Loving a woman with long-term illnesses.

Chronic Illness

Dedicated to Male Partners

    When you love someone, you don’t just love them when they’re healthy and happy. You love them through the tough times too. Loving a woman with a chronic condition is challenging, but loving a woman with long-term illnesses like endometriosis and fibromyalgia can be even harder.

    But despite the challenges, loving a chronically ill woman may not be easy, but it is so worth it!

    Your woman is strong, resilient, and loving. She needs your support and understanding to get through the tough times. If you can be there for her, you will have a beautiful, loving relationship that will last a lifetime.

    I’ve been with my wife for over thirteen years, my marriage survived a decade and blossomed.

    As a man, it’s important to be supportive and understanding. Listen to your partner when she needs to vent about her pain or frustration. Help her with practical tasks when she’s struggling. And most importantly, let her know that you love her no matter what.

    How does it feel to be with a chronically ill woman?

    Loving a woman with long-term illnesses can be hard to describe, but below I try to describe it the best I can.

    Here is how it feels:

    It can feel like you’re always walking on eggshells. You never know when your partner is going to have a flare-up of pain or fatigue. You have to be careful not to trigger any of her symptoms. It can be exhausting and feel like walking on eggshells all the time.

    You have to be patient. Your partner can’t always do things on your schedule. She may need to cancel plans at the last minute or take a lot of time to rest and recover from flare-ups. You have to be patient and understand that the illness is not her fault.

    You have to be understanding. There will be times when your partner just doesn’t feel like being intimate or she will need to spend some time alone. It’s important to be understanding and give her the space she needs.

    You have to be supportive. Your partner is likely dealing with a lot of emotional stress as well as physical pain. She needs your support more than ever during tough times. Be there for her and help her through the tough times.

    You have to be prepared for financial strain because of medical bills and lost wages. Loving a woman with long-term illnesses can be expensive. Be prepared for the financial challenges that may come along with the relationship.

    What are the challenges of loving a woman with long-term illnesses?

    There are challenges that come along with loving a woman with long-term illnesses, but the challenges are worth it for the loving and lasting relationship you can have.

    Some of the challenges include:

    • constant worry
    • feeling helpless and hopeless
    • feeling lost and alone, without help
    • feeling judged or blamed
    • being frustrated, angry, sometimes resentful
    • feeling like you have to take care of your partner all the time
    • not being able to do everything you want to do as a couple
    • feeling like the relationship is one-sided

    Even though it is your partner who is chronically ill, her illness may affect you physically, as well as emotionally and mentally.

    Physically, you may find yourself taking on more household duties or childcare if your partner is too ill to do them. You may also be the one who has to take your partner to doctor’s appointments or drive her to the hospital for treatments.

    Emotionally, you may feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time, never knowing when your partner is going to have a flare-up of pain or fatigue. You may also feel guilty for being healthy while your partner is suffering.

    Mentally, you may find yourself constantly worrying about your partner’s health and whether she is going to be okay. You may also feel like you’re not doing enough to help her or that you can’t do anything to make her better.

    The challenges of loving a woman with long-term illnesses can be tough, but if you love her, you will find a way to overcome them.

    How can you show your love for a woman with long-term illnesses?

    There are many ways to show your love for a woman with long-term illnesses. If your partner is dealing with them, it can be a difficult and emotional time for both of you.

    Here are some tips on how to support your partner and keep your relationship strong:

    Educate yourself about her illness. The more you know about what she is dealing with, the better you will be able to help her.

    Communicate with her. Listen openly and honestly to what she has to say about her illness and how it is affecting her. Communication is one of the most important things in any relationship, but in one when the woman has long-term conditions is even more important.

    Be there for her. Your partner may not always feel like talking about what’s going on, but just being there for her can make a world of difference. Let her know that you’re here for her, no matter what.

    Be patient. Dealing with a long-term illness can be frustrating, exhausting, and emotional. It’s important to be patient with your partner and understand that things may not always go as planned and understand that her illness is not her fault and that she can’t always do things on your schedule.

    Help out around the house. If your partner is dealing with a lot of doctor’s appointments and treatments, offer to help out around the house. This can include taking care of chores, cooking dinner, or running errands.

    Get involved in her treatment. If your partner wants you to be involved in her treatment, ask questions and do some research. This can help you better understand what she’s going through and how you can best support her. Make sure she is getting the medical care she needs. Help her make appointments and go with her to doctor’s visits.

    Offer emotional support. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there for your partner emotionally. Listen to her, give her a hug, or simply let her know that you love her.

    Be sure that you are up for the role!

    I had to prepare myself for the unknown. It was a roller-coaster, but if you love someone, you will do whatever it takes to be with that person.

    Loving someone with a long-term illness can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources and support groups available to help both you and your partner through this tough time.

    One of which is an eBook I wrote especially for that purpose.

    “Supporting a Chronically Ill Partner” is a guide for male partners of women who suffer from long-term illness, and I give away its 1st Chapter FREE, and if you like it, you get the rest of the book at a 33% discount!

    The first chapter alone includes one of the most important parts, the acknowledgment of the struggles, including:

    • A word to your partner.
    • A word to you.
    • Stepping on eggshells.
    • Understanding her needs.
    • How to acknowledge having a chronically ill partner?
    • Acknowledging can be hard.
    • 15 tips on how to do it!

    Get the 1st Chapter FREE!

    Chronic Illness for Partners

      It will greatly prepare you for your role because caring for a woman with one condition is hard, but caring for a woman with two, or more chronic conditions may seem like a mission impossible!

      My wife suffers from endometriosis and fibromyalgia. Her endometriosis has stage IV and is deeply infiltrating, meaning, she has the worst type of endometriosis, which spread to her bladder, and the bowel, and caused her to grow multiple so-called “chocolate cysts”, formally known as endometriomas.

      Endometriosis is a chronic and painful condition, where the tissue similar to the one that normally grows inside the uterus, starts growing outside of it. It causes inflammation, and pain, and can lead to infertility.

      After her diagnosis of endometriosis, she developed fibromyalgia disorder. Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and brain fog. It’s a neurological disorder that can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible.

      So, my wife suffers from two chronic and painful conditions. And I wrote this guide to help men who are in a relationship with a woman suffering from chronic illnesses. But she also has other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), interstitial cystitis (IC), and endo-belly.

      Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammation of the bladder that can cause pelvic pain, urinary frequency, and urgent need to urinate. Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating and changes in bowel habits. It often mixes with the so-called “endo-belly” caused by endometriosis inflammation.

      To feel prepared, you need to ask yourself a few questions. I listed them along with the answers below…

      What are her needs?

      You should both discuss your future. Your partner should clearly tell you her caretaking needs and her needs in the relationship.

      Long-term illness changes relationships and your partner may be unenthusiastic about you being her caregiver as she may want to feel independent. After all, personal care isn’t sexy or romantic. So naturally, she may worry about how that may impact the nature of your intimate relationship.

      This is why she needs to be clear with you on everything she needs from you, your relationship, and her own wellness, so you can figure out how to give her the best support.

      What are your needs?

      It’s important to remember – there are two of you in your relationship, and your needs are equally important. Chronic illness can shift focus to a sick person and it’s easy to forget that when you are in love, however, you won’t be happy in your relationship if your needs aren’t met.

      If you don’t allow your partner to meet your needs, you will reach caregiver burnout and most definitely compassion fatigue.

      So, if you have any emotional or physical needs (and I’m sure you do), your partner has to know it. This is your opportunity to discuss how she can meet those needs to help you remain fulfilled as a man.

      What are your boundaries?

      You have to set them! Loving a woman with long-term illnesses means knowing and expressing your own needs, and you must express your boundaries to successfully navigate a relationship with a chronically ill woman.

      There is nothing really for me to add here. You know yourself best, you have to decide what kind of boundaries you have.

      Loving a woman with long-term illnesses 1

      Just because she’s ill doesn’t mean she loves less!

      Her love for you won’t change just because she’s sick. In fact, loving a woman with long-term illnesses can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.

      Your partner will need your patience, kindness, and above all, love. So if you think you can handle it, then go for it! I promise it will be worth it.

      Why loving a woman with long-term illnesses is rewarding?

      Here are 14 reasons why:

      1. You will learn to appreciate the little things in life.
      2. You will develop a greater sense of empathy.
      3. You will learn to be more patient.
      4. You will learn to communicate better.
      5. You will develop a stronger bond with your partner.
      6. You will learn to be more loving and supportive.
      7. You will develop a greater sense of responsibility.
      8. You will learn to appreciate your own health.
      9. You will become more resilient in the face of adversity.
      10. You will develop a stronger sense of self-awareness.
      11. You will be able to relate to other people who are going through tough times.
      12. You will learn to be more grateful for what you have.
      13. You will develop a greater sense of perspective.
      14. You will be able to see the beauty in life, even in dark times.

      Loving someone with long-term illnesses can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life.

      Loving a woman with long-term illnesses…

      To finish off, let’s wrap everything we said up together…

      Loving a woman with long-term illnesses means many things. It means being patient, supportive, loving, and understanding. It means being there for her when she needs you and being willing to communicate openly about your needs as well.

      You will need to be resilient and have a strong sense of self-awareness. Ultimately, loving a woman with long-term illnesses can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

      As a man, if you are able to love and support a woman through her chronic illness, you will develop a greater sense of empathy, patience, communication, and love. These are just some of the reasons why loving a woman with long-term illnesses can be so rewarding. So if you think you can handle it, go for it! It will be worth it.

      If you found this post helpful, please share it with others who might need it. And if you have any questions or thoughts to add, please leave a comment below. Thank you.

      Signature Lucjan
      Lucjan B

      About Me

      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…

      2 thoughts on “Loving a woman with long-term illnesses.”

      1. Hi Paul,

        Thank you kindly for your comment.

        In the beginning, my wife didn’t believe she had endometriosis. The diagnosis itself brought her both – relief, and she felt cursed.

        Has your wife tried CBT?

        My wife found cognitive-behavioral therapy especially helpful, and CBT is very helpful for many women with chronic pain conditions such as endometriosis. My own wife benefits from CBT every time she receives it, and she had 3 separate therapies.

        If your wife struggles with acceptance or is afraid to come to terms with her condition, I would nudge her gently to seek such therapy.

        Based on my own wife’s endometriosis, the fear of an uncertain future is something many women struggle to cope with. Endometriosis makes hormones go wilder than in healthy women. My wife can feel frustrated and angry, the hormonal changes that occur in the body during the endometriosis cycle can also contribute to mood swings and irritability. My wife often doesn’t want to talk, I then give her space.

        I wish she could get more involved in my blog, so she could help answer some comments and emails to fill the gaps I may have in my own knowledge, but at the moment, she is not keen as much. Sometimes she helps, sometimes she doesn’t. Her opinion would be most beneficial, after all, she works for the NHS and is well educated about endometriosis.

        Grief is a common reaction to chronic illness. Maybe your wife experiences various stages of grief including denial, bargaining, anger, and sadness. Digesting news of her endometriosis can bring a flood of emotions. Maybe she needs more time?

        How can she actively face her illness?

        Maybe a good place to start would be to write down what she feels if she doesn’t want to talk. It may help her feel more in control and feel more empowered…

        I hope this helps Paul, I’m going to reach out to my wife to add her opinion. It might take some time, depending on how she feels.

        Lucjan

        Reply
      2. Hi Lucjan,
        Thanks for the great work you are doing trying to educate men who have partners suffering from endometriosis. One area I want you to address is how men can help their partner come to terms with living with endometriosis. I have read so much about endometriosis and how it is affecting my wife but she has refused to educate herself on her condition. She is comfortable with the suggestions of non-specialist OBGN who cannot deal with the nuances of Endometriosis. I have tried communicating this to her and it has not yielded any result. I have bought books (including yours) for her to read. I have directed her to endo blogs, yet she won’t see the enlightening articles.

        I am sick and tired of her living in denial of this condition. What do you suggest I can do to help her come to terms with the reality of her condition.

        Reply

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