Chronic illness is a family affair. Everyone whose life touches ours – our partners, children, parents, siblings, close friends – will be affected by our disease to a greater or lesser extent. They miss the person we used to be, and they aren’t sure how to help us. With the best of intentions, they may advise us to eat better, exercise more, and get back into the swing of life. Or worse, they may abandon us emotionally, refusing to acknowledge our struggles, or physically, deciding they can no longer bear the burden with us.
Communication on an individual level is always important, but sometimes patients need outside help to keep their relationships as healthy and intact as possible. Sometimes a group setting that encourages communication between partners is helpful; other times, it might be necessary to see a therapist one-on-one for the advice and support you need.
(Source: A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully with Chronic Illness, by Susan Milstrey Wells.)