Couples in a committed relationship often discuss the future, and getting sick or being disabled can be a topic for them. As they go through the years together, the likelihood for illness or disability becomes more prevalent. It is a topic many do not enjoy discussing, but planning for illness as a team can help alleviate some of the burden if it occurs. Knowing what a partner wants when it happens can make the decisions easier to bear on the one responsible.
Trust is a big part of any long term relationship, and the inability to make medical decisions is one area where that trust will show. Speaking with a loved one about resuscitation or heroic medical measures before they may be needed often ensures a person’s wishes are taken into account. It can be a sad subject for two people in love to discuss, but it can also be a talk that eases the tension between them.
It can still be difficult to make decisions and talk to medical personnel when the unspeakable occurs. The knowledge of what a partner said they wanted if it happened may not always make their partner happy or comfortable when the time comes to take action. Knowing they are solely responsible for their partner’s continued life or medical maintenance can still be a difficult pill to take alone. This is a path no partners want to take together, but it is exponentially lonelier when one has to travel it alone.
There have been great strides in medicine, but not everything can be cured. Some people do have their own measure of what a good life means, and it can differ from their partner’s thoughts on the subject. Being able to honour a spouse’s wishes in a situation where their life hangs in the balance is something no partner wants to do, but those who have shared a lifetime of love may find it necessary.