A male guide to loving a woman with chronic pain. How to make your relationship work…
Loving a woman with chronic pain…
Multimorbidity means that your partner has two or more chronic conditions.
I’m pretty sure your partner has more than one condition. Chronic illness brings complications to her life, but also yours, and your relationship.
Loving a woman with chronic pain and making the relationship work, you have to take a different approach than you normally would be with a healthy woman, including:
Remember that pain is the enemy, your woman didn’t come with that baggage. Chronic pain can affect anyone. It’s not her fault she fell ill.
You will never fully understand what she’s going through, but trying to educate yourself about her chronic illness that is the cause of her pain, will go a long way in your partner’s eyes.
Believe her symptoms, not always they will be visible. Accept that sometimes you will have to change your plans, even at the very last minute.
By openly and honestly listening, you will make her life so much easier.
Knowing that she’s not alone in this, gives her hope and a reason to live because she can still aim to make someone happy instead of feeling useless.
Loving a woman with chronic pain brings plenty of challenges, but it will bring you both closer, strengthen your relationship, and help you both appreciate each other even more.
Loving a woman with chronic pain makes you a very special man…
They say that there’s a difference between being a caregiver and caring for your partner. Well, to some extent, yes, but if you are a husband of a chronically ill wife, you are a spousal caregiver, if you are a boyfriend, you’re not.
I’m a professional caregiver for disabled young adults, but I also support my chronically ill wife, so wanting or not, I am a spousal caregiver.
No matter what’s your relationship, you are still a team, even if sometimes your role resembles that of a carer.
If your partner is still quite independent, trying to keep you happy and your relationship healthy, it is the most important thing she can do.
She wants to feel needed. Be there for her too, as a carer or as a partner.
Understanding and education…
I said it at the beginning, you will never be able to truly understand her. For starters, you’re not a woman, secondly, you’re not in pain.
Science may not necessarily be able to answer your questions about the cause of your partner’s condition, but educating yourself is the best you can give to begin to grasp a little of what she is going through.
You are reading this very post. It goes to show that you care about her.
Loving a woman with chronic pain requires a lot more effort than being with a “healthy girl”. You have to learn as much as possible and speak to your partner about what you read too.
Not always things that you find will apply to her as she’s an individual. There are no two chronic pain sufferers are alike.
Your partner may not respond to the same kind of pain treatment as another woman with the same condition. For instance…
My wife doesn’t take any painkillers, hormones, or antidepressants. She’s in no worse position than women who take all of these medications.
She’s actually better off.
My M doesn’t experience any side effects as she doesn’t take meds.
Believing and accepting!
Loving a woman with chronic pain requires from you a bit of sacrifice. Unfortunately, you have to accept changes that will definitely occur in your life.
This is something that has happened to me, but I was already married, which made my decision easier.
Not that it was easy, but at the beginning, I must admit, deep in my mind I did not believe my wife that her pain, fatigue, and other symptoms were this severe.
Today I know this, but going back a decade, I did not believe her due to the fact that her illnesses were invisible.
This is the reason why many partners, doctors, friends, and employers don’t believe in chronic illnesses like endometriosis and fibromyalgia.
I wrote a few posts dedicated to this matter, and precisely to endometriosis, because men don’t understand, don’t believe, don’t accept it’s real:
- How to explain endometriosis pain to a guy.
- How to explain endometriosis to your partner.
- How to explain endometriosis to your boss.
Listening and adjustment.
No blog post, no book, no doctor will be able to explain to you how your partner feels.
By openly and honestly listening to her, you will get the best information, all you really need to help her go through difficult times.
Even though they are not predictable, she can sense when pain flare-ups will occur. Often it is hormones, stress, bad diet, that are the triggers for pain.
She knows when she has hormonal imbalances, she knows if she’s stressed or not if her diet is good or not.
Your partner will be able to tell you what works best for her and what is the trigger. Knowing that you’ll be able to support her better than you would if you had to learn it all by yourself.
Remember, she’s unique, she’s an individual who has different habits and reactions than another woman in her position.
Listening to her will allow you to save the precious time you normally would.
I tried to do it all on my own, thinking that I was giving my wife a favor. I thought she had a lot on her plate and didn’t want to give her more work, to teach me about her pain.
Oh boy, was I wrong!
Many times I fell flat on my face having to start over, I made mistakes that cost us arguments.
Don’t be like I used to be my friend, simply listen to your partner. Loving a woman with chronic pain was a period of trial and error for me. Listening to her will save you a lot of trouble, nerves, and time…
To finish off…
After the trauma of being diagnosed with chronic pain, your loved one will likely still be struggling to accept her faith. My wife still feels a sense of loss and grief today.
She doesn’t know when her next flare-up is going to happen but she knows now what to do whenever something in life changes rapidly. But as her partner, you go through it with her, and if you know how to help, it makes things much easier for her.
Loving a woman with chronic pain brings a new dynamic to the relationship. Chronic pain can be both, alienating and bonding.
Relationships are built on a foundation of many different pillars, including trust, communication, honesty, consideration, respect, understanding, belief, education, listening, and acceptance.
Amongst them all, communication is the most important.
You can solve any problem as long as you don’t forget about talking things through. You can overcome any obstacle. I’ve done it with my wife for nearly 14 years now.
I hope you found it useful. I’m looking forward to sharing more tips.
Till the next one! Take care!
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…