7/9/13 – Chronic Pain Impact on Marriage/Relationships

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Chronic Pain Conditions’ Impact on Marriages / Relationships

Woman sitting on bedNearly half (47%) of Americans have experienced chronic pain. Now, imagine that for each of those patients, there is at least one non-patient spouse, friend or other loved one whose life has been affected by the condition. Living in constant pain is hard, but when you’re a spouse or friend with a front row seat to the battle, you are dealing with pain of your own. We get it.

How will their pain affect me?

Finding out that a chronic pain condition has just barged its way into your life can be scary; not knowing what to expect or how even the simplest daily activities could change as a result of this new concern. You’re not alone.

First, be aware that you will likely develop negative feelings in the beginning. For example, you may feel guilty at times for not being able to help your loved one more and a sudden lack of control could cause frustration, which is an entirely natural emotion; however, it is not uncommon for a patient to withdraw or respond irritably, which could cause family members or friends to become resentment.

If there are children in the household, you’re likely concerned about how this life change could affect them. Like adults, children may experience negative feelings or depression as a result of a lack of attention and affection; the child or children may even begin blaming themselves for their parent’s absence. The most important thing is that your child knows that their parent loves them and they have done nothing wrong.

What can I do?

It’s crucial that you remember to take care of yourself. If you don’t maintain your own health, not only will you be unable to properly assist or show support for your loved one, but it is also to become depressed as a result of a decline in affection and/or your sex life or anxiety about financial problems that result from your loved one’s disability. Stresses like these have the ability to weigh on a person so heavily that, if not addressed, could affect you in an extremely negative way.

Knowing what to expect will be helpful in managing life with a chronic pain sufferer. Being in the know may boost your confidence in finding more effective ways of dealing with issues in your relationship caused by the stress you’re feeling about the life change. Just keep in mind that communication is key and being honest about how you’re feeling is the best way to avoid animosity or resentment toward your loved one.

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