When Illness Strikes

Relationships

Adjusting to a New Reality

Couples finding they are dealing with a severe illness often need to make large changes in their lives, and they might not be able to do it well. When one person finds their ability to move and think is affected, their partner must do some of it for them. Handing over the reins of control is not always easy, and even someone deeply trusted can give a person pause when it comes to losing some of their independence. Partners going through this situation are adjusting to a new reality that will make or break their relationship over time.

Illness often strikes without warning, so there is little or no time for advanced preparations. While they couple might have believed they discussed a situation like this more than enough times in their marriage, dealing with it can still be difficult. There are aspects of any sickness that can throw a person past their breaking point, and the outburst could be directed at their partner. Learning to cope can take more energy than they have, but they will have to muster it to survive together.

Sometimes an illness is only temporary, and people can generally cope with whatever is necessary for a short time. Those who are stuck in a continuing situation could find they are making accommodations without thought, and the changes in their life might not be as difficult as expected. The support of even a partner who is ill can make a huge difference in their acceptance.

Life throws many changes at people, but dealing with an illness can be more difficult than something outside the relationship. It strikes at the heart of the relationship when one person must cede control to their partner in a time of need, but those who are able to accept it could find they made the best choice when they committed to the one they love.