Welcome to our series on navigating the mental health challenges faced by partners in relationships with individuals who have endometriosis. In this article, we will explore the impact of endometriosis on emotional wellbeing, the relationship challenges that partners may encounter, and the available mental health resources and caregiver support that can help partners provide effective support and maintain their own mental wellbeing.
Endometriosis is a complex condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It is characterized by the presence of tissue similar to the lining of the uterus in other parts of the body, causing chronic pain, fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms. However, the impact of endometriosis goes beyond physical symptoms, often taking a toll on the mental health of individuals and their partners.
As a partner, you play a crucial role in supporting your loved one through the challenges of endometriosis. It is essential to understand the emotional impact of this condition and the unique needs of partners in order to provide the necessary support and maintain a strong and resilient relationship.
Throughout this series, we will discuss various aspects of navigating mental health as a partner, including understanding the emotional needs of partners, effective communication and connection strategies, educating yourself about endometriosis, seeking professional support, building a support network, coping strategies, promoting emotional wellbeing in the relationship, supporting self-advocacy, managing relationship challenges, emotional reactions, practicing self-compassion and patience, resilience and growth as a couple, accessing mental health resources, and much more.
We hope this series provides you with valuable insights, practical tips, and encouragement as you navigate the complexities of supporting your loved one with endometriosis. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you on this journey.
The Impact of Endometriosis on Mental Health
Living with endometriosis can have a profound impact on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of individuals and their partners. The ongoing physical pain, fatigue, and limitations in daily activities can take a toll on one’s mental state, leading to feelings of frustration, sadness, and anxiety. Witnessing firsthand the physical and emotional struggles faced by their loved ones, partners may also experience emotional distress and a sense of helplessness.
It is crucial to recognize and address the mental health challenges that can arise from living with endometriosis. By understanding the impact it has on mental wellbeing, individuals and their partners can take proactive steps to manage and alleviate these challenges.
Endometriosis can cause chronic pain, fatigue, and limitations in daily activities. These physical symptoms can lead to various mental health challenges:
- Feelings of frustration and helplessness due to persistent pain and fatigue
- Sadness or depression resulting from the impact on daily life and activities
- Heightened anxiety and worry about the future and managing symptoms
Partners of individuals with endometriosis may also experience emotional challenges as they witness their loved ones’ struggles. It can be emotionally draining to see someone you care about in pain and faced with physical and emotional difficulties.
Understanding the impact of endometriosis on mental health is the first step towards effectively managing these challenges and providing the necessary support. By acknowledging the emotional toll of this condition, individuals and their partners can work together to develop coping strategies that promote mental wellbeing and foster a resilient relationship.
|Impact of Endometriosis on Mental Health
|Common Mental Health Challenges
|Chronic pain and fatigue
|Feelings of frustration, sadness, and anxiety
|Limitations in daily activities
|Emotional distress and helplessness
Understanding the Emotional Needs of Partners
Partners of individuals with endometriosis play a crucial role in providing support and caregiving. However, it is important to recognize that partners also have their own emotional needs that arise from their role in the relationship.
As a partner, it is essential to prioritize your own self-care and emotional well-being. This means recognizing when you need support and seeking help from friends, family, or even mental health professionals. Taking care of yourself allows you to better support your loved one with endometriosis.
Understanding and validating your own emotions is another important aspect of supporting your partner. It can be challenging to witness their physical and emotional struggles, and you may experience a range of emotions yourself. Acknowledging and processing your feelings allows you to approach the situation with empathy and provide the support your partner needs.
Remember, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Seek support, prioritize self-care, and communicate openly with your partner to foster a healthy and supportive environment for both of you.
|Recognize your own emotional needs
|– Prioritize self-care
|Seek support from friends, family, or professionals
|– Join support groups
|Understand and validate your own emotions
|– Engage in self-reflection
|Communicate openly with your partner
|– Listen actively and empathize
Communication and Connection
When it comes to supporting your partner with endometriosis, open and compassionate communication is crucial. Creating a safe space where your partner can express their emotions and concerns is key to navigating the mental health challenges associated with this condition. By actively listening without judgment, you can provide the emotional support that your partner needs.
Regular check-ins and conversations about your partner’s emotional needs can help foster a stronger connection in your relationship. Remember that emotional support plays a vital role in navigating the complexities of endometriosis, so be attentive to your partner’s feelings and provide validation and understanding.
Remember, communication and connection are two essential elements that will help you and your partner navigate the mental health challenges of endometriosis together. By creating an environment of trust and open dialogue, you can promote emotional well-being and strengthen your relationship.
Benefits of Open Communication and Connection:
- Enhanced understanding of your partner’s emotions and experiences
- Validation and support for your partner’s mental well-being
- A safe space for your partner to express their concerns openly
- Stronger emotional connection between you and your partner
Educating Yourself About Endometriosis
Understanding endometriosis and its impact on your partner’s physical and emotional health is crucial in providing effective support. By educating yourself about this condition, you can gain valuable insights into the challenges your loved one faces and become a knowledgeable advocate for their mental wellbeing.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, causing pain, inflammation, and other symptoms. By learning about the symptoms, diagnosis process, and treatment options, you can better understand the experiences your partner may be going through.
Additionally, becoming familiar with available resources and support networks for endometriosis can help you provide valuable guidance to your partner. From online communities to educational materials, there are various platforms that offer valuable information and emotional support for individuals with endometriosis and their partners.
Understanding the Physical and Emotional Challenges
Endometriosis can cause physical pain and discomfort, impacting your partner’s daily life and overall wellbeing. By recognizing the physical symptoms associated with endometriosis, such as pelvic pain, fatigue, and digestive issues, you can offer the necessary support and understanding during difficult times.
Moreover, endometriosis can also take a toll on your partner’s mental health. The chronic pain, uncertainty, and challenges of managing the condition can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, and even depression. By educating yourself about the emotional challenges associated with endometriosis, you can provide the empathy and support that your partner needs.
Advocating for Mental Health Support
Mental health support plays a crucial role in the overall wellbeing of individuals with endometriosis. By becoming knowledgeable about available mental health resources, such as therapists, support groups, and online forums, you can help your partner access the support they need.
Encourage your partner to seek professional help if necessary and offer to accompany them to therapy sessions or doctor’s appointments. By advocating for their mental health needs, you can play an active role in their journey towards healing and emotional wellbeing.
Supporting Mental Health Together
Remember that mental health support is a collaborative process, and your own mental wellbeing matters too. Take the time to prioritize self-care, seek support from friends and family, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. By taking care of yourself, you can better support your partner through their endometriosis journey.
Finally, maintaining open and compassionate communication is essential. Create a safe space for your partner to express their emotions, actively listen without judgment, and communicate your own needs and concerns. Together, you can navigate the challenges of endometriosis and build a strong foundation of support and understanding.
Seeking Professional Support
When navigating the mental health challenges of endometriosis as a partner, seeking professional support can make a significant difference in your journey. A therapist or counselor who specializes in supporting individuals with endometriosis and their partners can offer valuable guidance, coping strategies, and a safe space for you to process your own emotions.
Working with a mental health professional can provide you with the tools and resources necessary to navigate the complexities of supporting your loved one. They can help you gain a deeper understanding of the impact of endometriosis on mental health and offer strategies to manage any emotional distress you may experience.
Through therapy or counseling, you can explore healthy coping mechanisms, learn effective communication techniques, and identify self-care practices that support your own mental well-being. A mental health professional can also help you address any fears, concerns, or relationship challenges that may arise as you support your partner.
Remember, seeking professional support is not a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards prioritizing your mental health. By taking care of yourself, you will be better equipped to provide the support your partner needs.
In addition to individual therapy or counseling, there are various mental health resources available that can provide additional support. Online forums or support groups specific to partners of individuals with endometriosis can offer a sense of community and validation. Educational materials and books about navigating the mental health challenges of endometriosis can also provide valuable insights and coping strategies.
Benefits of Seeking Professional Support
Here are some benefits of seeking professional support as a partner of someone with endometriosis:
- Guidance from a trained professional who understands the complexities of endometriosis
- Coping strategies and tools for managing your own emotions
- Validation and a safe space to process your experiences
- Improved communication skills to effectively support your partner
- Opportunity to address relationship challenges and strengthen your bond
- Access to a network of mental health resources and support groups
Remember, you don’t have to navigate the mental health challenges of endometriosis alone. Seeking professional support can provide you with the guidance and tools needed to support your partner while prioritizing your own mental well-being.
Building a Support Network
When you’re supporting a partner with endometriosis, building a strong support network is essential. Connecting with other partners who are going through similar experiences can provide a sense of validation, understanding, and shared experiences. Having a network of people who can offer emotional support and guidance can make a significant difference in your own mental health and ability to support your loved one.
One way to connect with other partners is through support groups specifically tailored to endometriosis. These groups create a safe space for individuals to share their challenges, seek advice, and find comfort in knowing they’re not alone. You can find local support groups through organizations dedicated to endometriosis awareness or online communities that bring together partners facing similar situations.
Online communities can be particularly valuable, as they provide a convenient way to connect with others from the comfort of your own home. These communities often have forums, chat rooms, and private messaging options, allowing you to engage in discussions, ask questions, and receive support whenever you need it.
In addition to connecting with other partners, consider reaching out to friends and family members who can offer emotional support during challenging times. Sharing your experiences and feelings with trusted loved ones can provide a sense of comfort and understanding.
Remember, building a support network isn’t about just receiving support – it’s also about offering support to others. Actively listening, sharing your own experiences, and providing encouragement to others in similar situations can create a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
Your Support Network Checklist
Here’s a checklist to help you build a strong support network:
- Join local support groups focused on endometriosis and connect with partners facing similar challenges.
- Participate in online communities and forums dedicated to endometriosis support for partners.
- Reach out to friends and family members who can offer emotional support during difficult times.
- Actively listen and provide encouragement to others in your support network.
|Benefits of Building a Support Network
|Actions to Take
|Validation and understanding
|Join local endometriosis support groups
|Participate in online communities and forums
|Comfort and empathy
|Reach out to friends and family members
|Fulfillment and purpose
|Offer support to others in your network
Coping Strategies for Partners
Partners of individuals with endometriosis play a crucial role in providing support and understanding. However, it is equally important for partners to prioritize their own mental well-being. Here are some coping strategies that can help partners navigate the mental health challenges of endometriosis:
- Engage in self-care activities: Take time for yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. This can include activities such as reading, practicing mindfulness, taking walks in nature, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
- Practice stress management techniques: Explore different stress management techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or journaling. These practices can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.
- Seek support from friends and family: Reach out to your support network and share your feelings and concerns. Talking to trusted friends or family members can provide comfort, validation, and a safe space to express your emotions.
Testimonial: Finding Solace in Nature
“As a partner supporting someone with endometriosis, I found solace in nature. Going for hikes and spending time outdoors not only helped me clear my mind but also provided a much-needed space for reflection and self-care. It allowed me to recharge and return to my role as a supportive partner with renewed energy.”
Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish, but essential for your own well-being. By implementing these coping strategies, partners can maintain their mental health while providing unwavering support for their loved ones with endometriosis.
|Engage in self-care activities
|Take time for yourself and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, practicing mindfulness, or pursuing hobbies.
|Practice stress management techniques
|Explore stress management techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or journaling to reduce stress and promote mental well-being.
|Seek support from friends and family
|Reach out to trusted friends and family members to share your emotions, concerns, and seek comfort and validation.
Implementing coping strategies can help partners maintain their own mental well-being while providing unwavering support for their loved ones with endometriosis. Remember to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed, as you play an instrumental role in navigating the complexities of endometriosis as a partner.
Promoting Emotional Wellbeing in the Relationship
As a partner supporting someone with endometriosis, you can play an important role in promoting emotional wellbeing in your relationship. By creating a positive and understanding environment, validating emotions, and actively participating in the management of endometriosis symptoms, you can strengthen your relationship and support both your mental health.
Creating a positive and understanding environment means offering empathy and compassion to your loved one. Acknowledge their struggles and provide a safe space for them to express their emotions without judgment. This can help foster trust and open communication, allowing both of you to navigate the challenges of endometriosis together.
Validating emotions is crucial in supporting your partner’s emotional wellbeing. Understand that living with endometriosis can be physically and emotionally challenging, and validate their experiences and feelings. Show empathy, listen actively, and let them know that their emotions are valid and important.
|Ways to Promote Emotional Wellbeing in the Relationship:
|Create a positive and understanding environment
|Validate emotions and show empathy
|Actively participate in the management of endometriosis symptoms
Active participation in the management of endometriosis symptoms can make a significant difference in your partner’s emotional wellbeing. Accompany them to medical appointments, learn about the condition together, and encourage them to try different treatment options that align with their preferences and goals. By taking an active role, you can strengthen your connection and show your support.
Promoting emotional wellbeing in your relationship is essential for both you and your partner. By creating a positive and understanding environment, validating emotions, and actively participating in the management of endometriosis symptoms, you can build resilience as a couple and foster a stronger, healthier relationship.
Partners play a crucial role in supporting their loved ones with endometriosis to advocate for their mental health needs. By actively participating in their partner’s journey, partners can help navigate the healthcare system and ensure that their voices are heard. Here are some ways partners can support self-advocacy:
- Accompany your partner to medical appointments: Attending doctor visits with your partner not only provides emotional support but also allows you to actively engage in discussions about their mental health needs. It shows your commitment to their wellbeing and helps ensure that healthcare providers have a comprehensive understanding of their experiences.
- Educate yourself about treatment options: By familiarizing yourself with different treatment options for endometriosis-related mental health challenges, you can have informed discussions with your partner and together make decisions that align with their needs and preferences. This knowledge empowers you to ask relevant questions during medical appointments and seek alternative treatments, if necessary.
- Assist with communication: Endometriosis can be overwhelming, often making it challenging for individuals to articulate their mental health needs to healthcare providers. As a partner, you can help your loved one effectively communicate their emotions, symptoms, and concerns during appointments. This support ensures that their mental health concerns receive the attention they deserve.
Supporting self-advocacy empowers individuals with endometriosis to actively participate in their mental health journey and fosters a collaborative relationship between healthcare providers and patients. By standing alongside your partner as their advocate, you contribute to improved mental health outcomes and a stronger sense of empowerment.
|Benefits of Supporting Self-Advocacy
|Improved treatment outcomes
|Partner actively participates in discussions about mental health treatment options, ensuring the most suitable approach is selected.
|Enhanced patient-provider communication
|Partner assists in effectively communicating mental health concerns and symptoms to healthcare providers, facilitating comprehensive care.
|Partner educates themselves and their loved ones about endometriosis-related mental health challenges, enabling informed decision-making.
|Validation of mental health needs
|Partner stands alongside their loved one, validating their emotions and concerns during medical appointments.
Managing Relationship Challenges
Living with endometriosis can bring unique challenges to a relationship. As a partner, it’s important to navigate these challenges with empathy, open communication, and emotional support. By understanding the impact of endometriosis on your loved one and prioritizing your relationship, you can strengthen your bond and overcome the obstacles together.
One of the primary challenges that endometriosis can introduce is a strain on emotional intimacy. Chronic pain and physical limitations may affect your loved one’s mood and overall well-being, making it essential to offer understanding and support. By actively listening to your partner’s concerns and validating their emotions, you create a safe space for open communication, fostering a deeper connection.
Another aspect that may be affected by endometriosis is sexual activity. It’s common for individuals with endometriosis to experience pain or discomfort during intercourse. This can lead to a decrease in sexual desire and intimacy, impacting the dynamics of your relationship. It’s crucial to have open conversations about physical limitations and explore mutually satisfying alternatives to maintain a strong bond.
Endometriosis can also disrupt daily routines and activities, requiring flexibility and adaptation. Your loved one may need your support in managing their symptoms, attending medical appointments, and adjusting to changes in their energy levels. By offering practical help, showing understanding, and prioritizing self-care, you can help alleviate some of the burdens your partner may be facing.
However, managing relationship challenges goes beyond understanding and support. In some cases, seeking professional intervention may be necessary. Couples therapy or counseling can provide a safe space to address emotional struggles and improve communication. With the guidance of a trained professional, you can navigate the complexities of endometriosis as a team, discovering coping strategies that work for both of you.
Ultimately, the key to managing relationship challenges in the context of endometriosis is prioritizing emotional support and understanding. By actively communicating, seeking professional help when needed, and demonstrating your unwavering support, you can strengthen your bond and navigate the ups and downs of endometriosis together.
Emotional Reactions and Coping Strategies
Supporting someone with endometriosis can elicit a range of emotional reactions from partners. Frustration, helplessness, and grief are common emotions that may arise when witnessing the physical and emotional struggles your loved one endures. Remember, it’s okay to feel these emotions. Acknowledging and processing your feelings is an important step towards maintaining your own mental wellbeing.
To navigate these emotions, it’s essential to develop healthy coping strategies. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Self-reflection: Take the time to reflect on your emotions and thoughts. Understand that your reactions are valid and allow yourself to process them. Journaling or engaging in self-reflective exercises can provide clarity and promote emotional self-awareness.
- Seek support from others: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or support groups. Talking to others who have experienced similar situations can provide validation and a sense of community. Sharing your feelings and concerns can also alleviate emotional burden.
- Engage in stress-reducing activities: Take care of your own mental wellbeing by engaging in stress-reducing activities. This can include exercise, mindfulness meditation, engaging in hobbies, or spending time in nature. Find activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
Remember, prioritizing your own mental health is vital in order to effectively support your loved one. By developing coping strategies and engaging in self-care, you can navigate the emotional challenges of supporting someone with endometriosis while maintaining your own emotional resilience.
In the next section, we will explore the importance of practicing self-compassion and patience as partners in supporting someone with endometriosis.
Practicing Self-Compassion and Patience
When supporting someone with endometriosis, practicing self-compassion and patience is crucial. It’s important to recognize that both you and your partner are navigating the challenges of this condition, and it’s essential to offer understanding and support without judgment.
Endometriosis can bring physical and emotional hardships, which can impact both you and your partner’s mental health. By prioritizing your own mental wellbeing, you’ll be better equipped to provide the necessary support. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish—it’s crucial in maintaining a healthy and supportive partnership.
Self-compassion involves extending kindness and understanding toward yourself, especially during challenging times. Here are some ways you can practice self-compassion:
- Be gentle with yourself: Acknowledge that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or frustrated at times. Treat yourself with kindness, just as you would treat a loved one in need.
- Practice self-care: Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax. It can be as simple as reading a book, taking a walk, or practicing mindfulness.
- Challenge negative self-talk: Notice when negative thoughts arise and replace them with more compassionate and supportive statements. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best and that it’s okay to ask for help.
Dealing with endometriosis can be a long and challenging journey, requiring patience and understanding. Here’s how you can embrace patience:
- Practice empathy: Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand the challenges they face. Empathy can help you approach difficult situations with patience and understanding.
- Communicate openly: Foster an environment of open communication where both you and your partner feel comfortable expressing your needs. Patience is vital in actively listening and providing support without rushing to find immediate solutions.
- Seek support: Remember that you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups for guidance and understanding. Connecting with others who can relate to your experiences can provide a valuable source of support.
|Benefits of Practicing
Self-Compassion and Patience
|Tips for Cultivating
Self-Compassion and Patience
|1. Reduces stress and anxiety
|1. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding
|2. Improves overall well-being
|2. Engage in self-care activities
|3. Enhances relationship quality
|3. Challenge negative self-talk
|4. Fosters emotional resilience
|4. Practice empathy and active listening
|5. Supports personal growth
|5. Seek support from others
Resilience and Growth as a Couple
The journey of navigating the mental health challenges of endometriosis with your partner can be filled with both adversity and opportunity for growth. By fostering resilience and mutual support, you can strengthen your bond and create a foundation for a resilient relationship.
Open communication is a cornerstone of resilience. By talking openly and honestly about your feelings, concerns, and needs, you can cultivate a deeper understanding of each other’s experiences. Through this shared vulnerability, you can develop empathy and compassion, fostering a sense of connection that allows you to weather the challenges together.
Shared decision-making is also crucial in promoting resiliency as a couple. By involving both partners in important decisions about treatment options, lifestyle adjustments, and emotional support, you demonstrate respect and create an environment of equality. This collaborative approach empowers both partners and ensures that you are working as a team to overcome challenges.
Supporting each other’s mental health is vital for growth as a couple. Recognize that endometriosis not only affects the individual experiencing it but also the partner providing support. Prioritize self-care and seek mental health support if needed, acknowledging that it is essential to care for yourself in order to be there for your partner.
By navigating the mental health challenges together and fostering a culture of open communication, shared decision-making, and mutual support, you can emerge stronger and more resilient as a couple, able to face any obstacles that come your way.
The Power of Resilience: A Three-Step Approach
- Open Communication: Build a foundation of trust by creating a safe space for open and honest conversations about emotions, concerns, and needs related to endometriosis. Practice active listening and validate each other’s experiences.
- Shared Decision-Making: Involve both partners in making important decisions regarding treatment, lifestyle adjustments, and emotional support. Collaborate as a team to ensure that both perspectives are valued and respected.
- Supporting Mental Health: Prioritize self-care and encourage your partner to do the same. Seek professional support, engage in stress-reducing activities together, and create a support network of friends and family who understand the challenges you face.
Remember, resilience is not about avoiding difficulties but rather about embracing them as opportunities for growth. By facing the mental health challenges of endometriosis together, you and your partner can forge a stronger, more resilient relationship that can withstand any adversity.
Accessing Mental Health Resources
As a partner supporting someone with endometriosis, it’s essential to access mental health resources to enhance your knowledge, strengthen your coping skills, and provide effective support. There are various resources available that can provide you with guidance, education, and a supportive community.
Individual therapy can be a valuable tool for partners in navigating the mental health challenges of endometriosis. A qualified therapist can provide a safe space for you to explore your emotions, develop coping strategies, and gain a deeper understanding of the impact that endometriosis has on your relationship. Therapy can offer valuable insights and support in managing your own mental wellbeing as a partner.
Joining a support group specifically designed for partners of individuals with endometriosis can provide a sense of understanding and connection. These groups offer opportunities to share experiences, exchange advice, and receive emotional support from others who are going through similar situations. The sense of community within support groups can be instrumental in navigating the unique challenges that come with being a partner in this context.
The internet provides a wealth of resources dedicated to mental health support for partners of individuals with endometriosis. Websites, blogs, and online forums offer a variety of educational materials, personal stories, and coping strategies. These online resources can provide valuable information, practical tips, and a sense of validation for partners seeking to navigate the mental health impact of endometriosis.
Educational materials focused on the mental health impact of endometriosis can help partners gain a deeper understanding of the condition and its emotional effects. Books, articles, and educational videos can provide you with valuable insights, strategies, and advice on supporting your loved one’s mental wellbeing. By educating yourself, you can better equip yourself to provide the support and care your partner needs.
There are specific caregiver support programs and organizations that can offer guidance and resources for partners supporting individuals with endometriosis. These programs typically provide information, workshops, and counseling services specifically tailored to support caregivers. Connecting with caregiver support networks can provide you with a platform to share experiences, receive guidance, and access additional mental health resources.
Remember, taking care of your own mental wellbeing is essential in order to be an effective support system for your partner. By utilizing mental health resources, you can enhance your understanding, develop coping mechanisms, and foster a supportive environment for both yourself and your loved one.
Navigating the mental health challenges of endometriosis requires understanding, empathy, and proactive communication. As a partner supporting someone with endometriosis, it is important to prioritize your own mental wellbeing while providing the necessary support to your loved one.
Seeking professional support, such as therapy or counseling, can offer valuable coping strategies and a safe space to process your own emotions. Building a strong support network of friends, family, and other partners in similar situations can provide the necessary emotional support and guidance.
By actively fostering emotional resilience and growth as a couple, you can navigate the complexities of endometriosis together. Open communication, validation of emotions, and prioritizing self-care activities can strengthen your relationship and promote mental wellbeing for both partners.