Arthritis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation, pain and stiffness of the joints. There are different forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

It affects the lives of the patients in various aspects including financial, emotional and physical. Things that one used to do comfortably are now hard to do and they often require help. It’s not an easy thing I tell you…

Impact on relationship

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The worst comes to worst when it affects the relationship between partners; it is a chronic illness after all and it’s bound to affect the relationship in some way.

Take for example how it affects women

In the society we are in today, it is still the case that the majority of the household chores are performed by the woman.

She is the wife, mother and house keeper. If arthritis hits and is severe, it means she won’t be able to perform most of the chores. There will thus be a major role shift in the homestead.

This is not easy for either of the partners

If partners don’t take care, this might be the breaking point of the relationship. It doesn’t matter how much love was in between them as long as they let this condition take the lead position in the relationship.

This happens when there is no communication and support between the partners. The relationship may get damaged seriously and in worst cases this may be the ultimate end. The length of the relationship and how strong the foundation is will greatly matter.

Sticking together

If you are going through a similar phase, what do you do? Do you leave the relationship in the hands of fate or is there hope for the two of you?

The good news is there are a few things that the two of you can do to ensure that the relationship does not get affected. They are discussed below in depth.

living with arthritis_21. Stay in touch

A chronic condition will either bring couples together or drift them apart. This will be determined by the coping skills and support that is in between them.

By working on these factors, your relationship will be strengthened even more.

The other partner will feel lonely and sad when you can no longer do the things you loved to do together. They may not understand what you are going through.

Give them a chance to understand the condition and what it feels like. Staying connected each step of the way will ensure you do not to lose them. Now is not the time to get confined but rather to open up to each other.

2. Understand each other

Both of you are going through a phase that none of you saw coming. Don’t be so wrapped up in your struggles and tribulations that you forget how the condition is affecting the other partner.

We understand how hard it is but don’t be so blind that you don’t see the effects it has on the other person.

Walk together; it’s the only way the relationship won’t shatter into pieces.

Open up on how you are coping with this phase, how is it affecting you emotionally, physically etc and how the two of you can cope to come out of this stronger.

3. Cope with role changes

Arthritis causes some form of disability.

A look at the book, Chronic Pain and Family by Julie Silver, you will learn that joint pain and arthritis are interrelated. Joint pain is one of the symptoms of arthritis. In this book, Julie Silver informs us that the more the pain, the more disabled a person becomes.

The other partner will be required to shoulder a number of roles including financial obligations.

living with arthritis_3Arthritis is a costly condition and thus a lot of finances will be channeled towards treatment. This may not be easy especially if you were already struggling financially. The two of you thus need to sit together and discuss how you are going to pay the bills together. There must be a way that the affected partner can contribute.

He/ she may not be able to contribute financially, but there are those tasks around the house that they can be able to perform. This will keep them occupied and ensure they don’t feel unproductive and worthless.

Such thought can greatly increase the severity of the condition.

Conclusion

I would be lying if I said that dealing with a chronic condition is easy. However, let it not be the cause of your relationship breakdown.

The two of you should take it as just another challenge that you have to tackle.

Develop a habit of being open to each other and you will find that you will conquer this challenge. Above all, don’t forget to maintain intimacy. It doesn’t always have to be physical.

Connect with Expert Daisy Grace.

References:
1. Joint Pain and Arthritis
2. Webmd – rheumatoid-arthritis, features, how rheumatoid arthritis affects your life

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