a term that’s often used to describe a change in lifestyle or circumstances.
For example, after a natural disaster, the new normal might be living in a temporary shelter or without power. But when it comes to a chronic illness, the new normal can be much more complex.
It might mean your partner is in and out of the hospital for treatment or appointments. It might mean they’re unable to work or have to cut back their hours. It might mean they need help with everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning.
It might even mean your role in the relationship changes. You might find yourself taking on more of the household responsibilities or becoming your partner’s primary carer.
No matter what the new normal looks like for you, it’s important to remember that it gets easier with time as you learn how to adjust. Things can and will get better.
How to cope with the new normal?
If your partner has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it’s completely normal to feel like your world has been turned upside down.
You might feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, struggling to cope with the ups and downs.
But there are many things you can do to ease the transition and help you both cope with the new normal. I am going to give you tips based on my own personal experience of sharing my life with a partner who has chronic conditions.
Educate yourself about the illness.
One of the best things you can do when your partner has a chronic illness is to educate yourself about the condition. This will help you better understand what your partner is going through and how you can best support them.
Talk to your partner about their experience with the illness and read up on as much as you can about it. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to support your partner.
Remember that you can reach out to medical websites, health blogs like mine, and books on the subject. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t bombard your partner with questions or try to fix everything. Just be there for them and show that you’re willing to learn.
Talk about how to cope with the new normal.
The second step is to talk about what’s going on. Discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan with your partner, as well as your fears and concerns.
You already go out of your comfort zone and learn about your partner’s illness, but it is essential that you feel like you’re on the same page, and that you’re both comfortable communicating about the situation.
To do that, you need to talk. Make sure you schedule regular check-ins to ensure that both of you are doing okay and that nothing is being left unsaid.
It’s good to plan ahead, even though plans may often be canceled…
Make a plan.
Once you’ve talked about the diagnosis, it’s time to make a plan. This may include figuring out who will take care of which responsibilities, setting up a financial plan in case of missed work, and making sure you have proper insurance coverage.
When it comes to household chores, that’s easy to delegate and take care of. However, if you’re the primary breadwinner and your partner can no longer work, that’s a whole different story.
This is where you need a financial plan.
One of the very best, risk-free, and very cheap ways out of financial burden is starting a blogging business. Blogging isn’t a hobby anymore, it is a very lucrative business. You can start on the side while you working, grow it, and make a very good passive income from your blog.
If you would like to learn how to do that, feel free to check one of my blog posts dedicated to it!
Having a plan in place will help ease some of the stress and anxiety you may be feeling.
Not only do you need support for your partner when you’re not around and working, but also for yourself.
It’s important to seek out support, whether that’s from friends and family or from a professional.
Talking to someone who understands what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful. There are also many online support groups available, however, if you are not comfortable talking about your situation with people in your personal life, you can reach out to a counselor or therapist to take care of yourself.
Take care of yourself.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. In order to best support your partner, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too.
This means taking breaks when you need them, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. It’s okay to lean on your support system when things get tough – they’ll be there to help you through it.
If your partner has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. However, by talking about the situation, making a plan, seeking out support, and taking care of yourself, you can help both of you cope with the new normal.
Compassion fatigue can affect any caregiver who provides long-term care, whether you’re a family member, friend, or professional. It’s important to be aware of the signs so you can take steps to prevent it or get help if you’re already experiencing it.
Signs of compassion fatigue include:
- feeling emotionally drained or “numb”
- avoiding people or situations that remind you of your loved one’s illness
- feeling hopeless, helpless, or resentful
- having difficulty sleeping or eating
- experiencing physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches
- feeling irritable or short-tempered
- withdraw from your usual activities
Create a new normal together.
If you’ve recently found out that your partner has a chronic illness, you might be feeling a range of emotions. You might be scared, confused, and unsure of what the future holds. It’s normal to feel this way.
Adjusting to a new normal can be difficult, but there are things you can do to make the transition easier for both you and your partner. One of the best things you can do is join forces.
When your partner has a chronic illness, it’s important to create a new normal together. This might mean making some lifestyle changes, such as altering your work schedules or travel plans.
You might also need to redefine your relationship in terms of intimacy and physical affection.
Whatever changes you need to make, it’s important that you do so together. After all, you are a team, and by creating a new normal that works for both of you, you can help ease the stress of dealing with a chronic illness.
Navigating life with a chronically ill partner.
If you’re struggling to cope with your partner’s chronic illness, lean on your support system. Talk to close friends or family members who can offer helpful advice and understanding.
It can also be helpful to join a support group for people in similar circumstances. Talking to others who are going through what you’re going through can help you feel less alone and more equipped to handle the challenges ahead.
If you’re living with a partner who has a chronic illness, it’s normal to feel scared, confused, and overwhelmed. But by educating yourself about the illness, leaning on your support system, and creating a new normal together, you can help ease the stress of dealing with a chronic illness.
Whether it’s cancer, endometriosis and fibromyalgia, or any other chronic condition, dealing with a partner’s health crisis can be immensely difficult. Not only do you have to deal with the worry and stress of seeing your loved one suffer, but you also have to deal with the day-to-day practicalities of caring for them.
Add to that the fact that both you and your partner are likely working from home, no wonder that so many people are feeling overwhelmed right now.
Caring for a partner with a chronic illness is no easy task, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.
There are many resources and people available to help you through this challenging time. Reach out for help when you need it and take care of yourself so that you can be there for your partner when they need you most.
Talk about it. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it will help you both feel more connected and less alone.
Make time each day to talk about how you’re both feeling and what you’re struggling with.
If you’re finding it hard to talk, consider seeing a therapist or counselor who can help facilitate these conversations.
Get organized. When someone is chronically ill, there are a lot of appointments, medications, and treatments to keep track of.
It can be helpful to get organized and create a system for tracking everything. This could be as simple as using a calendar to record appointments or keeping a list of medications in a notebook.
Having everything in one place will make it easier for you to keep on top of things and ensure that nothing gets forgotten.
Seek out support. One of the best things you can do is reach out to friends or family members who understand what you’re going through. These people can provide much-needed emotional support when times are tough.
There are also many online support groups available if you’d prefer not to speak to people one-on-one. Simply knowing that others are going through the same thing can be incredibly helpful.
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…