3 Tips for Dating Someone Who Is Also Chronically Ill
Almost four years ago, I met my husband. He made it clear to me that he had some chronic illnesses as well as mental health issues. He wanted to make sure I knew what I was stepping into. Full disclosure. I told him about my medical and psych stuff as well. We understood that some days one may not be able to go do stuff whereas the other may feel completely fine.
People have asked me why I stay with someone who has extensive medical history and psych problems. Why take on all that work? My answer is quite simple. He does the same for me and I love him. Anything else is irrelevant. Expecting him to accept my psych and medical but refusing to accept his would be hypocritical.
I’ve come up with a list of tips for those who are in a relationship with someone with both chronic illness as well as mental health concerns. As someone with chronic illness and mental health, as well as someone in a relationship with someone with both, it helped hearing from others the best way to have a healthy relationship, and still keep us both functioning.
1. Take the good with the bad.
Be it mental health or physical health, you have to accept the good with the bad. Be thankful for the good days and enjoy them. Be ready for those bad days. The days where your spouse may be too sick or depressed to get out of bed. The bad will sneak up on you and kick you.
2. Be each other’s advocate.
Go to appointments with each other. Ask questions. While your spouse may not remember the question they wanted to ask, there’s a chance you may remember it. I know when I go to the doctor, I have an awful habit of downplaying whatever is wrong. My husband is quick to tell my doctor, “No, this is what’s happening,” and proceed to throw me under the bus.
3. Take time for you.
Remember that you need to take care of yourself as well. You have your own things going on. Go for a walk, a run, the movies… whatever. Take time for you. Don’t put yourself in the back burner.
Living with chronic illness as well as mental health issues while in a relationship with someone who is going through the same is not for everyone. It’s hard. It’s not always going out and having friends over. There may be days on end where it’s Netflix, smoothies, and cuddling. The best you can do is be there for each other.
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